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Sports Speak Up: Jemarl Baker Jr. needs to see more playing time

Feb. 18—UNM men's basketball

In my view, the Lobo who should be receiving a lot more credit for the victory at Nevada is Jemarl Baker Jr. When he was on the floor, he held their best player, Kenan Blackshear, in check and guarded him well when he tried to make the last shot. We need to see more of him, especially as our taller opponents have now figured out that they can bully our shorter three-guard lineup by backing them down in the paint and making point-blank shots.

— Dennis O'Mara

Mountain West men's basketball

Has this men's basketball season been the most competitive, contested race in the history of the Mountain West Conference? The league standings change substantially from day to day depending on who played. The fact that the top 7 teams in the league can still win the regular season crown is a reflection of the unheard of parity. It's going to be fun to see how everything shakes out in the next three weeks before the real fireworks take place at the MWC conference tourney in Vegas on UNLV's "neutral" court.

— George Scott

Sports reporting

I think Geoff Grammer's coverage of the Lobos is fair and accurate, and I don't see much bias for or against. I am one of UNM's bigger fans east of the Pecos River (I live in Eastern Time zone so get to watch most games tip off at 10 or 11 p.m. my time). I read many blogs and articles about NCAA basketball in general and the MWC specifically and find the Journal's coverage excellent and I am happy to be an online subscriber. I went to grad school at UNM and left New Mexico nearly 50 years ago (but often wish I hadn't left) and for a five-year period pre-COVID returned to attend a pair of games in the Pit each year. I am thrilled that the Lobos are competitive again and much admire the maturity and cohesion of the team members. They are a pleasure to cheer on.

— Richard Friedberg

Readers of the Journal's sport page should feel fortunate to have a staff writer the caliber of Geoff Grammer. He writes with a very good sense of analysis and covers the highlights of the game. Remember, he isn't paid to be a cheerleader. If a reader is looking for American fiction, try Richard Brautigan.

— Wally Lempart

Submit a Sports Speak Up, 200 words or fewer, via email at sportsspeakup@abqjournal.com. The next Sports Speak Up will publish in print and online Thursday.