Donor Responsive Header

Head Coach Craig Neal:
Opening statement...

Really proud of our guys. And yeah, I was nervous again. This one counted. But really proud of our guys. That’s the way I envisioned our guys playing. I thought our veteran guys really led our younger guys in the sense that that’s probably one of the best starts we’ve had here in a long time. The veterans came out, imposed their will on them. And I thought they really, really did everything I asked them to do from a defensive standpoint and also pushing the ball and trying to get the ball inside. And I can’t say enough about our big guys. But I thought it was a great team effort. I think we can play better, but it’s baby steps and I was just glad to get a lot of guys minutes that counted. And ready to get on to film and try to make my team better. But I was really happy.

On the pace of the game…

I think we could have made it a little faster. I respect him and think he’s a good coach and when you’re up a certain number, I’m not … We could have pressed a lot more in the second half but that’s not me. And he does a good job. And I thought it was going to be a good test because they had 11 guys coming back, veteran guys, and I just thought we pushed the tempo in the first half, but once we got to a certain number, I didn’t see any reason to push the tempo again.

On people overlooking Assoc. Head Coach Lamont Smith and the defense...

I did. I hired him. He does a great job and I’m giving him the freedom to do that. It was kind of funny, because I used to be the offense and the defense, but now it’s kind of vice versa: I’m doing the offense and trying to coach the game and he’s doing the defense. But he’s doing a great job. All my guys… I’m really happy about my staff. I thanked them for being here. I thanked them for working for me. It was a big night for them and a big night for me. And it means a lot to mean that they believed in me to work for me. And Lamont does a great job. He knows defense. He was a heckuva defensive player in college. And I think our guys respect him and I think our guys respect all of our coaches. And they’re doing what I ask them to do. We just have some small things to shore up.

On Cameron Bairstow’s performance...

“He’s 9-for-10 and he was in foul trouble. What he’d sit out: six or seven minutes in the first half? I don’t know exactly. He has 22 [point] in 23 minutes and 11 rebounds. That’s just what you’re going to get. Those guys [Bairstow and starting center Alex Kirk] are hard to guard. I’m really proud of him. I’m really proud of all of our guys.”


Thank you for choosing to donate to University of New Mexico Athletics! We encourage you to contribute $50 or more to become a Lobo Club member.

If you have ever made a donation to the Lobo Club online, over the phone, or in person, it is very likely that you already have an account for our Online Donation Center and do not need to create a new one. If you are unsure or don't remember your login information, please contact the Lobo Club at 505-925-CLUB (2582) and we will check our system.

As always, thank you for your support of the Lobo Club, the Gateway to Giving for University of New Mexico Athletics.


Returning Lobo Club Donors

Returning Lobo Club donors, please login here.

New Lobo Club Donors

Want to join the Lobo Club? Start here.