Wyoming Cowboys basketball

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Wyoming Cowboys
2016–17 Wyoming Cowboys basketball team
Steamboat.svg
University University of Wyoming
Conference Mountain West
Location Laramie, WY
Head coach Allen Edwards (1st year)
Arena Arena-Auditorium
(Capacity: 11,612)
Nickname Cowboys
Colors Brown and Gold[1]
         
Uniforms
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Home jersey
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Team colours
Home
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Away jersey
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Team colours
Away
Pre-tournament Helms champions
1934
NCAA Tournament champions
1943
NCAA Tournament Final Four
1943
NCAA Tournament Elite Eight
1941, 1943, 1947, 1949, 1952
NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen
1952, 1953, 1967, 1987
NCAA Tournament Round of 32
1981, 1982, 1987, 2002
NCAA Tournament appearances
1941, 1943, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1952, 1953, 1958, 1967, 1981, 1982, 1987, 1988, 2002, 2015
Conference tournament champions
1987, 1988, 2015
Conference regular season champions
1928, 1931, 1932, 1933, 1934, 1936, 1941, 1943, 1946, 1947, 1949, 1952, 1953, 1958, 1967, 1969, 1981, 1982, 1986, 2001, 2002

The University of Wyoming men's basketball program, which competes in the Mountain West Conference, has a lengthy tradition dating back to 1905. Wyoming won the 1943 NCAA championship under Hall of Fame coach Everett Shelton and behind star guard Ken Sailors, who pioneered the jump shot that is now the standard in basketball. Wyoming has made a total of 15 appearances in the NCAA Tournament. Since the Mountain West was formed in 1999, Wyoming has won two conference titles, including an outright championship in 2002. Prior to that, Wyoming won five championships in the Western Athletic Conference, eight championships in the Skyline Conference, and one championship in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.

History[edit]

The Wyoming basketball program began in 1904 when a group known as the "Laramie Town Team" challenged a team from the university to a basketball game; Wyoming won that game by a score of 17–5.[2] The team became a powerhouse in the 1930s under coach Willard "Dutch" Witte, who led the 1934 Cowboy team to a 26–3 record. Wyoming was retroactively named the 1934 national champion by the Helms Foundation. Witte coached a total of nine seasons in Laramie and compiled a 134–51 record.

After Witte stepped down in 1939, Everett Shelton took over the team and went on to become the winningest coach in Wyoming history in his 19 years in Laramie. Although Shelton went just 6–10 in his first season, his teams would win 20 or more games seven times during his career. In 1943, the Cowboys went 31–2 and won the NCAA Tournament. That team was led by Ken Sailors, who scored 16 points in the championship game victory over Georgetown on his way to being named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. In addition, Sailors was named college basketball's Player of the Year in 1943 and again in 1946 after returning from fighting in World War II. In all, the Cowboys made eight NCAA tournament appearances under Shelton, though they only won one game aside from the three-game run in 1943.

After Shelton retired in 1959, Wyoming basketball lay dormant for some time. Including Shelton's last four campaigns as head coach, the Cowboys endured nine consecutive losing seasons from 1956 to 1964. Coach Bill Strannigan, who succeeded Shelton, had just six winning seasons in fourteen years as head coach and made one NCAA Tournament appearance in 1967 in which the Cowboys were handed a lopsided loss at the hands of eventual national champion UCLA and its All-American center Lew Alcindor, who later changed his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Again from 1971 through 1978, the Cowboys had one winning season, a 17–10 campaign under Don DeVoe in 1976–77.

In 1978, Jim Brandenburg became the Cowboys' head coach and the program experienced a resurgence. In his nine seasons, Wyoming did not have a single losing season and made four NCAA Tournament appearances. In 1981, the Cowboys were 24–6 and reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament. In addition to being the Cowboys' first tournament appearance since 1967, it was their first 20-win season since 1952–53 and first NCAA Tournament victory since 1952. After guiding the Cowboys to the Sweet 16 in 1987, however, Brandenburg left the Cowboys to become the coach at conference rival San Diego State.[3] He was replaced by Benny Dees, who went 26–6 in his first year with the Cowboys and returned them to the NCAA Tournament where they lost in the first round of the 1988 NCAAs to Loyola-Marymount.

