UW-TCU postgame thoughts

Even though the weather and the road prevented me from going to the game, it wouldn’t matter if you saw Wyoming play in person, on TV, listened on the radio or read a box score — the seniors took center stage on Senior Night.

Wyoming beat TCU 71-59 in arguably its best offensive game in Mountain West play to date.

One turnover and 18 assists on 28 baskets says it all. So does shooting nearly 54 percent from the field.

Junior forward Leonard Washington led UW with 23 points and 12 rebounds and he was impressive with his second straight double-double.

But senior point guard JayDee Luster had seven assists and no turnovers, senior guard Francisco Cruz had 19 points and senior center Adam Waddell added 14 points.

Cruz got off to a fast start, which is always good for the Cowboys. So did Waddell.

Even senior walk-on Rob Watsabaugh scored a basket. But not in garbage time, at the beginning of the game — UW’s first basket in fact. Coach Larry Shyatt started five seniors, a class move by the way.

There were a few kind bounces for the Cowboys on some shots, but really, UW was simply dominant.

To me the key play in the game was in the second half when TCU cut the lead to 47-42. UW got a stop defensively and Luster fed Waddell for a dunk. That pretty much ended TCU’s run and the Cowboys took control from there.

Per usual, UW played good defense and held TCU senior guard Hank Thorns to just 10 points on 2 of 11 shooting. TCU made a few 3s, and UW could have won by a lot more if it didn’t miss eight free throws.

TCU coach Jim Christian told Stefan Stevenson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram after the game: “We just played awful. From the first play of the game we didn’t play with any passion.”

TCU didn’t play like the team that beat UNLV and New Mexico at home. It played like the team that had won only on conference road game.

UW certainly played with passion. After the game Shyatt was with five of his seniors in a post-game interview with TV, and you could see he was getting choked up in terms of what these seniors have meant to him in the first year of his second stint with the program.

The Cowboys earned their first 20-win season since 2002-03. They are still in sixth place in the MW standings. Right now, UW fans should be cheering for UNLV to beat Colorado State tomorrow in Fort Collins, and for Air Force to beat CSU Saturday at the academy for any shot of moving up to that fourth or fifth spot.

And of course, UW can help itself a lot with a win at No. 17 UNLV Saturday night.

For more on the game, see Wednesday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang.

14 thoughts on “UW-TCU postgame thoughts

  1. Robert, right on it was a class act. When any coach takes over a program it usually costs the seniors. This coach has, at all times, let this entire team see basketball as their game not his. game. Thank goodness he is not still young in his career or he would be stolen again!!

  2. I could not get to the game either but watched it on tv. The seniors played awsome, they wanted to win. Washington played great. I t was a fun game . One more win, we can beat UNLV. Go Pokes

  3. Too bad the roads were so bad from Cheyenne last night and that there weren’t more fans there to see the game–winter in Wyoming. Still would have guessed more students would be there, but the students that were there were pretty loud and energetic–so good for them!

    But, really, what a classy bunch of guys on the floor; what more could you ask? You think about last season and compare it to this season…it’s really remarkable what they’ve accomplished. It’s great that this is the way they’ll get to remember their last home game (putting aside NIT possibilities for the moment.) I thought it was the best game they’ve played this season. And how classy to send out those seniors as a group to start the game and forge that lead! It was a terrific game, really good stuff, and hopefully this season becomes the springboard for even better things to come!

  4. RG,
    I’m not so sure that these guys (if) they play against UNLV this saturday like they played last night we don’t pull an upset..would be nice to see them finish off strong…. I sure hope Luke gets in the gym a little over the next couple days and does some shooting…. he sure is going cold in the second half from the 3…

    • If Wyoming can control the pace of the game like the first time against UNLV then it has a chance. Just read where UNLV’s average margin of victory at home this season is nearly 21 points. Like most teams, they are much better at home and this will be their senior night.

      Would definitely like to see Martinez make more shots, but the kid always seems to bounce back and keeps a good attitude when shots aren’t falling.

      RG

  5. I don’t think that will be the last game those seniors play on that court. If the Pokes can put up a good game (a win would be huge) against UNLV and then win their first game in the MWC tourney the NIT will come calling and that tourney in the past has loved giving the Pokes a home game…just a thought.

    • Possibly, but know the NIT is run by the NCAA now with seeding and all that. Plus, UW hasn’t drawn that well at home this season despite the vast improvment. Not saying UW won’t get a postseason game, but the NIT is a little different beast than in the past.

      RG

      • I would have to think the MWC’s strong standing would help with UW getting at least into the NIT. Granted, the Pokes would need to eclipse 20 wins…21-22 would need to be the magic number in my opinion.

    • I hope that was the last home game for these seniors because I hope that they will be playing all neutral-court games beginning the Thursday after a three-game run in Vegas next week.

  6. Great win by the players and coaching staff. Love the unselfish play by this team. t8 assist to 1 turnover, been years since we only had 1 turnover in a game, maybe never .The darn weather been a problem all year game days, sometime can’t catch a break. Larry probally gave the fans a mulligan on attendence this year hopfully people come out an support this team alot more next year. The university needs to go all over the state and promote the mens and womens basketball programs Personally I think both those teams could be special next year .I said a couple months ago that in my opinion, that over all Washington might have the most up side to being the best pro prospect in the conference. Guys got all the talent and very agressive and can play smart most of the time. How about that last rebound for example could of took it to the basket for a slam dunk but no pulled it back out ,let the clock run out. Maybe best all around player we’ve had the last 15 years

    • Excellent point Jim, the only flaw in his game is leaving his feet on defense to contest every offensive shot. If he just controls his energy, this guy is a total beast. Rejection City. Luster like my bud Jimmy Jack has said, is a magical master of ball skills. This game showed an aspect of Luster’s ability, we nailed TCU in the paint with nearly every possession. Pick and roll…dump and score. I thoroughly believe we can get past the first round, and have an outside chance to be in the finals- IF we can pop some jumpers, continue solid defense and get the ball to the bucket. This coaching staff and group of seniors have done a remarkable job, we are well on the way of becoming a force to reckon with in the new league, whatever it becomes. Go Pokes.

  7. Robert–

    This question if probably better for your discussion at 3 p.m., but I will be on the road then. Just wondering what the Cowboys’ plans are after the UNLV game. Will they come home or just stay in Vegas? Any chance they could get some extra practice time in the T&M if they stay in Vegas?

    • They’re coming home. Don’t think teams are allowed extra practice times at venues of conference tournaments. Leagues are funny about that stuff. Plus, more missed class time is frowned upon.

      RG

  8. Boy CSU didn’t do us any favors last night. I mean really can’t stand CSU in anything but talk about a under size team getting the most out there talent. Watching UNLV play last night with all that talent and the way they play out of control makes you see how Heath fit right in there. Another thing I noticed all night on the MTN chanell that Fred Langley kept saying TCU should be the 5th team in the ncaa tournament thats after we took them to the woodshed tuesday.Maybe Freds . trying to get a job down there . One more thing Gigs all the love for coach Fisher on the MTN, I not saying he’s,not doing a good job with all the players he lost, but look at the players that left us and a new coaching staff and the job they’ve done , hands down Larry’s had to over come way bgger problems then Fisher. You watch saturday everything they throw up there will go in just like that time TREVER DIGGS scored half his points all season againts us that night ,did’nt he put 50 on us that night. They’ll wack and hack us all night while we get called for every tickie tack call . our big guys will be sitting on the bench half the first half in foul trouble. If refs let us play like them will be in this game to the end. Just hope none of the kids lose there cool if this thing gets out of control. you know how vegas likes to yack when they got you down big.

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