Coach Neal wants more effort out of his team

ALBUQUERQUE,N.M. (KRQE) – University of New Mexico Head Basketball Coach Craig Neal stirred things up after their 13 point loss to New Mexico State University on Saturday night.

Now in his fourth year as head coach, Neal told the press after the game that he does not like the effort that his team is putting on the floor this season.

Wednesday afternoon the UNM head coach held a press conference leading up to their final Non-Conference Home game this season against Arkansas Pine Bluff on Saturday. He backed up those words with a more in-depth reason why he feels the way he does.

“I am saying playing without effort, not playing hard, it’s a privilege to play here it is not a right. So, if they don’t do what I ask them to do, or what the standard of the program then they probably won’t play. Probably about 6 months too late,” said Craig Neal.

The Lobos are currently 6-4 on the season, but there is still a lot of games left. Neal pointed this out saying in his first year as head coach his team lost to NMSU at the Pit and went on to go 15-3 in conference play. He also was asked at the press conference how he would grade his team now a 3rd way through the season.

“You know I would probably give us a C, or maybe a C+ because I think that we wanted to be better off than we are right now. I mean it’s a long season, but they have to look at the mirror and I do too. So, we got to do it together and we have to build on it,” said Neal.

The Lobos and Arkansas Pine Bluff will square off on Saturday night after the Gildan New Mexico Bowl. That game will tip off at 6 p.m. and will also be shown on the Root Network. 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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