Nance Jr. to roll up frequent flyer miles working out for NBA teams

I talked with former Wyoming men’s basketball forward Larry Nance Jr. Tuesday about his recent experience at the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago, and his pending interviews/workouts with NBA teams.

Larry Nance Jr.

Larry Nance Jr.

Nance, who has been based in Chicago the last couple of months, left for San Antonio Tuesday and has a workout with the San Antonio Spurs Wednesday.

Next week, he begins a whirl-wind tour of the country as he has workouts scheduled with Philadelphia, Boston, Charlotte, Milwaukee, Cleveland, Minnesota, Brooklyn and the Los Angeles Lakers. Nance said he also hopes to get a workout with the Los Angeles Clippers.

“From what I understand right now, each team has their own way,” said Nance on what he expects from work outs with different NBA teams.

“San Antonio, I’ve heard, is very structured but laid-back. As long as you’re going as hard as you can and following their structure, they’re not looking to kill you. I’ve heard other teams like Cleveland run you to death to see how you respond to that. I know what I do well and I’m going to stick to that.”

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Nance Jr. measures up at NBA Draft Combine

Former Wyoming men’s basketball player (kind of sounds weird to read that, doesn’t it) Larry Nance Jr. is currently at the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago and will be there through the weekend.

Larry Nance Jr.

Larry Nance Jr.

Similar to the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, players go through a wide range of sport-specific tests. With the NBA Draft Combine, players also will play games for scouts and NBA team officials to watch, and interviews will be held.

Here are some of Nance’s specifics:

Height without shoes: 6-7 1/2

Height with shoes: 6-8 1/2

Weight: 226.6

Body fat percentage: 6.4

Hand length: 9.0 inches

Hand width: 9.75 inches

Standing reach: 9 feet

Wingspan: 7-feet, 1.5 inches

Lane agility time: 10.89 seconds

Shuttle run: 3.01 seconds

3/4-court sprint: 3.25 seconds

Standing vertical jump: 29 inches

Maximum vertical jump: 37.5 inches. That tied for the best jump among all power forwards at the combine.

Here’s the link to all the measurables for all the players at this year’s NBA Draft Combine:
http://stats.nba.com/draftcombine/#!/anthro/?ls=iref:nba:specialst3b

Nance played in the Combine’s first 5-on-5 game Thursday afternoon, and finished with eight points, eight rebounds and two blocked shots in 21 minutes. He was 3 of 6 from the field and had five offensive rebounds. Nance was 2 of 7 from the free-throw line, which is uncharacteristic of him as he was well over a 70 percent free-throw shooter at UW.

Friday, Nance had four points, seven rebounds (four offensive), four turnovers and three fouls. He was 2 of 5 from the field.

Nance received some high praise from the broadcast team from ESPN2 during Thursday’s game. Friday, ESPN’s Fran Frachilla said he thinks Nance will be drafted in the second round, but may spend some time in the NBA’s Developmental League..

Nance will not be with four of his senior teammates in Laramie this weekend for graduation ceremonies. However, UW sent this picture of those guys along with coach Larry Shyatt.

From left to right, Jack Bentz, Charles Hankerson Jr., Derek Cooke Jr., Larry Nance Jr. and Riley Grabau pose with coach Larry Shyatt as all five Wyoming men's basketball seniors will receive their degrees this weekend. Photo from UW.

From left to right, Jack Bentz, Charles Hankerson Jr., Derek Cooke Jr., Larry Nance Jr. and Riley Grabau pose with coach Larry Shyatt as all five Wyoming men’s basketball seniors will receive their degrees this weekend. Photo from UW.

Northern Iowa 71, Wyoming 54: 3 takes, notes and quotes

Tough way for Wyoming’s season to end with a 71-54 setback to Northern Iowa in the second round of the East Regional of the NCAA Tournament Friday at Key Arena in Seattle.

The No. 12 seed Cowboys (25-10) led for a total of 1 minute, 2 seconds of the game, which was early in the first half.

Here are my three takes from the game:

1. Too many shooters: Northern Iowa shot 46 percent from the field, but was 9 of 18 from 3-point range. Five different players made at least one 3-pointer, and five players also scored in double-digits. The Panthers just kept running shooters out on the court. Ten players got into the game, only one played 30-plus minutes and eight logged between 16 and 28 minutes.

Josh Adams

Josh Adams

2. Too many lulls: UW gave up runs of 10-0 in the first half and 13-3 to start the second half. Against a team like Northern Iowa, which is now 31-3 and 11th-ranked in the nation, that is too much to overcome. The Panthers also did a good job of doing what UW takes pride in doing — playing good defense. They took junior guard Josh Adams out of the game as he was just 2 of 9 from the field and had four points. They also did a good job of taking senior forward Larry Nance Jr. out of the game until the second half. Nance sparked a 14-0 UW run with 10 straight points during that spurt. But Northern Iowa did a good job of doubling Nance with two guys about 6-foot-8 to 6-9.

