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Grammer: Ex-Tar Heel guard could add to Lobos’ major week

North Carolina guard Jeremiah Francis, right, shown in action against Louisville on Feb. 22, is transferring and reportedly has New Mexico as one of his finalists. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

Stay at home doesn’t mean a break from hitting the virtual recruiting trail for the Lobo basketball coaching staff.

And at 4 p.m. Friday afternoon, the staff, just like plenty of Lobo basketball fans, will be glued to their smart phones with hopes of a high-level point guard looking for a new home choosing to call the Pit his new home.

Jeremiah Francis, who is transferring from the North Carolina Tar Heels, has said he will be making his decision known then, and there is reason to believe the Lobos have a good chance at landing the former four-star recruit from Ohio who committed to Roy Williams and UNC as part of the class of 2019.

According to Jake Weingarten of StockRisers.com, Francis is deciding between Dayton and UNM after working his way through numerous scholarship offers, including from Power 6 programs. The 6-foot guard has had injury issues both in his senior year of high school and this past season at UNC, where he played 16 games and started three times.

“Just looking for an opportunity to play and lead a team,” Francis told StockRisers about why he chose to transfer.

Francis has said he will request an immediate eligibility waiver from the NCAA, but he might have to sit a year before being eligible to play at his next school.

On Tuesday, the Lobos got a commitment from 6-7 forward Rodgerick Brown, a big upgrade in rebounding and defense. A Friday evening recruiting win of a potentially star point guard (if healthy) would make for a banner week for the program.

UNM has one open scholarship after Brown’s signing. Francis would be the 13th scholarship player for the 2020-21 UNM season, barring any more movement this offseason.

SO, ABOUT DAYTON: After Francis’ two finalists of Dayton and UNM were announced on social media this week, the Dayton Daily News on Wednesday reported the news. On Thursday, the newspaper ran a retraction, of sorts.

“According to a source, Dayton talked to Francis but never offered him a scholarship and doesn’t plan to,” wrote Daily News reporter David Jablonski. “That means Francis, a 6-0 guard from Pickerington Central (High School in Ohio), is likely headed to New Mexico, while the recruiting continues for Dayton.”

UNM coaches aren’t allowed to comment on potential recruits until they’ve signed a letter of intent.

BOOK CLUB: If following college recruiting via social media isn’t your thing, maybe you’re in the mood for some quarantine or summer reading.

During a free online coaches clinic the UNM basketball coaching staff conducted April 25, one largely, though not exclusively, aimed at helping high school or youth coaches with how to run their programs, Lobos coach Paul Weir offered up a reading list of books he thought would have helped him at a younger age with team building, teaching, strategy, basketball and all sorts of things.

Sharing books with players has been a regular occurrence with Weir since several years ago when a freshman at New Mexico State was in his office and saw some books on the then-assistant coach’s books shelf. Pascal Siakam, now an NBA star with the Toronto Raptors, was still relatively new to the sport and the Cameroon native asked if he could borrow some basketball-related books. Weir said since then, he’s expanded to lending players books on all sorts of topics and even occasionally gets a book recommendation from a player in return.

The Lobos also have a mini-library in the players’ lounge off the side of their locker room in the Pit.

The Journal wrote down Weir’s list of books recommended for coaches, some well known, others not so much. With title, subtitle and author included, here it is:

  • “The Matheny Manifesto: A Young Manager’s Old-School Views on Success in Sports and Life” – Mike Matheny
  • “The Energy Bus: 10 Rules to Fuel Your Life, Work and Team with Positive Energy” – Jon Gordon
  • “Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup At A Time” – Howard Schultz
  • “Thoughts of a Philosophical Fighter Pilot” – Jim Stockdale
  • “The Guns of August: The Outbreak of World War I” – Barbara W. Tuchman
  • “Tools for Teaching: Discipline, Instruction, Motivation” – Fred Jones
  • “The Talent Code: Greatness Isn’t Born. It’s Grown. Here’s How.” – Daniel Coyle
  • “Basketball on Paper: Rules and Tools for Performance Analysis” – Dean Oliver
  • “Stillness is the Key” – Ryan Holiday
  • “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions” – Thomas S. Kuhn

NEW FOR DRUE: Former Lobo point guard Drew Drinnon on Thursday announced on social media that he will play next season at Navarro College, a junior college in Corsicana, Texas.

A 6-foot guard from Georgia who played 27 games for UNM in 2018-19, Drinnon will be eligible for recruitment again for the 2021-22 season after one year in junior college.

Drinnon decided to leave the Lobos the week before last season started, and he left the University of New Mexico in December.

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