Scouting New Mexico: Will the Wolf Survive?

Not to free fall into negativitude or anything, but the last time I felt like this this time of year before a Louisville Cardinal NCAA tournament game, I was sitting in the media room at Lucas Oil Stadium, reading up on Michigan State before the regional final several years back.

It was the first time I’d studied with any depth Sparty’s season stats and record and personnel.

After which, my blog message to Cardinal fans essentially read: Caveat Emptor.

Which is to say that Steve Alford’s 28-6 Lobos are probably a lot better than most U of L fans realize.

As my friend David would say, “I’m suitably pessimistic.”

* * * * *

The first warning signs came when I checked how the two premier computer rankings compared the teams. Both Ken Pomeroy and Jeff Sagarin have New Mexico as the better squad. The former has the Lobos ranked 14th, the Cardinals, 20th. Sagarin says Louisville is the 18th best team in the land, New Mexico, the 16th.

* * * * *

New Mexico won the regular season Mountain West title. And the post season tournament.

Quick reminder. That afterthought hoops league garnered four bids to the Dance.

The Lobos are 28-6. Four of the losses were to tournament teams, New Mexico State, UNLV, San Diego State and Colorado State. The other two were a December L to Santa Clara, and an inexplicable 64-83 February meltdown at TCU. (It happens, Cardinal fans. One word: Providence.)

* * * * *

Here’s what the Lobos do well.

They shoot the ball. 46% from the field. 38% from beyond the arc. 71% from the free throw line.

They outrebound their opponents by over 6 boards/ game. They’ve held their foes to 38% shooting.

On the season, they have well over a hundred more assists than turnovers.

They average 73+ points/ game, 14 more than their opponents.

* * * * *

Will the wolf survive? Hope not.

– Seedy K

One Comment

  1. Tim Schooler
    Posted March 17, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    Love me some Los Lobos… and this is a poignant video.

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