Monday, October 5, 2009

Kirk a Lobo

From the Journal

6-11 Kirk Decides To Become A Lobo
By Mark Smith / Journal Reporter
Monday, 05 October 2009 23:22
Los Alamos Center Chooses New Mexico Over Arizona

This time, the big one didn’t get away.
Los Alamos’ Alex Kirk, one of the state’s most highly recruited basketball players this decade, has given a verbal commitment to the UNM men’s basketball program.
Kirk, a 6-foot-11 senior post, told the Journal he will sign a national letter with Steve Alford’s Lobos in November.
“It’s definitely a relief to get it out of the way,” Kirk said of his decision Monday night. “It really was between UNM and Arizona. I’ve been thinking about it a lot, it’s been on my mind a lot. I know I can have success as a Lobo, and now it’s time to focus on the high school season.”
NCAA rules disallow coaches to speak about individual recruits, but it was well known that Kirk was UNM’s top priority for this signing class. Kirk is a gifted big man. He is a solid ball-handler, a solid passer, a great rebounder, a strong shot blocker and stellar shooter outside for a post man.
Kirk — who has a 7-foot-2 wingspan — averaged 28 points, 15 rebounds, seven blocks and three assists a game last season as a junior for the Hilltoppers.
His father, Alan, is head coach at Los Alamos.
“We knew it would be a methodical,” Alan said of the recruiting process. “ We knew the way people, over the last year, would come (after Alex), and the way he developed over the summer, he would have some real opportunities to consider.
“He had a lot of schools back east show interest in him, but he decided he wanted to stay in the west. And that helped narrow it down. We talked a lot about it and, he had a goal of getting it done before the season started. I was pretty confident it would happen in the next couple of weeks.”
Kirk should fit in nicely with Alford’s program, which is filled with talented underclassmen — but no true center. Kirk could be that big man, and he said the opportunity to play right away helped entice him to Loboville.
“I think I will get a chance to play early on,” Kirk said. “And UNM said it will probably be able to get me to the next level (the NBA). Those were real big reasons.”


Anonymous said...

Men's basketball is the one Aggie sport where it doesn't bother me if NM State doesn't sign NM players. With the exception of Gordo Castillo and a few others throughout the years, the local players usually end being busts in college. I like the players the Aggies have. The Lobos can have Kirk.

Anonymous said...

UNM over Arizona, getting Kirk to the next level (NBA) fantasy world is Kirk living in? lol

Anonymous said...

Please deliver us a nationally ranked top ten player. Preferrably one that wants to go to class and stay eligible.

Thank You

Anonymous said...

I wonder how all the people who said it's ok for NMSU/Menzies not to recruit him feel now that we will face him 2 times a year?

He's not our type of player, he doesn't fit the system, etc. Well now we have to find someone to guard him.

Perhaps if we had more than 1 win against the lobos in the last two years we might have been in the mix to get this kid. Until we dominate unm, we will continue to lose kids to them. Regardless of the sport.

Anonymous said...

So Alford is giving these naive kids the old, "...and I can get you to the next level" routine, eh?
Yeah, Theus ran that little game and it caught up to him. Maybe before inking the letter of intent Kirk ought to double-check and see if Alford really meant he knows of a semi-pro team in Amsterdam and Kirk just heard it as NBA. If the kid's really that talented he should be able to hire an agent instead of getting the soft shoe routine and texts from desperate coaches. Yeah, I'm talking to you, NCAA.

Jason Groves said...

I don't really agree with the first two posters here on Kirk. He's already better and more versatile than Ferris, in my opinion. And as far as other New Mexico players, Hobbs graduated Jeff Taylor started last year at Vandy and Texas Tech landed a kid from Clovis. There is some talent in this state in hoops and I think that the talent pool in prep hoops in this state is more college ready than football.

Anonymous said...

Rahman will dominate him for the two years they face. Kirk might be good, but I don't see him playing in the NBA. I don't think he will make a big impact for them until his Junior year.

Anonymous said...

Randy Brown was the last Aggie in the NBA, meanwhile Kenny Thomas has been in the league and JR Giddens and Danny Granger(All 1st round) are also playing. Plus at his time at Iowa he had at least 5 players go pro, so yes he can get him to the league, it's up to Kirk to stay there. At UNM Kirk has a shot to be a 4 yr starter, U of A has two centers and both are underclassmen, so he would get buried by the depth chart, so yes, it makes sense to me.

I agree with JG, hoops is our top program, we should be bringing in the top notch kids from NM to LC. But as 9:41 said if we can't beat the lobos then we wont get them.

