Twenty years ago, Larry Shyatt said he would have been upset — and everybody would have known it.
But at 61, Shyatt was disappointed his Wyoming men’s basketball team lost its first game of the season, 63-61 at home to Boise State Wednesday on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by junior guard Jeff Elorriaga.
He just kept his emotions in check.
“In my 40s I would have been throwing chairs, screaming, yelling and cussing,” he said. “But it is hard for me to do that when I know our team was connected. They were doing all the right things, other than (Boise State) had the ball in the final seconds.”
The Cowboys try to avoid an 0-2 Mountain West start at 4 p.m. today at Nevada (9-6, 0-1) in the Wolf Pack’s first-ever home game as a MW member.
UW is 13-1 and 0-1 in the MW, and still No. 25 in the USA Today Coaches Poll. The Cowboys will fall out of the top 25 when the next poll is released Monday, no matter if it wins today. Shyatt said he didn’t think about the fact his team lost its first game after working its way into one of the two major polls.
The players didn’t either, or at least that’s what they said.
Still, it will be interesting to see how UW responds to its first loss of the season.
A big concern for UW today will be the size of Nevada’s guards. Three of the four expected to start go 6-foot-5, 6-7 and 6-8. The most dynamic is 6-1 junior Deonte Burton. He and 6-5 senior guard Malik Story combine to average just over 32 points a game. They will be one of the better 1-2 guard duos UW will face this season.
UW’s tallest guard that has seen significant minutes is 6-4. That is junior Nathan Sobey. Six-foot-4 senior guard and second-leading scorer Luke Martinez is still out with a broken bone in his right hand.
Story has 1,196 career points. Burton has 1,195. Both rank in the top 20 in Nevada school history.
The Cowboys won their MW road opener last season at Air Force, but going back to last season they’ve lost five straight regular-season road conference games.
Nevada is 8-1 at home, but has lost two straight.
There isn’t much buzz here in Reno about Nevada basketball and its first MW home game. Most of the talk is about newly hired football coach Brian Polian. it will be interesting to see what kind of crowd is at today’s game. It snowed in Reno Friday, and while its residents are used to snow, traffic slowed to a crawl and there were numerous accidents on the roads.
There is no snow in the forecast today,but perhaps weather keeps some people from the game?
For more on today’s game, see Saturday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and also go to www.wyosports.net.