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UW vs. Northern Iowa: 3 keys, notes, quotes and video

My three keys for Wyoming’s game with Northern Iowa in the second round of the East Regional of the NCAA Tournament. Tipoff is at 11:40 a.m. MT Friday from Key Arena in Seattle.

1. Defend the perimeter: Probably sounds like a broken record for the Cowboys, but they face a Northern Iowa team that shoots nearly 40 percent from 3-point range. The Panthers have eight players who have made between 15 and 50 3s this season, and five that shoot better than 40 percent from behind the arc. Guys big and small can shoot the ball for Northern Iowa. It will make some shots, but if the Cowboys allow them to get hot from outside it will be a long game.

Josh Adams

Josh Adams

2. Continued good play from Adams: Junior guard Josh Adams was the Mountain West Tournament MVP by averaging 18.7 points and shooting 49 percent from the field over three games last week in Las Vegas. Adams needs to have a similar-type game against Northern Iowa. Attacking the basket when the opportunities are there, as well as knocking down some perimeter shots are musts. Adams doesn’t need to put the game on his shoulders, and it will be important for others to be involved. But if Adams and senior forward Larry Nance Jr. can score, things open up for others.

Here is my video preview for today’s game:


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UW-Northern Iowa men’s basketball Q&A

WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi did a question-and-answer session with Andrew Logue, who covers Northern Iowa men’s basketball for the Des Moines Register, about Friday’s NCAA Tournament Second Round game between No. 12 seed Wyoming and No. 5 seed and 10th-ranked Northern Iowa.

The game starts at 11:40 p.m. MT and will be televised on TBS.

Follow on Twitter: @AndrewMLogue

 

Andrew Logue

Andrew Logue

How much similarity do you see between Northern Iowa and Wyoming? Both are among the top 10 nationally in scoring defense, but aside from that, what else do you see?

The similarities are philosophical. Last season, Northern Iowa allowed 69.3 points per game (highest of coach Ben Jacobson’s nine seasons), and finished with a 16-15 record (the fewest wins of Jacobson’s tenure). This season, the Panthers went back to their original blue print. Both these rosters were assembled to fit a specific approach to the game. That’s why Jacobson says he began following the Cowboys from afar, when their defensive numbers “popped out.”

 

At 30-3 there hasn’t been many times the Panthers have struggled, but when they have, what have teams been able to do to beat them?

If 6-foot-8 senior Seth Tuttle struggles, the Panthers have problems. He was limited against Virginia Commonwealth, and Evansville has a deceptively good defensive player in the post. There have also been times when UNI struggled with quicker guards (Illinois State) who take defenders off the dribble and get to the basket for layups. So, if you’ve got big bodies in the paint, flex your muscle. And if you’ve got a talented point guard, attack.

 

How do you see the match-up between Tuttle and Wyoming forward Larry Nance Jr.?

It’ll be the matchup we all talk about. And then during the game, they’ll probably neutralize each other. I can see Nance having something to prove, considering the attention Tuttle has received. Then again, Seth really is a student of the game and had watched Larry play several times before Selection Sunday. He was giving us a scouting report on Wyoming minutes after the bracket was unveiled. If Tuttle is motivated, he can take UNI to another level. Just hit rewind on the win over Wichita State.

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VIDEO: Wyoming wins MW Tournament with 45-43 win over San Diego State

Normally I do my three takes from a Wyoming win or loss in men’s basketball.

Hard to put the Cowboys’ 45-43 win over San Diego State to win the Mountain West Tournament Saturday into words. The fourth-seeded Cowboys (25-9) won its first-ever MW Tournament, and its first conference tournament since 1988 when it was a member of the Western Athletic Conference.

So, I will let you watch three videos from the game. The first is some of the late-game highlights — which includes a huge 3-pointer from junior guard Josh Adams and two free throws by senior forward Derek Cooke Jr.

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UW 67, Utah State 65: 3 takes, notes, quotes and video

My three takes from Wyoming’s 67-65 win over Utah State in the quarterfinals of the Mountain West Tournament Thursday at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.

Charles Hankerson Jr.

Charles Hankerson Jr.

1. Charles in charge: Senior guard Charles Hankerson Jr. silenced a lot of his critics with a career-high 16 points on 6 of 12 shooting. Hankerson also had five rebounds. Yes, he missed two free throws late that would have sealed the game in the final seconds, but his shooting and slashing to the basket were two of the biggest factors in UW’s win. At the time, no one other than junior guard Josh Adams was consistently scoring, and Hankerson’s offense not only gave UW a boost, but sparked other guys like senior forward Larry Nance Jr. and senior guard Riley Grabau — who all scored in double figures.

