We interrupt your New Mexico Bowl preparation to bring you musings on Wyoming basketball. After last night’s gritty 58-48 win over UC-Irvine the Cowboys are now 10-1 and off to their best start since 1987-1988 (was that team any good?). Yes, the 10-1 record may be a bit misleading considering the schedule hasn’t been very good with only a strength of schedule of 234 out of 300 plus Division I teams. The schedule was just as poor last year though and at this point in the season Schroyer’s squad with arguably more talent only had a 4-6 record. So the question must be asked, what has been the difference? The answer my friends without a doubt is Larry Shyatt.
We all knew what qualities Shyatt would bring to the table based on his one year in charge of the program before but I don’t think anyone would have thought he could transform this team so quickly. He has the Cowboys playing great team defense number one in the Mountain West in both defensive scoring at 49.7 ppg and defensive field goal percentage with opponents only shooting 35.9 percent. The last few seasons under Schroyer defense seemed like a foreign concept but now it’s clearly the strength of the team. All the credit for this improvement must go to Shyatt and his staff and it shows you how impactful a coach can be in the college game.
Could all this come crashing down once conference play gets going? It certainly could, but I don’t see it happening. By playing this type of team oriented and defense first basketball even if you have a bad shooting night as long as you provide a good defensive effort you will always be in the game. This team’s 10-1 record may be a little deceiving based on the poor overall quality of the opponents played but this team’s hard working gritty style is 100% authentic and they deserve your support. Let’s start packing the AA again and see where coach Shyatt can take us.