Anonymous said...

Rahman can't catch or shoot, and is a very poor rebounder for his size.

When was the last time he dominated anyone?

Anonymous said...

My point is coaches selling guys on the UNM program based on pipe dreams: Eventually kids figure it out and it destroys the team concept. Why'd Dave Bliss go? Why'd Ritchie McKay go? Because those guys were not honest with their players on even themselves and the Lobos faithful. Uhh, three words for you: Norm Ellenburger. I'd rather have Menzies recruiting on character than Alford or Theus telling these guys they can go to The Show because one gifted kid might save their job. Anon 1:33, I can tell you're much happier as an Aggie fan! I think Menzies outlasts Alford as coach.

Anonymous said...

I'm happy for the kid to get a chance to play in NM.

Unknown said...

While Kirk will be a fantastic player, someone that a MWC or WAC team could build around, it's absolutely true that he doesn't fit our system. With Reggie and Menzies both, the 5 guy needs to grab some boards, get most of his offense out of putbacks, and ignite the break by getting the ball out quickly. Bonus points if he has a decent drop step (Passos), can play the last line of defense in the press(Iti). This system will never feature the post as its best player; it would probably hang Kirk out to dry defensively and keep him fighting for touches with our no-conscience perimeter gunners.

Our best frontcourt scoring comes from faceup opportunities from the high post. This is where Nelson excelled, where Wendell and The Gillenwater are at their best, and based on early reports, Sy and West should be pretty darn good at this too. In fact, I would turn around Anon9:41's question... Which Aggie is Kirk actually going to be quick enough to guard? Mismatches aren't only on one end of the court.

Anonymous said...

5:04 "Uhh, three words for you: Norm Ellenburger."

Uhh, that's only two words.

chilero said...

Nicely stated Jason. Well done.

Kirk is a great signee and system or not, we'd be thrilled to have him. However, it wasn't the last 2 years record against UNM that swayed him to UNM - it's the fact that he's been going to Low Blow games with his family since he was knee high.

That doesn't change the fact that we should be cleaning up on UNM and, unfortunately, won't likely do so because of our academic ineptitude.

We need to focus on our team, getting our players on the court and getting them to execute as a team once they're there. The issue for us isn't talent. Its harnessing the talent we have.

Jason Groves said...

I don't think the Aggies ever had a shot for Kirk and I'm sure Sy and West could be productive players, but I have never seen them play and I've seen Kirk. I do believe he would be a great fit for this offense for some of the reasons you stated. Although big, he's a face to the basket center who has range all the way to the arc. Not to mention the fact that he's from Los Alamos so academics won't be an issue. Hopefully all of the new guys can get cleared and be productive, but I think Menzies could certainly find major minutes for a big who can shoot and alter shots on the other end.

IndyAg said...


Be careful when you say "he is from Los Alamos so grades won't be an issue." I'm from Los Alamos and can tell you that there are many "washouts" in college from there. That being said, I really don't feel Kirk will be one of them.

As to him fitting in here, I think he would have been a very good player for NMSU, but the fact of the matter is, we didn't have a chance with him. It has nothing to do with how we have played against UNM (as Chilero has said), it has more to do with his allegiance to UNM. Not that you were complaining about us not necessarily recuiting his (at least in the media), but those that were, just remember that we do have a limited recruiting budget. The wise use of our budget is to go after those that may want to come to NMSU. I don't believe Kirk was one of those guys.

There are many talented players in this state. Just because we didn't get one, doesn't mean we won't get others.


jimmy said...

If your program is only going to send one guy to the NBA, it might as well be the guy that subs for Jordan. btw did you catch the aforementioned and nattily dressed Randy Brown on the Bulls' bench yesterday in London charting for Vincent Del Negro? J.G. will the Cavs Shaq acquisition turn out to be more of a Dan Snyder move or more of a George Steinbrenner move? Randy Brown as bench coach has got to be viewed as a good counter to Shaq.

Anonymous said...

Bridge to Kirk. Operative word is probably.

Should have beamed down to Tuscon where you'd get Pac-10 exposure. It's an elite league. Good to see a kid be welcomed by his local Div I program, though. Even Faris had to win fans over after Ritchie left midway through his career. Majority of Lobos fans are haters and harsh on the players.

Nothing impressed me more about quality of the PAC-10 athlete than Adrian Oliver's performance (hurt) in Pan Am last year after he tranferred to SJS from the Huskies. Holy smokes! AO doesn't weigh 210 though, does he? Media guides generally fib on everybody or what?

Anonymous said...

