Well, he says he’s an ideas guy.
And Paul Weir unveiled his latest on Wednesday as the University of New Mexico men’s basketball coach announced the team will play a Dec. 30 regular season road game in Hobbs — 320 miles southeast of their home court at Dreamstyle Arena-the Pit — against the NAIA University of the Southwest Mustangs.
It is the second consecutive season Weir has scheduled an instate, NAIA opponent for a regular season game (Northern New Mexico was the team’s opener last season in the Pit), but this will mark the first time it ever plays a game in Hobbs, according to the program’s media guide.
“Taking the Lobos to Hobbs is something we are also incredibly excited about adding this year,” Weir said in a prepared statement released by the school late Wednesday. “We are hoping it can create many meaningful opportunities for both our direct and extended communities.”
Weir has said he wants his team to learn about the legendary Hobbs High coach Ralph Tasker, whose teams were known for pressing and running and gunning, much like Weir’s Lobos. Whether or not the game will be played at Hobbs High School has not been decided, but the team does plan to the five-hour bus ride back to Albuquerque after the game and instead fly directly to Colorado, where it opens Mountain West Conference play three days later on Jan. 2 at the United States Air Force Academy.
Part of the reason to schedule the game in Hobbs so close to the Air Force game, Weir said, was the coaching staff’s general discomfort with the layoff that would have been left between the team’s Dec. 22 home game against Penn and the Jan. 2 Air Force game.
The date in Hobbs is one of the final two games for the 2018-19 season that the program had yet to announce before Wednesday. The other game will be a home matchup against North Texas on Dec. 18.
The only other bit of opponent news released on Wednesday was confirmation that the Lobos will again play Northern New Mexico this season in the Pit, though this season it will be an exhibition game on Nov. 10. It is part of a multi-team, New Mexico Classic event that will also feature the state’s three Division II teams — Eastern New Mexico, New Mexico Highlands and Western New Mexico — playing each other over the course of two days. The Lobos opened the Weir era with a 147-76 win over Northern New Mexico last season in a regular season game.
The UNM women’s team is also participating in the Women’s NIT in the Pit on Nov. 9 and, if they beat Texas State that game, again on Nov. 11, so the arena will be busy throughout that weekend.
The schedule release on Wednesday night by UNM followed most other Mountain West schools announcing the league’s national television and online broadcast schedule on Wednesday morning.
UNM will have at least 22 of its 30 games, and all 18 league games, either televised on AT&T SportsNet, CBS Sports Network, the ESPN family of networks or streamed online on ESPN3.com. More televised games could still be announced before the season starts.
Also, due to those TV contracts with the Mountain West Conference, five previously announced Wednesday games have been bumped to Tuesdays: UNLV on Jan. 8, at San Diego State on Jan. 15, at UNLV on Jan. 22, San Diego State on Feb. 5, and at San Jose State on Feb 26.
FINAL FOUR: The Lobos this week were included among the final four schools for highly sought-after Class of 2019 shooting guard Terry Armstrong of Flint, Mich. Armstrong, a four-star player who has been rated among the top five shooting guards in the nation, tweeted on Tuesday he will choose between the Lobos, the Big 12’s Oklahoma and the Pac-12’s Arizona and Oregon.
Weir and assistant coaches Brandon Mason and Jerome Robinson were at Scottsdale (Ariz.) Bella Vista Prep, where Armstrong will play this season, on Wednesday on a recruiting visit for the 6-foot-5 guard. Armstrong has scheduled an official recruiting visit to Albuquerque the weekend of Oct. 19, which is when the team’s Cherry & Silver scrimmage will be held in the Pit.
Tentative UNM Lobos schedule
(TV/stream info listed where available)
Oct. 19 – Cherry & Silver game (the Pit)
Nov. 6 – UNM at CSU-Northridge
Nov. 10 – Northern New Mexico vs. UNM (exhibition)
Nov. 13 – Iona at UNM
Nov. 17 – NMSU at UNM – AT&T SportsNet
Nov. 24 – UTEP at UNM
Dec. 1 – UNM at Bradley – ESPN3.com
Dec. 4 – UNM at NMSU
Dec. 7 – UNM vs. Saint Mary’s (in Los Angeles)
Dec. 11 – Colorado at UNM – ESPN2
Dec. 16 – Central Arkansas at UNM – AT&T SportsNet
Dec. 18 – North Texas at UNM
Dec. 22 – Penn at UNM
Dec. 30 – UNM at University of the Southwest (Hobbs)
Jan. 2 – UNM at Air Force – AT&T SportsNet
Jan. 5 – Nevada at UNM – ESPNU
Jan. 8 – UNLV at UNM – ESPN2
Jan. 12 – UNM at Colorado State – CBSSN
Jan. 15 – UNM at San Diego State – CBSSN
Jan. 19 – Wyoming at UNM – ESPN3
Jan. 22 – UNM at UNLV – CBSSN
Jan. 26/27 – Utah State at UNM – CBSSN
Feb. 2 – UNM at Fresno State – ESPNU or ESPN3
Feb. 5 – San Diego State at UNM – ESPN2
Feb. 9 – UNM at Nevada – CBSSN
Feb. 13 – San Jose State at UNM – AT&T SportsNet
Feb. 16 – Fresno State at UNM – ESPN2, ESPNU or ESPN3
Feb. 20 – UNM at Utah State – ESPNU or ESPN3
Feb. 26 – UNM at San Jose State – AT&T SportsNet
March 2 – Colorado State at UNM – ESPNU or ESPN3
March 6 – Boise State at UNM – ESPNU or ESPN3
March 9 – UNM at Wyoming – ESPN3.com