UW-New Mexico men’s basketball Q&A

WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi did a question-and-answer session with Geoff Grammer, who covers New Mexico men’s basketball for the Albuquerque Journal about Wednesday’s 9:05 p.m. game with the University of Wyoming at The Pit in Albuquerque. The game will be televised on ESPNU.

Follow on Twitter: @GeoffGrammer

How is the shin injury for junior post Alex Kirk coming along and how much do you anticipate him playing against Wyoming?

He played 19 minutes Saturday against San Jose State in his first game back from the injury and all signs after the game were there are no lingering issues. He felt good so I’d expect his minutes to be more along the lines of 25-28 against Wyoming with him settling in down the home stretch at about 32 minutes a game.

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UW-New Mexico Q&A

WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi exchanged email questions and answers with New Mexico men’s basketball beat writer Geoff Grammer of the Albuquerque Journal about tonight’s game at the Arena-Auditorium in Laramie.

The first part is Grammer’s answers to Gagliardi’s questions. The second is Gagliardi’s answers to Grammer’s questions.

Look for Q&As with writers who cover UW’s Mountain West foes throughout the conference season.

Question: Aside from San Diego State being a good defensive team, what were New Mexico’s biggest struggles in last Saturday’s 55-34 loss on the road to the Aztecs?

Answer: The Lobos’ biggest weapon on offense this season has been the free-throw line, getting there 25.5 times per game. They’ve hit 377 free throws while their opponents have only attempted 304 (and made just 205). In fact, UNM is the only ranked team in the nation to have actually made fewer field goals than their opponents this season, yet have won 17 of 20 games. Saturday, a combination of SDSU avoiding foul trouble in general and UNM not adjusting to the game officials not calling the game very tightly led to UNM getting to the free throw line only 11 times. They seemed out of sorts on offense all game and I think it started with the fact that they abandoned what they do best: attack the basket looking for contact. UNM did not adjust to the officiating very well, as they failed to do in the first at Saint Louis on Dec. 31 when they scored just 13 points in a game the officials weren’t callinmany fouls. The lack of adjustment to the officiating took them out of everything they do on offense.

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UW-New Mexico Q&A

WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi did a question-and-answer session with Rick Wright, who covers New Mexico football for the Albuquerque Journal.

Look for Q&As with writers who cover the opponents of the University of Wyoming football program every Friday.

How surprised are you that New Mexico has won four games this season after only three the previous three years, and what has been the biggest changes or differences in the program with first-year coach Bob Davie?

Going in, I thought four wins would be the absolute ceiling for this team. For all I know, that still might prove to be the case. But for this team to have won four of its first seven was quite an accomplishment. Offensive coordinator Bob DeBesse’s pistol-formation, option-based offense has been a major reason for the turnaround, but the tougher, more disciplined mindset instilled by Bob Davie has been the biggest factor, in my opinion.

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