UW-TCU postgame thoughts

Even though the weather and the road prevented me from going to the game, it wouldn’t matter if you saw Wyoming play in person, on TV, listened on the radio or read a box score — the seniors took center stage on Senior Night.

Wyoming beat TCU 71-59 in arguably its best offensive game in Mountain West play to date.

One turnover and 18 assists on 28 baskets says it all. So does shooting nearly 54 percent from the field.

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UW-TCU Q&A swap

TCU beat writer Stefan Stevenson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram graciously agreed to swap five questions and answers with me about tonight’s game with Wyoming.

First are my questions and his answers, followed by my answers to his questions.

Let me know what you think.

What has TCU done well specifically to put itself in position to possibly win the conference title? TCU has stepped up its defense. The Frogs are 10-0 when outrebounding their opponent and 11-1 when holding teams to under 47.6 percent shooting from the field. TCU has also been shooting well from 3-point range. The Frogs have made six or more 3-pointers in 11 consecutive games and 11 or more 3s in five of their last seven games.  

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Wyoming men’s hoops picked sixth in MW

The Wyoming men’s basketball team was picked sixth in the Mountain West preseason media poll. No big surprise there, and that’s where I picked the Pokes in my poll.

New Mexico received 22 of the 26 first-place votes. UNLV received the other four. I thought the Rebels would get a few more first-place votes. Perhaps a change in coaches from Lon Kruger to Dave Rice contributed to that.

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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.