UW-Air Force postgame thoughts

Good win for Wyoming, even though the 63-61 victory over Air Force Wednesday night in Laramie shouldn’t have been as close as it was. UW was 12 of 28 from the free-throw line. It makes just three or four more and there are no anxious moments late in the game.

UW was 6 of 15 from the line in the final 11:53 when it went into the bonus.

But no sense dwelling on the negative. Interim coach Fred Langley is 2-2 and has this team playing with more energy, intensity and fire.

And how about sophomore forward Amath M’Baye. He’s averaged 20.2 points over his last four games, and had a career-high 27 points in this one.

See my game story in Thursday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle www.wyomingnews.com and Laramie Boomerang www.laramieboomerang.comfor what Langley said about M’Baye.

For now, here’s what junior center Adam Waddell said: “Amath’s been playing with a lot of confidence lately. We’ve been riding it and been the guy to go to to make a big play. He gets the crowd into it, and makes the athlete moves to help us win.”

Waddell’s blocked shot on sophomore forward Zach Bohannon secured the win. UW had a season-high nine blocked shots. Three were by M’Baye, and on one it looked like he jumped up, grabbed the net and blocked the shot. The rules state that should be goaltending, but no call was made.

UW had 11 offensive rebounds and forced 19 turnovers. It also shared the ball well with 17 assists on 25  baskets.

All ingredients for winning basketball.

UW (10-17, 3-10) now has to play the top three teams in the MWC, starting Saturday at 21-7 UNLV, followed by a home game with No. 4 San Diego State then at No. 7 BYU next week

That doesn’t seem to damper the Cowboys’ confidence right now.

“I think (since Langley took over as interim coach) it’s completely different and I think it’s for the good,” Waddell said. “We got beat by Air Force by 21 there. The past few weeks we’ve played with a lot of confidence. We’re going to try and keep this rolling.”

Added Langley: “We’re going to have some exciting basketball¬†the rest of the year. I don’t know what’s going to happen. We don’t talk about winning and losing in that locker room. We talk about execution. I don’t think our guys are going to be intimidated by going (to UNLV). They’re going to play their tails off and whatever will happen will happen.”

Nine guys played and eight saw double-digit minutes. The guy who didn’t — true freshman guard Joe Hudson — played nine minutes. Langley has shown he’s not afraid to play anybody and anytime.

And, UW got this win with leading scorer Desmar Jackson (15.2 ppg) scoring just two points.

6 thoughts on “UW-Air Force postgame thoughts

  1. RG,
    What a change… this is really a hard one to grasp. Did changing HS really fall that heavy on the team, it seems they are so much more relaxed now and playing with more excitement and having fun on the court. No doubt that TB feels the move was the right thing to do now with the last 4 games going 500. This could be a real blessing for next year and what coach is brought in.

    • It’s becoming more evident that the change has made a big difference with this team, and I won’t lie to you Steve, I’m surprised.

      You’re right about the team being more relaxed. But they’re also having fun. I saw more smiles out there last night. Sure, it helps when you lead all of the game, but even when things got tight I notcied it among the players and coaches. I’m not trying to get mushy here, but there is a different attitude and mindset here.

      I will say this, there’s no way this team wins a game against anybody (other than a Western State or someone like that) with Jackson scoring two points.

      Kudos to Langley and Co. so far.

      RG

  2. RG,
    I agree, but what is it with Jackson, great last name by the way…. seems his game has taken a step back… is it because he is coming of the bench.. or just mental…do you see him staying and getting through this?

    • I think Jackson has had a tougher time than some in this transition from Schroyer to Langley, but I don’t think its a matter of him not liking Langley. It’s just different. He’s never had to play defense like this before and it is different. He rebounded the ball well last night despite the offense not being there. I thought in the first game under Langley at New Mexico was a huge struggle, but he played well in the games after that.

      I don’t know if he stays or not, but I don’t see him packing it in. With him and M’Baye there is a good foundation there. I think Burman needs to reassure him and the other returning players he and the administration will do everything to bring in a coach that will help them succeed. I know Burman has met with some of the players, and maybe he has with all of them so far. I think it needs to start there.

  3. RG

    Any chance that Langley gets an invite back for next year? The pokes look like a team headed in the right direction with him taking the lead.

    • Hi K.C.
      I really don’t think so. Langley has done a great job but Burma is looking for a new coach. The new guy could ask Langley to stay but that’s unlikely.

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