Shyatt, new recruits talk

New Wyoming men’s basketball coach Larry Shyatt spoke to the media via teleconference for about 15 minutes Thursday about his three latest signees: 6-3  guard Riley Grabau, 6-11 center Lekan Ajayi and 5-9 junior-college point guard Derrious Gilmore. Grabau and Ajayi also joined the call.

Here are some quick hits from the call:

–Shyatt said he has one scholarship left, and hopes to get the best available athlete or a promising wing player/small forward. Shyatt said one recruit is mulling over whether or not to choose UW now, and there is a possiblitly a decision could come in the next five or six days. If not, then he said he will keep looking even if it goes into June.

–Shyatt said he doesn’t expect junior-to-be forward Brian Gibson to return next season. He left school prior to the MWC Tournament in March for personal reasons.

–Shyatt didn’t say if any of the other current players on the team will leave, but would know more in the next 10 days final exams wrap up. Said in the last few weeks the current group have been “punctual, on edge and have improved.”

–Although listed at 6-11, Shyatt said Ajayi is closer to 6-9, and said he would need “extra, extra thick shoes to be 6-11.” Shyatt described Ajayi as a “character.”

–Ajayi said he choose UW because of Shyatt and assistant Scott Duncan. He said Shyatt is like a father to him, and also that Shyatt recruited him while he was at Florida.

–On signing a 5-9 guard in Derrious Gilmore, who was not on the call: “I have never been opposed to having small guards at any postion as long as they’ve had that competitvness and and edge to them.”

–“I’ve probably only had four or five junior college players in 38 years. I’m probably going to get mor familiar in the days and weeks ahead,” Shyatt said.

–Ajayi is the nephew of former UW player Ugo Udezue, who was an influence on his decision. Ajayi feels he’s one of the best rebounders in the nation. He averaged 15.5 boards per game in high school. He said Virginia Tech, Alabama, Florida State, Georgetown, Wake Forest, Tennessee, Auburn and Missouri were among other schools that recruited him.

–“I want to help the Univeristy of Wyoming win championships. I’ll do anything for the University of Wyoming,” Ajayi said.

–Grabau said he didn’t know Shyatt prior to his recruitment, but said that after Shyatt’s first visit to his home, he looked to his dad and said: “he’s the man I want to play for.”

–Grabau said he didn’t sign in the fall because he wanted to focus on winning a state championship his senior year at Boulder High in Colorado. His team lost in the state championship game.

–Shyatt likened Grabau to former UW guard Brett McFall, who Shyatt recuited to UW back in the 1997-98 season. Grabau was the player of the year in Colorado; McFall was the player of the year in Kansas his senior year. Shyatt said Grabau has the ability to play the point and shooting guard spots.

–Grabau said Colorado State recruited him “heavily” as a junior, but said that fell apart when he didn’t attend an elite camp CSU held. Grabau also said Colorado wanted him to walk-on, but he said no thanks. No Division I schools in Colorado offered him a scholarship.

–As soon as Shyatt got off the call, he left to catch a plane for Rock Springs to attend a Cowboy Joe Club function.

For more on the signing of these three players, see Friday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang

26 thoughts on “Shyatt, new recruits talk

  1. A Colorado player no one in their state wanted, a too short guard and a 6’11” center that is 6’9″; nevertheless, I am truly impressed. New coach and his team of coaches are walking the talk and doing good things in the spring recruiting season. Hope he catches a break in the fall recruiting season. So what are your thoughts Robert, on this recruiting effort?

    • I’m not ready to call the Cowboys conference camps, but I like what I see on paper and what Shyatt has said. Always curious to see what a highly touted big man does. All seem to be high character guys. We likely will see them all play next.season in some capacity. Good start I would say for Shyatt and Co.

    • I’m pretty certain it is. Shyatt can’t mention specific players by NCAA rule, but my sources say it is.


  2. Nance is in! Nice way to wrap up what looks to be a good class in a short time. Now coach them up and get the Dome of Doom rockin again. Shyatt Happens! GO POKES

  3. Good to see some positive news coming from the men’s basketball team. UW needs that. Hope it all translates on the court.

  4. I’ve had it with UW. It seems Shyatt has swooped in and reached out to everyone but Marc Bailey, the one former player that fans were rallying behind to get a chance to be a part of this new era. He has known for sometime of Marc’s sincere interest to get involved with Cowboy hoops and it appears he can’t even bring himself to pick up the phone to call Marc and say no thank you. Meanwhile, UW is using images, sound and video of Marc in advertising on the internet and radio to sell tickets. What a joke. I think the University of Wyoming is really the University of everyone but Wyoming and it’s been this way for many years.

