Adams got the message, which could benefit Cowboys down the stretch

Lou Adams started both halves in Wyoming’s 102-100 four-overtime home win over Fresno State last Wednesday, but played only at total of seven minutes.

Lou Adams

Lou Adams

First-year coach Allen Edwards didn’t like the energy Adams showed on the floor, so he didn’t play him when it mattered most.

Adams, a junior guard in his first season with the Cowboys after transferrring from Odessa College in Texas, got the message Edwards was conveying. He scored a team-best 16 points and three steals in 24 minutes in Wyoming’s 81-74 loss at Utah State last Saturday. The points were the most Adams scored in a MW game, and tied for the second-most minutes he’s played in a game this season.

“Lou came out with more energy, but at the same time, it has to be more of a consistent thing,” Edwards said. “He seems to have figured it out, and we will go with that from there.”

Added Adams: “I was just trying to help my team win and do the little things.”

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UW fall camp — Day 5

Wyoming had its first practice of fall camp in full pads Friday, and third-year coach Craig Bohl liked what he saw — especially from the offense.

Here’s what he said after practice.

If you listened to the entire video you heard Bohl talk about some “soft tissue” issues for UW senior wide receiver Tanner Gentry and sophomore free safety Andrew Wingard. Both have hamstring strains, as does junior cornerback Robert Priester. All three injuries don’t appear to be serious, but hamstrings can be tricky injuries to come back from. UW is being cautious with those three guys. While any kind of injuries are never good, at least through five days of camp UW hasn’t had to deal with any concussions or season-ending injuries.

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Despite giving football a try, Conway with high praise of new UW hoops coach

Two questions came to mind when Wyoming basketball player Austin Conway decided to give football a try were:

Austin Conway

Austin Conway

Is Conway still on the basketball team after being one of five players cited for drug use by police prior to the Mountain West Tournament? All five were suspended for the rest of the season?

Was his decision based on coach Larry Shyatt stepping down and the hiring Shyatt assistant Allen Edwards?

“Not at all,” said Conway during a recent interview.

I will have more on Conway’s decision to give football a shot in Tuesday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and the story also will be posted at wyosports.net.

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MW Tournament could be a wild one

The Mountain West came up with a hashtag for its conference basketball tournament this year: #MWMadness.

That may be a good way to describe how the men’s tournament plays out this year.

2016 Mountain West Tournament

2016 Mountain West Tournament

Of course, as I say this watch it be chalk all the way through. But if the regular season was any indication, expect the unexpected.

No. 2 seed Fresno State seems to be the popular pick as the Bulldogs seem to be playing the best basketball of all the teams. Top seed San Diego State quietly just gets it done.

Boise State and New Mexico have the talent to win this tournament, but so do lower seeds like Colorado State, UNLV, Utah State and yes, even Wyoming — although the Cowboys will be hard-pressed to win four games in four days with seven scholarship players available.

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UW vs. San Jose State men’s hoops Q&A

Here is my question-and-answer session with Kevin McCarthy, who runs the Spartan Roundball blog that covers San Jose State men’s basketball, about Wednesday’s game with the University of Wyoming.

Tip off is at 7 p.m. MT Wednesday at the Arena-Auditorium in Laramie.

Kevin McCarthy

Kevin McCarthy

San Jose State remains in last place in the Mountain West, but it appears significant progress is being made in the rebuilding of the program. Would you agree or disagree with that, and what has been the most significant improvements?

Progress has definitely been made. The squad can play competitively with the lower half of the conference teams but just not for a full 40 minutes. The freshman starters, Ryan Welage, Cody Schwartz and Jaycee Hillsman, along with Brandon Clarke have demonstrated Mountain West talent in flashes. Various additions to them, such as greater weight and strength, experience and the honing of current skills, along with some more players, will get the Spartans on a much more equal footing with anyone in league.

What still needs to happen for the Spartans to be a consistent competitor in the conference?

Foremost is the need for a true point guard. The team lacks a talent who can limit turnovers while running the offense,  penetrate and either score or pass the ball while also being — at very least — an average defender. Whether it is Hillsman stepping up or not, a consistent shooting scoring guard is a must. Plus, a replacement of sorts in the frontcourt for Frank Rogers is required. The youngsters must return with better bodies and improved skill sets.

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UW at Boise State men’s basketball notes

Coming off its first bye of the conference season, the Wyoming men’s basketball team plays at Boise State at 2 p.m. Saturday at Taco Bell Arena in Boise. The game will be televised on CBS Sports Network.

So how did UW use its bye week — or at least its time not having a mid-week game?

