Emptying the Notebook: Josiah Allick emerging as Lobos' do-it-all star - Albuquerque Journal

Emptying the Notebook: Josiah Allick emerging as Lobos’ do-it-all star

Lobo Allick scores in front Oral Roberts’ Max Abmas (3) and Carlos Jurgens during Monday night’s game at the Pit. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Journal)
Here are some extra notes, quotes, stats and whatever other odds & ends I could empty out of the old notebook after Monday’s 82-75 UNM Lobos win over Oral Roberts in the Pit:

Another monster game for Allick…

If you’re only looking at the scoring numbers, you might think of the UNM Lobos this season as a team with a Big 3 — Jamal Mashburn Jr. (17.9 ppg), Jaelen House (16.6 ppg) and Morris Udeze (16.0 ppg).

But if you aren’t looking at the stat-stuffing season Josiah Allick is having, not to mention leading the league in those hustle plays that don’t show up on a stat sheet like diving for loose balls, you’re missing out on one heck of an entertaining season from the 6-foot-8, 235-pound, long-haired Missouri-Kansas City transfer who showed up to Albuquerque over the summer with a full-length fur coat and who can fill a reporter’s tape recorder with ease after every game if you let him get going.

“Josiah is just about as underrated a player as I’ve ever coached,” said UNM Lobo basketball coach Richard Pitino. “I’ve never see a guy play as hard as he does. He is relentless on the glass. He’s just an ultimate glue guy.”

Monday night, Allick’s stat line looked like this:

• Points: 15
• Rebounds: 13
• Offensive rebounds: 6
• Assists: 4
• Shooting: 70% (7-of-10)
• Steals: 1

On the season, Allick is now leading the Mountain West in rebounding at 8.2 per game and in offensive rebounding at 2.8 per game.

His overall season stats look like this:

• Points: 9.2/game
• Rebounds: 8.2/game
• Offensive rebounds: 2.8/game
• Assists: 1.8/game
• Shooting: 56.3%

But he’s also a guy full of quotes, insight and perspective that could never fit into an postgame game story written on deadline.

Take a look at the postgame interviews I post of him each game and you’ll see what I mean (here’s Monday’s where his part starts, and the entire video, as always, is posted toward the bottom of this column and along with every postgame story I write, too).

Here are a few highlights of what Allick said to reporters after the game Monday:

QUESTION: Was playing just 48 hours after losing to UNLV a good thing?

ALLICK: “There’s two sides to it. Physically? Rough. I’m definitely still feeling the UNLV game. (Tacking) this one on took a little bit of adrenaline to get through. But good for us to kind of be able to wash it (the UNLV loss and last Tuesday’s Fresno State loss) under the bridge because two unfortunate losses, you know? We got our butts handed to us. But being able to kind of bounce back like this and have one to kind of get the MoJo flowing again, get the momentum back going into preparing for San Diego State, that’s definitely a positive.”

• • • • •

QUESTION: Do you pride yourself on effort and energy even in a quick turn around game like this?

ALLICK: “Yeah. That just comes down to, that’s just like who I am. It’s the way my mom raised me. Every time I put myself in anything, she’s like, you don’t have to be perfect, but whatever you do, you’re gonna give it 100% That and you’re not allowed to quit. And so those two things just kind of go hand in hand where I don’t know how much I’m gonna have to offer, but you’re gonna get whatever that is.”

• • • • •

QUESTION: How much do you and your teammates look at social media and the criticism of some over the past week after the Lobos lost two games?

ALLICK: “Yeah, I mean, it’s just kind of part of the gig, you know? It’s my fourth year (in college), but it’s really my first year being a part of a team like this with a lot of publicity and a big fan base that does kind of show out like they do here at UNM.

“As athletes and especially student athletes that represent a community … a lot of this community, they’re tied around this team, so when we when we go on a hot streak like we did when we won 14 in a row, it definitely brings that life into the community gets a lot of people engaged. But obviously the other side of that is that when people are watching, people are going to be critiquing. It’s just kind of the way it goes.

“People are gonna say what they want, and I don’t really mind that because you can’t expect to get all this praise and not expect to ever get … your whole game dissected or whatever it may be.

