COJRTESY: TEXAS SOUTHERN ATHLETICS
New Mexico State’s first year coach stepped into the job already needing to replace the reigning WAC Player of the Year in point guard Ian Baker. He then got a gut punch when breakout junior wing Braxton Huggins (13.7 PPG, 42.0 3P%) transferred to Fresno State.
And that wasn’t all.
Three other guards — Jermaine Haley, Matt Taylor and Jalyn Pennie — also left the program with eligibility left. Taylor and Pennie started at various times in their respective careers in Las Cruces, but Haley may have been the biggest loss, as the redshirt freshman oozed potential.
But the script flipped Monday as Texas Southern graduate transfer guard Zach Lofton committed to New Mexico State. He fills a massive need in terms of both scoring and experience.
n his lone year in Houston, Lofton averaged 16.8 points per game and won the SWAC Player of the Year award. This included a 35-point debut against UT Arlington in November, and a 19-point effort against Arizona later that month.