Journal staff writer Geoff Grammer shares some of the conversations he has on the beat covering a wide variety of sports in New Mexico, primarily UNM Lobos basketball, through his Talking Grammer podcast. For those fans of the written word, check out Geoff’s articles published in the Journal.
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Here is a list of past episodes of the Talking Grammer podcast with most recent episode at the top.
Talking Grammer, Ep. 61: Transferring Lobo Josiah Allick
In Episode 61 of the Talking Grammer podcast, I catch up with now former UNM starting power forward Josiah Allick who caught Lobo fans by surprise this past week when he entered his name into the NCAA transfer portal. What went into his decision? Was there a problem with coaches, teammates or will he be getting more NIL money by going elsewhere? He explains his decision and discusses his one season with the Lobos basketball program. (posted March 26, 2023)
Read more about my conversation with Josiah Allick.
Talking Grammer, Ep. 60: Nevada coach Steve Alford
In Episode 60 of the Talking Grammer podcast, I catch up with former UNM and current Nevada coach Steve Alford ahead of Tuesday’s Mountain West Conference showdown in the Pit between his current and former teams. His first return to the Pit in 2020 had about 12,000 fans on hand in a game in which neither team had postseason or league title hopes. This go ’round will have 15,000 in the Pit and both teams are in the hunt for the Big Dance and a league title. There’s also sound from UNM’s Richard Pitino and Jamal Mashburn, Jr. (posted Feb. 6, 2023)
Read more about my conversation with Steve Alford.
Talking Grammer, Ep. 59: MWC Commissioner Gloria Nevarez
In Episode 59 of the Talking Grammer podcast, I have a brief conversation with new Mountain West Conference Commissioner Gloria Nevarez, who was in Albuquerque this past week. Just the second-ever commissioner in the Mountain West, Nevarez and I talk about the leagues current positioning in the college athletics landscape, how realignment might affect the league, what the future of the mutlimedia rights deal is and just how important a healthy basketball league is to the conference as it hopes as many as five teams could play in this year’s NCAA Tournament. (posted Jan. 28, 2023)
Read more about my conversation with Gloria Nevarez.
Talking Grammer, Ep. 58: UNM’s Morris Udeze
In Episode 58 of the Talking Grammer podcast, I talk with UNM Lobo forward Morris Udeze. He had a four-game streak of double-doubles, has been stepping up his rebounding game of late and the additions of he and Josiah Allick in the offseason have proven to be what the program had hoped. Their presence has been vital in elevating the Lobos to title contenders again. We talk about that, about his teammates, about his being ‘Uncle Mo’ to his three freshmen teammates/roommates and what can still be achieved by this Lobos team that sits at 18-2. (posted Jan. 22, 2023)
Read more about my conversation with Morris Udeze.
Talking Grammer, Ep. 57: UNM’s Dave Pilipovich
In Episode 57 of the Talking Grammer podcast, as Mountain West Conference play is about to begin, I talk with UNM Lobo assistant to the head coach Dave Pilipovich, the former Air Force head coach and now three-time guest on the podcast, about his unique perspective on the challenges of league play, being a part of a 12-0 team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, what his relationship with Richard Pitino is like and what it is he does every day in his unique role with the Lobo basketball team. (posted Dec. 27, 2022)
Read more about my conversation with Dave Pilipovich.
Talking Grammer, Ep. 56: Rick Pitino vs Richard Pitino
In Episode 56 of the Talking Grammer podcast, ahead of Sunday’s Pitino vs. Pitino game in the Pit between the Iona Gaels and UNM Lobos, we hear sound from both head coaches — Rick and Richard Pitino — and have conversations with the great Dick Vital and with Dan McHale, the former Lobo assistant who has the unique perspective not only of having coached under both Rick and Richard Pitino, but having been on the flight home with both men after the last time the two coached against each other in 2015. We touch on why the game is being played, the attention its garnering, and most important of all, will Richard Pitino try to match his dad’s elite suit game on Sunday? (posted Dec. 16, 2022)
Read more about this Pitino vs. Pitino podcast.
