New Wyoming men’s basketball coach Larry Shyatt spoke to the media via teleconference for about 15 minutes Thursday about his three latest signees: 6-3 guard Riley Grabau, 6-11 center Lekan Ajayi and 5-9 junior-college point guard Derrious Gilmore. Grabau and Ajayi also joined the call.
Here are some quick hits from the call:
–Shyatt said he has one scholarship left, and hopes to get the best available athlete or a promising wing player/small forward. Shyatt said one recruit is mulling over whether or not to choose UW now, and there is a possiblitly a decision could come in the next five or six days. If not, then he said he will keep looking even if it goes into June.
–Shyatt said he doesn’t expect junior-to-be forward Brian Gibson to return next season. He left school prior to the MWC Tournament in March for personal reasons.
–Shyatt didn’t say if any of the other current players on the team will leave, but would know more in the next 10 days final exams wrap up. Said in the last few weeks the current group have been “punctual, on edge and have improved.”
–Although listed at 6-11, Shyatt said Ajayi is closer to 6-9, and said he would need “extra, extra thick shoes to be 6-11.” Shyatt described Ajayi as a “character.”
–Ajayi said he choose UW because of Shyatt and assistant Scott Duncan. He said Shyatt is like a father to him, and also that Shyatt recruited him while he was at Florida.
–On signing a 5-9 guard in Derrious Gilmore, who was not on the call: “I have never been opposed to having small guards at any postion as long as they’ve had that competitvness and and edge to them.”
–“I’ve probably only had four or five junior college players in 38 years. I’m probably going to get mor familiar in the days and weeks ahead,” Shyatt said.
–Ajayi is the nephew of former UW player Ugo Udezue, who was an influence on his decision. Ajayi feels he’s one of the best rebounders in the nation. He averaged 15.5 boards per game in high school. He said Virginia Tech, Alabama, Florida State, Georgetown, Wake Forest, Tennessee, Auburn and Missouri were among other schools that recruited him.
–“I want to help the Univeristy of Wyoming win championships. I’ll do anything for the University of Wyoming,” Ajayi said.
–Grabau said he didn’t know Shyatt prior to his recruitment, but said that after Shyatt’s first visit to his home, he looked to his dad and said: “he’s the man I want to play for.”
–Grabau said he didn’t sign in the fall because he wanted to focus on winning a state championship his senior year at Boulder High in Colorado. His team lost in the state championship game.
–Shyatt likened Grabau to former UW guard Brett McFall, who Shyatt recuited to UW back in the 1997-98 season. Grabau was the player of the year in Colorado; McFall was the player of the year in Kansas his senior year. Shyatt said Grabau has the ability to play the point and shooting guard spots.
–Grabau said Colorado State recruited him “heavily” as a junior, but said that fell apart when he didn’t attend an elite camp CSU held. Grabau also said Colorado wanted him to walk-on, but he said no thanks. No Division I schools in Colorado offered him a scholarship.
–As soon as Shyatt got off the call, he left to catch a plane for Rock Springs to attend a Cowboy Joe Club function.