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Emptying the notebook: Neckwear ties it together, other odds and ends from UNM’s win over USU

Here are some extra thoughts, tweets, stats, quotes, videos and whatever else I could find from Wednesday’s Lobos 78-63 win over Utah State that didn’t make it into print:

Tying it all together

Paul Weir isn’t superstitious.

Or so the analytics-loving, it’s-all-about-hard-work-preaching UNM Lobos coach would have you believe.

But Wednesday night against Utah State, it seems maybe the one time youth hockey player from Toronto (hockey players are known as among the most superstitious of athletes) thought at least a little bit about that dreaded four letter word: L-U-C-K.

Weir didn’t wear a tie on Wednesday, instead going with a coat over his pink plaid collared shirt in honor of the Lobos Love Pink game. But why no tie?

He’s not saying. But last month at UNLV, he went without a tie and told me this at the time: “I just thought, maybe subconsciously, that if I didn’t wear a tie it would help everybody relax a little bit more.”

The Lobos won that UNLV game. Three days later, again with no tie, the Lobos beat San Diego State at home. A week after that, again with no tie, though he did don a cherry red sweater, the Lobos beat Colorado State.

That’s 3-0 sans neckwear for those scoring at home.

Then Weir went back to the tie look for four-consecutive games. The results: Loss at Utah State, win (barely) at San Jose State, loss vs. Boise State, loss at Air Force.

That’s 1-3 with the tie.

So as I walked up the Pit ramp with Weir Wednesday night after the game and laid out my theory that he very much knew what he was doing when he chose not to wear a tie and asked him if he did it for luck, he just smirked.

“I don’t know,” Weir said. “Maybe.”

After I tweeted something about this after the game, one Lobo fan replied with this:

Game story

Here is the game story filed Wednesday night from the Pit shortly after the game that published in Thursday’s Journal print edition:

Record watch

There will be more of this to come, so for now it’s just one section in a postgame notebook. But…

With their 11-of-28 showing from 3-point range on Wednesday, the Lobos now have 301 3-pointers made this season. That ties the program record set 20 years ago (in the 1997-98 season).

Love was in the air

I tried to keep the love puns to a minimum on Wednesday. But couldn’t avoid posting this great video with Anthony Mathis and Dane Kuiper put together by the Lobo Lair’s great young journalist Isabel Gonzalez.

The stats on the board

Weir puts a different set of numbers on the white board before every game. They reflect some random stat that he wants his team to try and figure out and understand that stat is on the board that night because it represents some key to the game in the coach’s mind.

Wednesday, it was this list of numbers: 38, 36, 31, 29, 29, 12, 9, 7, 5, 4.

Those are the number of minutes played by Utah State players in Saturday’s home win over Boise State in Logan, Utah.

Knowing Utah State had as potent a scoring backcourt as any one-two punch in the league in Koby McEwen (scored 31 points vs. UNM on Jan. 31) and Sam Merrill (career-high 33 on Wednesday), Weir’s message was the 10-man Lobo roster all playing significant minutes would be better than a USU roster that was top-heavy in minutes and would wear down by the game’s end.

The Aggies may have stars, but they’d only beat UNM if all their players could handling the depth UNM was going to throw at them.

“I don’t ever care if we win match-up No. 1 or match-up No. 2 or even match-up No. 3,” Weir said he told his team before the game. “But we better win 4 through 10. And we have to bring those guys into the game and allow our depth and our conditioning to take hold. … Our depth, more than anything, just kind of wore them down tonight.”

Lobos Love Pink

The Lobos wore pink-accented uniforms and special “Lobos Love Pink” warmup T-shirts on the bench as part of the game’s partnership with the UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center trying to raise awareness for the importance of early detection for breast cancer.

Here is a picture of the warmup shirts…

And here is a picture of several breast cancer survivors being honored on the court during a first half timeout:

Plus/minus stats

The plus/minus stats show what the score did for each player in the minutes they were on the court. It can be deceiving in small samples, and one game samples are pretty small for this stat, but it is a stat the Lobos use a lot for season-long tracking of player performances.

As we’ve reported in the Journal, Sam Logwood had the worst plus/minus this season for the Lobos. But on Wednesday, again in a small one-game sample, he finally had a real good looking plus/minus figure, though not the tops for the Lobos.

Here are UNM’s plus/minus figures for Wednesday’s game:

+22 Anthony Mathis
+18 Sam Logwood
+13 Troy Simons
+7 Dane Kuiper
+5 Chris McNeal
+5 Makuach Maluach
+4 Antino Jackson
+4 Vladimir Pinchuk
+3 Joe Furstinger
-4 Jachai Simmons

Halftime entertainment

I had a hard time knowing for sure if these were elementary school kids playing a quick game at halftime of the USU/UNM game or if it was a replay of the first half, which was… ugly, to say the least.

Up next

UNM’s next game is Tuesday at Wyoming (Laramie, Wyo) at 7 p.m. on AT&T SortsNet (formerly ROOT). It can be heard on 770 AM/94.5 FM.

Attendance: Blame it on the rain?

It was one of the smaller crowds of the season on Wednesday, announced as 9,737.

So do we blame that on the rain? The Air Force loss? Or Valentine’s Day?

Final stat sheet

For those who like the old sheets handed out at the games, here you go”

Meanwhile, in Logan…

For just the second time this season, the UNM men’s and women’s basketball teams won on the same day.

The women’s basketball team beat Utah State in Logan, Utah, on Wednesday, 74-50.

Meanwhile, in Boise…

Good news/bad news for the Nevada Wolf Pack.

First, the defending league champs went on the road and beat the Broncos and are pretty much in the drivers seat at 11-2 to win another league title.

But then there’s this, a potentially devastating blow to a Wolf Pack team already not using its bench much at all this season.

Wednesday’s Mountain West scores

There were five Mountain West games on Wednesday with Colorado State being the only team with the night off.
• New Mexico 78, Utah State 63
• Fresno State 77, San Jose State 57
• UNLV 81, Air Force 73
• San Diego State 87, Wyoming 77
• Nevada 77, Boise State 72

Mountain West standings

Here are the MWC standings through Wednesday’s games:

And for those who like the plus/minus standings…

Postgame press conference video

Here is the postgame press conference I recorded and posted to the Journal’s Facebook page:

Grammer’s Guesses

Why, yes I did have a perfect 5-0 night for the Guesses.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean I gained a ton of ground on the damn coin from my daughter’s piggy bank that she flips each game day to pick games. The coin went 3-2 on Wednesday.

For the season picking games against the spread for Mountain West games, I’m now at a respectable 38-32-3 on the season.

But the coin — oh that coin! — is now at 42-28-3 on the season.