For most teams, three straight losses would put a big damper on any feelings of optimism. But for the Lobos (16-8, 5-6), those losses led into a mid-week bye, allowing them time to recuperate. The added benefit from that is the team may be expecting the return of both JaQuan Lyle and Vance Jackson in time for Saturday’s game.
Lyle, who missed time due to injury and a two-game suspension, has been practicing with the team all week and will be on the court. Jackson, on the other hand, only just returned to practice and will likely be a game-time decision.
The return of one, or both, will mean an offensive boost for the Lobos, who have struggled to shoot at times during their absence. What makes the timing of the return even better, is the Lobos’ opponent this weekend.
On Saturday, the Lobos host the Wyoming Cowboys (6-18, 1-11) in a game that has both sides looking to turn their seasons around. The Lobos beat the Cowboys by 14 back in December, but that was a much different looking roster back then.
While Wyoming isn’t expected to win, it isn’t out of the realm of possibility. After picking up their first conference win of the season, and coming close in other games, they have a good reason to be confident.
But, then again, they are coming to The Pit. UNM is 13-1 at home this season, the lone loss coming to San Diego State. If they hope to win, Wyoming will need to slow the tempo and limit the number of possessions that the Lobos get. On the other side of things, the Lobos need to find a way to move the ball around, maintain their tempo, and get into a rhythm shooting early.
Saturday’s game is scheduled for a 4 p.m. tip from Dreamstyle Arena. Fans who are unable to make it out to the game can catch all of the action online from Stadium, who is streaming the game exclusively on Facebook.