Larry Shyatt

Larry Shyatt

Coach Larry Shyatt said the team took Sunday and Tuesday off. It practiced “hard” Monday, and “lifted hard and had a long individual skill development” workout Wednesday. The team began preparations for Boise State Thursday. The coaches also spent time on the road recruiting.

Boise State (16-9 overall, 7-5 Mountain West) has lost four of its last five games, including a crazy 97-93 double-overtime loss at Colorado State where a game-winning 3-pointer by junior James Webb III was ruled no good by the officials.

Here is the link from the MW’s statement about how that game ended: http://www.themw.com/news/mw-16-official-stmt-end1OT-bsu-csu-mbk

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UW part of “Change for Change” fundraiser

The University of Wyoming Athletics Department is teaming with Prevent Child Abuse Wyoming for the second annual “Change for Change” fundraising campaign during Saturday’s men’s basketball game against Boise State.
Aimed at raising money for child abuse prevention in the state, PCAWY volunteers will be collecting change and donations at Arena-Auditorium entrances before, during and after the game, which starts at 2 p.m.
PCAWY is a program of the Wyoming Citizen Review Panel, a non-profit focused on the safety, permanency and well-being of Wyoming children and families. PCAWY’s mission is to coordinate prevention efforts in Wyoming to reduce incidents of child neglect, physical, emotional and sexual abuse. Pam Shyatt, wife of UW coach Larry Shyatt, is a PCAWY board member with over 20 years of work in the field of child abuse prevention.
“One is too many,” Larry Shyatt said. “It doesn’t mater if it is in Florida or our state, it is epidemic throughout our country and something that needs to be looked at.
“I am thrilled she’s going to have an opportunity to raise some awareness, and hopefully raise some money Saturday in a very worthwhile cause.”

Adams firmly stands behind his teammates

On Jan. 4, Wyoming senior guard Josh Adams tweeted out — to paraphrase — that despite what critics have said, he wouldn’t trade his current group of teammates for anything.

Josh Adams

Josh Adams

Adams has been the undisputed leader of the Cowboys this season — on and off the floor. He leads the team in virtually every statistical category, and enters Wednesday’s game at San Jose State fourth in the nation in scoring at 24.8 points per game.

Adams scored a season-low 12 points in UW’s 59-57 home win over UNLV last Saturday. He did a lot of other things well in that game despite shooting 3 of 14 from the field and 1 of 7 from 3-point range. He had a game-high five assists, was 5 of 6 from the free-throw line and added two steals and two blocked shots.

Simply put, the Cowboys don’t win that game without Adams.

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Shyatt talks about lack of playing time for Marshall

It’s a question asked by Wyoming men’s basketball fans almost on a daily basis.

Why isn’t Morris Marshall playing more?

Morris Marshall

Morris Marshall

The junior guard from Santa Fe Junior College in Florida was expected to give UW a scoring boost, and a some size at the two-guard at 6-foot-4.

However, Marshall has dealt with a groin injury in the fall, as well as concussion issues as the season approached. He’s played in only four games this season, with his most extensive playing time coming against Southern on Dec.10 where he logged seven minutes off the bench and scored three points.

“I think he’s coming along great physically,” UW coach Larry Shyatt said. “It’s one of those things. For him to break into the lineup or get significant minutes would mean one or two of our perimeter players we’re plaing now removed from significant minutes. As staff, we haven’t seen that being necessary at this point.

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UW’s young bigs learning as they go

The season has been an up-and-down one for Wyoming men’s basketball so far with a 7-8 overall record.

Same can be said for the Cowboys’ young post players — sophomores Jonathan Barnes and Hayden Dalton and true freshman Jordan Naughton. Dalton and Naughton are in their first years at UW. Barnes is in his second.

I’m not including sophomore Alan Herndon here, even though this is just his second year in terms of playing for the Cowboys and third year in the program. He, too, has had is ups and downs, but for now we will consider him the veteran.

Larry Shyatt

Larry Shays

Coach Larry Shyatt knew the youth and inexperience in the post would be “challenging” this season.

“Watching their development has been outstanding for us in practice,” he said. “In games it’s been a different guy on a different night stepping up or struggling. Nothing has been a surprise, but what need to do is develop a little more consistency.”

The 6-foot-8 Dalton averages 4.8 points and 3.7 rebounds per game. He’s pulled down five or more rebounds in six of UW’s 15 games, but at 185 pounds it is evident that Dalton struggles against bulkier guys inside. That was evident in last Saturday’s 71-68 loss at Nevada where Dalton was 0 of 5 from the field, with many of those misses inside.

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