New Mexico may have flamed out of the NCAA tournament in impressive fashion back in March, getting knocked off by No. 14 seed Harvard in the opening round of the big dance, but one loss doesn’t change the fact that the Lobos bring back the majority of a roster that put together as impressive of a resume as you could find last season.
It was enough that it got their head coach, Steve Alford, hired by UCLA.
His replacement? Longtime Lobo assistant Craig Neal, who managed to convince his son, a borderline top 100 recruit, to back out on his commitment to St. Mary’s and sign with New Mexico.
One of the most exciting parts of New Mexico’s trip to Australia this summer was that it would be a chance for the team to figure out how they would be able to integrate the dynamic Cullen Neal into their perimeter attack. With Tony Snell off to the NBA, Demetrius Walker transferring to Grand Canyon and Bryce Alford following pops to Westwood, Neal should slide right into the Lobo perimeter attack.
But we won’t be able to see how well that will work for a couple of months, as Cullen spent the entirety of his trip to Australia in the hospital after an emergency appendectomy.
The Dagger has the details, from August 5th:
The younger Neal first began experiencing some pain in his abdominal region on the team’s 14-hour flight to Sydney, but he didn’t think too much of it. Only after the pain increased Monday did Neal finally visit a doctor and discover his appendix was inflamed and needed to be removed.
The good news?