(NOTE: Sorry for the confusion, folks)
By Mark Smith
Editor in Chief
University of New Mexico basketball transfer Carlton Bragg will continue to be an impact player for the Lobos — but only in practice until next month.
The NCAA has denied a waiver to allow the 6-foot-10 standout immediate eligibility.
On Thursday (Nov. 8), UNM coach Paul Weir held a news conference on a number of topics, including the NCAA’s denial.
“We will attempt to continue to work with officials both at ASU and the NCAA in regards to Carlton’s eligibility,” Weir said. “Based on the documentation we have received thus far, we are shocked at the current outcome of his eligibility status. Hopefully, this can be rectified quickly.”
Bragg started his college career at Kansas as a highly-recruited high school star. He played two years for the Jayhawks, then transferred to Arizona State — but never played for the Sun Devils, having sat out the 2017-18 season as a redshirt transfer.
Bragg then transferred to UNM in January.
Since he never played at ASU, the Lobos were hoping the NCAA would rule that Bragg had already sat out the required one year as a transfer, and would be eligible this fall.
… Also on Thursday, Weir said he showed his team video of last year’s Lobos as a teaching tool. UNM’s roster is filled with new faces, and Weir used the video to display how well the 2017-18 Lobos eventually came together on offense.
The Lobos had some shaky moments offensively during their 87-84 win at Cal State-Northridge on Tuesday and committed 20 turnovers. Still, they are likely well ahead of last year’s team at this point of the season because of their higher talent level. That has made for some lofty expectations for the 2018-19 version of the Lobos.
Enchantment Sports asked the second-year coach about the process and getting the Lobos to mesh — and if he is confident they will.
… Weir also talked about this weekend’s New Mexico Classic at Dreamstyle Arena — The Pit, which the Lobos will host. UNM plays Northern New Mexico at 7 p.m. on Saturday, but those buying a ticket to that game also get free admission into the day’s two earlier games, involving Eastern New Mexico, Western New Mexico, Fort Lewis (Colo.) and New Mexico Highlands.
The arena will be cleared after Saturday’s early games, and fans will have to show their ticket before the Lobo-Northern N.M. game.
Eastern, Western, Highlands and Fort Lewis will also play games today (Nov. 9) at the Davalos Center, located at the south end of the Pit. Fort Lewis plays Eastern at 12:30 p.m., and Highlands faces Western at 3 p.m. Those games are free.
Weir said he’s excited New Mexico is playing host to the event.
“It happens to be, I think, basketball in this state is special,” he said.
Mark Smith has been a New Mexico sports journalist for four decades. To contact Mark with comments, tips or story ideas, email Mark.EnchantmentSportsNM@gmail.com.