Pokes confident heading into play-in game

The Wyoming men’s basketball team is at least saying the right things heading into today’s play-in game with TCU here at the Mountain West Conference Tournament in Las Vegas.

“The feeling that’s going on is positive. We think we can win. We’re going in with the mindset to win,” sophomore guard Desmar Jackson said.

This will be the Cowboys’ third play-in game in the last four years, and they’ve lost their previous two including a humbling 59-40 loss to Air Force last year.

“I think there are some pretty sour memories of the play-in game last year,” sophomore forward Amath M’Baye said. “I think everybody here is ready for this game and I think we will be better prepared for this game and this team will have a different mentality.”

See Wednesday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle www.wyomingnews.com and Laramie Boomerang www.laramieboomerang.com for more on this game, and on how the Cowgirls hope to end their MWC Tournament woes this year.

Also, live blog links are above this story for today’s UW men’s and women’s games. Hope you will join me.

MWC in the giving mood

Interesting story by Jake Schaller of the Colorado Springs Gazette on gifts the Mountain West Conference gave out to student-athletes during the MWC Basketball Tournament.

http://www.gazette.com/sports/evan-97268-gifts-main.html

Also, Jake has one of the better blogs of anyone who covers the MWC. He is doing early looks at Air Force’s 2010 football opponents. Here is his take on Wyoming.

http://gazetteafasports.freedomblogging.com/2010/04/29/first-look-wyoming-2/5437/

Take a look at how San Diego State is going to try to increase its season-ticket base for some of its sports. How would you like it if Wyoming tried this?

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2010/may/07/sdsu-has-just-the-ticket-a-telemarketing-plan/

Wyoming is doing what it can to boost its athletics budget. See Sunday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang for more on that.

UW-SDSU women post-game thoughts

Tough to see the Cowgirls lose another close game, this time a 60-51 loss to the Aztecs here at the MWC Tournament.

But it was good to see Cheyenne Central graduate Hillary Carlson play like she did with 25 points and 18 rebounds. Her rebounding mark was a tournament record. See my column in Thursday’s paper for more on her.

She set the tournament record for field goals made in a second-round game with nine.

Some other notes from the game:

–SDSU had 11 blocked shots; and seven by Jessika Bradley.

–UW’s bench contributed only 30 minute out of a possible 200.

–UW had 23 offensive rebounds.

Cowgirls must wait until Monday for post-season possibilities. I think they’re in, but we will see.

Thanks to everyone who joined me on live blogs for the men’s and women’s games. It’s been a long one here. I’m out for now.

See Thursday’s paper for more tournament coverage.

UW-Air Force post-game thoughts

“We knew what they were going to do pretty much every single play. We knew their options and what they could possibly run,” said Air Force senior forward Grant Parker after his team beat Wyoming 59-40 Wednesday afternoon in the play-in game at the MWC Tournament here at the Thomas & Mack Center.

Talk about a slap in the face.

All UW could do was put the ball in true freshman guard Desmar Jackson’s hands and see if he could score. He had a game-high 18 points. But he also had seven turnovers.

Sophomore point guard JayDee Luster didn’t play because of a groin injury. UW’s two main ball-handlers — Jackson and sophomore Arthur Bouedo — had 10 of UW’s 13 turnovers. Most of those came early in the game.

Air Force made seven 3-pointers and shot 48 percent from the field.

Even though UW shot 45.5 percent, it attempted a season-low 33 shots.

“It’s not brain surgery. It’s pretty simple. When you shoot 2 of 16 from 3 and 42 percent from the free-throw line you’re not going to win,” UW coach Heath Schroyer said.

Some other notes from the game

–UW used its 13th different starting lineup of the season. It went with Jackson, Bouedo, senior forward Ryan Dermody, sophomore center Adam Waddell and junior forward Djibril Thiam.

–Jackson scored in double figures 11 times in his last 12 games.

–After losing 16 straight conference tournament games, Air Force has won two of its last three.

–UW is now 7-11 in the MWC Tournament.

–Waddell broke his nose near the end of the game, and didn’t attend the post-game interview session because he was having it set by doctors.

See Thursday’s paper for more coverage from the MWC Tournament, including my column on Jackson’s progression this season and how that was handled by the coaches.

Hope you will join me later for the live blog for the Cowgirls’ game with San Diego State at about 7:45 p.m. I’m hearing a win tonight would go a long, long way to securing a WNIT berth for UW.

Join me at http://wyomingcowboysblog.com/2010/03/10/live-blog-wyoming-vs-san-diego-state-ladies-mwc-tournament/

UW-UNLV women’s hoops live blog tonight

The Mountain West Conference Basketball Tournament begins today with three women’s games.

The Cowgirls play UNLV at 8 p.m. MST in the final game of the night.

Check out the live blog during the game and join me from the Thomas & Mack Center at http://wyomingcowboysblog.com/2010/03/08/live-blog-wyoming-vs-unlv-ladies-mwc-tournament/

Also see Wednesday’s paper for Cowgirls coverage and for a look ahead to the UW men’s game with Air Force.

Monday morning news and notes

Good morning from Las Vegas. I’ve been here since Friday night and I’m not broke yet.

Getting ready to get on the final Mountain West Conference men’s basketball coaches teleconference. The all-conference teams will be announced later today. Will be interesting to see where, if any where, UW freshman Desmar Jackson ends up.

And who will be the Player of the Year? Darington Hobson of New Mexico or Jimmer Fredette of BYU?

I think it will be Hobson.

Before I left I did some spring football stories, and here is today’s on the Cowboys’ move to a 4-3 defense.

http://www.wyomingnews.com/articles/2010/03/08/sports/19sports_03-08-10.txt

Will live blog the Cowgirls’ game Tuesday at the MWC Tournament against UNLV, as well as the men’s game Wednesday against Air Force. Here are the links for these games. Hope a lot of you join me for some coverage and conversation during the games.

http://wyomingcowboysblog.com/2010/03/08/live-blog-wyoming-vs-unlv-ladies-mwc-tournament/

http://wyomingcowboysblog.com/2010/03/02/live-blog-wyoming-vs-air-force-mwc-tournament/