UW-Washington State postgame thoughts

Kind of thought the lead to my story in Tuesday’s paper said it all about this one:

A memorable season had a forgettable ending for the University of Wyoming men’s basketball team.

That ending was a 61-41 loss to Washington State here at Beasley Coliseum Monday night in a second-round CBI game.

It was a battle of frontcourts as Leonard Washington and Adam Waddell combined for 27 points for UW. But Brock Motum and Abe Lodwick combined for 41 points and 14 rebounds for Washington State. UW had now answer for Motum, a 6-10 lefty from Australia. Lodwick is 6-7 and made four 3-pointers.

UW’s guards were non-factors. Starters JayDee Luster, Francisco Cruz and Luke Martinez had just eight pointson 3 of 20 shooting.

Coach Larry Shyatt said it was the physical play of Washington State. Cougars coach Ken Bone said it was his team fighting through screens. Whatever it was, UW couldn’t knock down a perimeter shot to save its life.

Hated to see true freshman forward Larry Nance Jr. get ejected after two technicals late in the game after he at Motum went after a rebound. Motum may have baited Nance into it, but better day are to come for Nance.

The game was chippy and physical throughout. Washington State was 21 of 29 from the free-throw line and UW was 7 of 11. Was the officiating great? No, but that wasn’t why UW lost. It’s struggles shooting the ball took care of that.

Shyatt said true freshman forward  Tyrone Marshall’s absence from this trip was due to academic reasons. Shyatt wanted him to concentrate on his school work during this time, which could have stretched into five days had UW won.

Tough way for the season to end, but 21 wins and a postseason appearance. Can’t say the CBI makes a lot of sense to me. If UW had won it still would have been on the road. It would have played at TCU and 1,000 people of TCU had won at Oregon State. That didn’t happen, but as someone told me before the game, you know what you’re getting into when you play in tournaments like this.

Well, it’s over now and time to hit the recruiting trail for the coaches and say goodbye to guys like Luster, Waddell and Cruz.

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

  • Timmy Jack

    Didn’t like this tourney one bit, that’s all I got. Our back court looked like a jr high school level team. We were exposed horribly last night on the perimeter, no answers at all.

  • styme

    Fatigue finally caught up to us, this was truly a fun team to watch over the season, and looking foward to many good things to come from Coach Shyatt and his next teams…keep up the good work Pokes!!!!

  • Larry Marlburger

    Very disappointing end to a season which was overall good. Shyatt still has a ways to go to upgrade the talent level, as well as the quality of the non-conference schedule. With the departure of TCU, SDS, and BSU from the MWC, hopefully the UW program can continue to improve and challenge UNLV, New Mexico, Nevada, and Colorado St for the top spots in the conference. I don’t know much about the basketball prowess of the C-USA schools. Perhaps in the coming months Sports Editor Gagliardi can write about each of the remaining eight schools in the C-USA , their basketball history and tradition, and the early outlook for each of them once the MWC and C-USA merge. I know details of the merger are still in process, but hopefully Wyoming basketball can become more competitive in the new universe.

  • SGT

    I admit I wasn’t real excited with the naming of Shyatt a year ago, but a year later I can’t wait for year 2. Schoyer left this program with nothing and Shyatt did all he and his staff could to bring back hope. With limited time he brought in a decent first recruiting class and blended them with the existing players to play together as a team. We can realistically look at contending for conference titles and big dance invites in the very near future thanks to Shyatt.

  • uwaluminidaho

    I had mentioned early on that I thought the Cowboys would have a great season with conference 4 home wins and 2 on the road and so they did. Getting to 20 wins was tough with those series of 5 or so consecutive losses that spoiled the momentum. I am not sure of the importance of twenty wins, more so the fact of how the team played in crucial games, win or lose. The amount of close loses (unitl last night) I think is more telling of the team’ moxie and will, than the overall number of wins and losses. Wyo will need a ball handling guard now that Lester will be gone. What we have left for ones is pretty poor. Other than Larry Nance, I was very disappointed that our new bench (Shyatt’s kids) we non-contibrutors during the season. If he didn’t play them, must mean they can’t play. I hope that the two new freshman big guards can come in a contribute right away. We’ll need them to make an impact, much the way the Boise State freshmen guards contributed this past year. In all very pleased with the effort of players and coaches for the new look Cowboys. If Shyatt and crew can make similar advancements in the overall program next year and after, we should be able to compete for a MWC title soon. Congrats to all Cowboys. Stick around for awhile Coach Shyatt…UCLA ain’t your kind of town… Go Pokes.

    • Boyd

      “If he didn’t play them, must mean they can’t play.”

      Or it might mean that Coach implemented a system that demanded maturity and experience because he had 6 seniors and 3 juniors to work with.

      There are those, like John Wooden or Bear Bryant, who generally disfavored using freshmen on varsity. I am not bothered by freshmen who do not become instant contributors.

  • MJS

    Considering everything that has taken place in the last several years, I think Coach Shyatt and his staff did a good job. Winning twenty-one games is outstanding, considering the mess Schoyer left the program in. I think the slow down tempo with the offense caught up with us at the end of the season. Offense became stagnant, taking too much time getting shots off. We are not taking advantage of the altitude with the slow pace game. Hope Coach Shyatt can bring in athletic players that can run, so we can be a more up tempo team. Very impressed with Josh Adams and Halderson in their State Tournement, both appear to be top athletes. Will be great additions to the team.
    RG- with two scholarships remaining what positions will Coach Shyatt be looking to fill.

    • rgagliardi

      Likely a wing player and a big or forward.

      RG

  • Ron smith

    So, Robert can the 4 returning players find an additional 4 to step up? Will the coach be able to repeat, as a 20 gamer, or are we 2 to 3 years out from being above 66% consistently? What about a Q& A with Hammond on where you two agree and/or disagree on next year?

    • rgagliardi

      They definitely need some new players to come in and make an impact. Don’t know if 20 wins are in the cards next year with such a roster turnover. But I wouldn’t count it out based on what we saw this season.

      RG

  • Ron smith

    One last question on Poke BBALL. You caught some practices. Who among those that redshirted looked good or at least promising?

    • rgagliardi

      Was not allowed to see enough to get a good gauge. No one redshirted on scholarship. Marshall has potential but doesn’t look like he will be around next year. Grabeau could be a solid backup down the road.

      RG