“It just kind of comes down to being mature and knowing that if you’re gonna value the good stuff, you got to be able to handle the bad stuff. And so I mean, I appreciate all the kind words people say about me and whatnot, but at the same time, you kind of you kind of take it with a grain of salt.”

The gamer…

Here is the game story I filed from the Pit’s media room on Monday night…

Lobos get a little defensive…

Oral Roberts entered Monday’s game ranked 19th out of 363 Division I basketball teams in offensive efficiency by KenPom.com. That was the best offensive rating of any Lobo opponent for the season, with only Utah State (20th) in the same realm as ORU’s potent offense.

The Lobos held Oral Roberts nearly 10 points below their season scoring average, held them to just 42.3% shooting overall and just 25.0% shooting from 3-point range.

Oral Roberts dropped to 23rd in the KenPom ratings for offense as a result, meaning now Utah State’s 20th national rating in offense is the best on the schedule for the Lobos.

So, just where do those low shooting percentages rank in Oral Roberts games this season?

ORU’s worst FG% this season:
• 22.6% — at No. 1 Houston (Nov. 14)
• 39.7% — at Saint Mary’s (Nov. 7)
• 42.25% — at UNM (Monday)
• 42.31% — at Tulsa (Dec. 3)
• 45.8% — at Texas Southern (Nov. 15)

ORU’s worst 3FG% this season:
• 21.1% — at No. 1 Houston (Nov. 14)
• 25.0% — at New Mexico (Monday)
• 25.0% — at Tulsa (Dec. 3)
• 26.9% — vs. Rogers State
• 28.1% — at Denver (Dec. 31)

Nonconference complete…

This time, it’s a wrap.

Really.

A couple weeks ago we wrote about the UNM Lobos having completed the perfect nonconference schedule at 12-0, that was before they managed to get one more, short-notice nonconference make-up game on the schedule to help make up for the lost rivalry games with New Mexico State University when that series was canceled this season due to the Nov. 19 shooting on the UNM campus.

So, all that record talk was out the window and they laced ’em up again Monday against an Oral Roberts team rated higher in the NET and all computer rankings than both New Mexico State, the team the Lobos usually play twice each season and the San Francisco Dons, the other short-notice make-up game the Lobos played back in December in Las Vegas.

“I was very concerned with this game,” UNM Lobo coach Richard Pitino said. “Lucky and grateful that our administration was able to work with us and help us out to be able to add San Francisco and to be able to add Oral Roberts. We wanted to try to find a quality win. And we played with fire a little bit of both of them — weren’t able to dictate the dates and all those things. So it’s hard for both teams.”

But, the Lobos won them both, and have now officially completed the nonconference portion of their regular season schedule without a loss at 13-0.

Here’s how that ranks with the four other UNM teams to ever do that in program history since the Lobos joined a league — the Border Conference — in the 1932-33 season:

• 13-0: 2022-23
• 12-0: 1972-73
• 10-0: 1995-96
• 10-0: 1933-34
• 4-0: 2020-21*

* COVID season did not include a full schedule, UNM had two wins vs. DI teams, two vs. non-DI teams that season.

Midrange Mash goes off…

Jamal Mashburn Jr’s 24 points on Monday marked the 17th time a Lobo has scored 20 or more points in a game in the 2022-23 season (through 17 games). It also marked the 38th consecutive game he has scored in double figures, the longest active double-digit scoring streak in the Mountain West Conference and second longest such streak in the nation.

His stat line:

• Points: 24
• FG: 11-23 (career high 11 made FGs)
• 2FG: 9-19
• 3 FG: 2-4
• Rebounds: 7 (career high)

• Midrange shooting: 6-12 — 12 points

Here are three of his buckets from Monday — two of his 3s and one of his layups over 7-foot-5 Connor Vanover…

Midcourt Max update…

With 26 points scored on Monday, Max Abmas (pronounced Ace-mas) is now at 2,157 points scored in his stellar collegiate career.

As crazy as that number is, how’s this for some high-scoring history in the Oral Roberts program. He’s one of eight — EIGHT! — Golden Eagles players to have made it through that 2,000-point ceiling.

For context, the Lobos have had 119 seasons of basketball, and there has never been a player reach 2,000 points in a Lobos uniform.