Larry Shyatt went 19–9 in 1997–98, his only season in Laramie before becoming the head coach at Clemson University. After his departure, Steve McClain took over the head coaching job and had three consecutive 20-win seasons from 2001 to 2003, including conference titles in 2001 and 2002 and an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2002. On March 22, 2007, Wyoming hired former Portland State head coach Heath Schroyer to become its next head coach. Shyatt was hired yet again as Wyoming's head coach after the 2010–11 season ended due to the firing of Heath Schroyer.[4] The 2010–11 team's top two scorers left the program[5] afterwards, with Desmar Jackson and Amath M'Baye transferring to Southern Illinois University[6] and the University of Oklahoma,[7] respectively.

The Cowboys went 21–12 in Shyatt's first season, for their first 20–win season in 9 years.[8] They made the College Basketball Invitational each of the next three seasons,[9][10][11] making the quarterfinals in 2012 and 2013. In the 2014–15 season, the Cowboys finished with a record of 25–10, won the Mountain West Conference Tournament over San Diego State 45–43, and earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.[12] Larry Nance, Jr. was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers with the 27th pick in the 2015 NBA draft, becoming Wyoming's first player selected in the draft since Theo Ratliff in 1995. On March 21, 2016, Shyatt announced his resignation from the head coaching job,[13] and Allen Edwards was announced as the 21st head coach in program history.

Head coaching records[edit]

Coach Tenure Seasons Record Win Pct.
W. Yates 1904–1906 2 4–2 .667
Lt. Coburn 1906–1908 2 5–7 .417
Elmer Hoefer 1908–1909 1 3–3 .500
Harold I. Dean 1909–1912 3 9–13 .409
Leon Exelby 1912–1913 1 2–5 .286
Ralph Thacker 1913–1915 2 3–7 .300
John J. Corbett 1915–1924 9 39–41 .488
Stewart Clark 1924–1928 4 44–26 .629
George McLaren 1928–1930 2 29–12 .707
Willard Witte 1930–1939 9 135–52 .722
Everett Shelton 1939–1959 19 328–201 .620
Bill Strannigan 1959–1973 14 179–187 .489
George Radovich 1973–1976 3 24–55 .304
Don DeVoe 1976–1978 2 29–25 .537
Jim Brandenburg 1978–1987 9 176–97 .645
Benny Dees 1987–1993 6 104–77 .575
Joby Wright 1993–1997 4 53–60 .469
Larry Shyatt 1997–1998 1 19–9 .679
Steve McClain 1998–2007 9 157–115 .577
Heath Schroyer 2007–2011 4 49–68 .419
Larry Shyatt 2011–2016 5 98–69 .587
Allen Edwards 2016–Present 1 23–15 .605
Totals 21 coaches 112 seasons 1512–1146 .569

Postseason[edit]

NCAA tournament results[edit]

The Cowboys have appeared in the NCAA Tournament 15 times. Their combined record is 9–20. They were national champions in 1943.

Year Seed Round Opponent Results
1941 Elite Eight
Regional 3rd Place Game
Arkansas
Creighton
L 40–52
L 44–45
1943 Elite Eight
Final Four
National Championship Game
Oklahoma
Texas
Georgetown
W 55–50
W 58–54
W 46–34
1947 Elite Eight
Regional 3rd Place Game
Texas
Oregon State
L 40–42
L 46–63
1948 Elite Eight
Regional 3rd Place Game
Kansas State
Washington
L 48–58
L 47–57
1949 Elite Eight
Regional 3rd Place Game
Oklahoma A&M
Arkansas
L 39–40
L 48–61
1952 Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
Oklahoma City
Santa Clara
W 54–48
L 53–56
1953 Sweet Sixteen
Regional 3rd Place Game
Santa Clara
Seattle
L 52–67
L 64–80
1958 Round of 24 Seattle L 51–88
1967 Sweet Sixteen
Regional 3rd Place Game
UCLA
Texas Western
L 60–109
L 67–69
1981 #5 Round of 48
Round of 32
#12 Howard
#4 Illinois
W 78–43
L 65–67
1982 #8 Round of 48
Round of 32
#9 USC
#1 Georgetown
W 61–58
L 43–51
1987 #12 Round of 64
Round of 32
Sweet Sixteen
#5 Virginia
#4 UCLA
#1 UNLV
W 64–60
W 78–68
L 78–92
1988 #7 Round of 64 #10 Loyola Marymount L 115–119
2002 #11 Round of 64
Round of 32
#6 Gonzaga
#3 Arizona
W 73–66
L 60–68
2015 #12 Round of 64 #5 Northern Iowa L 54–71

