Paul Weir sounds excited about what will be his second basketball season as the head coach of the University of New Mexico Lobos. Unlike last year, Weir got a real recruiting season and chance to build his roster like he wanted.
“Really excited about our roster particularly up front and the depth and size that we have,” said Weir. “I think it’s going to allow us to play the way we want to play on both ends of the court and really impose our will on a game.”
Speaking of size, Weir announced that 6-foot-8 sophomore forward Corey Manigault had signed his letter of intent Tuesday morning. Manigault comes to the Lobos from Indian Hills Community College. The Lobos are hoping to get Kansas and Arizona State transfer Carlton Bragg on the floor early.
The team has filed a waiver with the NCAA to try and get the 6-foot-8 power forward on the court at the state of the season instead of second semester. The Lobos will need all hands on deck to compete in a Mountain West Conference that boosted its resume with talented signings throughout the league, especially at already talent rich Nevada.
The Wolfpack picked up a five star recruit in McDonald’s All American Jordan Brown. The 6-foot-11 Brown is rated as the 11th best high school player in the country according to Rivals.com.
“When I saw the Nevada news, I think I’ve been six months without a Diet Coke, I popped a Diet Coke,” said Weir. “It was a sight to see. You have to tip your cap to Nevada and Coach Musselman and their program, the type of players that they are bringing in is really upping the ante.”
Weir is still working on the Lobos schedule. A match up with St. Mary’s on the road at the Hall of Fame Classic in California is Dec. 7. The Lobos will play in one of three games in the triple header invitational at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
The Lobos will play 17 home games with Colorado, UTEP and New Mexico State making a stop at Dreamstyle Arena. Season tickets went on sale Monday with 21 sold. Weir is hoping to boost attendance to what it once was in the past and beyond.
“Nothing would make me more happy than to get our program back in the top 25 in attendance,” said Weir. “That’s obviously driven by season ticket holders. I’m really hoping, I think a lot of people are really hoping we can use the end of last season as a little bit of a jump start.”
The Lobos stormed up the conference ladder in the final part of last season and even advanced to the Mountain West Tournament Championship game with a chance to go to the NCAA Tournament. The Lobos fell short to San Diego State 82-75.