QB Club honors UW basketball seniors

The Cheyenne Quarterback Club honored the seniors from the Wyoming men’s and women’s basketball teams Tuesday night.

Djibril Thiam was the lone senior for the UW men, while Randi Richardson, Jade Kennedy, Aubrey Vandiver and Cheyenne Central graduate Hillary Carlson were honored from the Cowgirls. The club presented all five with senior rings, and the five also gave a brief speech.

The Cheyenne QB Club has done this for years for UW senior football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball players.

Some notes from the gathering:

–Carlson was the last to be introduced, being the hometown girl. Her high school coach, Chad Whitworth, presented her with her ring. Her dad told me that she has hired an agent and is waiting on opporutnites to play professionally, either in this country or overseas.

–Thiam also is hoping to play overseas and has hired an agent. He played three years for UW and had 82 career dunks, now known as “Thiam jams.”

–Vandiver certainly has a chance to play professionally somewhere. She was part of 96 wins in her career, played in 133 games — all school records — and finished her career in the top 10 in 10 different statistical categories.

–Cowgirls assistant coach Kristin Becker is leaving the team after five seasons to pursue a career away from basketball in Colorado Springs, Colo.

–Kennedy had the only triple-double in Cowgirls history this past season against Colorado State. She also wore jogging shoes when she played instead of regular basketball shoes.

–Thiam already has a degree from UW in communications. Richardson and Vandiver graduate next month. Kennedy has one semester left and Carlson will graduate next year.

–Was told UW has sold 6,500 season tickets for football so far, driven largely by the Nebraska game on Sept. 24. That’s 2,500 more than this time last year, and the school is hoping to reach 10,000 for the first time in school history.

–Extra bleachers will be put in the north and south ends of War Memorial Stadium for the Nebraska game, putting the stadium’s capacity at a little over 31,000.

–War Memorial Fieldhouse will have some work done on it as it will get a new track and infield surface. Both are more than 20 years old. The project should be done in August or September.

Cowgirls knocked out of MWC Tournament by Lobos

Pretty bad day for Wyoming basketball Wednesday. The men lost to TCU 70-61 in the play-in game for the third time in the last four years, and a few hours later the women were upset by 13-17 New Mexico in the quarterfinals 67-61.

Senior post Hillary Carlson teared up in the postgame interview session and  had to gather herself. UW just didn’t play well. It didn’t shoot well and the Lobos went on a 15-5 run to start the second half.

To UW’s credit it made a run of its own. It cut the lead to 59-56 with 3:37 to play. But that was as close as the Cowgirls would get.

An offensive foul on senior Aubrey Vandiver with less than a minute to play ended any hopes of a UW rally.

“It’s not about one call. It never is one way or the other,” Legerski said. … “It didn’t go our way. Move on.”

Vandiver was called for technical foul as she exchanged some pleasantries with freshman guard Jasmine Patterson. UW went on a 9-1 run after that. That seemed to spark the team.

“Well, we just came out with more energy, I guess,” Vandiver said. “We eliminated them on the boards. They didn’t get second opportunities during that run.”

Two stats that hurt UW: it allowed 20 points off 14 turnovers and allowed New Mexico 14 second-chance points.

Cowgirls are 22-8 and will play in the WNIT for the fourth time in the last six years. They will find out their opponent and bracket Monday night.

No Cowboys on MWC all-conference teams

It can’t come as a big surprise that no Wyoming men’s basketball players made the first, second or third All-Mountain West Conference teams that were released Monday. You don’t get a lot a all-conference players when you’re 10-20 and 3-13 in league play.

But I thought sophomore guard Desmar Jackson would make the third team. He was a third team pick last season and was the league’s Freshman of the Year where he averaged 11.8 points per game and and 44 steals. As a sophomore Jackson was fifth in the league in scoring (14.7 ppg) and was second with 61 steals. He also was 12th in the MWC in rebounding (4.9 rpg).

Jackson and sophomore forward Amath M’Baye both earned honorable mention All-MWC honors. M’Baye played like an all-conference player in the second half of the conference season as he averaged 16.7 points per game over the last seven contests. He scored 10 points or more 20 times, but M’Baye didn’t do enough early in the season, at least in the eyes of the voters (which consisted of coaches and select media) to get into the first three teams.

