Isabel Gonzalez
@cisabelg

JaQuan Lyle had dinner with head coach Paul Weir on Thursday, something they try to do once a month. A lot of the conversation revolved around the depth of the roster the New Mexico Lobos can count on for the upcoming season.

Last year people were looking at Jaquan Lyle, a transfer from Ohio State, to perhaps fill the point guard role. However, Lyle got injured before the season started and senior Anthony Mathis, who is now at Oregon, ended up with that responsibility. When discussing Lyle last season, Weir said that the Lobos would miss him the most on defense.

On September 22, the 6’5″ guard tweeted that after 11 months and 12 days, he has officially been cleared 100%. With a smile on his face while talking to the media on Friday, Lyle said he is the best he has been both mentally and physically in years.

While Lyle might be feeling good, he knows he has a lot of competition. JJ Caldwell wouldn’t be a surprising option as the starting point guard. Weir also mentioned Drue Drinnon, Kurt-Curry Wegscheider and Zane Martin as being players competing for some playing time there.

“As far as the depth in the guards, it’s tremendous,” Lyle said. “I think not only for games but we are able to compete against each other everyday in practice and get each other better….In the end we all have one common goal, but being competitive with each other brings the best out of us.”

Whether or not Lyle becomes the starting PG doesn’t matter too much because Weir said what he brings to the table is much more than just basketball skills. His experience and leadership off the court make him the leader the Lobos need right now.

“We need more guys who have the confidence and security to address teammates. Not always in a confrontational way but in a leadership way, he has that,” Weir said. “That to me that is by far his biggest contribution. Again, independently of the fact that he is a phenomenal basketball player.”

The team might be deep in guards, but the Lobos really only count with Carlton Bragg and Corey Manigault for bigs. Weir said he is not particularly happy with how thin the Lobos are for the five, but that he is confident the two players they have will be “sufficient” as long as the team can keep them healthy.

Assistant coach Dan McHale agreed with him and added that the Lobos won’t just be keeping their fingers crossed that they will stay injury free. They have a plan based on other players’ abilities.

“We are going to be able to play more of a hybrid power forward spot with Makuach (Maluach) and Vance (Jackson), and just be able to protect our 5 man,” McHale said. “The bigs have been great, we just have to keep getting them healthy everyday.”

Weir was asked about the expectations on this particular roster that many have said is made up of a lot of individual talent. He said that at the end of the day it was his job to take responsibility for the results if the team doesn’t perform well. However, Lyle thought differently.

“The coach is not out there playing. No matter the game plan, no matter what it may be,” the player said. “We are the ones out there playing, the coach isn’t. At the end of the day, those losses I feel like they would be on us. We just have to go out there and compete every night.”

