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The Lobo Howl -- Friday –  in The Pit (Free Admission!)

6-7 p.m.: Select-A-Seat
6-6:30 p.m.:  Lobo women autographs (North concourse)
6:30- 7 p.m.:  Lobo men’s autographs (North Concourse)
7–7:45 p.m.:  Lobo Women -- team introductions, drills, competitions
8–8:45 p.m.:  Lobo Men –team introductions, dunk contest, drills, shooting competitions

By Richard Stevens – Senior Writer/ 

There are lots of reasons to come to The Lobo Howl Friday night and join ESPNU in The Pit.  You want to see the returning Pit heroes?  Of course, you do!  You have bonded with these Lobos for several seasons.

You know these names and faces:  Kendall Williams, Bryce Owens, Sara Halasz, Hugh Greenwood, Cameron Bairstow, Deeva Vaughn, Alex Kirk, Antiesha Brown  – just to name a few of the Lobos returning to run and gun with Coach Yvonne Sanchez and Coach Craig Neal.

But a huge reason to come to The Howl on Friday and join the cameras of ESPNU in celebrating Lobo basketball is to take a look at the Lobos looking at their first minutes of playing time in The Pit.   And there are a handful of them on both Neal’s roster and Sanchez’s roster.

Neal – and Howl observers – will be evaluating 6-6 Arthur Edwards, 7-foot Obij Aget, 6-7 Devon Williams, 6-4 Cullen Neal, 6-7 Merv Lindsay, 6-6 Tim Myles and 6-5 Deshawn Delaney.  

These Lobos are talented and they are looking to find space in a lineup that returns starters Williams, Greenwood, Bairstow and Kirk.  So, what’s the one missing piece, you ask?  OK, you probably don’t have to ask.  Neal lost Tony Snell, off to fame and fortune in the NBA.

And you can bet every one of Neal’s first-year Lobos will be eying that spot – or at least some playing time that obviously exists because of Snell’s and other Lobos’ exit.

Sanchez has some talented newcomers, too.  She lost her leading scorer from last year, Caroline Durbin, and anytime you lose a go-to shooter, you look to fill that hole with maybe another hot hand. Maybe by committee.  Sanchez also has some playing time open from the loss of Jourdan Erskine, Jayme Jackson and Chinyere Nnaji.

Decisions, decisions….

Sanchez’s first-year Lobos are 5-4 Brooke Allemand, 5-11 Josie Greenwood (sister of Hugh), 5-11 Alex Lapeyrolerie, 5-4 Marissa Perry, 6-1 Lauren Newman, 6-4 Kianna Keller and 6-2 Ebony Walker, who was a redshirt last year on Sanchez’s roster.

You could simplify the equation for Neal and say he is looking for some role players to go with his four returning starters.   Of course, that’s a simplification.  Neal needs to find a fifth starter and the first three or four subs off the bench are crucial to any team. This is not a simple chore.

Neal’s Lobos were picked to win the 2014 Mountain West title – by a landslide.  The rookie Lobo coach needs to develop some depth to turn that prediction into fact.

In losing Snell, Neal lost a scorer and a lot of length on defense.  He also lost sparkplug Jamal Fenton, Chad Adams and Demetrius Walker.  That’s about 13 points a game.  Adams averaged 19.7 minutes a game, Walker 15.4 and Fenton 14.5.

So, start the guessing game on who is going to pick up those minutes and fill those holes.  Come to the Howl and start guessing. Get their autographs, too.

Sanchez has some decision to make, but her roster is beginning to fatten up.   She already took two blows losing 6-2 Whitney Johnson and 6-1 Lauren Newman for the season, but Sanchez has seven new faces on her roster to work with.

Brooke Allemand is a first-year Lobo worthy of checking out.  The 5-foot-4 lefty is quick, likes to play defense and plays with a high-level of energy.  She will add some depth to the point guard spot that Bryce Owens had to anchor last season.

Josie Greenwood comes to The Pit to join her brother, Hugh, as a Lobo.  The 5-11 wing is a smart player who has been playing with grown women down under in Australia’s club system.  Alex Lapeyrolerie is an athletic 5-11 wing/guard, who should add defense and rebounding to Sanchez’s roster.

It would be nice if Kianna Keller provided some help inside especially with the loss of Johnson.  Keller is 6-4 forward, post, who moves well and is a good passer.  Ebony Walker sat out last season, but the 6-2 forward/post is a strong inside-outside threat and a physical presence under the glass.

“We are deeper and more athletic,” said Sanchez, whose Lobos were picked in the Mountain West preseason poll to finish fourth in the regular-season race.

Both Neal and Sanchez have some nice looking depth.  But don’t take our word for it.  Come to the Howl and make your own decisions. 

The Howl will take place from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and is free to, well, everyone. ESPNU will broadcast live from The Pit with analyst Miles Simon handling the commentary. The Lobo men’s program is one of nine men’s programs being highlighted throughout the night by the ESPN Family of Networks.

Parking for the event is free. Howl fanatics should get to The Pit early as the UNM women’s soccer team is hosting Nevada at 5 p.m. and will utilize spaces in the Stadium East lot.  There also is a high school game on Branch Field, so the Stadium West lot will be in use. The Pit North lot will be set up for RV parking for the New Mexico-Utah State football game on Saturday.

But there is still tons of free parking available. 

Howl Extras: 610 The Sports Animal will be broadcasting live from The Pit throughout the day starting with The Opening Drive with Jeff Siembieda, J.J. Buck and Michael Carlyle followed by the afternoon program, The Sports Bar, with David Jubb and Brandon Vogt

ESPN Radio 101.7 The Team will be broadcasting The Locker Room with Bob Brown show from the Lobo Ticket Office in The Pit Frontier/Golden Pride Foyer.

Concessions and the Lobo Den Store will be open.   

The Lobo Howl is sponsored by Presbyterian. Join Presbyterian at the Lobo Howl for the chance to learn valuable health information and receive great prizes and giveaways, while showing off your Lobo pride.  


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