VIDEO: UW women’s basketball media day

University of Wyoming women’s basketball seniors Kayla Woodward, left, and Kaitlyn Mileto, right, along with coach Joe Legerski, speak at UW’s basketball media day on Wednesday, Oct. 15.

The Cowgirls were picked to finish third in the Mountain West, and Woodward was selected as the preseason player of the year. Both Woodward and Mileto have scored more than 1,000 points in their UW careers.


For more coverage from media day, see Thursday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang and log on to wyosports.net.

Video by Robert Gagliardi/WyoSports.

Priester, Hill expected to play as true freshmen for Cowboys

Heading into the season-opener Saturday, two true freshmen will play for Wyoming: cornerback Robert Priester and running back Brian Hill.

Robert Priester

Robert Priester

I thought there may be more, and there could be as the early part of the season progresses. But the later it goes, the less likely will unless some are needed due to injury.

Priester is listed at 5-foot-9, 168 pounds out of Robinson High in Tampa, Florida. He was not listed on the depth chart for the Montana game, but UW just listed the top two guys at most of its positions.

“I want to thank the coaches in believing in me that I can go out there and compete with some of the best people in this conference,” Priester said. “I just ran to the ball and tried to make plays when I got out there.”

Priester also said he in on the kickoff return team and both punt squads on special teams.

Brian Hill

Brian Hill

Hill will be the third running back behind redshirt sophomore D.J. May and junior Shaun Wick.

First-year coach Craig Bohl said he likes to play two backs during games, but will play a third if necessary. At 6-1, 204, Hill is what Bohl likes in a running back, and running backs coach Mike Bath said during camp Hill is one of the most intelligent players he’s ever coached.

“For a guy to be able to conceptualize all of what we do is not easy, and we are really pleased with his progress,” Bohl said.

Earlier in camp, Bohl said true freshman defensive tackle Sidney Malauulu will play this season. He still might, but Bohl said he and the staff are still contemplating whether or not to play him this season. Continue reading

UW women’s hoops adds JC player

Here is the release from Wyoming on it’s latest women’s basketball signee. I’ve been told the University of Utah made a push late to sign her, but she stayed with UW.

LARAMIE — University of Wyoming women’s basketball coach Joe Legerski today announced the addition of Aubry Boehme (Bay Me) to this year’s recruiting class. She will attend the University of Wyoming beginning in the fall of 2012.

“The addition of Aubry solidifies our post play,” said head coach Joe Legerski. “She is a tremendous competitor and will have an immediate impact on the Wyoming program. Her toughness and desire to win are second to none.”

Boehme is a 6-foot forward from Smithfield, Utah, who attended Otero Junior College in Colorado where she earned First Team All-America honors last season. She was also selected All-Region and to the Region IX All-Tournament Team during her sophomore year after averaging 17 points and 6.6 rebounds per contest.

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UW-SDSU women’s postgame thoughts

For about 25 minutes the fifth-seeded Wyoming Cowgirls played well, despite foul trouble, with top-seeded San Diego State in their semifinals game in the Mountain West Tournament here Friday afternoon.

But as coach Joe Legerski described it, San Diego State is a fast car and it found another gear UW didn’t have en route to a 73-55 victory.

UW had no answer for junior guard Courtney Clements (22 points, six rebounds) and Chelsea Hopkins (16 points, 10 assists, three steals).

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UW-TCU postgame thoughts

TCU’s Natalie Ventress was named the Mountain West Freshman of the Year in women’s basketball earlier this week.

Many thought the award should have gone to Wyoming’s Kayla Woodward of Sheridan.

Hard to argue that after how Woodward and the Cowgirls played in their 61-44 victory over TCU in the quarterfinals of the MW Tournament Wednesday here at the Thomas & Mack Center.

Woodward had a game-high 17 points, along with three assists, three steals and three 3-point baskets.

Ventress had two points on 1 of 11 shooting.

“There was a little bit of a motivation,” said Woodward on wanting to come out and play well knowing she didn’t get the Freshman of the Year award. “But this was a team effort. We played with heart and that really showed.”

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Shyatt still the favorite

Another day, another “hurry up and wait” to hear who the next Wyoming men’s basketball coach will be.

It looked like it would be Larry Shyatt for much of Wednesday, but he didn’t get off an airplane with UW’s in-house search committee late in the night.

But a source close to the situation told me this morning that Shyatt is still the favorite, and a decision could come as early as today. Other local and national reports out there confirm this.

Then again, it might not.

UW’s search committee was in Atlanta Wednesday interviewing candidates. Along with Shyatt, a source told me it also interviewed Kansas assistant Joe Dooley, Old Dominion coach Blaine Taylor and College of Southern Idaho coach Steve Gosar.