Talking Grammer, Episode 55: UNM Lobo coach Richard Pitino
In Episode 55 of the Talking Grammer podcast, after a rather unique first month to the season for the UNM Lobos for a variety of reasons, I thought it would be a good time to sit down with Lobo coach Richard Pitino to talk about the canceled rivalry series with NMSU and how that, along with the team’s fast start (7-0 at time of this podcast), played into the decision to find a new, short-notice game coming up in Las Vegas vs. San Francisco. We also talk game-day routine, the upcoming game against his dad’s Iona Gaels and go player-by-player for a break down of how each Lobo has played so far this season. (posted Dec. 3, 2022)
Read more about my conversation with Richard Pitino
Talking Grammer, Episode 54: Former UNM Lobo Cameron Bairstow
In Episode 54 of the Talking Grammer podcast, I played a little catch up with former Lobo basketball great Cameron Bairstow who lives in Australia. We talk about his professional career, from the NBA to overseas and playing in Australia — both professionally and with the Australian National team — as well as his recent decision to retire due to injuries. Cam is now starting a career as a sports agent. We also talk about his upcoming trip back to the Unites States where he hopes to catch a game in the Pit and see his younger brother, Sean Bairstow, play for the Utah State Aggies, where he’s a senior guard. (posted Nov. 14, 2022)
Read more about my conversation with Cameron Bairstow
Talking Grammer, Episode 53: College basketball’s Ken Pomeroy
In Episode 53 of the Talking Grammer podcast, I sat down for a conversation with college basketball analytics guru Ken Pomeroy. As the 2022-23 college basketball season begins, I wanted fans to get a good understanding how his ratings work on KenPom.com, how the preseason ratings are formulated and how a team like the UNM Lobos could be rated 8th in the Mountain West right now when the preseason poll ranked them 5th (and I even ranked them 3rd). Let’s take a dive inside the mind of KenPom. (Posted Nov. 7, 2022)
Read more about my conversation with Ken Pomeroy
Talking Grammer, Ep. 52: Mountain West hoops preview
In Episode 52 of the Talking Grammer podcast, I offer up an 11-team Mountain West Conference basketball preview as the 2022-23 season starts this week. The podcast features storylines and sound from each of the league’s 11 coaches and is presented in order of the preseason media poll: SDSU (4:10), Wyoming (11:40), Boise State (18:45), Colorado State (26:40), UNM (34:50), UNLV (42:00), Fresno State (46:30), Utah State (51:15), Nevada (57:35), San Jose State (66:05) and Air Force (70:55). Hope you enjoy. (Posted Nov. 1, 2022)
Read more about my 2022-23 Mountain West Conference preview
Talking Grammer, Episode 51: UNM Lobo guard K.J. Jenkins
In Episode 51 of the Talking Grammer podcast, we cover a lot of ground with Lobo guard K.J. Jenkins, from his riding motorcycles growing up in Georgia and his relationship with his cousin Deandre Hopkins, the All-Pro wide receiver of the Arizona Cardinals, to his college basketball journey that has included getting only one Division I scholarship offer out of high school, redshirting at a DII school, playing in junior college and now his being voted by his teammates a team co-captain. (Posted Oct. 24, 2022)
Read more about my conversation with K.J.Jenkins
Talking Grammer, Episode 50: New Lobo forwards Morris Udeze and Josiah Allick
In Episode 50 of the Talking Grammer podcast, I have a conversation with the Lobos’ two new big men Josiah Allick and Morris Udeze. The pair is being counted on to add size, strength and physicality that was lacking on last year’s UNM hoops roster. I also go over the Lobos’ surprising scrimmage result from Saturday against Northern Arizona. (Posted Oct. 17, 2022)
Read more about my conversation with Morris Udeze and Josiah Allick
Talking Grammer, Episode 49: Lobos Jaelen House and Jamal Mashburn Jr.
In Episode 49 of the Talking Grammer podcast, I have a conversation with the Lobos’ two returning All-Mountain West guards, Jaelen House and Jamal Mashburn, Jr., about what they learned in Year 1 at UNM about themselves and each other, and what fans should expect from Year 2 from the highest scoring returning backcourt in the league. Both have NCAA Tournament expectations, but don’t shy away from acknowledging the work starts with defense. (Posted Oct. 10, 2022)
Read more about my conversation with Jaelen House and Jamal Mashburn Jr.
