Lobos gains size, skill in North Texas guard Noland

Apr. 22—One area the University of New Mexico men's basketball team struggled with last year was a lack of height in the backcourt.

The Lobos took a step toward addressing that Monday when the program announced the addition of 6-foot-4 guard CJ Noland from North Texas. Noland will have one year of eligibility left after spending last year with the Mean Green. He previously played at Oklahoma for two seasons.

Last year, the Lobos relied heavily on the backcourt duo of 6-2 Jamal Mashburn Jr., who entered the transfer portal after the season, and 6-0 Jaelen House, who graduated.

UNM gets not only size but also a solid perimeter shooter. Noland averaged 10.9 points per game in 2023-24, shooting 38.4% from 3-point range for a Mean Green team that went 19-15 and reached the NIT.

"We are excited about the addition of CJ to our basketball program," UNM head coach Richard Pitino said in a news release. "He has the size and skill at the guard spot that we were looking for. He is tough, versatile, competitive and a winner. CJ will be a valuable addition to our team from day one."

Noland had a breakthrough season after spending the previous two with the Sooners. Even though he was named to the All-Big 12 freshman team after averaging 3.9 points off the bench, his scoring output dropped to 3.2 points per game as a sophomore before the Waxahachie High School graduate went to North Texas.

"New Mexico intrigued me by their style of play and the fact that they have good players returning that I can see myself playing with and winning with," Noland said.