Cowboys’ basketball schedule solid for 2014-15 season

Wyoming’s 2014-15 basketball schedule was released Thursday, and from first glance it is a good one.

Nineteen home games, including 10 of 13 in the nonconference. There is a good mix of quality teams coming to Laramie in Northern Colorado, New Mexico State, Colorado and Denver, and two quality road games at SMU and California.

Eleven teams on the schedule played in the postseason in 2013-14, and 13 won 20 or more games.

Ten games are slated to be on national television as of now. The Jan. 14 home game with San Diego State is slated for ESPN2. Four other games will be on ESPNU or ESPN3 (online only for ESPN3) and five on CBS Sports Network. More TV games will be announced as the season nears.

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Thoughts of UW football depth chart entering fall camp

Wyoming released its football depth chart prior to the start of fall camp, which begins Monday.

There wasn’t much change from this depth chart compared to the one that was released in April after spring drills.

Dominic Rufran

Dominic Rufran

Senior receiver Dominic Rufran was listed in the most updated depth chart as the starter at one of the two receiver spots. Rufran missed spring drills recovering from a broken foot suffered during winter workouts, and was not listed on the depth chart coming out of spring. But as the team’s leading returning receiver, and with a chance to be among the top five all-time at UW in catches, receiving yards and touchdowns with a solid season in 2014, it is no surprise Rufran is a starter.

There is only one fullback listed in redshirt freshman Drew Van Maanen. Sophomore Brandon Lukenbill, a walk-on, did not return after school ended in May. First-year coach Craig Bohl said some true freshmen walk-ons will get looks at full back in fall camp.

Speaking of true freshmen, none of those guys that came in this summer are listed on the latest depth chart. How many will make it into the two-deep by the time UW hosts Montana Aug. 30  will be interesting.

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UW football fall camp schedule

Wyoming released its fall camp schedule for football Thursday.

A quick note to fans: All practices are open for only the first 30 minutes (for the media as well). And, the lone scrimmage of camp set for Saturday, Aug. 16, is closed to both the media and fans.

First-year coach Crag Bohl told me at Mountain West Media Days in Las Vegas last week that while camp will be physical, there won’t be a lot of “hitting.” He said most of the hitting was done during spring.

Former coach Dave Christensen held three fall camp scrimmages last season.

Any thoughts on this?

Here is this year’s practice schedule:

Monday, Aug. 4: 9:30 a.m. (Non-contact, Helmets, Practice #1)
Tuesday, Aug. 5: 8:30 a.m. (Non-contact, Helmets Practice #2)
Wednesday, Aug. 6: 8:30 a.m. (Shoulder Pads, Practice #3)
Thursday, Aug. 7: 8:30 a.m. (Shoulder Pads, Practice #4)
Friday, Aug. 8: 8:30 a.m. (Full Pads, Practice #5)

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MW Football Media Day notes and thoughts

The 16th Mountain West Football Media Day concluded Wednesday here at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.

Tuesday, Wyoming and the other five teams from the Mountain Division did their interviews. Wednesday were the six teams in the West Division.

First, some more notes on Wyoming after the story I wrote on senior receiver Dominic Rufran and junior defensive end Eddie Yarbrough. Here is the link to that story:

http://www.wyosports.net/university_of_wyoming/football/rufran-yarbrough-should-represent-uw-well-on-and-off-the/article_7b4ce8fc-121e-11e4-8fed-001a4bcf887a.html

–Senior defensive end Sonny Puletasi was named to the inaugural Polynesian Award watch list by ESPN Big 12. Puletasi had 47 tackles last season, and tied for second on the team in tackles for loss (10) and sacks (4.5).

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Cowboys picked fourth; Yarbrough preseason All-MW

It’s finally time to talk some football.

The Mountain West is holding its football media days in Las Vegas Tuesday and Wednesday. The first order of business is the preseason all-conference team and predicted order of finish picked by the media.

Eddie Yarbrough

Eddie Yarbrough

Wyoming was picked fourth in the Mountain Division, and the only player on the preseason All-MW team was junior defensive end Eddie Yarbrough — a First Team pick last season.

Here is the complete list of the predicted order of finish and all-conference team:

MW predicted order of finish

(First-place votes)

Mountain Division

1. Boise State (20)        183

2. Utah State (12)         176

3. Colorado State (1)    135

4. Wyoming                     90

5. New Mexico                 56

6. Air Force                      53

West Division

1. Fresno State (15)       174

2. San Diego State (15)  172

3. Nevada (3)                 130

4. UNLV                            95

5. San Jose State             87

6. Hawaii                          35

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Conway commits to play basketball at Wyoming

Wyoming men’s basketball received its first verbal commitment for its 2014-15 recruiting class late Tuesday night when 5-foot-10, 165-pound point guard Austin Conway committed to the Cowboys through his Twitter account.

