Nance Jr. feeling good despite a lot of games to start the season

If there’s any doubt Wyoming senior forward Larry Nance Jr. is recovered from ACL surgery back in March, the Cowboys’ large number of games to start the season should prove that he’s fine.

UW will play its 10th game over a 24-day period when it plays at California at 9 p.m. MT Wednesday. Nance has started every game, and leads the team in scoring (12.7 ppg), rebounding (5.4 rpg) and blocked shots (1.1 bpg).

Larry Nance

Larry Nance

“I’m doing well, but it’s been a little taxing combing back and playing this many games in a pretty short amount of time,” Nance said. “Let’s just say this: I’ve been in the training room quite a bit. I feel good and looking forward to this next one.”

Nance averaged 15.4 points, 8.6 rebounds, 2.1 blocked shots and 1.4 steals per game last season before his injury, which earned him First Team All-Mountain West honors and a spot on the league’s All-Defensive Team.

Nance’s scoring average has dipped in the last couple of games. He was held to four points on 1 of 4 shooting in UW’s 66-53 loss at SMU last Friday, and he played only 16 minutes and had six points in a 70-35 home win over Division II Regis last Sunday.

SMU did a good job of taking Nance away last Friday, and perhaps UW should have done a better job of getting him the ball, or at least finding ways of getting him the ball. It will be interesting to see how Nance does against California, who has a big front court.

UW was outrebounded 35-16 at SMU, and California has outrebounded teams by about six this season, including nearly 41 rebounds per contest. UW averages about 30 rebounds per game, with 25.4 of those coming on the defensive end, which leads the Mountain West.

“We got crushed pretty good on glass at SMU. That’s something we’ve always had to work on and a hurdle we’ve always had to get over. This game will be no different than the others,” Nance said.

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UW-SMU pregame notes

How Wyoming plays without senior guard Luke Martinez today at SMU has to be one of the biggest questions for the Cowboys.

Martinez fractured a bone in his right hand in an “off-campus incident” according to the school and is out indefinitely. How will UW replace his 14.5 points per game and 25 steals?

It won’t be by one person, although sophomore guard Riley Grabau is expected to start for Martinez today. This will be a chance for Grabau, true freshman Josh Adams and junior-college transfer Nathan Sobey to step up.

Who else do you think needs to step up their game for the Cowboys while Martinez is out?

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