Neal is optimistic looking ahead to next season

UNM Coach Craig Neal
UNM Coach Craig Neal

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – University of New Mexico Head Basketball coach Craig Neal held the annual end of the year press conference on Tuesday morning.

Neal seemed very relaxed in the press conference, with the theme being of course how his team will improve from this season to the next.

“We have to get better, I know that, and I own up to that, and we will continue to do that, but they are only going to learn from what happened from this year and that’s what I am counting on,” said Neal.

Cullen leaving was another hot topic in this year’s press conference, on how he is transferring out and at the moment shopping around looking at different programs.

“I am just proud of him and it was rally brave of him to make the decision that he has made and he has to do what’s best for him. Wish him well and now I am going forward with my team,” said Neal.

There was news released on Tuesday saying that Elijah Brown will participate in NBA workouts this offseason and has potential to enter the NBA draft next season. Neal did seem optimistic though that Brown is just testing his skills and looks to see where he is at, but will return next season.

This can be done now as the NCAA just changed their rule on College eligibility. It used to be that players had to commit to the draft by April 26th, but now it is May 25th. This makes it so that players can participate in NBA activities and still come back to college as the NBA combine ends May 15th.

“He is just going to see what the workouts are about and he will make a decision on May 25th. My selfish side hopes he is back and leads us to a championship and we have a really good year,” said Neal.

It could be said that Neal is in the hot seat at the moment, as the university did just fire women’s coach Yvonne Sanchez, but Craig Neal didn’t seem too fazed by the thought.

Neal went on to say that his contract is up in 2020 and he expects to be here in 2020 and beyond that date. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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