ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE)- Basketball fans across the state of New Mexico were shocked at the hire of Paul Weir as head coach of UNM Men’s Basketball. Current Lobo players were shocked, but at the same time seemed very optimistic about their new head coach.
“You know I love coach Neal, and we had a great run, but I am excited by this new energy, excited by how committed he is”, said UNM Forward Connor MacDougall.
Weir amassed a 28-6 record last season with the Aggies, and in that time he held an unprecedented 20 game winning streak. He led his team to the NCAA tournament in his first year as head coach and that really resonates with the players at UNM.
“I saw the way that he made the New Mexico state guys play, and the passion that they had, so I feel that he get us to do that and it’s going to be a great move”, said UNM Guard/Forward Dane Kuiper.
Prior to the firing of Craig Neal, his players began to get out of dodge. 4 scholarship guys including: Elijah Brown, Sam Logwood, Jalen Harris, and Anthony Mathis. Reports of players being whiling to stay pending the new head coach came out, and according to one player on the fence he could be returning. Anthony Mathis told KRQE Sports that he is around 70 percent sure that he will return to Lobo Basketball next season. He has to go over some things but he likes being a lobo and likes Paul Weir’s approach to the game. It would be a breath of fresh air from last season for Mathis.
“For me personally I felt so uncomfortable out there. Every time I would shoot the ball, I was kind of looking over my shoulder you know what I mean. When you go into the game second guessing yourself it’s not good for anybody”, said Anthony Mathis.
Weir said that he will not contact any of his players for recruitment, but will not stop them from contacting him. National Signing day is on Wednesday and Coach Weir seems optimistic on recruiting and the team that he has coming back.
“You know a lot of people have a clean slate, let’s start fresh, let’s get to know each other. Staff members, organizational members, players, and let’s just put the best team we can on the floor”, said UNM Head Basketball Coach Paul Weir.
It was a shocking announcement across the state, and it was a tough announcement for Coach Weir to tell his players at New Mexico State in a meeting, but the players seemed to be understanding. “You know he is not trying to hurt anyone’s feelings or anything like that. It was a business decision and a decision for him and his family, and we wish him all the best. Except for when he’s playing against the aggies”, said NMSU Guard Matt Taylor.