I wasn't saying Kirk that was not a good I was simply stating that I'm ok with the players the Aggies have and it's not a big deal in my opinion. I respect your knowledge JG (you're a lot more informed than some other writers for the Sun-News) but I disagree that high school basketball is ahead of football in the state of New Mexico. Jeff Taylor and that kid from Clovis are decent players, but we don't have many players like that coming out of NM often.

Anyone who knows prep football in NM is aware that NM has produced some big-time college and NFL players throughout history.

Anonymous said...

I was a decent prep basketball player in the Las Cruces area and I always thought I was good...but when I moved out of state and played against friends that had played basketball in other states, they blew me NM does produce a good player or two every so often, but the high school basketball competition in NM is very soft compared to other places. I remember back in the
90's Hobbs was invited to play with schools from Chicago and DC and they got beat by 50 or 60 points by every team and Hobbs was the best team in the state at that time.

Anonymous said...

I agree Anon 12:40, the Pac 10 and Arizona would give Kirk more exposure and if he can really play..Arizona is the place to show it. It's true he probably will be a 4 year starter for the Lobos, but most players from UNM that make to the NBA are not first rounders or big stars. Danny Grange and Kenny Thomas in recent years have done well, but not many others. He may have to wait to be a starter until his junior or senior year at Arizona...but he still has a better chance at a successful NBA career through that route.

Anonymous said...

Are there that many displaced UNM fans in the Las Cruces area that 1450am can sell advertising for Lobos sports talk shows? JG, those rivalry games come early this year so keep in touch with Mark Smith so SunNews can get the 411 about Alford's scheming ... that is whatever Aggie fans can't intercept from their radio transmissions.

Anonymous said...

Just to be fair to Kirk...He has played against top flight talent in the AAU circuit, so he's not being judged just based on how he's playing against NM competition, but rather, national competition. From what I read he has impressed.

Anonymous said...

Why wouldn't the kid go to UNM. They play in a good conference, he is closer to home, they have a proven head coach with a name AND UNM has more money than we do. Just look at the renovation they are doing to the Pit. $60 million! Go to their site and check out how it looks. It blows the Pan Am away! It is a no brainer decision for him to go there over here. Wish him well and be glad he decided to stay in state. He will go to class, he will get through the Clearing House, he will do well in classes, he will be someone you want to watch and be proud of. Can we say the same things about the guys in the NMSU program? NO! We turn our heads on what they do because we think they can get us a "W"! Nice!

RM420 said...

Anon 10:41 --

Get out of her you silly loob fan.

Boo said...

Anon 10:41
Lobos? Proven head coach?
That's for sure! Curious? ... it seems Los Alamos still doesn't have any internets tubes connections yet if the Kirk's were unable look up Iowa's record over the past 10-15 years?
Dude,if your son is being courted by AZ, at least go to the library or something.
Bob Knight can still make Alford cry for his mommy and went to TX Tech to prove it. Even Bob's ambiguously-named child, Pat, can still make Alford cry for his mommy. Go Raiders!

RE: 'good conf' statement
Ask any Lobos insider and they'll tell you their conf. semi final (vs. UT Utes) was fixed up north last year just like those same powers who fixed the WAC semi-final when NMSU was handing Utah State their blanks to them in the conf semi-final. Faris outplayed All-American Luke Neville but the powers that be made sure there was not an upset. Sounds eerily similar to the Gary Wilkinson story... Happy Halloween!

Homer said...

Yo, Lobo fan:

Norm Ellen Burger is three words,

hmmmmmmm, ...burger!

jimmy said...

JG, not sure if you're doing that raving lunatic any favors by posting his/her delusional blog about northern-tier WAC and MWC "conspiracies". Sounds like one of those grassy knoll types (along w/63% of USA).
Where'd Wilkinson end up anyway, Jazz developmental team or what?
I'm no Lobos fan, but they WERE ripped off in the MWC semis when Faris was coming on at the end of the season. Instead the Lobos had a good run in the NIT and almost upset UC Bears in Berserkeley. Gillenwater still hit the winning shot vs. that Lobos team in Pan Am. Refs should have allowed the shot and maybe put Lobos on the stripe, if that. The call was missed throughout the entire game, so why suddenly cough your whistle up at that moment? If you're on the floor wearing your Foot Locker shirt, you let the players determine the outcome of a rivalry game at crunch time! Maybe that blogger is not so crazy because calls against Aggies vs UTags in WAC semis were obviously contrived. Aggies revenge on Boise tasted suuu-weet and I think all that carries through to this year's team. Yeah Baby!