Colorado Basketball: 4 Things to Know about New Mexico

The Colorado Basketball Buffaloes will be looking for their sixth straight win as they head to New Mexico to take on the Lobos.

The Colorado Basketball Buffs (7-1) will be looking to close out non-conference play on a positive note before the challenge of the Pac-12 schedule begins in less than a month.

New Mexico (4-3) is losers of two straight against a pair of NCAA Tournament teams (New Mexico State and St. Mary’s).

Colorado has familiarity with UNM as both team’s met last season in a 75-57 CU victory.

This will mark the 15th game between the programs in the all-time series–each team has seven wins.

To get you ready for the game that will be televised on ESPN2, here are four quick facts about the Lobos:

1. New Mexico has depth

The Lobos play nine players at least 11 minutes a night.

New Mexico head coach Paul Weir is not afraid to rotate his guys and has a deep bench. Not one player averages more 25 minutes a night (the Buffs have two players playing more than 25 per game, McKinley Wright and Lucas Siewart).

2. Offensive firepower

UNM comes in averaging 80.7 points per game, and that is with the team scoring 65 and 60 points in their last two games, respectively (both losses).

In their four victories this season the team averaged 86 points per game.

Colorado on the other hand, averages 85.1 points per game.

We will be in for some high-scoring action.

3. Anthony Mathis will need to be stopped

If CU is going to get their sixth consecutive victory they will need to put the clamps on UNM senior Anthony Mathis.

The Lobos guard is leading the team in points (14.3), assists (2.0), steals (1.3), FT% (93 percent) and 3-PT% (47 percent).

He can impact the game in a multitude of ways, but is a sharp-shooter who can get hot from anywhere on the court, at anytime.

During the Lobos two-game skid, Mathis has struggled averaging 4.5 points.

In their four victories, Mathis averages 17 points per game.

Simple strategy for the Buffs: Shut Mathis down.

4. New Mexico predicted to finish 3rd in the Mountain West

The Mountain West has become a premier college basketball conference the last few seasons–and some could argue it’s a deeper conference than the Pac-12 from top-to-bottom.

The Nevada Wolfpack are ranked inside the Top 5 and are considered a Final Four contender.

New Mexico was predicted to finish two spots below Nevada at third overall in the conference.

2018-19 Mountain West Preseason Media Poll
1. Nevada (18) 207

2. San Diego State (1) 188

3. New Mexico 153

4. Boise State 139

5. Fresno State 138

6. UNLV 122

7. Wyoming 88

8. Colorado State 80

9. Utah State 78

10. Air Force 42

11. San Jose State 19

Despite the Lobos iffy non-conference record to start the year, this would be a solid non-conference win for the Buffs.

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Prediction

New Mexico is one of the rowdiest college basketball environment’s and the Buffs are going to be in for a challenge away from home.

Per the ESPN Pick Center, UNM has a 52.8% chance to win this game.

Overall, the Buffs are more talented and as long as they can limit senior Anthony Mathis, I think they will come away with a solid non-conference road victory.

Colorado 91 New Mexico 84