Talking Grammer, Episode 48: UNM assistant Tarvish Felton
In Episode 48 of the Talking Grammer podcast, I have a conversation with new Lobo basketball assistant Tarvish Felton, who worked at Utah State for a decade and was at Fresno State the past four seasons. He told me stories of coaching Sam Merrill and Orlando Robinson and old WAC rivalries with NMSU. So what’s his role now with the Lobos and how good does he think this roster is? (Posted Oct. 3, 2022)
Read more about my conversation with Tarvish Felton
Talking Grammer, Episode 47: UNM head coach Richard Pitino
In Episode 47 of the Talking Grammer podcast, as the first official team practices for the 2022-23 men’s basketball season are starting, I thought it would be a good time to catch up with second-year Lobos coach Richard Pitino as expectations have been elevated for his team. How did the offseason go? How is putting up with his dad on Twitter? Which player was the offseason MVP? And lots more. (Posted Sept. 26, 2022)
Read more about my conversation with Richard Pitino
Talking Grammer, Episode 46: UNM point guard Jaelen House
In Episode 46 of the Talking Grammer podcast, in an interview recorded in June, I caught up Arizona State transfer Jaelen House who is vying to be the starting point guard for the UNM Lobos this season. “The ball finds energy,” he told me, which sums up what his approach to the game is. He plays hard — on defense, especially — and feeds off the crowd. We talk about his hair, his rich hoops DNA and why he decided to branch out from his Arizona roots. (Posted Oct. 8, 2021)
Read more about my conversation with Jaelen House
Talking Grammer, Episode 45: UNM football coach Danny Gonzales
In Episode 45 of the Talking Grammer podcast, I caught up with second year Lobo football coach Danny Gonzales ahead of his program’s 2021 season in an interview that has less to do with X’s and O’s and more to do with his growing up in Albuquerque, his role in the Athletic Department beyond coaching football and, yes, even his sensitive side. From his memories of Dukes baseball and Lobo basketball growing up to the split personalities he shows on the sidelines vs. at home with his family, we cover a lot of ground. (Posted Aug. 26, 2021)
Read more about my conversation with Danny Gonzales
Talking Grammer, Episode 44: Former Lobo Anthony Mathis
In Episode 44 of the Talking Grammer podcast, I caught up former Lobo Anthony Mathis ahead of his playing both in the Lobo alumni all-star game in the Pit and as part of the Enchantment TBT team that will play in the $1 million, winner-take-all The Basketball Tournament event later this month. We cover his time as a Lobo, his leaving for Oregon, his playing in the G-League and what he plans to do if friend and former teammate Joe Furstinger flexes on him in the All-Star game or in any pickup game the two play each other.
(Posted July 8, 2021)
Read more about my conversation with Anthony Mathis
Talking Grammer, Episode 43: Former Lobo Makuach Maluach
In Episode 43 of the Talking Grammer podcast, I caught up with Makuach Maluach who recently made official his decision to move on from UNM after graduating and his pursuit now to play professional basketball. We talk about his degree, his future, the future of the Lobo basketball team, practicing with new coach Richard Pitino and I see what he thinks of my list of my Top 5 memories covering his four-year Lobo hoops career. (Posted May 27, 2021)
Read more about my conversation with Makuach Maluach
Talking Grammer, Episode 42: UNM Lobo soccer coach Heather Dyche
In Episode 42, I caught up with UNM Lobo women’s soccer coach Heather Dyche ahead of her program hosting the Mountain West soccer championship match against San Diego State. While we talk about the game, a possible NCAA Tournament berth and her team’s recent MWC awards (including who she thinks the league snubbed from her team), she also indulges me in some Ted Lasso talk and you might be surprised who she says is most like the Roy Kent character on her team. Fun conversation here with Heather that covers a lot of ground. (Posted April 16, 2021)
Read more about my conversation with Heather Dyche
Talking Grammer, Episode 41: Andy Katz teams with NBA on TNT crew
In Episode 41, I caught up with former Albuquerque Journal staffer Andy Katz to talk about his time spent with the NBA on TNT crew over an 18-day span in Atlanta covering the NCAA Tournament, including Charles Barkley at one point saying he would bet the Albuquerque Journal doesn’t even exist anymore. Not only does it, but now we’ve got Andy on the podcast (for a second time) talking about it. Katz also offers up some thoughts on UNM’s new hoops hire, Richard Pitino. (Posted April 3, 2021)
Read more about my conversation with Andy Katz
Talking Grammer, Episode 40: New Lobo coach Richard Pitino
In Episode 40, I have a brief cell phone (recored for the the podcast) conversation Tuesday with newly hired UNM Lobo men’s basketball coach Richard Pitino. We talked about what didn’t work at Minnesota, what he loves about the UNM opportunity and the influences on him as a coach from people like his dad, Hall of Famer Rick Pitino, and Billy Donovan, who had some guidance in his hiring at UNM. And what can Lobo fans expect to see on the court from a Pitino-coached team? He explains. (Posted March 16, 2021)
Read more about my conversation with Richard Pitino
Talking Grammer, Episode 39: UNM Lobo senior Makuach Maluach
In Episode 39, I have a brief, but insightful conversation with Lobo senior wing Makuach Maluach. Due to the state of New Mexico’s public health order, the senior from Australia is about to play his “Senior Night” game at the U.S. Air Force Academy for the Lobos final “home” game of the season — 400 miles north of the Pit, where he quietly etched his name deep into Lobo record books. We talk about his future (will he come back with the NCAA not counting this season against player eligibility?), the past (the bond he formed with teammates in that 2017-18 freshman season), the time he asked Paul Weir on a recruiting call to call back because he was busy working, and a lot more. Maluach is one of my favorite Lobos I’ve covered. Hope you enjoy the brief talk we had. (Posted Feb. 18, 2021)
Read more about my conversation with Makuach Maluach.
