Lobos get verbal commitment from 6-10 former Big 12 center

Screen shot of Isaiah Maurice’s Instagram post announcing his commitment to play for the UNM Lobos.

Help is on the way. Or, at least that’s the hope for the University of New Mexico men’s basketball team, which landed another verbal commitment over the weekend to join the program next season.

Isaiah Maurice, a 6-foot-10 forward/center who started his college career at Kansas State and is playing this season at South Plains College in Levelland, Texas, gave a verbal commitment to Lobos head coach Paul Weir while on an official recruiting visit this weekend in Albuquerque.

The Journal has reached out to Maurice for comment on his commitment. UNM staff is not allowed to talk about recruits until they sign National Letters of Intent, and the next signing period for those is April.

The sophomore went public with his decision on Instagram on Sunday evening, writing “Cheers to new beginnings,” accompanied by a photo of him in a Lobos jersey and the text on the photo “Welcome to New Mexico.”

He will have two seasons of playing eligibility remaining with the Lobos.

Maurice has played in nine of SPC’s 10 games this season, averaging 12.1 points (16.5 in two conference games), and 4.3 rebounds, and is shooting 73.0 percent from the field.

At Midland College on Nov. 29, Maurice had 25 points on 10-of-13 shooting, six rebounds and two blocked shots.

The native of Durham, N.C., redshirted at Kansas State during the 2015-16 season and averaged 3.0 points for the Wildcats last season, including 5.9 in the team’s final seven games of the season, which included a pair of NCAA Tournament games. He was dismissed from the team in June for an unspecified violation of team rules, per a school press release.

Maurice is the third player who is a part of the Lobos’ 2018 recruiting class and will be one of five new players for the 2018-19 season for UNM, including two players currently with the program but who are are sitting out this season as redshirts due to NCAA transfer rules.

The transfers sitting out are JaQuan Lyle, a 6-foot-5 guard who started for two seasons at Ohio State, and Vance Jackson, a 6-9 wing who started last year at Connecticut. The Lobos have also received signed National Letters of Intent from 6-9 Tyler (Texas) Junior College forward Tajuan Agee and four-star rated high school point guard Drue Drinnon, a 6-foot senior from Georgia who is playing this season at Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) University School.

Drinnon and his family were also in Albuquerque this past weekend, visiting the campus on their own. He made an official recruiting visit and committed in October.