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Emptying the Notebook: Lobos beat USW in Hobbs

Here are a few extra notes, quotes, stats, videos and pictures from Sunday’s 103-47 Lobos win over NAIA University of the Southwest in Hobbs’ Ralph Tasker Arena:

On Ralph…

The namesake of the high school gym the Lobos played in on Sunday is legendary Ralph Tasker.

Here is what Lobos head coach Paul Weir said when asked about whether he and the Lobos had any comparisons to Tasker and his legendary Hobbs Eagles programs who were also based on full court pressure and plenty of substitutions:

“He’s an exceptional human being as much as he was a great coach. So if I could be half the person he is … I’ll take being half the coach he ever was.

“What he did for not only Hobbs and the community and the basketball program here, nationally bringing all the attention … He is a legend in and of himself and right now if I could even come a millionth close to that, I’ll take it. He’s a legend.”

As for the experience of playing the game in the onetime hoops hotbed of New Mexico?

“A privilege, to be totally honest with you,” Weir said. “The idea of what Hobbs is about, the idea of what this program has been about here, for us to in a very unique way to kind of become a part of it, I’m blessed. This is a game I’ll probably never forget for the rest of my life. And hopefully our players as they move on in their lives and in their careers and things that they do, will remember this as well.”

Up next

The Lobos start Mountain West Conference play on Wednesday at Air Force.

With no classes to get back to, the team stayed the night Sunday in Hobbs and bussed to Lubbock on Monday before flying to Colorado Springs for the game.

The gamer

Here is the game story filed Sunday from Ralph Tasker Arena that also published in Monday’s print edition of the Albuquerque Journal:

Pics, pics and more pics…

It was a long day — 7 a.m. Sunday to 1 a.m. Monday from Journal parking to Journal parking lot — for Journal photographer Roberto Rosales and I, but it was a fun trip.

Here are some tweets of some pics from the day and a link to Roberto’s photo gallery below them…

Here is a link to the dozens of photos Roberto posted to a photo gallery on the JOurnal’s web site: PHOTO GALLERY: Lobos in Hobbs

Number to know: 50

The Lobos scored 50 points in the paint. Competition notwithstanding, the emphasis over the past few weeks for the team was to run its offense through the post so doing so with such regularity on Sunday, against anyone, was a good sign for the team.

The question for the Lobos will be if they abandon that emphasis when better competition coming up again makes it difficult to get easy entry passes into the post players like Carlton Bragg, Corey Manigault, Karim Ezzeddine and Vladimir Pinchuk.

Meanwhile, in Westwood…

Who would have thought it would be a loss to Ritchie McKay, the former Lobos coach he once replaced in Albuquerque, that would be the final straw that broke the back of Steve Alford’s tenure as UCLA’s head coach?

It’s sure been an interesting time in the world of Lobo basketball since this picture was taken in March 2013.

Sunday’s +/- stats

Here are UNM’s plus/minus stats from Sunday’s Lobos game with the minutes played in parenthesis:

+42 Karim Ezzeddine (20:51)
+33 Vance Jackson (18:54)
+31 Anthony Mathis (15:29)
+31 Tavian Percy (21:53)
+29 Carlton Bragg (20:38)
+23 Makuach Maluach (22:03)
+18 Vladimir Pinchuk (17:43)
+18 Drue Drinnon (21:56)
+16 Dane Kuiper (17:56)
+16 Corey Manigault (9:17)
+15 Clay Patterson (7:39)
+8 Jordan Arroyo (5:42)

Meanwhile, in Fort Collins…

The New Mexico State Aggies went 3-0 against Mountain West teams this season and the WAC went 6-3 against the Mountain West.

On Sunday, the Aggies beat the Colorado State Rams on the road.

Around the Mountain

There were two games on Sunday involving Mountain West teams:

• New Mexico State 88, Colorado State 68
• New Mexico 103, NAIA University of the Southwest 47

There is one more nonconference game for the league on Tuesday (San Diego State hosts Cal. State-Northridge) before league play gets kick started Wednesday night.

Here is Wednesday night’s Mountain West schedule, with times listed being MT:

• UNM at Air Force, 7 p.m. (AT&T SportsNet)
• Boise State at Wyoming, 7 p.m.
• Fresno State at San Jose State, 8 p.m.
• Colorado State at UNLV, 8:30 p.m. (CBS Sports Network)
• Utah State at No. 6 Nevada, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)

Speaking of Nevada…

The Wolf Pack checked in at No. 6 on Monday in the latest AP Top 25 poll.

That means the Pit will host a top 10, potentially undefeated team on Saturday.

It is the Pack’s first game back in the Pit since that January 2017 game that included a 25-point come back win in overtime that had banked in 3-pointers and a Pit opponent record 45 points from Jordan Caroline, who is now a fifth-year senior on the Nevada roster.

Another number to know: 12

Freshman PG Drue Drinnon, fresh off a new haircut since fans last saw him on the court, had a career-high 12 assists on Sunday in 22 minutes on the court.

Here, attached to a Tweet about the final score, is a Roberto Rosales video I posted of one of Drinnon’s assists, a second-half alley-oop to sophomore wing Makuach Maluach:

No Keith, but plenty of Dane

Sophomore point guard Keith McGee did not play Sunday, but made the trip. Asked why, Weir kept is simple: “Sick.”

Senior guard Dane Kuiper returned to the court after missing the past two Lobo games with tendinitis in his knees, playing 17 minutes, 55 seconds. While he was 0-for-7 shooting, with many being long jumpers (0-6 from 3-point range) that were short, he did have five assists and a game-high four steals and his defense was what caught the attention of his coaches.

“I was saying to the staff throughout the game, that’s the best defensively he’s looked all year,” Weir said. “That’s what we need out of him. We need that. His defensive energy for us last year was critical. If he’s making shots, great. If he isn’t, it’s not the end of the world because of what he’s bringing from a defensive stand point. And tonight was the first time I think I’ve seen that this season. Hopefully that’s just the beginning and he can help get us going a little bit.”

Hobbs loves EZ Ed

The clear highlight of the day was looking through the Tasker Arena trophy cases and seeing this gem from a 1981 Albuquerque Journal article from colleague Ed Johnson.

Final stat sheet

Here is the final stat sheet from Hobbs…

In the history books

Rio Rancho High School graduate Clay Patterson, a walk-on, is now in the Lobo history books.

Patterson played his first game as a Lobo, seeing the court for 7:39, going 0-for-3 from the floor with an assist.

Other non-DI games

While the Lobos took a lot of heat from critics for playing Sunday’s game (never mind the ultimate goal was all about money at a university that should be trying generate more fundraising as opposed to expecting more taxpayer dollars), it should be noted UNM is hardly the only team playing non-DI opponents.

Nine of 11 Mountain West teams have regular season game scheduled vs. non-DI teams this season as do other regional schools (NMSU plays three regular season games vs. non-DI teams and UTEP plays two).

Non of the games are about competition. They are all schedule-padders with the hope of maybe getting another home game. In UNM’s case, it was about potentially tapping into some oil money boosters in Hobbs.

Video: Postgame interview

Here is the postgame interview video with Paul Weir as posted to the Albuquerque Journal’s Facebook page:

Until next time, Hobbs…

It was fun, Hobbs. Until next time, Ralph Tasker Arena at Hobbs High School…

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