From left to right, Wyoming men’s basketball players Derrious Gilmore, Leonard Washington and Larry Nance Jr. talk about the Cowboys’ 75-67 overtime loss to Western Michigan in the quarterfinals of the College Basketball Invitational on Monday, March 26, 2013.
WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi did a question-and-answer swap with Scott DeCamp, who covers Western Michigan men’s basketball for the Kalamaoo (Mich.) Gazette.
Wyoming (20-13) hosts Western Michigan (21-12) in the quarterfinals of the College Basketball Invitational at 7 tonight at the Arena-Auditorium in Laramie.
Question: Was Western Michigan disappointed it didn’t get into the NIT, and in your opinion, has the team bought in to playing in the CBI?
Answer: I think it was understood that WMU was probably not going to be considered for the NIT. The Mid-American Conference is generally a one-bid league (for the NCAA Tournament), and that typically means the winner of the MAC Tournament gets the bid and loser goes to the NIT. Akron won the MAC tourney and received the NCAA automatic bid, Ohio lost in the MAC tourney finals and went to the NIT. WMU lost to Ohio in the MAC tourney semifinals, which essentially locked the Broncos into the CBI. I think WMU is excited about playing in the CBI. This is a young team with eight freshmen. Many people, before the season, expected the Broncos to finish in the .500 or sub-.500 range, so they’ve overachieved in some ways.
Big Shot Sobey.
That is the new nickname for Wyoming junior guard Nathan Sobey after he hit the game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Cowboys a 67-66 win over Lehigh Tuesday night in a first-round CBI game in Laramie.
But let’s not forget two other players that were key in making that play happen.
After Lehigh took a 66-64 lead in the final seconds, and with no timeouts, sophomore forward Larry Nance Jr. got the ball into play quickly to true freshman guard Josh Adams. Then, Adams used his speed to get the ball up the floor quickly, and found Sobey open in the corner.
If Nance or Adams falter even the slightest, UW loses.
From left to right, Wyoming men’s basketball players Larry Nance Jr., Derrious Gilmore and Nathan Sobey talk about the Cowboys 67-66 win over Lehigh in the first round of the College Basketball Invitational Tuesday, March 19, 2013, in Laramie.
Wyoming men’s basketball coach Larry Shyatt, and from left to right, players Josh Adams, Derrious Gilmore and Larry Nance Jr. talk about the Cowboys’ 59-46 loss to No. 15 New Mexico in the quarterfinals of the Mountain West Tournament on Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
From left to right, Wyoming coach Larry Shyatt, forward Larry Nance Jr., point guard Derrious Gilmore and forward Leonard Washington talk about the Cowboys’ 85-81 win over Nevada in the play-in game at the Mountain West Tournament on Tuesday, March 12, 2013 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
Wyoming men’s basketball players Derrious Gilmore, left, and Larry Nance Jr. talk about the Cowboys’ 78-56 home loss to Colorado State on Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at the Arena-Auditorium in Laramie. UW ended the regular season 18-12 overall and 4-12 in the Mountain West.
Colorado State was good, senior center Colton Iverson was dominant and there wasn’t much Wyoming could do about it.
The Cowboys lost their regular-season finale 78-56 to the Rams Wednesday night at the Arena-Auditorium. They finished the regular season on a five-game losing streak, and with a record of 18-12 overall and 4-12 in the Mountain West.
It looks like UW will play Nevada at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the play-in game at the Mountain West Tournament.
The big news of the day came about nine hours before the game when senior guard Luke Martinez pleaded not guilty to a felony aggravated assault and battery charge Wednesday morning in district court in Laramie.
A trial is set for Aug. 26-28, and Martinez is still suspended indefinitely from the team.
What was surprising was what Martinez’s attorney, Tom Fleener said to the media after the hearing.
“Luke’s the victim here,” Fleener said. “He’s lost his college basketball career. He wasn’t the aggressor that night. It was a bar fight in a college town and no weapons were used. While the injuries were certainly unfortunate, Luke’s the one that truly suffered today.”
According to an affidavit, a multiple witnesses reported to police that Martinez kicked a limp and unconscious man, Parfait Nayigihugu, in the face.
WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi did a question-and-answer session with Matt Stephens, who covers Colorado State men’s basketball for the Fort Collins Coloradoan.
Wyoming (18-11 overall, 4-11 Mountain West) hosts Colorado State (22-7, 9-5) at 8 tonight at the Arena-Auditorium in Laramie.
Question: Air Force’s Michael Lyons, New Mexico’s Kendall Williams and Boise State’s Derrick Marks have had huge games the last couple of weeks against the Rams. Is there a big concern about Colorado State’s perimeter defense, or do you chalk it up to three very good players having very good games?
Answer: I only get concerned when CSU is playing on a Saturday. The Rams held all UNLV and Fresno State players to less than 20 the past two Wednesday, so there must be some voodoo going on.
But really, I don’t see what CSU is missing in terms of on-ball defense. Williams and Lyons each had a hand in their faces on most shots, but they were allowed to catch the ball. The Rams have really focused on “no catch” defense the last week or so, and against Fresno State it worked, as they denied Kevin Olekaibe the ball in the second half to shut him down.
It is hard to really figure out what else CSU can do. Even Larry Shyatt noted it Monday that opponents were just having big games. No rhyme or reason.