Neal not paying attention to critics

Posted at: 12/22/2013 3:59 PM
Updated at: 12/22/2013 4:05 PM
By: J.P. Murrieta, KOB Eyewitness Sports 4

Cullen Neal sits alongside his father/coach Craig Neal
Cullen Neal sits alongside his father/coach Craig Neal

UNM freshman Cullen Neal
UNM freshman Cullen Neal

Neal is seeing more time at the point guard position
Neal is seeing more time at the point guard position

University of New Mexico freshman guard Cullen Neal says he's not letting the critics bother him.  Neal is coming off a career-best 24 points against Marquette.  Prior to UNM's win in Las Vegas, some Lobo fans thought Neal turned the ball over too many times and took too many bad shots.

"I was aware of it, but I honestly don't care," said Neal.  "I just have to stay in the process of trying to get better."

Neal said Saturday's night performance was the most confident he's ever felt in his game.  "It's about time," he said.  "A.K. (Alex Kirk) and Cam (Bairstow) were making great passes out of the post and luckily enough I was able to hit the shots."

Neal is getting more playing time with the recent wrist injury to point guard Hugh Greenwood.  The freshman had his own set of illnesses to battle through in 2013.  Before the season, Neal underwent an emergency appendectomy during the team's trip to Australia and later battled through a case of mononucleosis.

Cullen's father and head coach, Craig Neal, wasn't surprised by his son's performance against Marquette. "I've always known what he could do and knew it would come sooner or later," he said.

The Lobos host Grand Canyon on Monday.