But the Lobos kept Abmas from getting going from deep (if “kept him from” anything is really appropriate phrasing for a guy who just scored 26 on you). Abmas was just 3-of-13 from 3-point range on Monday night in the Pit.

Of course his last shot in a game before making the trip to Albuquerque was a pretty big 3 on Saturday night, and one that sort of shows why people call him Midcourt Max…

20 points or more…

Jamal Mashburn Jr’s 24 points marked the 17th time a Lobo has scored 20 or more points in a game this season.

Lobos scoring 20 or more…
6X — Jaelen House
6X — Morris Udeze
5X — Jamal Mashburn Jr.

And Max Abmas’ 26 points was the third most this season by a Lobos opponent and the eight time overall an opponent has scored 20 or more vs. UNM this season.

Lobo opponents scoring 20 or more…

29 — Dalton Knecht, Northern Colorado (Nov. 27, the Pit)
28 — Tevian Jones, Southern Utah (Nov. 7, the Pit)
26 — Max Abmas, Oral Roberts (Monday, the Pit)
25 — E.J. Harkless, UNLV (Saturday, the Pit)
25 — Alex Ducas, Saint Mary’s (Nov. 30, at Saint Mary’s)
22 — Andrew Morgan, North Dakota State (Nov. 26, the Pit)
21 — Nelly Junior Joseph, Iona (Dec. 18, the Pit)
20 — D.J. Richards, UT-San Antonio (Dec. 10, the Pit)

Who wasn’t there…

The Lobos played Monday without usual starter Javonte Johnson, who injured his right elbow in Saturday’s loss to UNLV.

It marked the first time this season the Lobos had to alter their starting lineup, inserting K.J. Jenkins into the starting five for the injured Johnson.

Johnson told me before the game he is hopeful he’ll play Saturday at No. 23 San Diego State. Of course the team trainer will have to have a say in that.

Also, as noted this past Saturday when I did the same pregame injury report, freshman guard Braden Appelhans is out for the season with a torn ligament in his thumb. It had been bothering him all season, and Pitino said as they approached the date where they may still be able to apply for a medical redshirt for him, they chose to do so.

Scholarships down…

The Lobos are now down four scholarship players for the rest of the season. Teams get 13 scholarships, the Lobos now have nine scholarship players the rest of the way:

• G Emmanuel Kuac, 6-7, Sr. — torn patellar tendon
• G Braden Appelhans, 6-7, Fr. — torn ligament, thumb
• F Jay Allen-Tovar, 6-9, Sr. — Transferred after 3 games
• G Quinton Webb, 6-6, Fr. — redshirting

The run that changed the game…

Oral Roberts took a 24-23 lead on a Carlos Jurgens’ second-chance layup with 9:02 left in the first half.

That was when the Lobos rattled off an 11-0 run that changed the game, led by Josiah Allick and Donovan Dent. The Lobos never looked back (the score was actually never closer than 5 points after this run).

• 9:02 1H — Carlos Jurgens layup. (ORU 24, UNM 23)
• 8:52 1H — Josiah Allick tips in a missed Lobo shot, for one of his six offensive rebounds, 2 of UNM’s 13 second chance points and he was fouled, converting the 3-point play. (UNM 26, ORU 24)

• 8:28 1H — ORU’s missed a 3-pointer
• 8:25 1H — Josiah Allick rebound, passes to Jaelen House…
• 8:19 1H — Josiah Allick dunk in traffic off Jaelen House assist (UNM 28, ORU 24)

• 7:52 1H — Jaelen House steal from Max Abmas
• 7:33 1H — Jamal Mashburn Jr. miss, defensive rebound by Max Abmas
• 7:09 1H — Turnover on Oral Roberts’ Connor Vanover
• 6:49 1H — Morris Udeze dunk off Josiah Allick assist (UNM 30, ORU 24)
• 6:33 1H — Donovan Dent blocks a Max Abmas 3-point shot, ball is grabbed by Jamal Mashburn Jr. …
• 6:28 1H — Donovan Dent dunk off a Jamal Mashburn Jr. assist (UNM 32, ORU 24)

• 6:12 1H — Donovan Dent steals the ball from Max Abmas…
• 6:09 1H — Donovan Dent layup on fast break, Oral Roberts calls a timeout (UNM 34, ORU 24)

Total: 11-0 UNM run in under 3 minutes.