    • This post makes no sense. Let me get this straight. Somehow through the wonders of the internet Shyatt is supposed to know that Marcus is interested in being part of the program in some capacity. He is then supposed to track down his phone number and call him up and say I am sorry Marcus, we don’t have a position open for someone with zero coaching experience. It seems to me if Marcus wants to be part of the program setup an appointment with Larry, go talk to him. Ask him if there is a way for him to be part of the program, if not what can he do to get the necessary experience to get a job in the future. These guys are busy, I am fairly certain they are not going out of their way to disrespect Marcus.

      • I’m not surprised your confused Jack. You never have the facts. Shyatt has been contacted by some of his closest friends regarding Marc’s interest. He’s been contacted by several individuals within the program as well. He also has Marc’s number and told him they’d be in touch but never followed through. I’m not really surprised….just tired of UW basketball. I’ve seen Wyoming kids be disrespected by this program for over 20 years.

        • Dude…you need to chill. Is your name Shyatt? Bailey? If not, you don’t have all the answers. Marcus was a great ball player for UW, but he doesn’t have any coaching experience, and that’s what Coach Shyatt said he was going to surround himself with…experience. Marcus is interested in returning to UW basketball…but isn’t he also pursuing medical school?

          Shyatt is NOT disrespecting the basketball program, UW, or the state of Wyoming by not contacting Marcus Bailey!

          • Yeah, the name is Bailey and no I don’t have all the answers. I never said I did. I’m just voicing my opinion. You’re certainly entitled to your opinion…misinformed as you may be. As I’ve already stated several times, there’s a history of actions and inaction by UW that has turned me off to UW basketball over many years. I don’t expect you to understand as some of it is personal. In my heart, I’ll probably always be a Cowboy but I’d like to see a lot of things change.

  5. Did marcus ever ask Larry if he could help out? Or is it just his friends in Larry’s ear? I’ve heard that Marcus was going to medical school. Maybe he could start out as a Graduate Assistant or something first. I would also like to see Marcus a part of UW basketball, but I’m not going to fault Coach for choosing far superior candidates for any position that might be available and I don’t expect him to create a position for Marcus.

    Aren’t you the same Jeff that was throwing out Marcus as a possible candidate for HC and start a FB page?

  6. Nope, never started the fan page. Let’s just say I know Marc very well. Far Superior Candidates Sean? I assume you, like some others, consider these candidates far superior simply because of coaching experience. Tell me, how does one gain experience without opportunity? Historically, how has “experience” worked out for us here at UW? I am not putting down the coaches that were chosen. I’m sure they’re great people and great coaches. I’m not going to give you details about how things unfolded or who was involved…..nice try. I’m just a little disappointed. Marc is over it and happy to be on the path of becoming a medical doctor. I do know I echo sentiments shared by many in saying I’m just fed up with Wyoming basketball….a feeling that has festered over many years due to repeated disrespect of Wyoming kids and outright stupidity in choices made regarding the direction of the program.

    • It’s hard to believe you and Marcus are Cowboys and are not excited about the direction of the program. Shyatt seems like a very decent man, his former players and coaching associates have nothing but great things to say about him. Hopefully you guys will get over your bitterness about Marcus not even being considered for the Head Coaching job and support these new Cowboys that are going to restore our once proud program. If not, adios.

    • Sorry, but it seems to me if Marc is interested in becoming a coach maybe he should be looking at something like LCCC or one of the other junior colleges in the state for experience. First it was Steve Gosar and now Marcus. I guess I don’t understand where this sense of entitlement comes from. A great player doesn’t necessarily mean someone is going to be a great coach. At least Jeremy Cox is putting in the work and gaining the experience to maybe someday be a D1 coach.

  7. Speaking as someone who knows Steve Gosar, he would have been a fabulous head coach and would have committed to UW for the long hall. Marc would have helped out the program tremendously as well. It’s UWs loss. No one said anything about entitlement. I just expect people to do what they say they will do. I’m not going to give the details or waste anymore time talking about it. Frankly, you guys don’t know what you’re talking about. Nice try with the “adios” but I’m an immovable force Jack. Whether in support of the program or not, afraid I’m not going anywhere. Nice try. Go wave your pom poms.

    • None of us are saying Marc would not have been a good coach. All we’re saying, is that no matter how much heart you have, or how much love for the university you have, you don’t move from former player to head coach. There are ways to make that transition…starting off as a Grad assistant, assistant coachat some smaller schools, and working your way up. I said on one of the boards, that Marc would be an asset to the team, if he was able to get on staff…but that he needed more experience as a coach to be one of the head assistants or even head coach. I also said that Gosar would have been an asset to UW, but not as head coach, yet. He worked his tail off and produced some stellar results at the JC level. But he needs to get his feet wet at the D1 level before taking over as HC…especially at a school as far in the gutter that UW was left in. If the program was up and running on all cylinders, by all means hire someone with a little less experience, but UW is at the lowest levels it’s ever been at, and experience is needed to right the ship.