Talking Grammer, Episode 38: CSU Rams head coach Niko Medved
In Episode 38, I catch up with Colorado State head coach Niko Medved about his team that was supposed to be a year away, but didn’t care and put itself right in the middle of the Mountain West title race this season led by a pair of sophomore Player of the Year candidates and a roster without a senior. Medved, who was an assistant at CSU from 2007-2013, recalled one painful Lobo memory in Moby Arena — Kendall Williams’ 46 point game with 10 made 3-pointers that pretty much clinched the 2013 MWC title for UNM with a couple weeks still to play. This year’s CSU team is flirting with being the first Rams squad since that 2013 season to get into the NCAA Tournament. How’d they get there? (Posted Feb. 8, 2021)
Read more about my conversation with Niko Medved.
Talking Grammer, Episode 37: UNM Lobo assistant coach Ralph Davis
In Episode 37, I catch up with Lobo basketball assistant coach Ralph Davis, in his third year with the program but first as assistant coach. We recorded this podcast last week as the team just returned to Albuquerque allowed for the first time this season to practice in the state due to the public health order. We talked about him enjoying being home for trash day, winning the 2003 New Jersey high school triple jump state championship, he asked about my love of the movie La Bamba and, of course, we talk Lobo hoops and whether his time as a junior college coach prepared him for this season. (Posted Feb. 1, 2021)
Read more about my conversation with Ralph Davis.
Talking Grammer, Episode 36: Lobos special assistant Dave Pilipovich
In Episode 36, I catch up with former Air Force head coach Dave Pilipovich about his new role as special assistant to the head coach for UNM Lobo men’s basketball in what has been a crazy season of relocation, on-court struggles and having to find quarters for washing machines on the road. Dave talks about the new perspective he’s getting from outside the head coaching spotlight and how he hopes to help Lobo players and Lobo coach Paul Weir in any way he can. We also talk about the Mountain West overall and how many teams he thinks might get into the NCAA Tournament. Hope you enjoy. (Posted Jan. 25, 2021)
Read more about my conversation with Dave Pilipovich.
Talking Grammer, Episode 35: Lobo assistant coach Scott Padgett
In Episode 35, I catch up with former Kentucky Wildcat national champion, former NBA first round draft pick and current UNM Lobos assistant coach Scott Padgett. We talk about the craziness of this season, the unique time to move a family — his wife and three kids — to New Mexico where schools haven’t been open for in-person learning and what he uses as a coach from influences like playing for Rick Pitino and Jerry Sloan or as a teammate alongside guys like John Stockton, Karl Malone and later Yao Ming. Fun trip down memory lane. (Posted Jan. 18, 2021)
Read more about my conversation with Scott Padgett.
Talking Grammer, Episode 34: Former Aggie player/Lobo assistant Brandon Mason
In Episode 34, I catch up with former NMSU Aggie basketball star and former UNM Lobo assistant coach Brandon Mason trying to figure out what he’s been up to since resigning in August. Has he been watching the Lobos, many of whom he recruited to Albuquerque? What’s next for him wit basketball in the state? And how’s that Lobo alumni team coming along for this summer’s TBT (The Basketball Tournament)? (Posted Jan. 11, 2021)
Read more about my conversation with Brandon Mason.
Talking Grammer, Episode 33: UNM Asst. Dan McHale on pressing
In Episode 33, I catch up with UNM assistant Dan McHale about what makes a good press defense? How often with the Lobos press this year? What are the pitfalls of pressing? The product of the Rick Pitino coaching tree walks me through some of the basics on what to look for in a press and why the Lobos will do more of it as the season goes on. Also, there’s some sound from NMSU coach Chris Jans about telling his team about their recent game cancellation in California as he found out during a practice and how he handled that, all before his team found out later (after I posted the pod) that they would go on pause for the second time this season. (Posted Jan. 4, 2021)
Read more about my conversation with Dan McHale.
