WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi did a question-and-answer session with Robert Kuwada, who covers Fresno State men’s basketball for the Fresno Bee, about Wednesday’s game with the University of Wyoming at 8 p.m. at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif.
Follow on Twitter: @rkuwada
Despite its record the Bulldogs have been close in a lot of conference games, including going to overtime in the last two. What are the struggles with this team right now?
The Bulldogs are just young and have had trouble making plays to finish games. The double-overtime loss to Nevada they had the lead at the end of regulation and gave up a layup to Deonte Burton to tie with about 15 seconds to go and then couldn’t get much of a shot coming out of a timeout, and then in the first overtime they had a lead and let Cole Huff get to the rim for a layup with one second to go. Layups … That logically can’t happen, but it did.
They made similar mistakes in the overtime loss at UNLV, only at the offensive end. UNLV gave them a lot of chances to win it in regulation and the overtime, but they couldn’t make a play. A freshman turned the ball over on one key possession. They got switched into a tough shot on another. They rushed a put-back just ahead of the buzzer and missed that.
They’re taking some lumps learning how to really compete and succeed at this level.
Another game, another close one for the Wyoming men’s basketball team.
That is the norm with this squad, and the Cowboys (13-6 overall, 4-2 Mountain West) extended their winning streak to four with a 64-62 overtime win over Nevada (10-10, 5-2) in front of a season-high crowd of 6,944.
Ten of UW’s 19 games have been decided by eight points or less, seven by five points or less and six by three points or less. And, five of its six conference games have been decided by one basket.
That one basket in this game: a running hook shot by junior forward Larry Nance Jr. that reminded many of how Kareem Abdul-Jabbar used to do it.
Here’s the video highlights from overtime, including Nance’s game-winner:
WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi did a question-and-answer session with Dan Hinxman, who covers Nevada men’s basketball for the Reno Gazette-Journal for Saturday’s game at the University of Wyoming. Tip-off is at 2 p.m. at the Arena-Auditorium in Laramie.
Follow on Twitter: @danhinxmanRGJ
Nevada has to be one of the surprises in the Mountain West at 5-1. Has this start surprised you, and what have been the biggest factors?
Yes, I am surprised with how much success it has had so far, given how it played through the first 11 games (4-7) and some of the teams it lost to (Morehead State, Cal State Bak-ersfield and Long Beach State, to name a few). A.J. West’s defensive presence has made a big impact on the team, and other players have stepped up their defensive effort since then, too. Another factor is the Wolf Pack has had one of the easiest starts to conference play so far, having not had to take on San Diego State or New Mexico yet.
WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi did a question-and-answer session with Dan Hinxman, who covers Nevada men’s basketball for the Reno Gazette-Journal about Saturday’s 4 p.m. game with the University of Wyoming at the Lawlor Events Center in Reno, Nev.
Follow on Twitter: @danhinxmanRGJ
How big was Nevada’s 62-50 road win at San Jose State for the team’s confidence after an up and down nonconference part of its schedule?
It was really big simply because this team didn’t know what it had yet. A loss to SJSU, one of the bottom two or three teams in the Mountain West, would have fractured its already delicate confidence, especially with the return of power forward A.J. West. With all the issues Nevada has had this season with injuries and ineligible players, it, too, was a bottom two or three team. Beating the Spartans doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not a bottom three team, but at least the players now know they’re better than that.