I was one of those media members that voted. I had Jackson on the third team. TCU, which is 10-21 and 1-15 in the MWC got point guard Hank Thorns on the third team. He leads the MWC in assists at seven per game.

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Couldn’t be happier for UW women’s players Hillary Carlson and Aubrey Vandiver. Both were first team All-MWC picks, and Vandiver was the Player of the Year.

Two great players that need to play great in the tournament.

Congrats ladies!

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A couple of quotes from the final MWC coaches’ teleconference Monday:

“Players pretty much understand what BYU is and they come here because of that.” — Dave Rose on if he thinks BYU’s recruiting will be hurt or made harder with the dismissal of sophomore post Brandon Davies last week.

“I have no idea.” — UNLV’s Lon Kruger on if playing the MWC Tournament on the Rebles’ home floor at the Thomas & Mack Center will help his team. Here’s a clue coach, yes it will!!

“For the first time we know whether we win or not we’ll be in the (NCAA) Tournament.” — San Diego State’s 12th-year coach Steve Fisher on if his team is playing for seeding this week for the NCAA Tournament.

“You have to fight to keep your season alive, or it comes to an end.” — TCU’s Jim Christian

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An early prediction on who wins this tournament: UNLV beats New Mexico in the finals. UNLV has won five straight and nine of its last 11, and will upend San Diego State in the semis. New Mexico will beat BYU in the semis (after a hard-fought win over Colorado State in the quarterfinals Thursday) for its fifth straight win over the Cougars and third this season. The Cougars have no answer for New Mexico’s size.

If New Mexico beats UNLV then the MWC gets four teams in the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year. But UNLV will use the momentum of a home crowd and wins. It will be the Rebels, Cougars and Aztecs in the NCAAs. New Mexico and CSU go to the NIT. Air Force goes to the CBI.

Would love to hear your predictions.

Also the reminders above this story for the live blogs for all UW games, with two on Wednesday. Join me at about 2:45 p.m. for the men and at about 7:45 or so for the women. Links are on the main page of the blog.

Looking ahead to 2011

As I take a break from shoveling snow on this wintery and blizzard-like New Year’s Eve, I thought I would throw out some things I think will happen in UW sports in 2011.

–The Wyoming women’s basketball team will be back in the postseason, likely the WNIT; but if a player or two other than Hillary Carlson and Aubrey Vandiver emerge as consistent scoring options then the program’s second NCAA Tournament appearance is a distinct possibility.

–The Wyoming men’s basketball team won’t be in the postseason and significant changes will come soon after the season ends if the team doesn’t perform well in conference play (you can figure out what I mean by that, I’m sure). And if a change is made, look for UW to take a similar approach as it did in football a couple of years ago.

–Three UW wrestlers will earn All-America status at the NCAA Championships, and the Cowboys will finish in the top 20 in the team standings.

–UW will have at least one All-America diver and one All-America swimmer. Tom Johnson is one of the better coaches in the nation.

–The price of a ticket for the UW-Nebraska football game on Sept. 24 game will be $75. No inside information here, just a guess.

–Wyoming will win seven football games and become bowl eligible in 2011; and will play in the New Mexico Bowl.

–Boise State will win the MWC regular-season title and play in a BCS bowl game.

–Tom Burman will continue to be the athletics director, and will be as long as he wants to.

Any thoughts, opinions or any other predictions for 2011?

Happy New Year to everyone, and thank you for your interest in the blog. I will be have a live blog from the Cowboys’ MWC opener at Colorado State Tuesday in Fort Collins. Hope you will join me.

Vandiver earns MWC hoops honor

Wyoming senior Aubrey Vandiver was named the Mountain West Conference’s women’s basketball player of the week Monday.

Vandiver averaged 22 points and 10.5 rebounds in two UW wins over Chattanooga and Wichita State last week in Northridge, Calif.

Here the the MWC release. Notice where the league lists her hometown. http://www.themwc.com/sports/w-baskbl/spec-rel/112910aae.html

Getting lots of comments on TCU leaving the MWC for the Big East. Would love to hear your thoughts. Can’t say I blame TCU for leaving with the Big East being an automatic-qualifying BCS conference. Would hate to be the other sports.

Working on a column for tomorrow on what the MWC does from here. I think its wise to look what’s out there, but adding schools just to add them would not be wise.

