Sunday night in-state rivals New Mexico and New Mexico State played the first of their two meetings of the season, and while the play of guard Elijah Brown in the Lobos’ 83-74 victory will get headlines there was also a scary situation involving New Mexico redshirt junior forward Devon Williams.
Williams left the game with 11:16 remaining the second half after colliding with teammate Jordan Hunter while going after a loose ball. Williams remained on the Pan-American Center court for several minutes following the collision, with paramedics placing him onto a stretcher.
Williams was taken to a Las Cruces hospital for evaluation of what was described by head coach Craig Neal following the game as a neck injury.
UPDATE: Williams’ mother commented on the status of her son following the game, noting that she had spoken with him.
New Mexico landed its first 2016 commitment Saturday evening, as three-star small forward Damien Jefferson made his verbal pledge to the Mountain West program. Jefferson, a native of East Chicago, Indiana, took his official visit to New Mexico this weekend and the Lobos were considered by many scouts as the favorite to land him.
News of Jefferson’s commitment was first reported by Scout.com.
Jefferson attends East Chicago Central HS, where as a junior he averaged 23.4 points, 9.9 rebounds and 2.8 assists per contest. Jefferson was named to the Indiana boys Junior All-Star team at the end of last season, and he played for the SYF Players grassroots program this summer.
Jefferson’s commitment gets UNM back on the board in the class, as forward Mitch Lightfoot de-committed in mid-April. The Lobos have just two scholarship seniors on their roster for the 2015-16 season (guard Tim Jacobs and center J.J. N’Ganga), and among the wing options Jefferson will join on campus in 2016 are sophomores Xavier Adams and Sam Logwood, and freshman Dane Kuiper.
San Diego State wasn’t the only Mountain West program to lose a 2016 commitment on Friday. 6-foot-8 forward Mitch Lightfoot, one of the top players in the southwest, announced his decision to de-commit from New Mexico Friday afternoon by way of his Twitter account. Lightfoot originally committed to New Mexico last September, nearly two full years before he’s due to set foot on a college campus.
With that being the case, a decision to open things up in order to make sure the right choice is made is understandable. In a story written by Richard Obert of the Arizona Republic, Lightfoot’s high school coach stated that the de-commitment does not eliminate New Mexico as a possible destination.
“He was young when he committed,” Gilbert (Arizona) Christian head coach Kurt Keener told Obert. “It’s not like he is eliminating New Mexico. He just wants to explore what is out there.”
Among the other offers Lightfoot had to choose from at the time of his commitment were those from Utah and Arizona State (the ASU offer came from the prior staff, of course). And according to Obert’s report Arizona State, which is now led by Bobby Hurley, has reached out to him in the aftermath of the de-commitment.
Prior to Lightfoot’s decision to reopen his recruitment New Mexico managed to land commitments from two of the top players in Arizona, with incoming freshman Dane Kuiper being the first.