The July recruiting roller coaster doesn’t slow down just because the Lobo men’s basketball team is suddenly short staffed.
With Wednesday’s official departure of Marc Hsu, the University of New Mexico assistant who accepted a large pay raise to join the Western Kentucky coaching staff, the Lobos staff now has three coaches hitting the road for the heavy July evaluation period — all while first-year head coach Paul Weir is also closing in on picking Hsu’s replacement.
“I’ve probably had conversations with about 10 (possible replacements) since we knew this was a possibility with Marc for a couple weeks,” said Weir, who will be leaving Albuquerque for Atlanta today to recruit.
He said he doesn’t have a timetable on when a hire will be made, noting human resources approval and other matters will come into play, but he may be comfortable making an offer in the next few days and certainly has a short list.
Weir added he was grateful for the work Hsu did in laying the foundation for the five players UNM has signed this offseason and is optimistic the next assistant, too, will open up several more recruiting doors.
Meanwhile, he and assistants Jerome Robinson and Chris Harriman are recruiting players for this season (UNM has three scholarships available) and for the signing class of 2018.
Weir said for now, he’s leaning toward UNM filling two of the three open scholarships this summer and keeping the third open to use for a possible midseason transfer, for which the team would need an open scholarship to recruit. The last midseason transfer at UNM was Drew Gordon.
PASSING GRADE: The Lobos were one of two Mountain West teams this week awarded a 2016-17 Team Academic Excellence Award by the National Association of Basketball Coaches. Boise State was the other league team honored.
The award, which UNM has received for two consecutive years, goes to teams with cumulative grade point averages of 3.0 or better for the academic season. UNM finished with a 3.05 GPA for the 2016-17 season.
Weir took to Twitter to send a public thank you to the team’s academic advisor, Keyanna Smith.
“Yet to find a more conscientious academic advisor in my 14yrs of NCAA (than) @_Keyana_Smith_. My most valuable player,” Weir wrote.
SEASON TICKETS: UNM has sold 750 season tickets so far this summer for men’s basketball, though renewals from last season aren’t due until the second week of August and invoices for renewals were just sent out last week. So it’s too early to compare current numbers with past seasons.
Drew Ingraham, associate athletic director for Marketing & Fan Engagement, said single-game tickets, including for the Dec. 16 game in Dreamstyle Arena vs. potential preseason No. 1 Arizona being the game many fans have already inquired about, are still scheduled to go on sale online at unmtickets.com and golobos.com on Oct. 21. They also go on sale by phone or in person at the UNM Ticket Office on Oct. 23.
CAMPING UP NORTH: The Lobos are planning to hold a youth skills basketball camp Aug. 5-6 at St. Michael’s High School in Santa Fe for kids in grades 1-8. The camp will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Aug. 5 and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on Aug. 6. The cost is $135 and registration and more information can be found online at www.CoachPaulWeir.com.