UW-SMU postgame thoughts

His nickname is The Boss.

Wyoming senior forward Leonard Washington proved that he is, and just about anything else he wants to be on the court in Wyoming’s 59-56 win at SMU Wednesday night in Dallas.

I wasn’t at the game so it is hard to go into great detail. But Washington scored 15 of his game-high 19 points in the second half, and 13 over the last six minutes of the game.

Washington also had 11 rebounds for his sixth double-double of the season and 12th of his career.

Washington had consecutive 3s when UW was down by four points. He even banked one in. A big offensive rebound where he was fouled late in the game. He made only one free throw (UW wasn’t good at the line in the game at 12 of 21), but made up for it with a steal and dunk to seal the victory in the final seconds.

With senior guard Luke Martinez (broken hand) out and the team’s second-leading scorer, UW needed a lot of other players to step up.

Sophomore forward Larry Nance Jr., had 12 points and true freshman guard Josh Adams added 11. Sophomore guard Riley Grabau was 3 of 7 from 3-point range and finished with nine points. He also had four assists and one turnover in 37 minutes. UW needed all of that as senior point guard Derrious Gilmore didn’t have his best game with three points, six assists and four turnovers.

Even junior guard Nathan Sobey and sophomore forward Derek Cooke Jr., did some good things during their time of the floor. That’s the kind of effort it will take for this team to win in conference play, which begins Jan. 9 at home against Boise State (11-2).

UW had eight turnovers in the first half, but was better in the second half with six. UW’s bench outscored SMU’s 5-0.

The Cowboys also held SMU’s leading scorer, 6-6 sophomore guard Jalen Jones, to just six points on 1 of 6 shooting. Four of his points came from the free-throw line. Jones entered the game averaging 15.1 points per game.

This team always talks about embracing adversity. Easy to talk about, but not to overcome. This squad found another way of doing it tonight. The end result is a 13-0 start, the best in school history. Enough to get it ranked in the top 25  next week?

Probably not, but the Cowboys are getting closer.

 

7 thoughts on “UW-SMU postgame thoughts

  1. In an earlier “Post” you talked about Washington sparking the Cowboys.

    I think what you are seeing is a Washington playing under control and just how good a player he really is. I don’t want to say LW has “matured”. The time with Shyatt has really helped Leonard.

    In games past something would go wrong at one end of the court and he would go to the other and committ a silly foul. Almost saw it come out in the Colorado game.

    This is a fun TEAM to watch………….they play well together.

  2. This was clearly the biggest victory the Wyoming squad has had this season, with clutch performances and an overall team grittiness that came at critical moments. The accomplishment of going 13-0 is something to be proud of, but it means nothing going into conference games except for to get the greater attention of the upcoming opponents. Boise St, @ Nevada, and @ Fresno St are winnable games, but they probably will be as difficult as this one was against the Mustangs. Perhaps the biggest looming test these wunderkinds face will be that late SAT afternoon game on the 19th against probably the best school in the conference, the Aztecs, who have in the Top 20 all season so far. Lets hope the weather is good so the attendance turn out for that one can rival the good old Brandenburg days a generation and more ago. Maybe the PA announcer can crank up “Walk Like An Egyptian” to get the crowd fired up.

    • Why wait for SDSU…………..the game with Boise should be good as well.

      Get out and support this team now……………maybe hard to get a seat later on.

  3. What an impressive win. Going down to Dallas and playing a Larry Brown team with a 10-4 record, and coming away with a 3 point win with one of the better players on the bench with a broken finger. Truly impressive for a team. I was not sure they could pull it off, but after watching how the game went back and forth I started to believe that they could win. Certainly a strong second half team, and they are really mentally tough. Can’t really say enough about what Shyatt and his assistants have done for this team. Still not entirely sure how we landed Scott Duncan as an assistant.

    It is *almost* too bad that the MWC is so amazingly deep this year, with only Fresno being a weak team. And they aren’t even all that weak and will certainly surprise a couple teams this year. Conference is gonna be a fascinating time, and I think these teams are gonna beat each other up in a very miserable fashion. Glad non-conf was so strong for the league as a whole. Onwards to March!

  4. I had my doubts about this bunch of kids coming into this season, but now, I’m a believer. They keep finding a way to get things done, with seemingly a different group of players stepping up when needed. I think this team illustrates just how far a great coach can take them. There is a long way to go this season, but I do believe this team is good enough to earn a berth in the big dance. Time will tell.

    Congratulations Cowboys! Let’s hope the AA is rocking when Boise State comes to town. It’s time people started believing in this program again. GO POKES!

  5. Impressive game yesterday, I was honestly expecting a loss by ten or so points. SMU was really unimpressive on the offensive end. They used the height advantage of their guards to shoot right over Gilmore and Grabau for a lot of easy midrange shots. Why they went away from that I don’t know. Washington had another one of those games where you want to strangle him for some of the bad shots and dumb offensive decisions he makes but he always comes up big late in games. I think this team will be fine without Martinez a long as they avoid foul trouble.

    If anyone watched the game, what did you think of the Josh Adams alley-oop play? The athleticism of Adams is crazy. He’s going to be special if he improves his left hand and his shooting fundamentals.

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