New Mexico Basketball: Jamal Mashburn Jr. & Sebastian Forsling Enter Transfer Portal

New Mexico Basketball: Jamal Mashburn Jr. & Sebastian Forsling Enter Transfer Portal

Jamal Mashburn Jr. becomes one of the best players in the Portal with his announcement on Monday.

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New Mexico’s offseason kicks off with two announced outbound transfers, Jamal Mashburn Jr. & Sebastian Forsling.

With all but maybe thirty teams still active in postseason play around the country, the offseason & “Portal Season” has officially arrived for around three hundred programs nationally. The New Mexico Lobos had yet to see any outgoing player movement from anyone with eligibility still left to play since the Portal’s official opening on March 13th.

But no team goes unscathed in the transfer portal era, as Lobo fans got their first couple of transfer announcements on Monday afternoon, as if Mondays weren’t tough enough.

Maybe one of the biggest additions to the Portal Monday was Lobo Jamal Mashburn Jr., who after transferring from Minnesota back in 2021 has one year of eligibility to left to play. His contributions to the Lobo program go beyond season or career averages, though those are quite impressive as well.

Averaging 14.1 PPG, 2.1 RPG & 1.5 APG in 28.5 MPG in 28 games (all starts) for New Mexico’s first tournament team in a decade this season. Departing with a 17.3 PPG average in his entire career in Albuquerque and leaving as one of the key players during Pitino’s rebuild of the program, every year, for three seasons.

Mashburn Jr. followed Richard Pitino from Minnesota after his freshman year. He was an immediate impact player in Albuquerque, paired alongside fellow high major transfer & fellow son of an NBA Player Jaelen House in the Lobo backcourt. Aside from having a name familiar to hoops fans everywhere, the 6-2 shooting guard also boasts one of the most silky smooth mid-range jumpers in the entire country.

Also capable of scoring at all three levels, his offensive production, will be missed inside the Pit next season. Even with his production taking a dip this season, he was a part of one of the most dangerous offensive backcourts in the entire country. Not to mention playing with a thumb injury he battled through most of the season, aside from a few weeks taken off in December.

Mashburn Jr. will leave New Mexico as a Top-10 all-time scorer (1,629 points) in program history with All-MWC 3rd team (21-22), 1st team (22-23) & All-MWC Tournament (23-24) team honors during his time in Cherry & Silver. He’s going to instantly be one of the best players available in the Portal & already being mentioned by Kentucky fans, his dad’s alma mater, all throughout the internet.

The Big Swede

Forsling was a seldom used but vital piece of New Mexico’s frontcourt during his time in Albuquerque. Earning the bulk of his minutes during his freshman season, which was also Richard Pitino’s first year at New Mexico. That season he averaged 2.1 PPG, & 2.4 RPG in 14.5 MPG for a rebuilding Lobo program that went 13-19 (5-12, in MWC) & finished 9th in the Mountain West.

With the arrival of transfers Morris Udeze in 22-23 & Nelly Junior Joseph this past season, Forsling embraced a back up role on the bench and made the most of it. His 4.3 MPG in just 22 appearances this season were mainly due to foul trouble amongst his frontcourt teammates or when bigger & stronger opposition forced Pitino’s hand to put in the more imposing Swede.

Colorado State’s David Roddy guards New Mexico’s Sebastian Forsling before an in-bounds pass during a game at Moby Arena in Fort Collins, Colorado on Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022. The Rams defeated the Lobos 80-74.

It worked well most of the time, as Forsling levied his size & strength to make sure his defensive assignments never completely took advantage of New Mexico’s starters being on the bench. His blocks, rebounds & the occasional two handed slams always garnered applause & approval inside the Pit. For that, his great attitude & commitment to the program made him a fan favorite in Albuquerque.

Through his time as a key member of the Swedish Youth National Team back home & his size, he shouldn’t have a hard time finding a new landing spot. Hopefully somewhere on the West Coast so Lobo fans & his father can continue to watch him play without adjusting his sleep schedule to drastically.

The Transfer Portal being open for a few weeks scarcely touched the Mountain West. As the Lobos and many other programs were still playing in postseason tournaments. Because of that, there hadn’t been much outbound movement. Though with San Diego State as the lone program in the big dance & UNLV still playing in the NIT, many important dominos are starting to fall.

Larry Muniz covers college basketball as a writer for Mountain West Wire and WAC Hoops Digest. Also as a co-host of the college basketball podcast “Hoops Talk W/Jay & Larry”. He is also a USWBA Member.

Story originally appeared on Mountain West Wire