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Emptying the notebook: Furstinger wearing down? Other odds and ends from UNM’s loss to Boise State

Here are some thoughts, tweets, videos, quotes and general randomness from Tuesday’s 73-71 UNM Lobos loss to Boise State that didn’t make it into the print edition:

Time for some rest?

Through Joe Furstinger’s first 15 games of the season, he averaged 23.9 minutes played. That stretch of 15 games culminated with four consecutive double doubles in which he averaged 28.0 minutes.

Through his last 10 games, however, Furstinger is averaging 34.2 minutes per game with just two double-doubles. And it’s something that is now really starting to become a concern for the Lobos.

On the one hand, it’s hard to bench your 6-foot-9 post when you’re getting manhandled on the boards like the Lobos have been on a pretty regular basis recently. On the other hand, there’s still a month to go in the season and no Furstinger if he got hurt or just wears down would be a disaster for this team.

In Tuesday’s 73-71 loss to Boise State, Furstinger played 37 minutes, had 8 points on 3-of-6 shooting, had seven rebounds and a career-high five blocked shots just one day after his 22nd birthday and three days after he tied his career high with four blocked shots at San Jose State.

The point is, he’s playing well and, when 6-10 freshman center Vladimir Pinchuk is out with a concussion and 6-5 forward Makuach Maluach fouls out in just 11 minutes of court time on Tuesday night, the options are limited.

But it’s a fire Lobos coach Paul Weir doesn’t want to continue playing with.

Furstinger’s minutes the past 10 games: 37, 36, 40, 33, 34, 32, 31, 33, 31 and 35.

That isn’t likely sustainable, and it’s something I asked Weir about on Monday during his pregame press conference.

Our exchange:

Me: “Joe’s minutes…”

Weir: “I know. I hate it.”

Me: “… I know 36 against San Jose isn’t what you want. What do you do? Are you forced to ride it out until Vlad (Pinchuk) comes back? Or are there things you can do to change it?”

Weir: “No, you’re right. I hate it. It’s been something that I’ve been thinking about for weeks. We monitor him every day. Our strength coach is meeting with him every day. We have a list of symptoms and warning signs of overtraining or exhaustion that we’re going over with him every day. The moment he exhibits any of those, we’ll scale him back a little bit. As of now, he’s just working and grinding. It hasn’t necessarily shown up (on the court).”

The game story

Here is the game story I wrote (on a tighter than normal deadline thanks to the 8 p.m. start time) for the Journal:

Rick is Wright

Now, Tuesday wasn’t a good ending for the Lobos. But Journal Columnist Rick Wright was at the game and his take was simple: The Lobos program is still in a good place.

Black History Month shirts

The Lobos wore special Black History Month shirts during warm-ups and on the team bench on Tuesday.

Here is a picture of them from Journal photographer Roberto E. Rosales:

More pics

Here are some more pics from Roberto…

And here’s a link to a photo gallery of many, many more pics Roberto took on Tuesday: Photo gallery BSU at UNM

McNeal, though

Paul Weir keeps saying he wants from his point guards good defense and no turnovers.

In two games against Boise State this season, junior point guard Chris McNeal’s statline (and this doesn’t reflect the annoyance he was on defense, especially in the first half, to all the Boise State guards he defended):

• Points per game: 4.0 (8 total)
• Assists per game: 6.0 (12 total)
• Turnovers per game: 0.0 (0 total)

Halftime show

Tuesday’s halftime show showed how wild and crazy Albuquerque can be on a school night as dozens of kids from Bandelier Elementary showed off their jumping skills:

And, yes, the surprise hit of the performance for many on social media was the realization that Pogo Balls still exist!

Attendance

The announced attendance for Tuesday night’s Boise State at New Mexico game in Dreamstyle Arena – the Pit was 11,357

Final stat sheet

Here’s a pic of the final stat sheet handed out on press row after the game:

He said it

“Really disappointed in the way we acted after the game. I don’t known where that behavior comes from. I don’t know who’s ever taught them that or where it was encouraged or endorsed, but I’ve never discussed anything like that.”
— Paul Weir on what he told his team after the embarrassing way Tuesday’s game ended.

Those videos, though

Obviously Tuesday’s game will be remembered for the ending — both in game ending and postgame ending. A lot of that is addressing in my game story.

Here’s a video from where I was sitting of the postgame melee on Bob King Court:

And here is the postgame press conference I recorded of Paul Weir talking to reporters that I posted on the Journal’s Facebook page:

Meanwhile, in Santa Fe…

The annual legislative session charity basketball game, which did not end in a near fight on Monday. Dan Boyd was there to cover it.

Meanwhile, at the Air Force Academy…

How’s this for the Fly Boys?

And after the game, Fort Collins Coloradoan reporter Kelly Lyell had an eventful drive north on Interstate 25.

Meanwhile, in Fresno…

Speaking of sweeps…

Mountain West scores

There were three Mountain West hoops games on Tuesday and two more to come on Wednesday:
• Air Force 78, Colorado State 73
• Boise State 73, New Mexico 71
• Fresno State 79, San Diego State 61

Wednesday’s two games, with times (MT):
• Utah State at Wyoming, 7 p.m.
• UNLV at Nevada, 9 p.m.

Mountain West standings

Through Tuesday, the mess in the middle is still a mess in the middle. The league knows who the top two teams are and who the bottom three are. But the middle six are fighting for the 3, 4 and 5 seeds in the Mountain West Tournament as those the top 5 seeds overall get a bye into the quarterfinals and seeds 6-11 must play in the first round.

Here are the standings through Tuesday’s games:

Grammer’s Guesses

OK, so forget that boring game in the Pit. The news everyone wants to know…

I gained a game on the coin! The Guesses went 3-0 on Tuesday and I’m now 31-27-3 on the season. That coin my daughter keeps flipping all season was 2-1 and is now 34-24-3 on the season.

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