What freshman slump?

Donovan Dent had hit a bit of a freshman wall recently, but you couldn’t tell on Monday night.

In the first four Mountain West games, here are Dent’s averages:
• 17 minutes
• Pts: 2.5/game
• Shooting: 21.4% (3-14)
• Rebounds: 2.5/game
• Assists: 2.0/game
• Turnovers: 1.3/game

Dent’s stat line Monday:
• 27:31 (career high)
• Pts: 9
• Steals: 1
• Blocks: 3
• Rebounds: 3

He credited the defense for his getting rolling on both ends of the court Monday night.

“That’s where it really could start for me,” Dent said. “I don’t have to necessarily start on offense. If I pick it up with my defense, I get my offense going a lot easier. I think that’s what happened with me tonight.”

Attendance…

The announced attendance for the rare Monday night game: 9,249

House steals…

With three more steals on Monday, Jaelen House has 51 on the season through 17 games.

If House plays just the minimum 15 more games this season (that would be one MWC Tournament game and nothing more come March for a 32-game season), at his current average of 3.0 steals per game would have him finish with 96 steals.

Some records to keep an eye on for steals:

UNM single season steals record:
• 84 — Hunter Greene, 1986-87
(avg. 2.4/game in 35 games)

Mountain West single season steals record:
• 101 — Jackson Emery, BYU, 2010-11
(avg. 2.73/game in 37 games)

NCAA single season steals record:
• 160 — Desmond Cambridge, Alabama A&M, 2001-02
(avg. 5.52/game in 29 games)

Video: Pitino, Dent, Allick …

Here are the postgame media sessions from Monday with Richard Pitino, Donovan Dent and Josiah Allick…

Meanwhile, in football news…

Sure, there may have been an important football game being played on Monday night, but for sports fans in these parts, the big news Monday was that former Lobo Terance Mathis will be inducted into the college football Hall of Fame…

Plus/minus…

Here are the Lobos’ plus/minus numbers from Monday’s game with minutes played in parenthesis:

+9 Jamal Mashburn Jr. (34:58)
+9 Josiah Allick (37:53)
+6 Jaelen House (37:49)
+6 Donovan Dent (27:31)
+4 Morris Udeze (33:38)
+1 K.J. Jenkins (19:59)
0 Birima Seck (8:12)

Line ’em up…

The Lobos had nine unique lineup combinations in Monday’s game and played seven players. Oral Roberts had 11 lineup combinations and played nine players.

The Lobos had to shake up their starting lineup for the first time in 17 games this season due to the Javonte Johnson injury. Senior co-captain guard K.J. Jenkins the start in Johnson’s place, finishing with 7 points and just a tick under 20 minutes at 19:59.

Here’s a look at a few notable UNM lineups from Monday’s game, starting with the starters:

STARTING LINEUP
• Who: Jaelen House/Jamal Mashburn Jr./K.J. Jenkins/Josiah Allick/Morris Udeze
• Point differential: +3 (32-29)
• Time on court: 17:48
• NOTE: Solid showing with this starting five considering it was the first time the starting unit changed in 17 games, which sort of messes with rhythm and rotations and when players are usually getting their first break and all that stuff. The ball moved well with this unit with seven of UNM’s 16 assists coming from the time this group was on the floor.

BEST LINEUP
• Who: Jaelen House/Donovan Dent/Jamal Mashburn Jr./Birima Seck/Josiah Allick
• Point differential: +3 (5-2)
• Time on court: 2:12
• NOTE: It was only a little more than two minutes on the court together, but this group was looking good with Allick at the 5 and Seck playing the 4. Also, Dent running point and getting House off the ball showed some glimpses of good things. One little nugget I liked was seeing Dent at the top of the key, pass to one side of the court or the other to a running House, who is coming off a screen, with House pretty much immediately getting the ball down into the post to one of the Lobo bigs. By not trying to get that entry pass in from just the primary point guard dribbling to one side of the court and forcing it, the Dent to a flashing House to one of the posts seemed to get the ball inside, and in a good deep position for Morris Udeze or Josiah Allick to work with.

