Five months after a stunning round of 64 loss to 14th-seeded Harvard ended its dreams of a deep NCAA tournament run, New Mexico is set to begin its quest to atone for that disappointment next March.
The Lobos are embarking on an 11-day exhibition tour of Australia in which they will tour some of the country's most well-known landmarks and play three games against professional teams that should provide a preliminary assessment of next year's team.
Four of New Mexico's five starters return from last year's Mountain West championship team, but the Lobos will not be the same team as the one that won 29 games under Steve Alford. They'll have a new coach, Alford's top assistant Craig Neal. They'l play at a faster pace. And they'll need to settle on a replacement for top perimeter defender and second-leading scorer Tony Snell, who gave up his final year of eligibility to enter the NBA draft.
To provide insight into New Mexico's trip, Yahoo! Sports will be running a daily update on the Lobos featuring a video diary entry from players and other tidbits. Up first are walk-on Chris Perez and starting guard Hugh Greenwood, a native of Hobart, Australia.
Perez describes the lengthy 14 1/2-hour flight the Lobos took aboard a multi-level Qantas jet in which they left Albuquerque on Friday evening and landed in Sydney at 6 a.m. local time. Greenwood, who was already in Australia visiting family when the Lobos arrived, weighs in on reuniting with his teammates and on their first practice in his home country.
Senior guard Chris Perez:
Junior guard Hugh Greenwood: