From afterthought to star: UNM's Mathis thrives under Weir | KOB 4
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From afterthought to star: UNM's Mathis thrives under Weir

Lee Faria
March 07, 2018 07:15 PM

LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- Anthony Mathis was an afterthought to then-UNM men's basketball coach Craig Neal. Mathis was a solid shooter but wasn't good enough to warrant big-time minutes.

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For Mathis, the situation got so bad he asked for his release from the program. But Paul Weir stepped in when UNM fired Neal, and the first thing Weir did was recruit Mathis. 

"When I first sat with him, I said, 'You're probably going to think this is crazy, but I want you man," Weir said, recalling his conversation with Mathis. "'I want you really badly. You can shoot 3s, which I love. You have an amazing attitude in the face of adversity, and we need that.'"

Last season, Mathis averaged 6.4 minutes a game. This season under Weir, Mathis is averaging almost 25 minutes a game. He is the Lobos leading scorer with more than 13 points a game and the Lobos' go-to guy.

"I truly did believe in coach Weir when he was giving me all the speeches," Mathis said. "And this is exactly what pictured. [When] all the standing came out, we were going to be ninth, 10th. I mean I wasn't really paying attention to that, but I really bought into what coach Weir said and I'm just grateful to be here."

If the Lobos are going to make a run in this tournament, Mathis will lead the way -- from afterthought to all-conference.

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Lee Faria

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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