UW vs. Northern Iowa: 3 keys, notes, quotes and video

My three keys for Wyoming’s game with Northern Iowa in the second round of the East Regional of the NCAA Tournament. Tipoff is at 11:40 a.m. MT Friday from Key Arena in Seattle.

1. Defend the perimeter: Probably sounds like a broken record for the Cowboys, but they face a Northern Iowa team that shoots nearly 40 percent from 3-point range. The Panthers have eight players who have made between 15 and 50 3s this season, and five that shoot better than 40 percent from behind the arc. Guys big and small can shoot the ball for Northern Iowa. It will make some shots, but if the Cowboys allow them to get hot from outside it will be a long game.

Josh Adams

Josh Adams

2. Continued good play from Adams: Junior guard Josh Adams was the Mountain West Tournament MVP by averaging 18.7 points and shooting 49 percent from the field over three games last week in Las Vegas. Adams needs to have a similar-type game against Northern Iowa. Attacking the basket when the opportunities are there, as well as knocking down some perimeter shots are musts. Adams doesn’t need to put the game on his shoulders, and it will be important for others to be involved. But if Adams and senior forward Larry Nance Jr. can score, things open up for others.

Here is my video preview for today’s game:


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Ewing back in Laramie with NBA as top goal

Former Wyoming men’s basketball guard Brandon Ewing (2006-09) was shooting some jump shots with current UW player Charles Hankerson Jr. prior to the Cowboys’ quarterfinals game of the CBI with Western Michigan Monday at the Arena-Auditorium.

Here is the video link: http://youtu.be/6nQ_Ty97CqE

Ewing is UW’s record-holder in career 3-pointers made (193) and 3-point attempts (594). He also is second in in scoring (2,168 points) and assists (471). Ewing just completed his fourth season on professional basketball. He was overseas in Switzerland and Greece.

Ewing said he moved back to Laramie recently to get his body healthy and train in Laramie’s 7,220-foot altitude for a shot to land with an NBA team next season.

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UW-New Mexico Q&A swap II

Here is the second part of my Q&A swap with New Mexico men’s basketball beat writer Mark Smith of the Albuquerque Journal.

The following are questions Mark had for me, and my answers. The first part where Mark answered my questions are still posted on the blog.

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Schober continues to shine

Oliver Schober continues to impress.

The Wyoming true freshman middle linebacker from Munich, Germany, not only could see the field on defense but may be doing the kickoff duties as well.

“One thing I know you didn’t see (last season) was the ball kicked into the end zone. Oliver went out there (Friday) and kicked seven of them six yards deep in the end zone,” coach Dave Christensen told a large group of people at UW’s media day Saturday afternoon.

“We now have have a starting kicker. The best news is, and most teams in America have this, is the guy that kicks off grabs his tee and runs off the field. Oliver leads the charge down field. It will be interesting to see No. 35 that is 240 pounds kick the ball and go down and make the tackle.”

There is a lot more about Schober than his kicking ability. See my story on him in Sunday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang. www.wyomingnews.com and www.laramieboomerang.com

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Christensen said he thought Saturday’s thrid practice of fall camp was the best practice at any time since he became the coach back in December 2008. The team practiced in shoulder pads and helmets. The first practice in full pads is Monday morning.

Senior right guard Jack Tennant was out with a calf strain, but Christensen didn’t seem concerned. Tennant is the starter heading into fall camp. I wrote a feature on him following the first day of fall camp. I hope the Gagliardi jinx hasn’t struck already.

Junior John Hutchins practiced at right guard with the No. 1 offense Saturday.

Christensen expects some true freshmen to play this season, but other than Schober right now, he isn’t ready to say who. One who might pla is offensive tackle Justin DiRe, who already is with the No. 2 offense on the right side.

In terms of some of the position battles, senior Keith Lewis remains the starter at one of the outside linebacker spots while redshirt freshman Devyn Harris is No. 2. Junior Alex Stover and sophomore Mike Purcell have taken most of the reps at defensive tackle.

True freshman Nehemie Kankolongo took most of the snaps with the ones at running back over sophomore and last year’s leading rusher Alvester Alexander. However, Alexander did get some snaps with the ones Saturday.

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On a side note, Josh Dees, the son of former UW men’s basketball coach Benny Dees, got married in Laramie Saturday. Dees also was a walk-on for the Cowboys’ men’s basketball team for former coach Steve McClain.

I also got a Twitter message from former UW basketball player Brandon Ewing. He told me he played in Israel last season in a “real good league.” He currently is spending most of his time in Chicago and Atlanta.