One thought on “Weir is satisfied with New Mexico depth

  1. The Video Makes me a little nervous!
    LOVE THIS TEAMS POTENTIAL OFFENSIVELY!! …BUT…The Lobos won’t be much of a DEFENSIVE THREAT if the players can’t learn to “TALK ON DEFENSE” and DEFEND the Defensive End of the Floor with their “backs to the basket” so they “Can See Their Man and The Ball” at ALL Times! “DEFENSE 101” To be “Tough Defenders” the Lobos MUST learn to “Jump to the ball” !! When on defense the LOBOS must move as the ball moves and DO NOT turn their bodies losing sight of the man they are guarding which is called “Ball Watching.” LOBOS MUST BE MORE DISCIPLINED and Move on the Flight of the Ball, NOT when it gets to its destination. LOBOS Must always “Jump to the Ball” near the “Free Throw Lane” or the “middle” of the Floor with their “Backs to the Basket” TO HELP DEFENSIVELY ” and to HELP Protect and Defend the Middle of the floor and the Free Throw Lane to “Take Away” ANY opportunity for UN-DEFENDED offensive Cuts to the Basket “! When OUR DEFENSE “Breaks Down” as it clearly did in this short video it’s simply because the LOBOS haven’t been taught or don’t understand these Basic Fundamental BUT Critical Defensive Tactics or they are just Undisciplined, Defiant, Lazy or All the Above. IN ANY CASE, ALL ARE UNACCEPTABLE!!! WHENEVER these “SIMPLE BUT CRITICAL Defensive Tasks and Responsibilities ARE NOT PROPERLY EXECUTED “THIS VIDEO” PROVIDED US A “PERFECT EXAMPLE” OF WHAT USUALLY HAPPENS NEXT ESPECIALLY WHEN COMPETING AT THE D-1 LEVEL with Drue Drinnon’s Heads-Up Cut to the Middle of the Free Throw Lane Where He Was ALLOWED to SCORE an EASY UN-DEFENDED BASKET IN THE PAINT!! (“NO MANS LAND”!!!) BECAUSE NOT “ONE LOBO ” COMMUNICATED, OR JUMPED TO THE BALL OR THE PAINT TO HELP PROTECT THE BASKET WITH VISION OF HIS MAN AND THE BALL” INSTEAD…Every Single “Weak-Side defenders” body was turned “facing the ball”!!!…WRONG!!!.. YOU PRACTICE BAD HABITS YOU PLAY GAMES WITH THOSE SAME BAD HABITS!!! So of course “NO LOBO KNEW WHERE THEIR MAN WAS” WHICH RESULTED IN “NO COMMUNICATION” THAT OUR DEFENSIVE BASKET WAS “BEING ATTACKED” FROM AN UNRECOGNIZED WEAK-SIDE CUT TO THE BASKET AND THEREFORE NO ONE WAS IN POSITION “TO HELP DEFEND AND STOP THE “OFFENSIVE ATTACK”… BECAUSE EVERYONE WAS OUT OF “DEFENSIVE BODY POSITION” AND INCORRECTLY FACING THE BALL ACROSS THE COURT… AND AS A RESULT, NO ONE KNEW WHERE THEIR MAN WAS AND NOT ONE LOBO EVEN RECOGNIZED DRINNON’S CUT TO THE BASKET COMING UNTIL IT WAS TO LATE! LOBOS GOT BEAT WITH REGULARITY WITH THESE TYPES OF UN-DEFENDED CUTS THROUGH THE FREE THROW LANE ALL SEASON LAST YEAR BECAUSE OF THESE SAME DEFENSIVE FAILURES BY EVERY TEAM WE PLAYED AND IT NEVER GOT CORRECTED… AND IT APPEARS IT STILL HASN’T BEEN ADDRESSED??? (HOPE I’M WRONG!)… ALSO, THE LOBOS MUST NEVER ALLOW CUTTERS TO CUT ACROSS THEIR FACE — THEY MUST FORCE THE CUTTER TO CHANGE HIS PATH ! LOBO DEFENDERS MUST LEARN TO “Play the ball,” “See Your Man” with their “Backs to the Basket” with “VISION OF THEIR MAN AND THE BALL.” AT ALL TIMES ON THE DEFENSIVE END!! ANYTHING ELSE IS SIMPLY UNACCEPTABLE. We will get murdered with backdoor and backside cuts to the basket just like last season and exactly as Drue Drinnon “Exposed” at the end of this Video. ANOTHER MAJOR REASON IT IS CRITICAL THAT LOBOS PLAY TENACIOUS TEAM “HELP DEFENSE” IS EVERY TEAM IN THE MWC KNOWS WE ARE SHORT ON BIGS SO THEY WILL BE UNDER RELENTLESS OFFENSIVE ATTACKS MEANT TO PLACE OUR BIGS IN FOUL TROUBLE. KEEPING CUTTERS OUT OF THE PAINT MUST BE A DEFENSIVE PRIORITY FOR THE LOBOS THIS SEASON AS IT WILL HELP A TON TO KEEP OUR SHORT LIST OF BIG’S OUT OF FOUL TROUBLE AND WILL HELP TO MINIMIZE THEIR RISKS FOR INJURY! IF THERE IS NO HELP DEFENSE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FLOOR OR THE FREE THROW LANE OUR BIGS WILL BE UNDER CONSTANT ATTACK AND WILL ULTIMATELY END UP IN FOUL TROUBLE PUTTING THE LOBOS AT A SERIOUS DISADVANTAGE. EVERY LOBO MUST PERSONALLY TAKE INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR DEFENSIVE EFFORT AND COMMITMENT FOR THE SUCCESS OF THE TEAM and individually “Talk and Communicate” and “Jump to the Ball” and “HELP” one another when your teammate is beat on defense! It just won’t matter how good we are offensively if the Lobos are not disciplined committed and tenacious defensively because every team in D-1 can put points on the board!! I sure Hope defensive oriented Coach McCale is on top of THESE SAME OBVIOUS DEFENSIVE WEAKNESSES THAT WERE PREVALENT ALL SEASON LAST YEAR AND THE REASON WHY ALL MWC TEAMS WITHOUT EXCEPTION “EASILY EXPOSED” OUR DEFENSIVE WEAKNESSES NIGHT IN AND NIGHT OUT THROUGHOUT THE SEASON…. AND YOU CAN BE ASSURED THEY WILL CERTAINLY DO IT AGAIN IF THESE FUNDAMENTAL AND CRITICAL DEFENSIVE ELEMENTS ARE NOT CORRECTED! GREAT DEFENSE IS WHAT WINS GAMES!!!
    I’LL KEEP THE FAITH!! BECAUSE I BELIEVE THESE LOBOS ARE EXTREMELY ATHLETIC SKILLED TALENTED AND PERFECTLY CAPABLE OF BEING A GREAT DEFENSIVE TEAM AS WELL AS A GREAT OFFENSIVE TEAM… BUT IT IS THE COACHES AND TEAMS DESIRE AND COMMITMENT TO BEING A TOP DEFENSIVE TEAM THAT WILL DETERMINE IF THEY REACH THEIR FULL POTENTIAL !!! GO LOBOS !!!

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