Paul Weir said he learned never to give up in his first season as the University of New Mexico men’s basketball coach. Weir said some of those in the coaching community suggested that he focus on what’s to come since he was in his first season.
Fans are forgiving when coaches are in their first season. Weir did not do that and the experience was rewarding for him and his team on and off the court. The Lobos style of play also proved to be beneficial as the season continued.
Players learned to be unselfish and not worry about how many minutes they were playing. The also bought into multiple starting lineups. Starters were decided by defense. Players who gave the best defensive effort in practice were rewarded with a spot in the starting lineup.
Weir believes he is on to something with the way he likes to do things with Lobo basketball. “It has the potential to possibly be a powerful brand for us and I think it did that down the stretch, not only an on the court thing, but as an off the court philosophy,” said Weir. “I’m really excited about it. I’m really hopeful that we will even be able to take it another step from here.”
The Lobos exceeded expectations this season. The finished with a 19-15 record. The Lobos were picked in the preseason to finish 9th in the Mountain West. They finished third and even had a chance to make the NCAA Tournament after advancing to the Mountain West Tournament Championship Game. The future looks solid as the Lobos only lost three seniors to graduation.
Next season they will add size to their returning nucleus with a handful of 6 foot 9 and 6 foot 10 players. “I feel much better about our size obviously,” said Weir. “I feel good about the culture of guys coming in. I still think we may add another guy or two. I think particularly this year we lacked some real athleticism on the perimiter.” Weir will hit the recruiting trail Friday.