Shyatt presser quick thoughts

Kind of thought it was odd to hold a press conference for a new basketball coach in the suites in the football stadium, but there was a huge crowd for Larry Shyatt’s introductory news conference Wednesday in the Wildcatter Suites atop War Memorial Stadium. In fact, you could say it was standing room only.

As Shyatt and his wife, Pam, were introduced by athletics director Tom Burman, the UW band played “Ragtime Cowboy Joe” and the Shyatts entered with a standing ovation. They also left the same way.

Thought it was touching that early in his talk, Shyatt got a little emotional about coming back to Wyoming. Say what you want about the guy and the fact he left once for another job and a lawsuit came up over his buyout, but Shyatt seems genuilly happy and humbled to be back. Shyatt isn’t a phoney, and he wouldn’t pretend to get emotional if that’s not how he really felt.

Shyatt told me “a couple of players” will leave, but wouldn’t say who. Not counting those players, UW currently has two scholarships to give and looks like it will have four or five. Sophomore forward Brian Gibson won’t return and forward Djibril Thiam was a senior.

Most of the current players were there, but three were not, most notably juniors-to-be Desmar Jackson and Amath M’Baye. For more on that, see my column/analysis in Thursday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle www.wyomingnews.com and Laramie Boomerang www.laramieboomerang.com

Senior forward Afam Muojeke said he’s excited about the hire. He also told me he should be cleared to start running on his surgically repaired knee in a week or so. Good news on both fronts.

Senior forward Leonard Washington, the USC transfer who sat out last season, said he’s coming back. He doesn’t have a lot of options to go anywhere, but he vaults to the top in terms of UW’s best player — especially if Jackson and/or M’Baye don’t return.

UW sophomore guard Joe Hudson on the Shyatt hiring: “I think it’s going to be a good fit with him. He sounds like a good guy and a good coach.”

Assistant coach Jeremy Shyatt, Larry’s oldest son, on the current players: “They are the most coachable group with the best attitudes I have ever been around. Everything is going to be new, and our jobs have been made a lot easier because they have great attitudes.”

Associated head coach Scott Duncan on coming back to  UW with Larry Shyatt: “Not often in life do you get to do a journey and a challenge with yoru best friend and his family. Larry and I have been best friends for 26, 27 years and coached a bunch of different schools together. We are at a point in our careers where we looked at each other and said ‘lets do this. We had a lot of fun the last time we were here.’ ”

Duncan on the pressure to have instant success this coming season like he and Shyatt did in 1996-97: “We’re not going to be very patient. We’re want to get this thing turned as quickly as possible, but do it the right way so we can sustain it so it can be at that level for years to come. The first two years are going to be important. We’re going to have to retool the roster and get lucky with some players and take some hard work.”

Shyatt on what he told his players: “Nothing what you’ve done up to this point matters to coach Shyatt. Everything you do from now on, from your academics, to your passion, to your value system and and lastly your basketball abilities. I like the group. I like their openess.”

Shyatt on the current roster: “We need some pieces. “It’s not a mastepiece yet. It’s baby steps. Lets jsut make sure those steps are forwards an not backwards.”

13 thoughts on “Shyatt presser quick thoughts

  1. Any indications on how recruiting is going? Do they have a bead on some kids? Maybe some visits? You’d have to think they are now about 1-2 weeks into the actual process but that they’ve been thinking about it even longer than that.

    • No word yet on visits. Point guad and post help are the top two prioritiesnow. and then they will do from there. A score has to be among them too I’d Jackson leaves. also for to see who’s out there. shyatt won’t sign guys just to sign them.

  2. Awesome, Duncan and Shyatt might be the best thing that has ever happened to Wyoming. They want to build something special and this is likely there last coaching stop, I am 100% with these guys.

    Go pokes, the good years have been far and few between, but it looks like there back!!!

  3. Dez, if you want to go….theres the door, M’Baye and Fred may go too. Personally, my thoughts are M’baye may be a pro player with Shyatts coaching saavy and a couple years to perfect his game. But the shingles up and the new coaches are open for business. As teams like Butler and VCU have recently shown, it doesn’t take a perfect selection of players but a unity of cause with some decent talent and excellent leadership. We now have two of the three ingredients in place. I’m excited for Cowboy Basketball for the first time in 10 years….. yea baby!

  4. Yes it is true that amath and desmar have said they are leaving, but since the cat is out of the bag has anyone actually told them that a transfer at the end of their sophmore year is akin to college basketball suicide? They can not get back on the court until their senior year in order to compete…is this what they want? Desmar isn’t that much of a loss, but amath is a player that can be huge to the program and staying in laramie is the best thing this kid can do!

    I have good information that maybe an old poke himself can talk some sense into them or at least amath. lets hope.

    • In both their cases if they transfer, they have to sit out a year. But neither one has used their redshirt year so both would still be able to play two years at another school.

  5. I agree…I don’t think losing Dez is that big of a deal. He is lazy, a ball hog, and doesn’t play defense. I don’t see him meshing well personality-wise with Shyatt either. Shyatt wouldn’t put up with that kind of play and I just get the sense that Dez is too independent. I truly believe it is essential that we keep Amath. Dude is amazing…very uncoached, but once Shyatt gets his hands on him, he will become a PLAYER!!!! I am excited about the Shyatt hire because of the way he has approached his return. “Wants to make it right”, “This is it…my last stop”. All good things to hear.

  6. RG,
    Any info on the spring BB game, I know shyatt mentioned it at his presser. I enjoyed your article on players leaving, although I am curious, do you feel the three who might leave are leaving for sure? Thanks for the hard work and hopefully I make it to a game this fall and can buy you a beer or seven.
    Ron

    • Hi Ron,
      All I know about the spring football game now is they held a draft and both sides will be divided as evenly as they can. Looks like it will be played indoors. Should know more Friday.
      Not certain for sure on who or which players will leave. Those three might all stay but I would guess now at least one or two leave. Thanks for the kind words and would love to have a beer or seven with you some time soon.

  7. Maybe two players are concerned about the character of a coach who would lie, cheat and sue, as are some fans.

    • Lie and cheat, what the hell are you talking about? You come on here and libel from all accounts a very decent honest man. Shyatt says Lee Moon and he had an agreement that he could leave if he was offered the Clemson job, his dream job and an offer too good to turn down. I believe him. Where is your evidence that he cheated? Go back to your afternoon bar chair at the Buck and keep your inane comments to your drunken cohorts.

      • Jimmy J,

        Mack and this clown shoveled some bad enchilada’s and mad dog at the last home game with Schroyer. Guess they need to cast a nasty downer on our new Sheriff. So in their collective stupors, they can remember the days of Taft and the battle cry of Republic..holy moly…Go Pokes, Go!

    • I hope those fans stay far, far away from the AA. Of course, once this thing gets turned around in a year or two those fans’ hypocrisy will be in full force. Count on it.

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