There is a reason they are done behind closed doors.
There are a lot of reasons, actually. But among the many reasons the NCAA allows college basketball teams to hold closed-door scrimmages every preseason under the microscope of fans and the media, as the UNM Lobos did on Saturday in the pit against Northern Arizona University is to gain real-time player experience without having to over-analyze every move and statistic.
Coaches are given a film to study their players taking on someone other than the teammates they’ve been playing against all summer and fall. And, yes, there is a lot of value in that.
“It was definitely beneficial,” Lobos first-year coach Richard Pitino said of the scrum on Monday, before repeatedly noting the differences between real matches with fans and what happened. past saturday.
“If I had what I wanted, I would play about five or six exhibition games against different Division I teams, but college basketball doesn’t do that. “
In Albuquerque, no matter how many times a coach may warn against over-reading these preseason scrimmages, an annual October tradition remains. Lobo fans will devour any piece of news that comes out of their team’s practice.
So when Pitino spoke to local media on Monday, he was peppered with scrimmage questions, and it was clear he was happy with what he and his coaching staff got out of Saturday’s game with the Lumberjacks.
While scrums can take any format coaches agree to, Pitino said he wants a regular match experience with the referees, two 20-minute halves and a 15-minute half with his team. going up and down the ramp leading to the locker rooms at half-time.
The only major change from a regular game, apart from the lack of supporters, was fouls.
“You couldn’t fault which became common as the second half wore on and some guys who would have been on the bench were on the pitch, probably for both teams,” Pitino said. . “But (otherwise) I wanted to play a real game. I always felt that was the best indicator of everything.
What about these statistics?
“We were encouraged by Jaelen House, who had 30 points in 21 minutes which was great,” said Pitino. “I would say if it was a real game, maybe they would have done different things. But we took pictures. (and) we haven’t really returned the ball at an alarming rate.
Here’s a little more meat on the bone for Lobo fans in the stats sheet the Journal reviewed on Saturday:
The Lobos beat northern Arizona, 90-74.
UNM led 40-38 at halftime.
UNM led 36 of the 40 minutes and up to 20 minutes in the second half.
The starting five were House, KJ Jenkins, Jamal Mashburn Jr., Emmanuel Kuac and Gethro Muscadin.
The Lobos faced the 11 available stock players, nine playing between 15 and 22 minutes.
Arizona State playmaker House had 11 of 13 shots (6 of 7 for 3 points), plus three assists and a steal.
Mashburn was the only other Lobo to double digits with 16 points on 5 of 14 shots in 26 minutes.
Muscadin recorded a high of 9 rebounds.
The Lobos shot 50.7% from the field, 38.5% from 3 points (10 of 26) and allowed the Lumberjacks to shoot 46.4% from the field and hit 5 of 17 (29.4 %) of their 3.
NAU had 27 free throws compared to 14 for UNM.
The Lobos defeated NAU 38-34.
UNM had 14 assists and 12 turnovers. NAU had 13 assists and 18 turnovers.
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