#115 New Mexico Men's Basketball 2019-2020 Preview

New Mexico Lobos
2019-2020 Overall Rank: #115
Conference Rank: #5 Mountain West
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Last year, New Mexico had their lowest win total in a single season since the 2003-04 season. The Lobos haven’t made the NCAA Tournament since 2014. It has been a rough couple of years for sure, but there is strong reason for optimism in 2019-20. The Lobos return five of their top six scorers while welcoming in three transfers that should immediately boost the team. Paul Weir is in just his third season as New Mexico head coach, but there should be a sense of urgency to get the Lobos back to the postseason.
2018-19 Record: 14-18, 7-11
2018-19 Postseason: None
Coach: Paul Weir
Coach Record: 33-33 at New Mexico, 61-39 overall
Key Departed Players:
Anthony Mathis, Guard, 14.4 ppg
Dane Kuiper, Forward, 5.6 ppg
Vladimir Pinchuk, Center, 3.0 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Vance Jackson, Junior, Forward, 13.1 ppg
Carlton Bragg, Senior, Forward, 10.5 ppg
Makuach Maluach, Junior, Forward, 9.9 ppg
Keith McGee, Junior, Guard, 9.1 ppg

Corey Manigault, Senior, Forward, 9.0 ppg
Drue Drinnon, Sophomore, Guard, 2.9 ppg
Jordan Arroyo, Sophomore, Forward, 1.4 ppg
Tavian Percy, Sophomore, Guard, 1.3 ppg
Key New Players:
Emmanuel Andrew, Freshman, Forward
JJ Caldwell, Junior, Guard, Transfer from Texas A&M
Antwan January, Freshman, Center
JaQuan Lyle, Junior, Guard, Transfer from Ohio State
Zane Martin, Junior, Guard, Transfer from Towson
Kurt-Curry Wegscheider, Freshman, Guard
Top scorer Anthony Mathis has graduated, but the next five highest scorers from last season are all back for New Mexico. Vance Jackson and Carlton Bragg instantly made an impact as transfers last season. Jackson, from UConn, was arguably the Lobos best player as he averaged 13.1 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.1 steals. Bragg, from Kansas, averaged 10.5 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in a strong debut season with the Lobos. Also returning are Makuach Maluach, Keith McGee and Corey Manigault, all of whom scored between 9.9 and 9.0 points per game last season. Drue Drinnon, Jordan Arroyo and Tavian Percy all played sparingly as freshmen and could see an uptick in minutes this season. New Mexico has three impact transfers joining the team this season. JaQuan Lyle has actually been at New Mexico for a couple of seasons but had to redshirt both, the second because of an injury. Lyle spent two seasons at Ohio State where he started 54 games and averaged 11.3 points, 4.4 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 1.0 steals. Zane Martin spent two seasons at Towson and became a full-time starter as a sophomore. Martin poured in points, averaging 19.8 per game along with 3.5 rebounds and 2.7 assists. JJ Caldwell is a former four-star recruit who never put it together while at Texas A&M, where he was suspended and never got ample playing time. New Mexico also welcomes three freshmen to the roster who should add depth this season. Paul Weir has used transfers to build a promising roster in his third year as New Mexico head coach. The expectations might not quite be an NCAA Tournament appearance, but if everything clicks it is certainly possible.
Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 76.3 (78th in nation, 4th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 76.7 (295, 10)
Field-Goal Percentage: 42.2 (286, 9)
Field-Goal Defense: 45.1 (258, 9)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 9.1 (53, 2)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.6 (163, 7)
Free-Throw Percentage: 70.2 (191, 7)
Rebound Margin: 0.3 (183, 6)
Assists Per Game: 13.9 (129, 6)
Turnovers Per Game: 14.3 (289, 10)