Rested Lobos ready for road tests
If Tuesday is any indication, the Lobos are in great shape.
Coming off a win over UTEP just a few days before and still in preparation for Saturday’s road game at Bradley, the University of New Mexico was on the floor Tuesday, and the result was simple. According to head coach Paul Weir, it was the team’s best practice of the season.
Off to a 3-1 start, the Lobos will put the feel-good vibes to the test in the first of two road games on the eve of final exams. After Saturday’s game in Peoria, Ill., the team will fly to El Paso on Sunday to get ready for the Dec. 4 game at New Mexico State.
“I felt really really good about us Tuesday night,” Weir said. “Tuesday night was the best I’ve felt about us in a while.”
That’s largely because the Lobos had a week between games, a break Weir used to dial down his coaching on mechanics in order to get back to the basics with each individual. It gave the Lobos a rare chance to focus on their own style instead of plowing through a scouting report and trying to get ready for the next opponent.
Part of that focus was on power forward Corey Manigault. The 6-foot-8 junior was the team’s leading scorer through the first three games but found himself in Weir’s doghouse after just four minutes of the game against UTEP. He never stepped on the court for the final 36 minutes.
Weir hasn’t addressed what happened, but did say he and Manigault have discussed it and the matter is considered resolved.
“In my mind at this point, we’re good to go,” Weir said.
He had similar instances on a few occasions with last year’s team. It’s part of the growing process for a player and a team still learning the ways of Weir’s system.
“Corey is a young man, growing in a lot of different ways,” Weir said. “He’s been terrific ever since.”
Hall pass: Lobos assistant coach Jerome Robinson will be inducted into the Bradley athletic hall of fame at halftime of Saturday’s game. A Toronto native who played four seasons with the Braves from 1997-2001, he averaged just 5.3 points a game until his senior year.
The summer between his junior and senior years, he was named to the Canadian national team and spent countless hours in the gym working out with two-time NBA most valuable player Steve Nash.
Just a 20 percent shooter from 3-point range his first three years in college, Robinson had a breakout senior season and averaged nearly 17 points a game while more than doubling his shooting percentage from beyond the arc.
He is in his second season on UNM’s staff, moving to Albuquerque to join Weir after he spent three years as an assistant at St. Bonaventure.
Water slide: Weir said he has gone about three weeks without drinking anything but water. It’s part of a game he and the team had a competition to see who could go the longest drinking just water.
It’s actually the second version of the game; walk-on Jordan Arroyo was the last player standing the first time around. Weir said it’s all done on the honor system. If a player, manager or coach drinks anything else, they’re out.
Weir said Thursday that he and a few managers were still on a water-only streak.
Saturday: New Mexico (3-1) at Bradley (6-2), 6 p.m. in Peoria, Ill.
Radio: KVSF-AM 1400 and KKOB-AM (770).
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