Sports Desk: UNM men’s basketball has high hopes headed into signing period

Local Sports

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – In this edition of the Sports Desk we start with Lobo men’s basketball, as they have been recruiting hard in the offseason. The University of New Mexico loses four players from this past season heading into 2021 but Head Coach Paul Weir knows what gaps he needs to fill in the roster moving forward.

“I think out biggest needs, or where I am really trying to attack the most is point guard, first and foremost. I feel like, you know obviously we need to get deeper there, we need to have good solid point guard play. We went into last year with two point guards on our roster and unfortunately halfway through we didn’t have either of them. So, we are trying to make sure that doesn’t happen again, and then obviously with Vance moving on, we have a little bit of a hole upfront as well. We have some big men that we like, but they are inexperienced and trying to kind of find someone that can fit upfront or maybe two guys to kind of help with the load up there, I think that’s where our focus is,” said Weir.

UNM has already got a verbal commitment from a junior college transfer and has been on the radar of some good D1 talent but overall, Coach Weir hopes to find players that fit the team’s mold. Weir feels that his staff has done well so far in the recruitment process, even with the current pandemic making things interesting heading into the signing period.

“We are fortunate enough, I think, to have one that we are comfortable will sign when signing period begins and we need to add a few more, and as all the information comes in from the NBA Draft and the NCAA with transfer rules, its kind of moving every day. It’s going to move probably all spring and all summer. We just have to kind of be on our toes and very prepared, and then be able to kind of execute when its time to execute,” said Weir.

The initial signing date for Division I Basketball is April 15, with the final signing date being May 19.

Sticking with Lobo men’s basketball, assistant coach Jerome Robinson did his part to help give back to the community over the weekend. UNM Athletics started an initiative to help local businesses during this pandemic, and Jerome along with his wife gave out pizzas to workers at an Albertsons grocery store.

“We know that they are basically on the front lines dealing with thousands of customers on a weekly basis, and we just wanted to show our solidarity and our support for them and just bring them something as simple as a pizza. We wanted to really show how much we appreciate them and obviously appreciate their support of UNM and UNM Athletics,” said Robinson.

Former Lobo basketball player and La Cueva High School grad, Kory Alford hit the headlines as he took the first head coaching position of his career. Kory is the son of former UNM Head Basketball Coach Steve Alford and Kory has spent the past five seasons as an assistant under his dad. Kory will now head the Huntington Men’s Basketball program in 2021. This program is apart of the NAIA and is located in Huntington, Indiana.

The Isotopes were supposed to have their 2020 Home Opener on Tuesday but the COVID-19 pandemic put a stop to that. The ‘Topes’ held a virtual home opener for fans on Tuesday though, showing the Mariachi’s first game on the internet. General Manager, John Traub says that the Isotopes are doing all they can to keep the fans engaged with the club and that the organization is remaining ready.

“First time in 33 years of my career that I don’t have to care about the weather on opening day but you know what baseball has always been apart of the healing process in this country and I will tell you that we will be here when its time. We are staying as engaged as possible, in that we are ready as possible, so that when and if the time comes if they say play ball, that we are ready to rock and roll,” said John Traub.

Local professional archer, Cassidy Cox is one of the best in the country but just like every athlete at the moment, the 6-time World Champion has seen her career come to a standstill.

“At the end of March our indoor nationals was supposed to take place in Louisville, Kentucky but that got cancelled a few days before and then our outdoor season was supposed to start in April but the first three tournaments got postponed to this fall. So, currently, the next competition that is still on schedule isn’t until August but we will see if that takes place or not,” said Cox.

Cox is currently waiting out the pandemic in Western Maryland and while she waits she is still remaining sharp but also trying to enjoy a break. “I have been able to shoot my bow, there is enough space in the yard for me to shoot. So, I have been able to keep up with that and its actually been kind of nice just being able to relax and shoot my bow for fun, without having to worry about another tournament coming up any time soon,” said Cox.

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