UNLV Rebels guard Caleb Grill (3) leans back to leave a basket in between New Mexico Lobos guard Saquan Singleton (2, left) and New Mexico Lobos guard Makuach Maluach (10) throughout the second half of an NCAA menÕs basketball game at the Thomas & Mack Center on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, in Las Vegas. (L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @Left_Eye_Images

There are numerous college basketball groups throughout the country having a hard time in these COVID-19 times, either with having to pause activities or video games being canceled or simply the strange aspects to such an unusual truth.

New Mexico Lobos: Hold our Gatorade.

I’m not sure how (why?) they’re getting through the season, a group UNLV handled 77-54 on Saturday at the Thomas & Mack Center.

Consider it: New Mexico relocated out of state Nov. 20 and has basically been on the road since. The Lobos found home bases in Lubbock, Texas, and most recently St. George, Utah.

I remained in Lubbock once. Had a good pizza joint. And there you have it.

” A tough hand”

The Lobos have returned to Albuquerque a few days at a time– for things such as final exams and Christmas– but were unable to practice there per state guidelines.

They spent a week in Houston last month, where they beat Rice and groups called Our Girl of the Lake and LeTourneau, the latter versus gamers from either a little Christian university in Longview, Texas, or the staff from a local French dining establishment.

At one point, while remaining at a Home Inn in Lubbock, there wasn’t a conference room big enough to accommodate the group and personnel. So they watched movie in the lobby while hotel guests were signing in and out not 20 feet away.

It offers a whole brand-new meaning to those arrival advantages connected to Marriott points.

Think about also: The Lobos have 12 new players and a handful of brand-new employee. There was no summer or fall practice, so forget creating much connection.

” It’s a tough hand they have actually been dealt, for sure,” said UNLV coach T.J. Otzelberger, whose group was on pause since of COVID-19 and went more than a month between games. “We’ve all had our difficulties. I do not want to compare one group or program to another. It’s a really difficult year and difficult to take a look at groups and choose what’s going on or not since of the misfortune and the obstacles they’ve had. Certainly, that’s the case for that New Mexico club.”

New Mexico’s football group likewise was displaced and spent much of the season living out of the Hilton Lake Las Vegas Resort & Health spa while playing 3 “house” video games at Sam Boyd Stadium. Made sense. The program would have lost about $3.7 million in TV payments by deciding out of the season.

There isn’t that type of cash at stake with basketball, and yet New Mexico coach Paul Weir and his team create ahead, attempting to stay upbeat in the face of such unusual times.

The groups play once again Monday at the Thomas & Mack, and it would be a stretch to believe the result will be much various.

On a day in which UNLV revealed junior point player and helps leader Marvin Coleman would miss the remainder of the season with a tension fracture in his ideal leg, the Rebels were solid in several locations.

You will not find many better stat lines than that of Bryce Hamilton (19 points, eight rebounds, a career-high 8 assists and four steals), while forward Mbacke Diong (20 points on 9-of-11 shooting) is playing the best ball of his career lately.

With Coleman out, freshman Nick Blake (a career-best 18 points and 3 helps in 24 minutes) need to be the answer to sharing the point guard area with David Jenkins Jr.

” We require much better communication since we don’t have (Coleman), men who commemorate each other much more, due to the fact that Marvin is among those guys constantly pulling for everyone,” Otzelberger stated. “We require guys to do generous things.”