Talking Grammer, Episode 32: NMSU Aggies coach Chris Jans
In Episode 32, I catch up with NMSU Aggies coach Chris Jans about life as a program relocated out of New Mexico due to the public health order, what he did on the team’s recent COVID pause (spoiler alert, we talked streamed shows and Christmas movies) and what he knows about his team so far in this crazy season as games are (finally) about to start again for his team. (Posted Dec. 26, 2020)
Read more about my conversation with Chris Jans.
Talking Grammer, Episode 31: La Cueva/UCLA graduate Bryce Alford
In Episode 31, I catch up with La Cueva High and UCLA graduate Bryce Alford about his participation in TBT (The Basketball Tournament), his take on what his older brother will be like in his first head coaching job at an NAIA school in Indiana, his dad’s return to he Mountain West with Nevada, what his own basketball future may bring and plenty of other things. (Posted July 9, 2020)
Read more about my conversation with Bryce Alford.
Talking Grammer, Episode 30: Albuquerque Academy graduate Cody Toppert
In Episode 30 I catch up with Albuquerque Academy graduate Cody Toppert, former NBA assistant and current Memphis Tigers assistant about his upcoming gig as a coach in TBT (The Basketball Tournament), the Elam Ending, coaching with Penny Hardaway, basketball analytics and whether or not his team has a shot at winning $1 million. (Posted on July 3, 2020)
Read more about my conversation with Cody Toppert
Talking Grammer, Episode 29: Lobo seniors Makuach Maluach, Keith McGee
In Episode 29 I catch up with UNM Lobo basketball rising seniors Makuach Maluach and Keith McGee (the team’s third senior, Zane Martin, was not available). They talk about the odd offseason being away from teammates, expectations for next year, who is the best at video games and what they’re learning watching ‘The Last Dance’ documentary on the Chicago Bulls. (Posted April 29, 2020)
Read more about my conversation with Makuach Maluach and Keith McGee.
Talking Grammer, Episode 28: UNM Lobos assistant Brandon Mason on ‘The Last Dance’
In Episode 28 I checked in with Lobo assistant coach and former NMSU Aggie player Brandon Mason to get his perspective on ‘The Last Dance’ documentary on the Chicago Bulls. Mason was a junior playing basketball in Chicago during the 1997-98 Bulls championship season, wore 23 throughout his career due to Michael Jordan and I ask him what if a 5-star recruit wants to play for the Lobos but thinks LeBron is better than MJ. There was also an accompanying video of my Zoom meeting interview with Mason HERE. (Posted April 21, 2020)
Read more about my conversation with Brandon Mason.
Talking Grammer, Episode 27: UNM Lobos assistant Dan McHale
In Episode 27 I catch up with Lobo hoops assistant coach Dan McHale to see what the heck college basketball coaches who aren’t allowed to be on the road recruiting or in the office due to coronavirus concerns are doing this time of year. Turns out, they’re still busy as ever. Dan walks us through his Rick Pitino coaching education, how UNM is recruiting now and some thoughts on next year’s team. (Posted on March 22, 2020)
Read more about my conversation with Dan McHale
Talking Grammer, Episode 26: UFC fighter Holly Holm
In Episode 26 I veer off course a bit from the usual college basketball topic to share with you a conversation I had with New Mexico’s own Holly Holm ahead of UFC 246 on Saturday night in Las Vegas, Nev. Holly is in the co-main event of UFC 246 against Raquel Pennington and while we touch on that some, the main hope was to talk with Holly in the time we got with her away from the rest of the media about her connection with the fans of New Mexico who love her so much and her sense of obligation to never let them down. (Posted on Jan. 17, 2020)
Read more about my conversation with Holly Holm
Talking Grammer, Episode 25: Air Force coach Dave Pilipovich
In Episode 25 I talk with Air Force coach Dave Pilipovich about coaching at a service academy and how good, at least offensively, his Falcons are this season. He also shares some memories about games coaches against the UNM Lobos, about Lobo superfan Snake, and about how he keeps up with some of his past players, not in the NBA or playing overseas, but who are all serving in the Air Force now in various roles around the globe. (Posted on Jan. 11, 2020)
Read more about my conversation with Air Force coach Dave Pilipovich and an update on Lobo hoops
Talking Grammer, Episode 24: Lobo PG J.J. Caldwell, MWC talk and my daughter
In Episode 24 I talk with Lobo point guard J.J. Caldwell about his fast start to the Lobos season, the winding road that got him to Albuquerque and who his favorite teammate to pass to on a fast break is. I also give a quick run down of my Mountain West power rankings heading into a rare early week of conference play before wrapping up the podcast with an interview of my 10-year-old daughter, who is ready for another season of picking games head to head with me by flipping a coin and, likely, picking more games right than me anyway. (Posted on Dec. 4, 2019)
Read more about my conversation with JJ Caldwell, my early December Mountain West power rankings and an interview with my 10-year-old daughter
Talking Grammer, Episode 23: Former Journal staffer Andy Katz from Legends Classic in Brooklyn
Episode 23 includes a conversation with one-time Albuquerque Journal staffer Andy Katz, the former Lobo hoops beat writer who went on to the Fresno Bee, ESPN and now spreads his work around with NCAA.com, Turner Sports, The BigTen Network, Fox and elsewhere. We talked from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn where the UNM Lobos had just beat Andy’s alma mater Wisconsin Badgers. Andy talks Lobo memories, current state of the UNM program and his ties to Albuquerque. (Posted on Nov. 27, 2019)
Read more about my talk with Andy Katz and some thoughts from Brooklyn on the Lobos in the Legends Classic.