Dooley was an assistant at UW for one season. Gosar is a Wyoming native, a former UW player and graduate assistant. Taylor has family in Wyoming and used to coach at Montana.

And we all know by know Shyatt coached UW in 1997-98 and left for Clemson after one season.

UW athletics director Tom Burman didn’t come back to Laramie with the search committee, which includes President Tom Buchanan, associate athletics directors Kevin McKinney and Matt Whisenant, women’s basketball coach Joe Legerski and former UW and NBA player Reggie Slater. (Slater lives in the Houston area and also wasn’t on the return trip to Laramie last night).

McKinney said Burman planned to attend Final Four festivites in Houston this weekend. Perhaps he needed a night to sleep on who he should hire as the next coach. Is it indeciviness, uncertainty or did something unexpectdly happen during the interviews that has made Burman think more about this decision?

Perhaps its a little of everything. One thing is certain, Burman’s not making a hasty decision which at this point is wise.

Cowgirls knocked out of MWC Tournament by Lobos

Pretty bad day for Wyoming basketball Wednesday. The men lost to TCU 70-61 in the play-in game for the third time in the last four years, and a few hours later the women were upset by 13-17 New Mexico in the quarterfinals 67-61.

Senior post Hillary Carlson teared up in the postgame interview session and  had to gather herself. UW just didn’t play well. It didn’t shoot well and the Lobos went on a 15-5 run to start the second half.

To UW’s credit it made a run of its own. It cut the lead to 59-56 with 3:37 to play. But that was as close as the Cowgirls would get.

An offensive foul on senior Aubrey Vandiver with less than a minute to play ended any hopes of a UW rally.

“It’s not about one call. It never is one way or the other,” Legerski said. … “It didn’t go our way. Move on.”

Vandiver was called for technical foul as she exchanged some pleasantries with freshman guard Jasmine Patterson. UW went on a 9-1 run after that. That seemed to spark the team.

“Well, we just came out with more energy, I guess,” Vandiver said. “We eliminated them on the boards. They didn’t get second opportunities during that run.”

Two stats that hurt UW: it allowed 20 points off 14 turnovers and allowed New Mexico 14 second-chance points.

Cowgirls are 22-8 and will play in the WNIT for the fourth time in the last six years. They will find out their opponent and bracket Monday night.

Cowboys, Cowgirls prepare for MWC tourney

The brackets are out and the match-ups are set for the Mountain West Conference men’s and women’s basketball tournament in Las Vegas. Action begins Tuesday.

The Wyoming men and women both play Wednesday. The Cowboys play TCU in the play-in game at 3 p.m. MST. The Cowgirls get a bye in the first round as the tournament’s third seed, and get the winner of Tuesday’s six-seven game between New Mexico and San Diego State at 8 p.m. Wednesday.

I like the men’s chances against TCU. UW beat TCU by 10 a few weeks ago and the Horned Frogs have lost 13 in a row. UW is 2-5 since interim coach Fred Langley took over. The play-in game often times comes down to who wants it the most. I think UW will do just enough to win by five.

The winner gets top-seeded BYU, and UW hung with the Cougars for a while before a 102-78 loss Saturday in Provo. But the Cowboys can’t look ahead to that, they need to focus on the Horned Frogs.

The Cowgirls’ opener scares me. Not because UW lost its regular-season finale by 16 at home to top-seeded BYU Saturday. But because both New Mexico and San Diego State know what it takes to win games at this event, and the Cowgirls are just 3-11.

Both teams are dangerous, but that’s not to say UW isn’t, either. I talked to coach Joe Legerski last Thursday — less than 24 hours after his team went on the road and won at San Diego State — and he said this team continues to amaze him and that no challenge is too big. It’s nice that the Cowgirls have four seniors who have played in this kind of environment. If UW can avoid a slow start Wednesday it wins. If it starts slow, it will be tough.

That would set up a semifinal matchup with second-seeded TCU Friday. TCU swept the regular-season series. You know what they say, it’s hard to beat a team three times in a season. Hope that isn’t the case for UW Wednesday.

Any thoughts?

I will be live blogging all UW men’s and women’s games from the tournament. More information will be sent out soon.

Here is the men’s bracket: http://www.themwc.com/auto_pdf/p_hotos/s_chools/mwc/sports/m-baskbl/auto_pdf/mwc-11-m-baskbl-bracket

Here is the women’s bracket: http://www.themwc.com/auto_pdf/p_hotos/s_chools/mwc/sports/w-baskbl/auto_pdf/mwc-11-w-champ-bracket