Langley doesn’t make excuses

Wyoming interim men’s basketball coach Fred Langley didn’t pull any punches after the Cowboys lost 85-58 to No. 9 San Diego State Tuesday night in the final home game of the season.

At the final media timeout of the first half UW trailed 28-20 with 3:36 to play. The Cowboys trailed 37-20 at halftime, and they made only three field goals over the final 17 minutes of the half.

“We faded, along with our intensity,” Langley said. “I was really disappointed in our effort. As coaches we didn’t push the right buttons tonight. The players didn’t respond to their teammates.”

Langley was asked if there is an illness going around the team. A couple of players on Twitter hinted at that earlier in the day.

“I told them (after the game) you let yourself down if you can’t perform your best,” he said. “You’ve got to get to the doctor and you’ve got to do the things you need to do. You let your teammates down and a you let the fans down. There is no excuses. You’re going to sniffle and you’re going to tough it out.”

Langley said the offense dictated the defense, which is something he doesn’t want to see happen. UW made only 2 of 16 3s and couldn’t do anything inside agaisnt SDSU’s big and athletic frontcourt. SDSU was outscored 52-32 in the paint.

The 27-point win was the most by SDSU in a MWC road game in school history.

Langley went with a bigger lineup by not starting junior point guard JayDee Luster. He went with junior center Adam Waddell, sophomore forward Amath M’Baye and senior forward Djibril Thiam all between 6-9 and 6-10. It worked for about three-quarters of the first half, but UW was still outrebounded 43-26.

“It’s not an excuse to put a product like that on the floor for the fans,” Langely added. “It was hard to be a Cowboy player tonight. It was hard to be a Cowboy fan tonight. It was hard to be a Cowboy coach tonight. It was just a tough night. I can’t put my finger on it, but we’ve got to fix it.”

In his last home game Thiam had 13 points and two rebounds.

UW plays at No. 3 BYU Saturday. The Cowboys have lost 21 straight road games going back to more than two years. However, BYU suffered a blow today when sophomore forward Brandon Davies was dismissed from the team for a violation of the school’s honor code.

“Wow. He’s a big-time player,” SDSU senior forward Malcolm Thomas said. “Without him they’re still a good team and can still make a run. I don’t know what to say to that. I didn’t know that.”

Added Langley, who heard about Davies before the game: “I’m sure they’ll miss him, but they have a lot of depth as well.”

Schroyer talks about negativity

Wyoming coach Heath Schroyer wasn’t happy his team lost 69-62 at home to No. 8 Brigham Young Wednesday.

But he was pleased with the effort from his team, and the overall execution.

UW held BYU to 15 points below its scoring average, and caused senior point guard Jimmer Fredette to have his worst shooting game of the season. He was 7 of 21 from the field, but 10 of 11 from the line including a huge three-point play with 47.6 seconds to play.

The Cowboys are 8-14 overall, have lost six in a row and are in last place in the MWC at 1-7.

Not a lot to be positive about, despite a gutsy effort tonight.

“It’s been a very negative environment around this program for a month, and that’s been very taxing on these kids,” Schroyer said. “I’m really proud of them and how they came out tonight and really executed.”

“There’s been a lot of things that’s been out of this team’s control for a year and a half. When your limited on who you can play in practice and who you  an play in a game, and the league becomes the fourth-best league in the country, you’re going to struggle at times.

“I’m proud of our guys. This is a high-character group and has stuck together. It’s just very unfortunate the negativity that has surrouned this program for a month. It is what it is. Our kids have really battled and stayed together.”

Any thoughts on that?

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Some other notes and quotes from the game:

–“I didn’t really get it going, our team didn’t really get it going great tonight, but we were able to get a win,” Fredette said. “Sometimes you just don’t play well. We didn’t shoot the ball well (40.7 percent and 5 of 24 from 3-point range) and Wyoming was ready to play and had a great game plan.”

–Schroyer said BYU sophomore forward Brandon Davies is “next pro” on the Cougars’ roster. He was good against UW with 20 points and nine rebounds.

–Schroyer said junior center Adam Waddell had an MRI on his foot prior to the game Wednesday. Waddell played, but only 11 minutes off the bench with no points and three rebounds. Kind of weird to have an MRI the same day you play a game, isn’t it? Would hate to see another injury setback for Waddell.

–Schroyer also said sophomore forward Brian Gibson didn’t play due to back spasms.

–“I kept emploring our team to don’t play not to lose, we have to play to win. I thought we did that. I can’t fault our effort,” Schroyer said.

–Senior forward Djibril Thiam scored 12 points for his first double-digit scoring game in league play this season. He also had three blocked shots and is now tied for ninth place in school history with 82.

–Junior guard Francisco Cruz matched a career-high with 16 points and had a career-best nine rebounds. More impressively, he played all 40 minutes for the fourth time this season.

–The attendance of 5,131 was the first over 5,000 for UW this season, and largest of the season as well. There were times where the crowd was really into the game. I also noticed more BYU fans than normal. Many of them waited after the game to get Fredette’s autograph.

For more on this game, a complete recap of football signing day and an interesting historical piece on UW men’s hoops by Bob Hammond see Thursday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle www.wyomingnews.com and Laramie Boomerang www.laramieboomerang.com.