UW-Air Force postgame thoughts

Can it get any worse for the Wyoming men’s basketball team?

Yes it can.

The Cowboys lost 72-51 at Air Force Saturday afternoon at Clune Arena, and the same problems reared their ugly heads: offense and perimter defense.

UW shot just 37.9 percent from the field, and allowed Air Force to make 11 of 19 3s. The Cowboys got to the free-throw line six times and were 4 of 23 from 3-point range.

“We flew at the shooters and they made some contested shots,” UW coach Heath Schroyer¬†said.¬†“I thought our kids played pretty hard. … But when you get down against them, they can hit a couple of 3 that will break your back.”

UW trailed by as many as 15 in the first half, and 23 late in the game.

Six of Air Force’s 3s came from the corner, which seems like nearly ever 3 is made from by the opponents. This continues to be a problem in UW’s zone defense, but Schroyer and Co. is sticking with the zone. I didn’t see any man-to-man defense in this game, and you would think this would be a game where UW physically matches up a little better than other squads in the MWC.

I thought sophomore forward Amath M’Baye had a nice game with 13 points and seven rebounds. He looked good around the basket. And sophomore forward Brian Gibson had six rebounds in 13 minutes off the bench. he missed three shots in the paint. But he plays hard and he can rebound.

I was really impressed with Air Force sophomore guard Michael Lyons. He led all scorers with 17 points, all in the first half. He’s long and athletic and a pretty good athlete. Senior guard Evan Washington may have had the most impressive line: 11 points, nine assists, six rebounds, one blocked shot and only one turnover in 36 minutes. Sophomore guard Todd Fletcher, who averaged 4.6 points per game coming in, scored 13 and was 3 of 6 from behind the arc.

Seems like a lot of players have career games against the Cowboys these days.

Injuries weren’t a factor in this game for UW. Everyone played who should have played. The Cowboys just got beat, and beat bad.

Hate to think what UNLV, No. 6 San Diego State and No. 9 BYU will do to this team in the next three games.

For more on the Air Force game, see Sunday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle www.wyomingnews.com and Laramie Boomerang www.laramieboomerang.com

6 thoughts on “UW-Air Force postgame thoughts

  1. RG,
    How right you are, I listened to this game on the radio and for the life of me could not understand why we did not go to a man on man. I really have wondered why we have not done this in the past…You can see we are not able to maintain the zone defense with any success.
    Another question I have is, with how we shoot the ball I would scrape the practice and put everyone at a hoop and shoot 200 shots from 3 points, shoot until they make 50%…this would be an everyday thing… and when I was not practicing tell each player that if they were serious about BB, to do this on their off time or something my goodness. this was the worst performance in BB that I have watched or listened to in 30 years. I know I have talked to Tom about this and he is set on keeping HS on until the end of the season, but you have to wonder how much he is going to sit back and take…..I know it is hard to watch and very hard on me to do….


    • I can tell you the team works on shooting. But it’s one thing to do it in practice — even if guys are playing defense on those shots — and doing it in a game. At some point you wonder if its a mental thing.

      We are not at the halfway point of the conference season, and although there looks to be little to no hope for a turnaround, don’t expect Burman to make a move with HS at midseason. I just don’t see it happening.

      Thanks Steve.


  2. So RG,

    Waiting anxiously for the Burman tapes.

    Seriously, its great you sought him out for this interview. I’m hoping his remarks are very candid and we can listen to the overall plan for Cowboy Athletics moving forward. The Men’s Basketball Program is at an all time low. We’re not listening anymore to the injury situation. Had we kept our focus to local talent, and develop them…. we would not be in this horrendous situation.

    We have our minor programs competing, but that does absolutely nothing for the the passionate faithful. We want respectable teams, that compete every game. As I watched the 2nd half of the Air Force game, it was sickening. This is the worst program in the MWC, and we were throttled.

    Thanks RG. But, I really don’t want to hear of improvements anywhere but the fields, and courts. Thats where the buck stops with a lot of us fans.

  3. Another day, another horrendous Wyoming basketball defeat. Shroyer has lost confidence and direction and its quite visible in his body language and facial expressions. Air Force sunk threes like shooting fish in a barrel, and Wyoming could not throw the ball into the ocean. Wyoming players at times looked seriously unsure about what they were supposed to be doing, and by late in the game, fear and dread was evident in their eyes. Next Saturday in Provo could be the ugliest defeat in the program’s history in many decades as BYU has the complete package and is executing like a Sweet 16 and Elite 8 school will be doing. The Tuesday night game against UNLV won’t be quite as bad, but I would be shocked to see a less than 15 point defeat as the Rebels have an overwhelming edge athletically and their success will only be limited by how well their heads have been screwed on that night by Kruger. My observations are that Shroyer is no longer capable of getting his players heads screwed on right, if he ever was.

  4. Gagliardi, has there ever been a conference game in the MWC with two top ten schools and a combined W-L record of 39-1 before ? I would think that such a circumstance did not happen like that even in the old WAC perhaps going back to the 1970s or 1960s. Nevertheless, its too bad the game between the Aztecs and Cougars was scheduled on a Tuesday night rather than a Saturday, although I know the rematch in San Diego is a Saturday tilt being telecast by CBS nationally. Even on a national basis having an intraconference match up between two such highly regarded schools with only one defeat between them is quite a special happening, and does not happen too often this late into the regular season.

    • This will be the first game between two MWC teams ranked in the top 10. I agree it would be nice to see this on a Saturday, but it should be the biggest game in the country on Wednesday. Just wish more people could see it like on ESPN or something.

      If both teams continue to roll, it will make that CBS game in February in San Diego pretty cool, too.

      Thanks for the question and comments Donny. Have a good one.


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