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Emptying the Notebook: NMSU blows out rival Lobos, 100-65

Here are some extra notes, quotes, tweets and videos that didn’t make it into print after Tuesday night’s lopsided Rio Grande Rivalry game that saw the NMSU Aggies beat the UNM Lobos 100-65:

Seeing green

When Chris Jans was hired to replace Paul Weir in 2017 as the new men’s basketball coach at New Mexico State, one thing was made very clear to him from Day 1: Beating the rivals — remember, NMSU has two of them that they play four times in non-conference games every season — was vital.

“I don’t think about it too much,” Jans said. “Certainly (people) have made notice of it. I’m proud of it. From my first interview, it was made clear how important these games were to the fan base, the administration, the community. So each year, we try to make sure that (the players) who are new to this program understand what this means.”

So much so, in fact, that NMSU athletic director Mario Moccia put his (school’s) money where his mouth is and included in Jans’ coaching contract bonuses for rivalry wins. Added this year was another bonus for any win against a “Power 5” conference program, which NMSU happened to get on Saturday with a home win over Washington State of the Pac 12.

So, just looking at this season, Jans is now up to $25,000 in bonuses. They come from:

• $5,000 – Beating UTEP 96-69 in Las Cruces on Nov. 9
• $5,000 – Beating UNM 98-94 in Albuquerque on Nov. 17
• $5,000 – Beating UTEP 62-58 in El Paso on Nov. 28
• $5,000 – Beating Washington State 69-63 in Las Cruces on Saturday
• $5,000 – Beating UNM 100-65 in Las Cruces on Tuesday

Earlier this season, some know-it-all journalist pointed out that there was no way anyone should get a bonus for beating this year’s UTEP team, which has half its roster sitting out and waiting for next year because they’re all transfers.

Of course that know-it-all reporter was saying that with tongue firmly planted in cheek, but the reality is, he said it.

Now he’ll say this: Chris Jans should get double the $5,000 bonus his contract says he’s supposed to get for beating the Lobos. Anytime you beat the rival in a way that hasn’t been done in more than half a century, you get a little something extra.

And once you pay that man his money, see if he can get some dancing lessons.

So, to sum up just how dominant against the rivals Jans has been in his first two seasons, here we go: He is the first coach in NMSU history to sweep both UTEP (4-0) and UNM (4-0) in his first two seasons running the program.

Speaking of money

Picked off the floor at the Pan American Center after Tuesday’s game:

The gamer

Here’s the link to the gamer I filed Tuesday night from the Pan Am Center…

Pregame scuffle

Here is a post of punches thrown pic from Daily Lobo staffer Cameron Goeldner.

Neither coach said they wanted to go into too much detail about the fight since neither were there and neither knew details.

No player was pulled from Tuesday’s game as a result of the pregame festivities.

Said Weir: “I was actually told about it just before the game. I discussed it immediately after the game. I don’t know what prompted it. I don’t know enough details to comment on who started it or who was involved, but I was incredibly disappointed and I explained that to our team after the game. We spoke at length prior to this game about being emotionally stable and just competing. … Regardless, I was extremely disappointed.”

He said it

Just how emotional was Paul Weir on Tuesday night? When asked by a television journalist if there was anything he’d want to say to Lobo fans who might be upset, here was his answer:

” ‘Sorry’ doesn’t do it any justice,” Weir said. “I’m sorry. I apologize from the bottom of my heart. It’s as embarrassed and as humiliated as one can be. … If there’s any solace, I’m feeling a million times worse than anything they can imagine. It’s up to me to impress that on our players as well. I hope they feel that way and I explained to them the embarrassment they brought to us, to our institution, to our program. Unfortunately that’s done with and we have another game in three days. And it’s my job to not allow what is an extraordinarily brutal evening perpetuation into more.”


The students certainly haven’t been the problem at NMSU games this season. They’ve been great. Everyone else? Not so much.