      If you’re not going to say anything, why come in here and stir up crap, saying that NEW coach, who has been here for a month, has dishonored UW and the state of Wyoming??? All you’re doing is making yourself sound a bit silly. You keep talking about wanting to see change…and the change is happening, RIGHT IN FRONT OF EVERYONE’S EYES with this coach.

      Basically, you should either share what you know and stop calling everyone else ignorant…or you should just keep your thoughts and hurt feelings to yourself.

    • Loser, I mean Marc…

      Who the hell are you? Did you attend the UW, do you have an issue with adults whom also are capable of registering their opinion? What exactly does Marcus want anyway? You absolutely sound like a spoiled 15 year old child, or a rapper from BYU. Listen up, Shyatt is the man, his assistants are among the best in the country. Espn gave us an A, in recent coaching change. I can respect their opinion- can you swallow that? Do you know that Larry has exactly two National Championship rings in his possession? How many do you hold, or for that matter Marcus? What is your relationship to college sports, coaching, or education in general? Apparently Gags has let you have the microphone, and so far your whining is starting to get very sour to my taste. Grow up and find a new team to support, that is if they have truly dedicated flavor you can savor. I’m sick of your rhetoric.

    • Just got the results from the JimmyJack/TimmyJack/BillyBob unofficial poll. The question was whom would you rather have as head coach of the University of Wyoming Men’s basketball team, Marcus Bailey or Larry Shyatt. 18,422 voted for Larry Shyatt, 12 voted for Marcus Bailey. I know the results are a little skewed, I think the Bailey boys voted more than once.

        • Oh, and I heard that there could be a Team Physician slot open…maybe Bailey could apply for that, AFTER he finishes his medical internship.

  8. Interesting. Shyatt needed to bring in a credible staff that could add players very quickly.

    Burman was under huge pressure to get it right this time or he was probably gone from UW. Gosar will be a great coach but he is not tested enough at a high enough level for Burman to risk his job on in my opinion. This move was about veterans with recruiting connections ready right now. I think he made the right call with Shyatt and Duncan.

    One day I hope to see Gosar and perhaps Bailey coaching at Wyo. but now is not the time for an inexperienced head coach or people learning on the job.

  9. I tend to side some with Jeff on this. Between Dembo and Bailey they have been the face of Wyoming Basketball through some our successful periods. I am not saying he should have been offered an assistant position by any means, but I would have have been very satisfied with Bailey as the last assistant. I am totally on board with what Shyatt has done this far, but hope he has reached out to Marcus throughout this process. Some of the things that have been said in this stream of comments is very surprising, but i hope to see Marcus as a part of Wyoming Basketball very soon! If not i am sure he will be very successful. Here is to turning around UW hoops!

    • Sorry, Joey I have to respectfully disagree. I have absolutely nothing against Marcus personally. You said you would have been alright with Marcus being the last assistant hired. That would have meant that Allan Edwards would not have been hired. Would you please follow this link and read the article about Allan Edwards. These are called qualifications. He has worked his ass off to get this opportunity. As we have said over and over Marcus’s qualifications are he played basketball at UW and is from Wyoming. What has he been doing for the last 8 years? If he wanted to be a basketball coach I am certain McClain would have taken him on as a grad-assistant and he could of worked his way up from there and he would now have qualifications comparable to Allan Edwards. If he wants to be a basketball coach I am certain there are many high schools and junior colleges that would hire him as an assistant. We are sick and tired of losing, Larry is all about doing things the right way and in a professional manner. He hired the best staff he could. That’s how you win. We have no malice towards Marcus but pulling Jeff’s chain is a lot of fun.

  10. Marcus wants to be a doctor? He’s going to medical school. Marcus wants to be a coach? Go to coaching school where everyone else started….the bottom. I agree that if he wanted to be a part of UW basketball and couldn’t get an entry level gig with McClain or Schroyer (good thing it wasn’t with Schroyer), he should have been building some type of resume’. I don’t think anyone’s father would put us in charge of the family company just because we are his son. We would have to learn the business. Marcus should be learning the business, maybe developing recruiting ties and making himself marketable. I know Marcus would bring a lot of fire back to UW baketball by being there but not much else. Shyatt has done well getting everybody excited. We need recruits.

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