Thoughts?

Hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving holiday.

Four UW players earn All-MWC honors

Three Wyoming women’s basketball players and one men’s player were named all-conference Monday by the Mountain West Conference.

Cowgirls junior forward Hillary Carlson of Cheyenne and junior guard Aubrey Vandiver of Laramie both made the Second Team. It was Carlson’s second all-conference honor in as many years.

Sophomore forward Emma Langford made the Third Team.

Cowboys true freshman guard Desmar Jackson made the Third Team on the men’s side.

Here is a complete list of the men’s and women’s teams:

Men

First Team

F Kawhi Leonard, Fr., San Diego State

F Darington Hobson, Jr., New Mexico

G Dairese Gary, Jr., New Mexico

*G Jimmer Fredette, Jr., Brigham Young

G Tre’Von Willis, Jr., UNLV

Second Team

G Jackson Emery, Jr., BYU

G Ronnie Moss, So., TCU

F Andy Ogide, Jr., Colorado State

F Roman Martinez, Sr., New Mexico

F Malcolm Thomas, Jr., San Diego State

Third Team

G Tyler Haws, Fr., BYU

**G/F Jonathan Tavernari, Sr., BYU

G/F Chace Stanback, So., UNLV

G Carlon Brown, Jr., Utah

G Desmar Jackson, Fr., Wyoming

Honorable Mention

G Evan Washington, Jr., Air Force

G Phillip McDonald, So., New Mexico

G D.J. Gay, Jr., San Diego State

F BillyWhite, Jr., San Diego State

F Zvonko Buljan, Sr., TCU

G Oscar Bellfield, So., UNLV

G Luca Drca, Sr., Utah

G Marshall Henderson, Fr., Utah

All-Defensive Team

G Jackson Emery, Jr., BYU

G Dairese Gary, Jr., New Mexico

G/F Chace Stanback, So., UNLV

G Tre’Von Willis, Jr., UNLV

C David Foster, So., Utah

Player of the Year:Darington Hobson, Jr., New Mexico

Defensive Player of the Year: David Foster, So., Utah

Sixth Man Award:Jonathan Tavernari, Sr., BYU

Coach of the Year: Steve Alford, New Mexico

*Number of previous All-Conference selections

Women

First Team

*#G/F Helena Sverrisdottir, Jr., TCU

*G Emily Carter, Jr., TCU

**F Kalee Whipple, Sr., Utah

**#G Jene Morris, Sr., San Diego State

**G Amy Beggin, Sr., New Mexico

Second Team

*G Mindy Bonham, Jr., BYU

G/F Kim Mestdagh, So., Colorado State

*C Paris Johnson, Jr., San Diego State

C Taryn Wicijowski, Fr., Utah

*F Hillary Carlson, Jr., Wyoming

G Aubrey Vandiver, Jr., Wyoming

Third Team

**G Quenese Davis, Sr., San Diego State

G TK LaFleur, Sr., TCU

G Erica Helms, Jr., UNLV

F Emma Langford, So., Wyoming

Honorable Mention

G Raimee Beck, Jr., Air Force

G Jazmine Foreman, Jr., BYU

G Haley Hall, Jr., BYU

F Kristen Riley, So., BYU

F Coriann Wood, Jr., BYU

G/F Amanda Best, Jr., New Mexico

F Jessica Kielpinski, Jr., New Mexico

F Starr Crawford, Fr., TCU

G Eboni Mangum, Sr. TCU

G/F Jamie Smith, So., UNLV

All-Defensive Team

G Mindy Bonham, Jr., BYU

G Jazmine Foreman, Jr., BYU

G Amy Beggin, Sr., New Mexico

G Jene Morris, Sr., San Diego State

G Eboni Mangum, Sr., TCU

F Halie Sawyer, Sr., Utah

Player of the Year:Helena Sverrisdottir, Jr., TCU

Defensive Player of the Year:Jene Morris, Sr., San Diego State

Freshman of the Year: Taryn Wicijowski, Utah

Newcomer of the Year: Jessika Bradley, San Diego State

Sixth Player Award:Coriann Wood, Jr., BYU

Coach of the Year:Jeff Mittie, TCU

#Unanimous First Team selection

**Three-time All-Conference selection

*Repeat All-Conference selection