Until just a few years ago, the NCAA prohibited Division I basketball coaches from discussing results of preseason scrimmages against other teams.
Saturday, UNM Lobo men’s basketball coach Richard Pitino may have wished that rule was still in place.
The Lobos lost a closed-door scrimmage in the Pit to Northern Arizona, 69-67.
Though under no obligation to do so, Pitino did talk with the Journal about what transpired Saturday afternoon.
“It’s a good reminder that while people think we’re going to be good, and I still think we’re going to be pretty good, it was a good reminder that you need to be ready every time out,” Pitino said.
While UNM did play more players than he would in a regular season game and didn’t open up much of the playbook, Pitino said there were no excuses.
“This was very beneficial,” he said. “I wish we were allowed to do four or five of these.”
NAU forward Carson Towt dominated down low with 15 points and 20 rebounds, including nine offensive boards against what the Lobos hope to be a much improved frontcourt with transfers Morris Udeze (11 points, 10 rebounds, scrimmage-allowed six fouls) and Josiah Allick (12 points, six rebounds).
The Lobos shot 38.9%, were outrebounded 40-33 and missed nine free throws while playing without center Sebastian Forsling and wing Emmanuel Kuac (recovering from injuries). Guard Jamal Mashburn, Jr., hurt a toe and was held out most of the second half.
Jaelen House had 7 points, 5 assists and 6 steals, but shot just 2-of-11. KJ Jenkins led UNM in scoring with 15 points off the bench, including hitting 4-of-4 3-pointers.