AP David J. Phillip
Lobo fans call him “Ro,” but perhaps the second half of his name is more appropriate: "Man." UNM senior Roman Martinez capped off one of the most celebrated careers in UNM history last night in winning fashion.
The Lobos need only one more victory to become the winningest team in school history. Leadership has a lot to do with a team that consistently wins, and “Ro” is the only senior on this basketball team. There is deservedly much ado about the Lobo juniors Darington Hobson and Dairese Gary, but last night was Ro’s night.
Fantastic basketball IQ allowed Martinez to get more out of his career than most players. How many times have we seen Roman make an offensive board on a missed free throw for a put-back? How about stealing an inbounds pass for a quick two points? Roman’s quick thinking and great decision-making had coaches putting him on the floor as a freshman where he averaged 12.5 minutes in 31 games. Add this together with an injury-free, four-year career and you have Martinez at 7th in all-time games played as a Lobo. Roman is one of only three players in the history of Lobo basketball to have 1,000 career points, 5oo rebounds and 150 3-pointers. Not to mention he was recently named an academic All-American.
Ro’s career however, is far from over, at least that what Lobo fans hope. The Lobos will take on the winner of the play-in game (Air Force vs. Wyoming) in the first round of the Mountain West tournament. The second round may prove to be more difficult as the Lobos would likely take on either San Diego State or UNLV, the only two teams to beat the Lobos in conference play.
Regardless of how the Lobos finish in the Mountain West tournament, they will be in the NCAA tournament. CBS will be live in the Pit for Selection Sunday coverage, an event free to all Lobo fans. Fans are urged to come at 3 o’clock, even though the show starts at 4 p.m.