Camping with the Cowboys

Wyoming men’s basketball coach Larry Shyatt described the start of his Friday’s  first of 10 allotted days to prepare for next month’s four-game exhibition trip to Canada as a “mini-camp.”

The Cowboys get 10 days, not 10 practices,  to get ready for this trip. Shyatt said he may have five practices in a day. Of course he was joking, but he put his team through about a 2 1/2 hour practice Friday morning at the Arena-Auditorium. UW also practices Saturday and Sunday, July 23-24 and July 31-Aug. 4. The Canadian tour begins Aug. 5.

“We’ll have some fun this weekend,” said Shyatt with a wry grin prior to Friday’s pracitce.

Continue reading

UW-UNLV Q&A

For the second time in less than a week, Matt Youmans of the Las Vegas Review-Journal and who covers UNLV men’s basketball answered five questions I had for him on Thursday’s game with Wyoming in the quarterfinals of the MW Tournament.

What was your take of last Saturday’s UNLV-Wyoming game and what surprised you the most about the outcome of the game? The Cowboys played well, the Rebels shot well as expected, and the officiating was awful. Two soccer flops by UNLV players drew key fouls on Leonard Washington and JayDee Luster. Sometimes officials act as if they get paid by the whistle. The game was choppy and ugly because of too many unnecessary foul calls. That did not surprise me, because I get used to seeing poor officiating, and the final score didn’t surprise me. But in reality it was closer than an 11-point game.
Continue reading

Thoughts on All-MW men’s hoops team

Here is the link to the All-Mountain West men’s basketball team and other honorees:

http://www.themwc.com/sports/m-baskbl/spec-rel/030512aad.html

I was fortunate to vote on this, and I had four of the five players on both the first and second teams, including UW junior forward Leonard Washington. He’s UW’s highest All-MW pick since senior guard Brandon Ewing made the first team in 2008-09.

I didn’t vote for senior point guard JayDee Luster as the Defensive Player of the Year, but it was well-deserved. When coach Larry Shyatt says he’s the best defender he’s coached in his 40 years on the job, that really says something.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.  

Continue reading

UW-San Diego State Q&A

I am still in Orlando, Fla., for the Associated Press Sports Editors winter conference and contest judging event. Not trying to rub it in to those of you back in Wyoming, but the weather is a lot better here. … Windy, but in the 70s.

Anyway, I caught up with Mark Zeigler who covers San Diego State men’s basketball for the San Diego Union-Tribune and I asked him five questions on Wednesday’s Wyoming-SDSU game.

With San Diego State’s recent struggles, is the team wearing down because of a lack of depth with only nine scholarship players? I don’t think anyone knows for sure, but it certainly looks that way. Two things I have noticed that would indicate accumulated fatigue are players getting stuck in screens far more often than earlier in the season, and flatter jump shots. Both point to tired or heavy legs. And the nine scholarship players is deceiving. One rarely plays. Another plays but only because a guard has to come off the bench and there’s no one else. Another is DeShawn Stephens, who was cut from his high school team and, while an incredibly inspirational story, is in just his third year of organized basketball (and first at the Division I level). So when Jamaal Franklin sat out the Air Force game with a sprained ankle and Garrett Green, his replacement in the starting lineup, sprained an ankle midway through the second half, they in reality were down to four experienced players who get meaningful minutes.

Continue reading

UW-CSU Q&A

Kelly Lyell of the Fort Collins Coloradoan answered five questions I gave him on Saturday’s Wyoming-Colorado State men’s basketball game.

Let me know what you think.

What’s been Colorado State’s biggest hang-up on the road this season? Maintaining the kind of defensive focus and intensity that the Rams play with at home, particularly as fatigue sets in as games wind down. CSU has a short bench this year, because coach Tim Miles committed scholarships to two transfers who have to sit out under NCAA rules – Colton Iverson (Minnesota) and Daniel Bejarano (Arizona). The Rams are basically playing an eight-man rotation when everyone’s healthy and have had as few as six of those players available in some conference road games.

Continue reading

UW-Air Force Q&A swap

As he has during football season and prior to the first Air Force-Wyoming men’s basketball game last month, Frank Schwab of the Colorado Springs Gazette agreed to do a Q&A swap with me about Wednesday’s game in Laramie.

First are my questions and Frank’s answers, followed by Frank’s questions and my answers.

Let me know what you think.

Continue reading