Game 10: vs. New Mexico

Tip-off: Saturday, 2PM, in Henderson, NV
TV: BallerTV, Watch Jack Jones Classic (2023) | BallerTV | BallerTV
Line: Torvik- UNM -10, 81% win prob ; ESPN- 80% win prob, no line yet.

New Mexico:
The Lobos are 8-1 and coming off a 84-61 win over UCSB. Their lone loss was to St. Mary’s early in the season, 72-58 in Moraga.
Top players:

  • 6-2 sophomore guard Donovan Dent (17.1 pts, 7assists)
  • 6-0 senior guard Jaelen House (14.3 pts, 3 steals)
  • 6-9 frosh forward JT Toppin (12.9pts, 7rebs, 1.9 blokcs)
  • 6-10 senior center Nellie Junior Joseph ( 8.4pts, 7.7 rebs, 1.2 blocks)
  • 6-5 senior Jemarl Baker (7pts, 2rebs, 41% from 3)
  • 6th man: 6-4 frosh Tru Washington (11.7pts, 5rebs)

New Mexico has been solid across the board, they play at a very fast pace (10th on Torvik in pace), average over 84pts/game but they don’t turn the ball over (23rd in turnover %). They don’t shoot a ton of 3’s but overall are efficient on offense. They have solid depth and get good contribution from a wide range of guys. Toppin and Joseph form a solid and athletic front court with decent size, the Broncos won’t have a significant size advantage.

New Mexico may is one of the toughest teams on the Broncos non-con schedule (ranked 34th on Torvik) and are arguably better than UofO.

The Bronco’s team D, which has been fairly mediocre (#166 on Torvik), needs to step up and show up early. In both losses, the Broncos were in a hole early and couldn’t overcome it. The defense needs to be physical and dialed in from the start.

Prediction: Broncos fall short, Lobos prevail, 79-76.


Hard to think about winning without Carlos Marshall. Anyone have any insight on his status?


What I didn’t but should have mentioned…New Mexico’s leading scorer, Jamal Mashburn Jr. (6-2 senior guard, 18pts a game), has missed their past 4 games (all wins). Don’t know his status for our game.

So they’re missing one of their top players as we may or may not be w/ Carlos.

And yes, Mashburn is the son of THAT Jamal Mashburn. While I’m on that subject, Jealan House is the son of Eddie House (Ariz St’s all-time leading scorer and 10+ years in the NBA). Mike Bibby is his uncle and Henry Bibby his grandfather. Some elite basketball DNA on the Lobos’ roster.


great question – I hope that Carlos’ health is improving. Knee injuries can be quite persistent without extended rest and healing.

The stakes for this one are pretty huge. A win would be enormous and a loss a bit tough given it’ll be the third in four games (and do we even count Menlo?). A bad, ugly loss would be pretty devastating and require some real recalibration.

I’m hopeful for Marshall’s return. I’m still skeptical of Benjamin’s ability to be effective at starting PG for this team. I think I’d prefer to move Bryan into the starting lineup and have Bal run point if CMJ is available. The one thing Benjamin does well is probe the defense and try to get guys out of position on help D, but it hasn’t proved all that fruitful to date. If Bal or Bryan could do the same thing, they would make up for Benjamin’s strengths without his defensive weaknesses and (thus far) lack of scoring. I’d love to see Benjamin be at least a big threat from three, but it’s not there yet.

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For sure hope for Marshall. He’s the glue and plays with attitude. Also be nice if Knapper is available for all the reasons you mention.
I like Hammond, but he’s not ready to take over point. Still adjusting to the speed and physicality of D1.


Didn’t Ensminger play point guard before coming to SCU? I think his size would create awesome mismatches on the floor.


I thought the same, but the staff seems to want him at the 3/4 for some reason. He’s a pass-first guy, so I’d like to see him setting up the offense more, but it isn’t how he has been used.


If his ball-handling skills are sub-par, then I understand. But thusfar, he seems to be pretty solid with the ball in his hands. I know that he isn’t Magic Johnson, but gosh, Magic sure did get some great mismatches when he played PG.

I seem to remember that he played all 5 positions in a single game!

It would be nice to seem HS try JE at the point for 4 minutes (coming out of a media timeout for example) to see how it goes.

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Ensminger…he’s been in the program 2 years, I’m sure he’s had some time at point guard in practice. It takes more than being a good ball handler to be an effective PG. Ensminger is not overly quick, which is probably what is holding Sendek back from using him in a pt guard role. The level of athleticism between the low level Euro league he was in and D1 basketball is significant. If he plays the point guard regularly, teams are probably going to defend him with someone like our own Tyeree Bryan, someone who is much more athletic. You want your point guard to be a threat to attack the basket, break down the defense, force help defenders to collapse to create open looks for others. I’m not sure Ensminger can do that against much quicker defenders.
Big point guards like Magic, Luka Doncic are unicorns…they are rare, can’t use them as comparisons.

Point guard his been a weak link so far this year. My first choice if Benjamin continues to struggle would be to give Knapper more opportunity.
I wouldn’t mind trying Ensminger at the PG; but his success or failure may be more dependent on match-ups…if teams don’t pressure him or put a strong defender on him he may be fine. I’m just not convinced he’s a full time option given the quickness concern.


Reminder on the early, 2pm start.

Current line on ESPN, Lobos -9.5.

new lineup: Bal, Marshall, O’Neil, Tilly, Caffaro

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Good info. I worry a bit about the defense, but I’m glad that Bal is primary ball handler and I suppose for an opponent that gets a lot of front court points, going tall won’t be as big of a defensive liability.

You buried the lead…good to see Marshall is able to play.

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My concerns with the big lineup:

  • the collective ball handling is not very good and makes you vulnerable to defensive pressure. We’re already seeing Lobos pressure us full court.
  • collective speed is reduced…hurts offensive and defensive transition.
  • Both O’Neil and Tilly will have a size advantage but will be guarding guys who are a fair amount quicker, we’ll see if they can stay in front of the guys they’re guarding.

…And didn’t go with the big lineup for very long…Bryan enters for Caffaro 3 mins in to the game.


Do not love the big lineup from a ball handling perspective, especially against NM who is really pressuring the ball.

I’m also normally wrong :slight_smile:

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I’m listening, not watching, but the team seems to totally lack cohesion.

10 turnovers 12mins in to the game vs. a solid team is not going to cut it.

We are down double digits early and once again would appear to be bewildered. I would have thought we would have to go 5-1 or 4-2 over our next six games to have any chance in league. At this point we look to be well behind the Zags, USF, and SMC. Hopefully we can break out of this funk, but it’s not pretty.


Herb once again locked into his singular way to play. Clearly not working, yet he just continues on in the same fashion. Not worth watching.

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