From left to right, Wyoming men’s basketball players Derrious Gilmore, Leonard Washington and Larry Nance Jr. talk about the Cowboys’ 75-67 overtime loss to Western Michigan in the quarterfinals of the College Basketball Invitational on Monday, March 26, 2013.
Wyoming senior forward Leonard Washington throws a pass to true freshman guard Josh Adams late in regulation against Western Michigan in the quarterfinals of the College Basketball Invitational on Monday, Marchh 25, 2013. Adams was fouled and made 1 of 2 free throws for a three-point UW lead. Western Michigan forced overtime and won 75-67.
WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi did a question-and-answer swap with Scott DeCamp, who covers Western Michigan men’s basketball for the Kalamaoo (Mich.) Gazette.
Wyoming (20-13) hosts Western Michigan (21-12) in the quarterfinals of the College Basketball Invitational at 7 tonight at the Arena-Auditorium in Laramie.
Question: Was Western Michigan disappointed it didn’t get into the NIT, and in your opinion, has the team bought in to playing in the CBI?
Answer: I think it was understood that WMU was probably not going to be considered for the NIT. The Mid-American Conference is generally a one-bid league (for the NCAA Tournament), and that typically means the winner of the MAC Tournament gets the bid and loser goes to the NIT. Akron won the MAC tourney and received the NCAA automatic bid, Ohio lost in the MAC tourney finals and went to the NIT. WMU lost to Ohio in the MAC tourney semifinals, which essentially locked the Broncos into the CBI. I think WMU is excited about playing in the CBI. This is a young team with eight freshmen. Many people, before the season, expected the Broncos to finish in the .500 or sub-.500 range, so they’ve overachieved in some ways.
Big Shot Sobey.
That is the new nickname for Wyoming junior guard Nathan Sobey after he hit the game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Cowboys a 67-66 win over Lehigh Tuesday night in a first-round CBI game in Laramie.
But let’s not forget two other players that were key in making that play happen.
After Lehigh took a 66-64 lead in the final seconds, and with no timeouts, sophomore forward Larry Nance Jr. got the ball into play quickly to true freshman guard Josh Adams. Then, Adams used his speed to get the ball up the floor quickly, and found Sobey open in the corner.
If Nance or Adams falter even the slightest, UW loses.
Wyoming men’s basketball coach Larry Shyatt talks about his team’s 67-66 victory over Lehigh in the first round of the College Basketball Invitational Tuesday, March 19, 2013 at the Arena-Auditorium in Laramie.
Tonight’s College Basketball Tournament appearance is Wyoming’s 25th in its 108-year history — which is about once every 4.3 years.
UW has been to the NCAA Tournament 14 times (9-19 record), NIT eight times (7-8) and CBI three times (1-2).
The Cowboys are seeking back-to-back 20 win seasons for the first time in a decade, and this is their first time they have been to the postseason in consecutive seasons over that same time frame.
Wyoming men’s basketball coach Larry Shyatt, and from left to right, players Josh Adams, Derrious Gilmore and Larry Nance Jr. talk about the Cowboys’ 59-46 loss to No. 15 New Mexico in the quarterfinals of the Mountain West Tournament on Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
Wyoming senior forward Leonard Washington picks up his fifth foul in the second half hof the quarterfinals game with No. 15 New Mexico at the Mountain West Tournament on Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at the Thomas & Mack Center. Wyoming lost 59-46.
From left to right, Wyoming coach Larry Shyatt, forward Larry Nance Jr., point guard Derrious Gilmore and forward Leonard Washington talk about the Cowboys’ 85-81 win over Nevada in the play-in game at the Mountain West Tournament on Tuesday, March 12, 2013 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi did a question-and-answer session with Geoff Grammer, who covers New Mexico men’s basketball for the Albuquerque Journal.
Eighth seed Wyoming (19-12) plays No. 15 New Mexico (26-5) at 7:30 tonight in the quarterfinals of the Mountain West Tournament at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
Question: Is New Mexico stinging a little bit after losing 89-88 at Air Force to end the regular season, even though it didn’t affect their place in the conference and didn’t drop it much in the polls?
Answer: Not really. It got some good out of the Air Force game in that the Lobos, whose main weakness is their shooting, shot the ball better than they have all season with 15 3-pointers in the loss. They are confident their defense will return to its old form this week while optimistic the hot shooting stroke they found Saturday, albeit in a loss, will carry over throughout their March run.