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Remove the “interim” tag from his title.
New Mexico officially announced Tuesday that longtime assistant and short-time interim head coach Craig Neal will take over the program after the departure of Steve Alford to UCLA.
It will be announced to the public Wednesday at a press conference.
Neal had coached alongside Alford at New Mexico for six seasons. Prior to his time with the Lobos, he was on the bench with Alford at Iowa. Neal also has experience as an assistant coach at the NBA level with the Toronto Raptors. He had emerged as a top candidate to replace Alford on a full-time basis since the time of Alford’s decision to head to Westwood.
Neal now inherits a team that returns nearly all major pieces from its Mountain West title team this season with the exception of Tony Snell. The decision to hire Neal on a full-time basis puts New Mexico in a better position to keep center Alex Kirk, who reportedly said that he would transfer if any coach other than Neal was brought into the program.
New Mexico finished 29-6 this past season, including 13-3 in the MWC. The Lobos lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament to Harvard.
Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_
Nevada will be honoring Flip Saunders and Bill Musselman with a pregame warm-up routine they’ve been practicing for the past couple of weeks.
Bill is the father of Eric Musselman, Nevada’s head coach. He was coaching the Minnesota Golden Gophers that included Flip as a player when they used this warmup routine in the 1970s.
“We start almost every practice with this pregame routine,” Eric Musselman said. “It takes some time to get it down and we will perform it live for the first time before the Portland State home game at Lawlor Events Center on Nov. 25.”
The routine, which Eric found in a diagram after his father passed away, is similar to something you’d see the Harlem Globetrotters do.
In today’s episode, we talk quite a bit about Ben Simmons. How good of a prospect is he? Why do people insist on calling him overrated? Does LSU actually have a shot at missing the NCAA tournament?
[MORE: Why scouts are down on Simmons]
[MORE: Will Simmons be relevant in March?]
We also talk about Indiana’s disappointing showing in Maui, just how good Vanderbilt and Kansas have looked, Marquette’s ability to bounce back and whether or not we should be concerned about North Carolina and Maryland.
Oh, and Thanksgiving sides.
Do people really call stuffing ‘dressing’?
As always, you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes right here.