WORST LINEUP
• Who: Donovan Dent/K.J. Jenkins/Jaelen House/Birima Seck/Morris Udeze
• Point differential: -2 (2-4)
• Time on court: 2:07
NOTE: Not much to choose from in a night with just nine total lineup combinations, but in just more than 2 minutes together, this unit managed just 1 bucket in four possessions.

Around the Mountain…

There was only one Mountain West team in action on Monday night, and it was the Lobos in a nonconference game.

Here is a recap of Saturday’s scores and this week’s scores and scheduled of Mountain West games:

SATURDAY (Jan. 7)
• Nevada 67, San Jose State 40
• San Diego State 80, Wyoming 75
• Colorado State 79, Fresno State 57
• Boise State 82, Utah State 59
• UNLV 84, New Mexico 77

MONDAY
• New Mexico 82, Oral Roberts 75

TUESDAY
• Air Force at Colorado State, 7 p.m. MT
• Fresno State at San Jose State, 7 p.m. MT
• Wyoming at Utah State, 8:30 p.m. MT
• Nevada at San Diego State, 8 p.m. PT/9 p.m. MT

WEDNESDAY
• Boise State at UNLV, 8 p.m. PT/9 p.m. MT

FRIDAY
• Utah State at Nevada, 8 p.m. PT/9 p.m. MT

SATURDAY
• Air Force at Fresno State, 4 p.m. PT/5 p.m. MT
• Colorado State at UNLV, 4 p.m. PT/5 p.m. MT
• New Mexico at No. 23 San Diego State, 6 p.m. PT/7 p.m. MT
• Boise State at Wyoming, 9 p.m. MT

Mountain West standings…

Here are the Mountain West standings entering the midweek slate of games:

4-0 Nevada
3-0 San Diego State
2-1 Boise State
2-1 Utah State
2-2 Fresno State
2-2 New Mexico
2-2 San Jose State
1-2 UNLV
1-3 Colorado State
0-3 Air Force
0-3 Wyoming

Poll position…

As expected after their 0-2 week, the Lobos officially dropped out of the AP Top 25 rankings with Monday’s new poll being released.

San Diego State checked in at No. 23 in Monday’s new AP Top 25 college basketball poll, the only Mountain West team to be ranked.

New Mexico has two points this week in the “others receiving votes” section of the poll, having appeared on one voter’s ballot at No. 24. Nevada had one point, appearing on one ballot at No. 25.

Mountain West Player(s) of the Week…

UNLV’s E.J. Harkless was named the Mountain West player of the week on Monday morning for his huge game (25 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists) in the Pit on Saturday.

Nevada forward Nick Davidson was named the freshman of the week, averaging 13.5 points and 6.0 rebounds in a 2-0 week for the Wolf Pack.

Here’s a look at the winners of the weekly awards so far this season (POW/FOW):

• Nov. 14
> POW: Darrion Trammell, San Diego State
> FOW: Darrion Williams, Nevada

• Nov. 21:
> POW: E.J. Harkless, UNLV
> FOW: Darrion Williams, Nevada

• Nov. 28:
> POW: Morris Udeze, New Mexico
> FOW: Corbin Green, Air Force

• Dec. 5:
> POW: Max Rice, Boise State
> FOW: Donovan Dent, New Mexico

• Dec. 12:
> POW: Noah Reynolds, Wyoming
> FOW: Rytis Petraitis, Air Force

• Dec. 19:
> POW: Isaiah Stevens, Colorado State
> FOW: Rytis Petraitis, Air Force

• Dec. 26:
> POW: Will Baker, Nevada
> FOW: Rytis Petraitis, Air Force

• Jan. 2:
> POW: Matt Bradley, San Diego State
> FOW: Rytis Petraitis, Air Force

• Jan. 9:
> POW: E.J. Harkless, UNLV
> FOW: Nick Davidson, Nevada

Stats and stats…

Here is the postgame stat sheet from Monday’s game: New Mexico 82, Oral Roberts 75

And if you prefer the digital stats, here you go: New Mexico 82, Oral Roberts 75

UP NEXT…

Saturday, the Lobos return to Mountain West Conference play and get the league favorite, No. 23 San Diego State at p.m. at Viejas Arena.

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