Lobos third in poll
UNM press release from Las Vegas
LAS VEGAS, NEV. — Under second-year head coach Paul Weir the University of New Mexico men’s basketball team was picked to finish third in the Mountain West this season in the 2018 Mountain West Preseason Poll, the league announced today (Oct. 16). Lobo redshirt-sophomore Vance Jackson was selected as 2018-19 MW Preseason Newcomer of the Year.
After shocking the league last season with a third-place regular-season finish following a ninth-place preseason ranking, the Lobos are expected to finish in the top tier of the conference for the second-straight season. Last season, the Lobos advanced to their first Mountain West Championship game since 2014 and broke program records for most 3-pointers in a season (367), most 3-point field goals attempted (979) and highest free throw percentage (77.7%).
2018 Regular-Season Champion Nevada finished atop the Predicted Order of Finish list with 207 points (18 first-place votes) in the poll voted on by the league’s media members. In second with 188 points and one first-place vote was last season’s 2018 MW Tournament Champion San Diego State, followed by UNM with 153 points. Boise State and Fresno State rounded out the top five, respectively.
*** WHAT’S YOUR VIEW OF POLL? The Mountain West preseason men’s basketball poll will be released today (Oct. 17). Feel free to let us know what you think of where the Lobos are picked to finish. Send thoughts to EnchantmentSportsNM@gmail.com.***
Lobo redshirt-sophomore and UConn transfer Jackson was selected as the Mountain West Preseason Newcomer of the Year after sitting out in 2017-18 due to NCAA transfer rules. As a freshman at UConn, Jackson made 21 starts in 32 appearances and averaged 8.1 points per game. In his 26.1 minutes per game, he shot 40.9 percent from the field, 39.7 from three and 67.6 percent from the free throw line. He was named ACC Rookie of the Week on two occasions and earned a spot on the AAC All-Rookie Team.
The Lobos return one starter in senior Dane Kuiper and four letter winners including Kuiper, fellow senior Anthony Mathis and sophomores and Makuach Maluach and Vladimir Pinchuk. Mathis finished last season ranked fourth in the nation in 3-point percentage while breaking the UNM program record for most 3-pointers in a conference season with 66.
(Click Tick Talk on Paul Weir and practice for Mark Smith’s latest take on Lobo basketball).
New Mexico opens its 2018-19 season with a road contest at CSUN on Nov. 6 before returning home for an exhibition against Northern New Mexico as part of the New Mexico Classic on Nov. 10. The first regular-season home game is slated for No. 13 against Iona.
Assistant Director of Athletic Communications
University of New Mexico