Talking Grammer, Episode 22: UNM staffer Ralph Davis on coaching NMSU star Trevelin Queen in junior college
Episode 22 covers a lot of ground. I interview UNM Director of Operations Ralph Davis for a new angle on getting insight on New Mexico State star Trevelin Queen when he played for Davis in junior college two years ago at New Mexico Military Institute. After the interview, I also take your questions about the Lobo basketball team and use sound from a Paul Weir press conference after the Nov. 19 loss at UTEP and offer my own analysis to answer those reader/listener questions. (Posted on Nov. 20, 2019)
Read more about Ralph Davis on Trevelin Queen and some post-UTEP analysis of the team.
Talking Grammer, Episode 21: A conversation with Lobos hoops staffer Craig Snow
Episode 21, in his second stint with the Lobos basketball team, now as the special assistant to the head coach, Craig Snow talks about the road that brought him from being a four-year starter in college at Evansville to coaching high school basketball in Albuquerque then getting into the college game with the Lobos before being a Division II head coach and athletic director at New Mexico Highlands before his return to UNM. He talks about the potential of this year’s team and even indulges me with some random analytics talk at the end. (Posted on Nov. 13, 2019)
Read more about Craig Snow and his role with UNM hoops.
Talking Grammer, Episode 20: A conversation with Lobos captains JaQuan Lyle and Carlton Bragg
In Episode 20, the long-awaited return of the podcast, I talk with JaQuan Lyle and Carlton Bragg, the 23-year-old team captains who have taken an unlikely path from being two of the highest recruited players in the country in the Class of 2015 to being teammates in the 2019-20 season in Albuquerque. They talk about their journey, their expectations, what it’s like being roommates and some teammates Lobo fans should look out for. (Posted on Nov. 6, 2019)
Read more about JaQuan Lyle and Carlton Bragg as the season begins.
Talking Grammer, Episode 19: Part 1 of a conversation with UNM Lobos coach Paul Weir as season begins
In Episode 19, I ask Lobos coach Paul Weir for a state of the program assessment as the season begins on Tuesday in California. What has he learned in one season as coach, what might he change, and what can fans expect from him and his team? I split my interview with Paul into to parts. This is the first. (Posted on Nov. 4, 2018)
Read more about part 1 of my conversation with Paul Weir.
Talking Grammer, Episode 18: A conversation with new UNM Lobos point guard Keith McGee
In Episode 18, new UNM Lobo point guard Keith McGee talks about his growing up, what got him to UNM and he’s remarkably open about some insecurities he’s had as a player, saying he had to overcome confidence issues both at the junior college he played at last season and earlier this semester at UNM when he started playing with the Lobos. (Posted on Oct. 31, 2018)
Read more about my conversation with Keith McGee.
Talking Grammer, Episode 17: A conversation with Dick Hunsaker, a Clovis High graduate and college basketball coaching veteran
In Episode 17, I had a long talk with the man I consider the New Mexico coach that never was. Dick Hunsaker is a Clovis High graduate who has played for or coached with the likes of Don Haskins, Neil McCarthy and Rick Majerus while also having connections with Steve Alford and Craig Neal (heck, he was even once a part of a summer camp with Bob King and Norm Ellenberger). Hunsaker talks about all those connections and spending a week observing this year’s UNM Lobos and head coach Paul Weir. (Posted on Oct. 14, 2018)
Read more about my conversation with Dick Hunsacker.
