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Richard Pitino Named to Naismith Late Season Coach of the Year Watch

by Steve Kirkland

ATLANTA – New Mexico’s Richard Pitino was one of 15 coaches named to the Naismith Men’s Coach of the Year Late Season Watch List, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Friday.

Pitino, in his third season at New Mexico, has led the Lobos to a 21-6 overall record and a 9-5 mark in the Mountain West. UNM has been ranked as high as No. 19 nationally this season and was ranked in three consecutive weeks in January for the first time since 2013-14. The Lobos have three wins over ranked opponents this season, equaling their total from the previous eight seasons combined.

Pitino is joined on the watch list by Hubert Davis (North Carolina), Bryce Drew (Grand Canyon), Anthony Grant (Dayton), Dan Hurley (Connecticut), Nate Oats (Alabama), T.J. Otzelberger (Iowa State), Matt Painter (Purdue), Lamont Paris (South Carolina), Bruce Pearl (Auburn), Mark Pope (BYU), Kelvin Sampson (Houston), Josh Schertz (Indiana State), Kyle Smith (Washington State) and Danny Sprinkle (Utah State).

The Lobos will return to action on Saturday afternoon when they host Air Force. Game time at The Pit is 2 p.m. and the game will air on CBS Sports Network. Tickets for that game are also on sale at