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.

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Shyatt, Reynolds share mutual respect

Wyoming men’s basketball coach Larry Shyatt and Air Force coach Jeff Reynolds have known each other for around 30 years, and both hold a great deal of respect for one another.

Their two teams face each other at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Air Force Academy.

“He’s a fantastic coach, but he’s a better person,” said Reynolds of Shyatt. “To be honest, I joked with him that he was my worst nightmare because I hated to see him come back to the league. I know how good a coach he is. I think he’s done a tremendous job. He’s already put his stamp on the program. He’s got the players there to buy in.”

Said Shyatt about Reynolds: “He’s focused on right things and his players are focused on right things. It’s a blessing to see people like that still in the profession.”

See Tuesday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang for more on Wednesday’s game, and other men’s basketball news around the Mountain West.

MWC men’s hoops news and notes

Wyoming’s next opponent, Air Force on Saturday, has already matched its win total from last season at 10. The Falcons are 10-6 and 1-2 in Mountain West Conference play and nearly beat UNLV at home last Saturday before losing 64-52.

“They’re playing witha lot more confidence, and the biggest thing is (Air Force coach Jeff Reynolds) has all his guys healthy,” UW coach Heath Schroyer said. “They’re much improved. They’re a lot better and they’re hard to play. They’re very good at home. They had Vegas on ropes and beat Utah at home.”

UW hopes to use this week to get some guys healthy and figure out a way to snap a 17-game road losing streak. For more on that, see Tuesday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle www.wyomingnews.com and Laramie Boomerang www.laramieboomerang.com.

Some other news and notes from Monday’s MWC coaches teleconference:

–Air Force may have beaten UNLV last Saturday if it had made free throws, but it was only 12 of 25 from the line.

–San Diego State made 13 3-pointers in its 87-77 win at New Mexico. The Aztecs (19-0, 4-0) remain No. 6 in the nation.

–Brigham Young senior guard Jackson Emery will be honored prior to Tuesday’s home game with TCU for breaking the school’s career record for steals, previously held by Danny Ainge. Reynolds described Emery as one of the best shooters in the MWC. Emery shoots 38.8 percent from 3-point range.

–UNLV coach Lon Kruger said senior guard Tre’Von Willis (knee) is probable for Wednesday’s home game against Colorado State. Willis didn’t play at Air Force.

–Brigham Young senior guard Jimmer Fredette is getting a lot of national attention these days after his 47-point game last Tuesday at Utah. He was named MWC Player of the Week for the third straight week, fifth time this season and 12th time in his career.

“He’s more of a humble kid now than he was then,” said Cougars coach Dave Rose when asked how Fredette has handled all the attention this season. “At times I think it’s almost embarassing for him.”

MWC men’s basketball news and notes

Here are some tidbits from Monday’s first Mountain West Conference men’s basketball teleconference of the season:

–At 15-0, No. 6 San Diego State is the only undefeated team in conference history heading into league play. The Aztecs play three of their first four conference games on the road, starting Wednesday at TCU.

–Brigham Young senior guard Jimmer Fredette won player of the week honors for the third time this season. Fredette leads the MWC in scoring (24.1 ppg) but more impressive to coach Dave Rose is the fact Fredette leads the Cougars and is fourth in the MWC in assists (4.4 apg).

–Air Force coach Jeff Reynolds said in less than two years players in his program have suffered 11 concussions. Ouch!!

–The only team not to open conference play during the week is New Mexico. It hosts Cal-State Bakersfield Wednesday before heading to Wyoming Saturday.

–The game of the week is Wednesday where No. 15 BYU (14-1) plays at No. 25 UNLV (12-2) Wednesday. BYU has won four straight games, while UNLV has won three in a row to get back into the top 25. BYU leads the MWC in scoring (83.9 ppg) while UNLV is second in scoring defense (60.1 ppg).

–UW coach Heath Schroyer said the school is still trying to reschedle the Houston Baptist game, which was postponed last week because UW couldn’t get to Denver in time to catch its flight due to poor weather. Schroyer said he wasn’t sure when it would be rescheduled, and if it wasn’t the series would be moved to next season. The Cowboys reportedly get two home games out of the contract for going to Houston once.

–Colorado State coach Tim Miles said his team was emotionally down after a 77-75 loss to Hampton at a tournament last weekend in San Francisco. Hampton made a 3-pointer with less than a second to play for the game-winning basket. But when asked if that would be a factor in Tuesday’s home game with UW, Miles said. “It’s Wyoming.”

–The best quote from the teleconference came from San Diego State coach Steve Fisher. He was asked how scheduling might be for his team next season based on the success its had so far this season, and based on how difficult this season’s schedule was to put together. “Next year everyone might want to play us since we lose five players and possibly a sixth.”

See Tuesday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle www.wyomingnews.com and Laramie Boomerang www.laramieboomerang.comfor more UW-CSU and MWC men’s basketball coverage, along with an analysis piece by Scott Nulph on the Cowgirls heading into MWC play. Hope you will join me for the first live blog of 2011 from the UW-CSU men’s game in Fort Collins. We will start at about 6:45 p.m. Here is the link: http://wyomingcowboysblog.com/2010/12/30/live-blog-wyoming-vs-colorado-state-tuesday-14/