Jack’s Journal: Wyoming senior guard Jack Bentz’s final take on Cowboys’ NCAA Tournament experience

University of Wyoming senior guard Jack Bentz is going to write a daily journal entry on his and the team’s experiences this week at the NCAA Tournament in Seattle.

Here is Bentz’s final take Friday after the Cowboys lost 71-54 to Northern Iowa.

 

Thank you.

Jack Bentz

Jack Bentz

The season is over. For the five seniors it was the last time we put on a Cowboys uniform. While the game did not turn out the way we had planned, we can honestly say that we gave it our all this year. Congratulations to Northern Iowa, we lost to a very good basketball team.

As the final chapter ends on this year, many thanks are necessary. On behalf of the team, I would like to thank the coaches, fans, and the whole state of Wyoming for the support and making it an incredible year, and for some of us four years. It is truly an honor and privilege to represent Wyoming and wear the brown and gold. Words cannot explain the gratitude and appreciation we have for everyone along this journey.

This season and group of guys were special and we are saddened that it is over. However, as only true Cowboys can, we are riding off into the sunset with our heads held high. I am equally excited to watch and support our team for years to come and wish the underclassmen nothing but the best. We have great leadership and direction under coach Shyatt, who will sustain a winning culture. Playing for The University of Wyoming has been an amazing experience.

Again, thank you.

 

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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Jack’s Journal: Day 3 of UW senior guard Jack Bentz’s take of NCAA Tournament experience

University of Wyoming senior guard Jack Bentz will provide WyoSports and this blog with a daily diary of his thoughts as the Cowboys go through the process of preparing for the NCAA Tournament. Here’s the third installment from Wednesday, March 18:

Seattle bound.

Jack Bentz

Jack Bentz

After a solid morning practice in Laramie, we loaded up our bus and headed to the Laramie regional airport. There, waiting for us, was a huge 737-charter jet, accompanied by some pretty distinguished guests. Governor Matt Mead, Maury Brown, Tom Burman, and Adam Waddell were all on board. Not to mention our cheerleaders and other members of the Cowboy Joe and UW athletic administration. If that’s not cool enough, get this: All 12 of us players were reserved first class! As you can imagine, the guys were pretty excited.

As we flew into Seattle, the view from our plane windows gave us some beautiful aerial views of scenic Seattle skyline and famous landmark, the Space Needle. We then landed and upon arrival, climbed into a Seattle Seahawks team bus. From there, we drove through the city and passed Safeco Field (Mariners) and Century Link Field (Seahawks) en route to our downtown hotel.

Inside the hotel, NCAA official hosts greeted us, welcoming us with gift bags full of snacks and NCAA March Madness gear. The team will room with their same teammates that we’ve roomed with all year. For me, this is my second year rooming with Junior (Hankerson) and thank goodness he is not a snorer. We also have a team meeting with film followed by a team dinner at a restaurant.

While the trip has obviously gotten off to a great start, we are treating this like every other road trip, which is with the mindset of a “business trip.” There are certainly many perks that come with playing in the NCAA tournament, but we know what our main reason is for being here. There is a time and place to enjoy the moment and there is a time to take care of business. We are already looking forward to tomorrow’s practice and our last day of pregame preparation.

Bentz shares Wyoming NCAA Tournament experience with you

University of Wyoming senior guard Jack Bentz will provide WyoSports and this blog with a daily diary of his thoughts as the Cowboys go through the process of preparing for the NCAA Tournament. Here’s the first installment:

Back to work.

Jack Bentz

Jack Bentz

After a long week in Las Vegas, we could not wait to return home to Wyoming, with the Mountain West Conference championship trophy in our hands, and championship hats on our heads. On top of that, we could not believe the amount of people who came to the NCAA Selection Show watch party Sunday at the Gateway Center.

We cannot thank all of the fans and supporters of our team enough. It is truly an honor to represent the state and wear the brown and gold. And to be able to enjoy that moment together, seeing our name announced, was truly special.

Despite all the celebration and post-tournament festivities, we were eager to get back to work. We had an afternoon practice and weight lifting in the A-A (Arena-Auditorium), where the focus was solely on ourselves. While the coaches have been watching lots of game film on Northern Iowa and preparing scouting reports, we took today to clean things up on our offense and defense from the past tournament. Not to mention getting our wind back and re-acclimating ourselves to the unforgiving 7,200 feet altitude.

One of Coach Shyatt’s favorite quotes is “don’t drink the poison.” The poison stands for negative distractions, i.e. social media, “bracketologists,” or anything else that can get in our way and impair our vision.

We have already heard this message from Coach Shy multiple times throughout the year (for some of us four years) and I can guarantee it won’t be the last time we hear that phrase this week.

The team is on edge and excited to not only continue playing but to travel to Seattle, determined to win. Tomorrow is a new day and another opportunity to get better.

UW-North Dakota State pregame notes

Here are a couple of tidbits leading up to tonight’s CBI first-round game between Wyoming and North Dakota State.

–North Dakota State coach Saul Phillips knows first hand how good UW junior forward Leonard Washington is. When Washington was a freshman at USC in the 2008-09 season, he and the Trojans beat North Dakota State 61-57 in Los Angeles, and Washington scored 17 points. That was a season-high for him. Washington has posted double-doubles in three of the last four games for the Cowboys.

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Cowboys host Bison in CBI first-round game

The Wyoming men’s basketball team knew it wasn’t going to play in the NCAA Tournament, and it was hoping for the NIT.

Instead, it got word late Sunday night it will play in the College Basketball Invitational (CBI) and hosts North Dakota State at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Laramie.

Thoughts, opinions?

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