Austin Conway

Austin Conway

According to what recruiting services you check out, Conway is among the top prep prospects in the state of Colorado for 2015, and some regard him as the best of the best.

A three-star recruit out of five by both Rivals.com and 247Sports.com, Conway had offers from Indiana and Rice, and also was being recruited by Nebraska, Arizona and Arizona State.

He also was being recruited to play football and was a heck of a dual-threat quarterback last season as a junior, and he had some big schools show interest in him. Here are some video highlights of him playing football.

http://www.hudl.com/athlete/1729742/austin-conway

Conway decided to play basketball in college back in the spring, and is considered one of the fastest and quickest guards in the region. You can see why in this video highlight package.

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Rufran back to full strength

Caught up with some Wyoming players this week as they are in the second of their eight-week summer conditioning program.

One guy that looks to be completely healthy is senior receiver Dominic Rufran, who said he is been cleared by doctors to do everything this summer after undergoing surgery to repair his fractured left foot back in February. Rufran didn’t participate in spring practice.

If you want more proof, check out this link to a video Rufran posted on Instagram earlier this week.

Every day is another day to inspire, perfect your craft and follow your passion !

For more on Rufran, see Thursday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang and log on to wyosports.net.

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A few other news and notes from talking to a few players this week.

–Junior center Rafe Kiely on his feelings of the start of summer workouts: “A few of us may have had a little too much R&R. But (first-year strength coach Zach Duval) is making sure we got all of that out of our system and I think everybody is back in good shape already, and it will only get better and better.”

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UW football team volunteers in flood relief efforts

About 80 members of the University of Wyoming, including around 50 football players, will be in Saratoga Friday to help in flood relief efforts for the small town along the North Platte River.

The idea came after a meeting earlier this week between some UW administrators. UW sports information director Tim Harkins said UW Police Chief Mike Samp mentioned to the group that Saratoga may need some help filling sand bags and building barriers. From there, Mark Collins, UW associate vice president for operations, contacted the athletics department and other departments on campus seeking volunteers.

The football team was asked if it would help, and it jumped at the chance.

The team started its eight-week summer conditioning program Monday, and Friday is an off day. Sounds like they will get a workout in Friday.

Burman talks strategic plan for athletics

Wyoming posted its strategic plan for athletics on its website earlier this week. For a complete look at the 42-page plan, here is the link:

http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/wyo/genrel/auto_pdf/2013-14/misc_non_event/strategic-plan-goals-14.pdf

Tom Burman

Tom Burman

WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi talked to athletics director Tom Burman, and here are some comments from him about the plan:

There is a goal to generate 10 percent more revenue annually from ticket sales and game days. Does that include an increase in price for tickets for sports such as football and men’s and women’s basketball?

Burman: “Our market won’t support a significant increase in ticket prices. We know that. We’ve got to be thoughtful and logical in how we go forward with that. We have to grow our season tickets, grow single-game ticket sales, grow our annual giving and figure out how we leverage all of that growth stream and success of our programs to get additional revenue moving forward, whether it is from the state or where ever.”

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UW adds quarterback from Indiana

The Wyoming football team has added another quarterback, but it will be a year before he is in the fold in terms of playing time.

Cameron Coffman, a 6-foot-2, 205-pounds, announced on his Twitter account Friday that he will transfer to UW from Indiana. Coffman was a junior at Indiana last season where he played in only three games and attempted nine passes. He has not graduated from Indiana, so he will have to sit out the 2014 season at UW to satisfy NCAA transfer rules and will be a redshirt senior in 2015.

Cameron Coffman

Cameron Coffman

In 2012, Coffman threw for 2,734 yards at Indiana, which was second in the Big Ten Conference for passing yards per game. He also had 15 touchdowns and 11 interceptions that season.

Last season he was beat out by two other quarterbacks and attempted only nine passes in three games.

I spoke to two different sports reporters at the Bloomington Herald-Times Friday about Coffman, and both said Coffman was a good guy, handled the quarterback competition with class and thinks he will do good things at UW.

Coffman, who is from Peculiar, Missouri, attended Arizona Western Community College in Yuma, Arizona in 2011 where he threw for 2,244 yards with 21 touchdowns, six interceptions and completed 61.4 percent of his passes.

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