Josh Adams

Josh Adams

2. Adams’ A-game: A game-high 19 points to go along with six assists and only two turnovers. In his last two games against Utah State, Adams has 37 points, 14 assists and two turnovers. He was aggressive with the ball, had some spectacular plays around the basket, including a follow-up dunk in the second half that had him trending nationally on Twitter for a while, and also part of ESPN SportsCenter’s Top Plays. When Adams plays like that, UW is more than formidable. He will be tested in Friday night’s semifinals as he likely will be guarding Boise State senior guard Derrick Marks, the Mountain West Player of the Year.

Here is coach Larry Shyatt, Adams, Nance and Hankerson after the game:


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UW-Utah State men’s basketball: 3 keys, notes, quotes and video

My three keys for Wyoming’s game against Utah State in the quarterfinals of the Mountain West Tournament at 3:30 p.m. Thursday at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.

1. Defend the perimeter: This was a big key in the Cowboys’ 76-53 win in Laramie last week as the Aggies were just 6 of 18 from 3-point range. Even then, they hit some key 3s — especially in the first half — to keep them in the game. Utah State will have three or four guys on the floor that can shoot it, so UW must be good defending along the perimeter from start to finish. When the Aggies get rolling from outside, they are hard to beat. Utah State shoots just over 39 percent from 3-point range.

David Collette

David Collette

2. Corral Collette: UW  also did a good job of defending Utah State redshirt freshman forward David Collette last week. They “blitzed him” more last week, meaning that once he got the ball, UW would send another defender at him to disrupt his timing. I would assume Utah State will adjust to that, but until it does that seems like a good strategy to defend Collette. It also wouldn’t hurt if Collette gets into early foul trouble like he did last week. Whatever UW does, it needs to make sure Collette doesn’t get going.

“That’s easier said than done because they have a lot of actions and keep a lot people busy. The reality is he’s a really good player. The better players play well consistently,” UW coach Larry Shyatt said.

Here is my video preview of the game:


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UW-Utah State men’s basketball Q&A

WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi did a question-and-answer session with Shawn Harrison, who covers Utah State men’s basketball for the Herald Journal in Logan, Utah, about Thursday’s game with the University of Wyoming in the quarterfinals of the Mountain West Tournament in Las Vegas.

Shawn Harrison

Shawn Harrison

UW (22-9) is the fourth seed and Utah State (18-12) is the fifth seed. Both finished with 11-7 records in the Mountain West. Tipoff is at 3:30 p.m. MT at the Thomas & Mack Center. The game will be televised by CBS Sports Network.

Follow on Twitter: @HJNews

Were you surprised with the outcome of the game last week where Wyoming won 76-53 in Laramie, and if so, what surprised you the most?

I was not surprised Wyoming won, even though I thought going in Utah State had a chance. However, I was surprised with how bad the Aggies played. A lot had to do with how well the Cowboys started each half. Utah State had won six in a row and seemed to be clicking, but came out flat in Laramie. It was arguably the worst game — at San Diego State also was not pretty — the Aggies have played in MW action. The biggest surprise was how poorly Utah State played on defense. The Aggies were soft. Defense has been something this team has been consistent with all year.

What kind of game do you expect Thursday, one similar to the one in Logan where Utah State won 56-44 or the game last week in Laramie?

I think it will be a combination. I can’t imagine it being as low-scoring as the one in Logan. I think it will be in the 60s and competitive. I really don’t think one team will win by double digits, and I expect it to come down to the final minutes. Whoever executes the best down the stretch will win.

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3 takes on Wyoming’s 52-49 OT loss at New Mexico

My three takes from Wyoming’s 52-49 overtime loss at New Mexico Saturday night to end the regular season.

1. Good defense or bad offense?: A combination of both. The two teams missed a combined 67 shots. There were missed dunks, missed chances on the fast-break — just about any missed shot you can imagine occurred in this game. For UW, it was good to see it play good defense, but the missed shots were too much to overcome the good defense. The 15 make baskets the Cowboys made tied a season-low, as did the 14 first-half points. When your two leading scorers — senior forward Larry Nance Jr. and junior guard Josh Adams — go a combined 8 of 30 from the field, UW won’t win many games.

Here is UW coach Larry Shyatt after the game:


2. Shot selection: As you heard Shyatt say in his postgame interview, he liked the fact that Nance took a 3 late in overtime that would have won the game for UW in the final seconds. Not sure if having a guy like Nance, who is 10 of 32 this season from 3-point range should be taking that shot. New Mexico keyed on senior guard Riley Grabau, who made three 3s in the second half and missed a shot at the buzzer in regulation that would have won the game. Even though Adams was 1 of 11 in the game and 0 of 2 from 3, wouldn’t he have been a better option?

Here is Nance on that after the game:


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