Talking Grammer, Episode 16: A conversation Lobo teammates Vladimir Pinchuk and Makuach Maluach
In Episode 16, I have a conversation with Lobo sophomores Vladimir Pinchuk and Makuach Maluach. The two have a unique bond as they were not only the only two freshmen on last year’s team but were both living in the United States for the first time. They talk about their transition to a new country, college basketball and even interview each other about guilty pleasures like Pinchuk’s love of watching hundreds of episodes of Family Feud. (Posted on Oct. 4, 2018)
Read more about my conversation with Vladimir Pinchuk and Makuach Maluach.
Talking Grammer, Episode 15: A conversation with Indiana Pacers scout and Run & Stun press architect Kevin Mackey and Lobos coach Paul Weir
In Episode 15, I have a conversation with Indiana Pacers scout and former Cleveland State coach Kevin Mackey, the architect of the Run and Stun press that UNM Lobos head coach Paul Weir is trying to implement with his program. Mackey flew to Albuquerque a year ago to help the Lobos coaching staff with the system. He’s back a year later. What did he see with the Lobos using the press in Year 1, what started his use of the Press in the 1980s and what is Paul Weir’s level of commitment to it moving forward? (Posted on Sept. 19, 2018)
Read more about my conversation with Kevin Mackey and Paul Weir.
Talking Grammer, Episode 14: A conversation with UNM hoops assistant Jerome Robinson
In Episode 14, I have a conversation with UNM Lobos basketball assistant Jerome Robinson about his path to coaching. From a Jamaican family and growing up in Toronto, not only how’d he get into hoops, but how did he become one of Canada’s best? He was roommates with Steve Nash on the Canadian National team, once guarded a kid named Manu Ginobili long before he became an Olympic gold medalist or joined the NBA and became a four-time world champion. We talk about those things, how he got into coaching and what game brought a tear to the eye of the Lobos assistant last season? (Posted on Aug. 29, 2018)
Read more about my conversation with Jerome Robinson.
Talking Grammer, Episode 13: A conversation with longtime Journal preps editor James Yodice
In Episode 13, I sit down with longtime Journal prep sports editor James Yodice. We talk about the high school football season ahead, what it means to be the prep editor at the state’s largest paper (for my money, as tough a gig as there is in journalism), the time his computer caught fire, some of his favorite places to cover a game in the state and how much he enjoys having a colleague who sings the Alamogordo High School fight song during the hectic Friday nights. (Posted Aug. 24, 2018)
Read more about my conversation with James Yodice.
Talking Grammer, Episode 12: A conversation with UNM seniors Dane Kuiper and Anthony Mathis
Monday is the last first day of school for Dane Kuiper and Anthony Mathis. The two seniors on the Lobos basketball team sat down to talk about the journeys at UNM so far, the season ahead and the legacy they hope to cement in their final year at UNM. They also talk about when they first played each other in the 6th grade when Anthony was living in Oregon and Dane in Alaska, who talks more trash, is Dane really a good fisherman just because he has tattoos of fish and what are their memories of the run the team went on to finish last season? (Posted Aug. 20, 2018)
Read more about my conversation with Anthony Mathis and Dane Kuiper.
Talking Grammer, Episode 11: A recruiting conversation with Lobos hoops coach Paul Weir
Now that the July recruiting period is over, I sit down with Lobos hoops coach Paul Weir for some stories from the recruiting trail, and more. What does the intense July recruiting period really even mean anymore for a program like UNM? Is it even the best use of time and resources for a program like UNM (or others in the Mountain West) that seem to be made up of as many or more DI and junior college transfers than high school kids anymore? Plus, how his dad’s accordion playing helped send Weir down a path of coaching, the team’s locker room library and a plea for season ticket holders. (Posted Aug. 2, 2018)
Read more about my conversation with Paul Weir.
Talking Grammer, Episode 10: A conversation with former Lobo Alex Kirk
I talk some Lobo hoops after UNM coach Paul Weir held a mid-week press conference on the offseason state of the program and we hear from him on scheduling thoughts. The main guest is Los Alamos High and UNM graduate Alex Kirk. How is the former Lobos’ professional career progressing? Why isn’t he playing this weekend in the $2 million TBT event in Atlanta? Who won those heated pickup games in the Pit during his sophomore year rehabbing back from injury? And how in the world did he get lucky enough to date an Olympic volleyball medalist? (Posted July 27, 2018)
Read more about my conversation with Alex Kirk.
