*This article will be updated as the list gets released.
The preseason attention keeps coming for the University of New Mexico men’s basketball team. This time, the recognition is coming from the Mountain West Wire’s lead basketball writer Eli Boettger.
Boettger began his Top 25 countdown on Sept. 28 with honorable mentions. Two Lobos missed the cut to be on the actual list, but were close enough to find their way into the honorable mentions: Carlton Bragg and Dane Kuiper. Bragg is yet to be added to the official team roster. Kuiper, now a senior, was No. 25 on this same list last year.
The countdown is still going on, but New Mexico already got a few players in.
Makuach Maluach No. 19
In September, the sophomore found himself on the cover of Lindy’s college basketball preview.
Boettger: “He can be a matchup nightmare with his lanky wingspan and quickness against bigger forwards.”
Vance Jackson No. 18
Jackson was named the 2018 Mountain West Preseason Newcomer of the Year.
Boettger: “At 6’9″ and 230 pounds, Jackson is a bruiser inside. But his ability to extend his shooting range beyond the three-point line is what makes Jackson such a versatile asset and perfect fit within the Lobo offense.”
— MW Men's Basketball (@MW_MBB) October 16, 2018
Anthony Mathis No. 16
Mathis showed off at the Lobos’ 2018 Cherry & Silver three-point contest and recorded a career-best of 12.7 points per game last year.
Boettger: “As a senior, Mathis will relied upon even more in the UNM offense. He’s the leading returning Lobo scorer, and will thrive once again in Weir’s high-powered scoring attack.”
JaQuan Lyle No. 15
This was a tricky one. Lyle is out for the season with a ruptured Achilles tendon. He was expected to make a big impact on the Lobo roster, although head coach Paul Weir said not as a point guard, as many people expected.
Boettger on Twitter: “Yes, we are aware Lyle is out for the season. At the time of our selections, however, he was picked 15th, so he will remain on our list. We wish Lyle a speedy recovery.”