The announced attendance at Tuesday’s rivalry game in the Pan Am Center was 6,777. That’s a far cry from years past, and also a little surprising considering the Aggies are coming off back-to-back 28-win, NCAA Tournament seasons. Hard to top that success.

Nevertheless, the students certainly showed up and led a very warm welcome to NMSU’s former coach, Paul Weir.

Plus/minus (x2)

Normally when I post the plus/minus numbers, I keep them to the Lobos. This time, I’ll list them for the Aggies, too.

Most notable to me is I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a minus-38 before on one of these for one game and from a player who played just 24 minutes. Who was that? None other than Lobo star senior Anthony Mathis.

Again, for those who don’t know, the plus/minus stat is simply how the score changes, in a positive or negative direction for your team, for every second a certain player is on the court.

NMSU Aggies:

+37 A.J. Harris
+32 Jabari Rice
+30 Ivan Aurreccoechea
+29 JoJo Zamora
+17 C.J. Bobbitt
+14 Keyon Jones
+11 Eli Chuha
+7 Mohamed Thiam
+4 Johnny McCants
+1 Robert Brown
0 Terrell Brown
-2 Clayton Henry
-2 Shunn Buchanan
-3 Berrick JeanLouis

UNM Lobos:

+3 Drue Drinnon
-4 Vance Jackson
-9 Vladimir Pinchuk
-13 Corey Manigault
-17 Tavian Percy
-17 Makuach Maluach
-18 Jordan Arroyo
-20 Karim Ezzeddine
-20 Keith McGee
-22 Dane Kuiper
-38 Anthony Mathis

Curious about the others?

A list of the largest margins of defeat in the series history:

Around the Mountain…

No other games were played around the Mountain West on Tuesday night, keeping all the focus from fans of the league directed solely on what was going on in Las Cruces.

Final stat sheet

Aggie fans may want to frame it.

Lobo fans, if you’re still even with us by this point of the column, look at your own risk…

Box score: New Mexico State 100, UNM 65

When in Rome…

Lobo fans, naturally, were not happy with Tuesday night’s win.

Some who made the trek to Las Cruces and then went to drink their sorrows away at least gave Jans his due when he showed up for a little postgame celebration at a local bar.

Good on them, and Chris, for being good sports about it.

The computers say…

OK. All rivalry emotion aside. What do the computers think of Tuesday’s blowout?, the statistical analysis website that ranks all 353 Division I basketball teams by such factors as offensive and defensive efficiency, gives us this instant feedback:

• UNM entered Tuesday’s game ranked 129 in KenPom. The Lobos are now 147.

• NMSU entered Tuesday’s game ranked 115 in KenPom. The Aggies are now 92.

Postgame presser Part 1: Happy guy

Here was Chris Jans’ postgame press conference after Tuesday’s game, as posted to the Albuquerque Journal’s Facebook page:

Postgame presser Part 2: Sad guy

Here was Paul Weir’s postgame press conference after Tuesday’s game, as posted to the Albuquerque Journal’s Facebook page:

Some telling stats

Here are a couple stats from Tuesday’s game that really stood out:

• 44-16: NMSU outscored UNM in the paint
• 50-28: NMSU out-rebounded UNM
• 10: UNM’s 10 made 3-pointers was a season low
• 1: Anthony Mathis’ one made 3-pointer was a season low (he had hit at least four in each previous game)
• 12: The 12 3’s by NMSU ties a season high, which they’ve hit three times, including in the first win over UNM on Nov. 17
• 6-for-6: For the second game in a row vs. UNM, an Aggie guard was a perfect 6-for-6 from 3-point range: Tuesday JoJo Zamora (he had 27 points in all) and A.J. Harris on Nov. 17 in Albuquerque (he had 31 points in that game)
• 23.3 percent: UNM’s shooting percentage in the first half
• 0:00: The amount of time UNM held a lead on Tuesday
• 11-0: The lead NMSU had before UNM first scored a point, the same lead Bradley had on Saturday when the Lobos scored their first point then dominated after that.

Until next time…

Until next time, Pan American Center in Las Cruces…

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