Basketball practice is in full swing and as we head towards the exhibition game on November 5th against CSU-Pueblo 7220 Report will be offering a bevy of basketball preview analysis. Today we start the basketball preview season with a look at the new coaching staff and we will work our way down to the people who take your tickets at the door of the AA (okay maybe not that but you get the point). Now on to the coaching staff preview:
Head Coach: Larry Shyatt
The return of Shyatt as the man in charge is the most welcome news this program has had in a long time. No longer will we see a maniac flailing his arms and screaming at the top of his lungs for 40 minutes. No longer will we see a basketball offensive “system” that most resembles a playground pickup game. Yes, there will be some hard times and some growing plays but we know what we will be getting from Shyatt he will get the team to play hard and be responsible defensively. There is also a good chance we will see the fast paced offense that every basketball coach who comes to Laramie promises when they first arrive. Mostly this is just lip service to make the fans happy but when Shyatt says it most people believe it. If he feels the team has the talent and depth to run opposing teams up and down the court until their lungs burn breaking their will in the second half at the AA there is no question in my mind he will do so.
Overall, Shyatt’s head coaching record isnt great with a record of 89 wins and 93 losses in his one year at Wyoming followed by 5 years at Clemson but do remember that in the late 90′s and early 2000′s the ACC was the premeire basketball conference in America. Shyatt’s has been to some of the toughest venues in the country and he has beaten a number one ranked team the North Carolina Tarheels in 2001. This experience along with his love for program (that is truly genuine) at Wyoming bode well for the future.
Associate Head Coach: Scott Duncan
Duncan is without a doubt Shyatt’s right hand man as the two have coached together on several occasions including the last stint in Laramie and during Shyatt’s stint at Clemson. Duncan has a wealth of experience and has been at top programs since he last left Laramie coaching at Oregon and UCLA. He is known as a top notch recruiter which should payoff over time for the Pokes. In basketball it only takes one blue chip prospect to turn a program around and make several runs into the NCAA tournament. Duncan is also 5 years younger than Shyatt and let’s say if the program is in good shape and Shyatt want’s to get out of the coaching business Duncan could be the guy to keep things going.
Assistant coaches are key as they do the bulk of the one on one work with the players and in Shyatt and Edwards the Pokes have two young coaches who can connect to players. These assistant roles are all about relationships and even though Jeremy Shyatt may be Larry’s son he has coached at some good programs and his hiring is not just based on nepotism. Shyatt was at VCU and I think all of us would agree that it is by far a better program than Wyoming’s right now. From everything I know the younger Shyatt is able to connect to the players very effectively and is well respected by those who he has coached in the past.
As for Allen Edwards not much is known about him. He played at a very successful program in Kentucky from 1995-1998 and has had coaching stints at Moorehead State, Virginia Common Wealth (with Jeremy Shyatt), Towson and Western Kentucky. According to Shyatt Edwards is a solid defensive coach who helped develop the defensive system used at VCU. If he can get Wyoming to be half as good on defense has VCU has been over the past few years the Cowboys will be playing some very solid defense.