With the UNM men’s basketball season over, it’s time to start taking a look at what next year’s roster might look like.
Two big changes have already been confirmed.
On Monday, head coach Craig Neal announced that sophomore guard Anthony Mathis and redshirt junior guard Elijah Brown will be transferring.
Mathis played made an appearance in 35 games as a Lobo. The Oregon native averaged 6.5 minutes per game, averaging 2.5 games in those contests. His career-best performance came as a freshman when he scored 16 points against Air Force.
“Anthony has been a great credit to our program and we wish him nothing but the best,” read Neal’s statement. “He will always be a part of our Lobo family and we will support his decision.”
Brown saw a lot more playtime as a Lobo than Mathis did, but the California native is looking for a new environment. Just this season alone, Brown was on the court for 30 games, 27 of those as a starter. He averaged 32.1 minutes and 18.9 points as a leader of the team.
Brown will graduate from UNM and take advantage of the graduate transfer rule to continue his college basketball career somewhere else.
In his statement, Neal said that the decision was a tough one for everyone involved but that the Lobo basketball program is proud of everything Brown has accomplished.
“We are grateful of the contributions that Elijah has made to our basketball program,” Neal said. “He has matured and developed over the last three years, which led him to being one of the top Mountain West players the last two seasons. He is an incredibly talented player, who brought a lot of excitement to our fans and to The Pit.”
Brown went on his own Twitter account to thank the Lobo staff, his teammates and fans for all the support, while also apologizing for the team not achieving the success the fans deserved.
The team will also be without Obij Aget and Tim Williams, the two seniors graduating this year.
Neal said that the team will miss the players who are leaving, but that there will not be a lack of talent next season.
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“I am excited about the upcoming season, as our core of talented young players come into their own, joined by an exceptionally strong recruiting class,” the coach said.
Isabel Gonzalez is a sports reporter for the Daily Lobo. She mainly covers men’s soccer and basketball. She can be reached at sports @dailylobo.com or on Twitter @cisabelg.