Talking Grammer, Episode 9: Rus Bradburd, Shawn Harrington and “All the Dreams We’ve Dreamed”
I veer off course from the usual Lobo hoops podcasts and talk to the author of “All the Dreams We’ve Dreamed” and the central figure of that book, former NMSU Aggie point guard Shawn Harrington, who in 2014 was shot while taking his daughter to school on the West Side of Chicago. Rus Bradburd, an NMSU professor and former Aggies coach who recruiting Shawn to Las Cruces in the 1990’s, talks about why he wrote the book and his relationship with his former player. Shawn walks us through that tragic morning and talks about what he hopes people take from the book. (Posted May 3, 2018)
Read more about the conversations with Rus Bradburd and Shawn Harrington and the book “All The Dreams We’ve Dreamed.”
Talking Grammer, Episode 8: Lobo transfers JaQuan Lyle and Vance Jackson
In Episode 8, I talk with Lobo basketball transfers JaQuan Lyle, the former two year starter at Ohio State, and Vance Jackson, who started as a freshman last season at UConn. The two sat out this season for UNM per NCAA transfer rules so we talked about how hard it was to watch their teammates, how hard UNM’s conditioning program is, the future of Lobo basketball and who actually won more games when the two played one-on-one over the past six months. (Posted March 24, 2018)
Read more about the conversations with JaQuan Lyle and Vance Jackson
Talking Grammer, Episode 7: Lobo coach Paul Weir and Lobo seniors — Antino Jackson and Joe Furstinger
Three Lobos play their final home game off the season March 3 in the Pit — Joe Furstinger, Antino Jackson and Sam Logwood. I talk with two of those three (Logwood couldn’t make the interview) about their memories and the legacies they hope to leave. I also talk with Paul Weir about the foundation these seniors have helped leave for not only the longterm, but just over the next week or so this season and how grateful he is for them taking a chance on him in his first year coaching the team when they could have moved on. (Posted March 3, 2018)
Read more about the conversations with Weir and the Lobo seniors
Talking Grammer, Episode 6: Former Lobo Danny Granger and my 8-year-old daughter, Jaedyn
Former NBA All Star and Lobo legend Danny Granger checks in on the podcast to talk college hoops, the FBI investigation into the sport, lots of Lobo memories and stories and what it’s like now working with the CBS Sports Network covering the game as an analyst. I also chat with my daughter, Jaedyn, about how she’s been beating me picking college basketball games all season by flipping a coin and how coaches and fans all across the conference now ask me all the time who she’s picking rather than who I think will win games. (Posted March 2, 2018)
Read more about the conversations with Danny Granger and my daughter
Talking Grammer, Episode 5: Lobo associate head coach Chris Harriman
Chris Harriman, the third season Lobo associate head coach and the one assistant coach hold over from the Craig Neal era, dishes on his time learning from Rick Majerus and Tim Miles, his addiction to coffee and the perspective gained from watching his 10-year-old son, Avery, battle cancer since the age of 2. (Posted Feb. 18, 2018)
Read more about the conversation with Chris Harriman
Talking Grammer, Episode 4: Lobo strength coach Tyler Stuart
The Lobos basketball team insists it’s all about hard work and intense conditioning enabling it to press for 40 minutes and run throughout each game to wear down opponents. Who’s the man behind the Lobo conditioning and what is his approach to getting the team in top physical shape? (Posted Jan. 30, 2018)
Read more about the conversation with Tyler Stuart
Talking Grammer, Episode 3: Lobos junior shooting guard Anthony Mathis
UNM junior Anthony Mathis, fresh off his heroics in helping the Lobos rally in the final minute to beat UNLV on the road, talks about his decision to remain with the program after first wanting to transfer before Paul Weir was hired, getting into shape and shooting with confidence. (Posted Jan. 20, 2018)
Read more about the conversation with Anthony Mathis
Talking Grammer, Episode 2: UNM staffers Brandon Mason and David Chiotti
Brandon Mason, the former Aggies basketball star and now UNM Lobos assistant, and David Chiotti, the onetime Lobos great now breaking into the coaching profession as a support staff member on Paul Weir’s Lobos’ staff, talk about this year’s team, playing professionally overseas and some battles against each other in the Rio Grande Rivalry between UNM and NMSU. (posted Aug. 23, 2017)
Read more about the conversation with Brandon Mason and David Chiotti
Talking Grammer, Episode 1: Weir’s Science
On the heels of the Journal publishing a four-part series called Weir’s Science laying out some of the major building blocks first year Lobos basketball coach Paul Weir has in mind for the program, Weir sits down with us to talk about his philosophy for building the program. (posted Aug. 16, 2017)
Read more about the conversation with Paul Weir