Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Smallish Lobos May Play Without Smith.(Sports)

Byline: Mark Smith Journal Staff Writer

Mercer Presents Big Problem

At least the University of New Mexico men's basketball team has made the holiday season interesting.

When the Lobos' schedule was unveiled last summer, the only exciting package that was supposed to arrive this week was Ruben Douglas. It hasn't exactly worked out that way, and suddenly today's game against unheralded Mercer, of Macon, Ga., takes on added meaning.

Instead of Douglas who became eligible after transferring last year giving UNM one extra player, the Lobos (6-1) are one shy. And it could be two today.

Senior post Brian Smith, who played a career-high 37 minutes in Thursday's 68-56 win over Furman, was out with the flu on Friday. He is questionable for today's game.

That news comes on the heels of an awkward week. On Tuesday, 6-foot, 7-inch junior center Malcolm Battles was booted from the squad. On Thursday, 6-6 senior forward Wayland White was suspended for two games, including today's.

UNM coach Fran Fraschilla threw Battles off the team after he was charged with allegedly beating his girlfriend. …

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