University of Wyoming senior guard Jack Bentz is going to write a daily journal entry on his and the team’s experiences this week as the Cowboys prepare to play in the NCAA Tournament against Northern Iowa.
The game is at 11:40 p.m. MT Friday at Key Arena in Seattle. Here is Bentz’s take from Thursday.
Preparation meets opportunity.
Today was our last day of preparation before the game tomorrow. We began the day with a morning practice at Seattle Pacific University where we did a lot of work with the scout team. As a four-year scout team veteran, it is our job to impersonate our opponent’s personnel and simulate their offensive and defensive schemes.
From there we went to Key Arena, the site of where our game will be played and the former home of the Seattle Supersonics, to have another workout. Before we took the floor, though, we had a NCAA team media session. After the media obligations, the Pokes stepped foot on the Key Arena floor and were greeted by Wyoming fans and “Ragtime Cowboy Joe” playing from the speakers. During the workout, the goal was to get a feel for the gym and arena. After we warmed up we did our normal pre-game ritual of everyone taking a charge. This time, however, was different. After the last person to go, coach Shyatt jumped in and took one himself. At 63, his form and technique was impeccable. We were all very impressed and just happy to see him get up afterwards. Our workout consisted mostly of ball handling and a lot of shooting.
As the game draws near, we are reminded of what’s at stake. While we are preparing for this game like every other, we know that this tournament is one-and-done. Northern Iowa is a very good team, very well coached and is 30-3 for a reason. Nevertheless, we are embracing the moment and are determined to leave it all out on the floor. As the saying goes in March Madness, “survive and advance.”
We will have a team dinner and film session and then it is time to rest and get our minds right for the game. We are eagerly looking forward to tipoff and seeing a lot of brown and gold in the stands at Key Arena. Go Pokes!