Jack’s Journal: Wyoming senior guard Jack Bentz’s final take on Cowboys’ NCAA Tournament experience

University of Wyoming senior guard Jack Bentz is going to write a daily journal entry on his and the team’s experiences this week at the NCAA Tournament in Seattle.

Here is Bentz’s final take Friday after the Cowboys lost 71-54 to Northern Iowa.

 

Thank you.

Jack Bentz

Jack Bentz

The season is over. For the five seniors it was the last time we put on a Cowboys uniform. While the game did not turn out the way we had planned, we can honestly say that we gave it our all this year. Congratulations to Northern Iowa, we lost to a very good basketball team.

As the final chapter ends on this year, many thanks are necessary. On behalf of the team, I would like to thank the coaches, fans, and the whole state of Wyoming for the support and making it an incredible year, and for some of us four years. It is truly an honor and privilege to represent Wyoming and wear the brown and gold. Words cannot explain the gratitude and appreciation we have for everyone along this journey.

This season and group of guys were special and we are saddened that it is over. However, as only true Cowboys can, we are riding off into the sunset with our heads held high. I am equally excited to watch and support our team for years to come and wish the underclassmen nothing but the best. We have great leadership and direction under coach Shyatt, who will sustain a winning culture. Playing for The University of Wyoming has been an amazing experience.

Again, thank you.

 

Jack’s Journal: UW senior guard Jack Bentz gives his take on Cowboys’ NCAA Tournament experience

University of Wyoming senior guard Jack Bentz is going to write a daily journal entry on his and the team’s experiences this week as the Cowboys prepare to play in the NCAA Tournament against Northern Iowa.

The game is at 11:40 p.m. MT Friday at Key Arena in Seattle. Here is Bentz’s take from Thursday.

 

Preparation meets opportunity.

Today was our last day of preparation before the game tomorrow. We began the day with a morning practice at Seattle Pacific University where we did a lot of work with the scout team. As a four-year scout team veteran, it is our job to impersonate our opponent’s personnel and simulate their offensive and defensive schemes.

Jack Bentz

Jack Bentz

From there we went to Key Arena, the site of where our game will be played and the former home of the Seattle Supersonics, to have another workout. Before we took the floor, though, we had a NCAA team media session. After the media obligations, the Pokes stepped foot on the Key Arena floor and were greeted by Wyoming fans and “Ragtime Cowboy Joe” playing from the speakers. During the workout, the goal was to get a feel for the gym and arena. After we warmed up we did our normal pre-game ritual of everyone taking a charge. This time, however, was different. After the last person to go, coach Shyatt jumped in and took one himself. At 63, his form and technique was impeccable. We were all very impressed and just happy to see him get up afterwards. Our workout consisted mostly of ball handling and a lot of shooting.

As the game draws near, we are reminded of what’s at stake. While we are preparing for this game like every other, we know that this tournament is one-and-done. Northern Iowa is a very good team, very well coached and is 30-3 for a reason. Nevertheless, we are embracing the moment and are determined to leave it all out on the floor. As the saying goes in March Madness, “survive and advance.”

We will have a team dinner and film session and then it is time to rest and get our minds right for the game. We are eagerly looking forward to tipoff and seeing a lot of brown and gold in the stands at Key Arena. Go Pokes!

 

Jack’s Journal: Day 3 of UW senior guard Jack Bentz’s take of NCAA Tournament experience

University of Wyoming senior guard Jack Bentz will provide WyoSports and this blog with a daily diary of his thoughts as the Cowboys go through the process of preparing for the NCAA Tournament. Here’s the third installment from Wednesday, March 18:

Seattle bound.

Jack Bentz

Jack Bentz

After a solid morning practice in Laramie, we loaded up our bus and headed to the Laramie regional airport. There, waiting for us, was a huge 737-charter jet, accompanied by some pretty distinguished guests. Governor Matt Mead, Maury Brown, Tom Burman, and Adam Waddell were all on board. Not to mention our cheerleaders and other members of the Cowboy Joe and UW athletic administration. If that’s not cool enough, get this: All 12 of us players were reserved first class! As you can imagine, the guys were pretty excited.

As we flew into Seattle, the view from our plane windows gave us some beautiful aerial views of scenic Seattle skyline and famous landmark, the Space Needle. We then landed and upon arrival, climbed into a Seattle Seahawks team bus. From there, we drove through the city and passed Safeco Field (Mariners) and Century Link Field (Seahawks) en route to our downtown hotel.

Inside the hotel, NCAA official hosts greeted us, welcoming us with gift bags full of snacks and NCAA March Madness gear. The team will room with their same teammates that we’ve roomed with all year. For me, this is my second year rooming with Junior (Hankerson) and thank goodness he is not a snorer. We also have a team meeting with film followed by a team dinner at a restaurant.

While the trip has obviously gotten off to a great start, we are treating this like every other road trip, which is with the mindset of a “business trip.” There are certainly many perks that come with playing in the NCAA tournament, but we know what our main reason is for being here. There is a time and place to enjoy the moment and there is a time to take care of business. We are already looking forward to tomorrow’s practice and our last day of pregame preparation.

Jack’s Journal: Day 2 take from Wyoming senior guard Jack Bentz

University of Wyoming senior guard Jack Bentz will provide WyoSports and this blog with a daily diary of his thoughts as the Cowboys go through the process of preparing for the NCAA Tournament. Here’s the second installment from Tuesday, March 17:

 

“Win the day.”

Jack BentzThis has been the team’s motto for the past month. As the season progresses, coaches and players are determined to take advantage of every day and make the most of each opportunity we take the floor.

Coach (Larry) Shyatt’s message was to not look backward and only focus on what’s ahead of us — today’s practice and Northern Iowa. We had a great practice, film session and team dinner. The team is definitely locked in and we’re starting to learn more about Northern Iowa through film and scouting reports.

We are very fortunate to have a coaching staff as experienced and accomplished in the NCAA Tournament. Their history and expertise in the tournament is invaluable to us. We are able to learn from them about the ins and outs of the tournament and how to effectively prepare as well as game plan for our opponent.

Today we will have practice in the morning and then it is wheels up to Seattle. The team will be chartering out of Laramie in the afternoon and we are packing for five days. We all have our raincoats ready and I’m told Papa Shy’s gold sweaters are waterproof — so don’t worry, Poke Nation.