NIT results[edit]

The Cowboys have appeared in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) eight times. Their combined record is 7–8.

Year Round Opponent Result
1968 First Round Villanova L 66–77
1969 First Round Army L 49–51
1986 First Round
Second Round
Quarterfinals
Semifinals
Championship Game
Texas A&M
Loyola Marymount
Clemson
Florida
Ohio State
W 79–70
W 99–90
W 62–57
W 67–58
L 63–73
1991 First Round
Second Round
Butler
Colorado
W 63–61
L 75–83
1998 First Round Gonzaga L 55–69
1999 First Round
Second Round
USC
Oregon
W 81–77
L 72–93
2001 First Round Pepperdine L 69–72
2003 First Round
Second Round
Eastern Washington
North Carolina
W 78–71
L 74–90

CBI results[edit]

The Cowboys have appeared in the College Basketball Invitational (CBI) five times. Their combined record is 7–5. They were champions in 2017.

Year Round Opponent Result
2009 First Round Northeastern L 62–64
2012 First Round
Quarterfinals
North Dakota State
Washington State
W 76–75
L 41–61
2013 First Round
Quarterfinals
Lehigh
Western Michigan
W 67–66
L 67–75 OT
2014 First Round Texas A&M L 43–59
2017 First Round
Quarterfinals
Semifinals
Finals–Game 1
Finals–Game 2
Finals–Game 3
Eastern Washington
UMKC
Utah Valley
Coastal Carolina
Coastal Carolina
Coastal Carolina
W 91–81
W 72–61
W 74–68
L 81–91
W 81–57
W 83–59

National Campus Basketball Tournament results[edit]

The Cowboys appeared in the only National Campus Basketball Tournament. Their record is 1–2.[14]

Year Round Opponent Result
1951 Quarterfinals
Semifinals
3rd Place Game
Duquesne
Bradley
Utah
W 78–61
L 63–77
L 52–55

Records vs. Mountain West opponents[edit]

Opponent Wins Losses Pct. Streak
Air Force 77 37 .675 L 1
Boise State 13 12 .520 L 4
Fresno State 10 15 .400 W 1
Colorado State 133 94 .586 L 2
Nevada 13 5 .722 L 3
UNLV 18 37 .327 W 1
New Mexico 67 68 .496 W 1
San Diego State 40 40 .500 L 3
San Jose State 11 2 .846 W 3
Utah State 49 27 .645 L 1

Team records[edit]

Career leaders[edit]

Source:[15]

Career Scoring Leaders
Seasons Player Points
1985–88 Fennis Dembo 2,311
2006–09 Brandon Ewing 2,168
1963–65 Flynn Robinson 2,049
1985–88 Eric Leckner 1,938
2013–16 Josh Adams 1,819
1989–92 Reginald Slater 1,809
1978–81 Charles Bradley 1,744
1995–98 Jeron Roberts 1,599
1968–70 Carl Ashley 1,598
1967–69 Harry Hall 1,595
Career Rebounding Leaders
Seasons Player Rebounds
1989–92 Reginald Slater 1,197
1998–02 Josh Davis 956
1985–88 Fennis Dembo 954
1994–97 HL Coleman 939
1964–66 Leon Clark 889
1979–82 Bill Garnett 840
1978–81 Kenneth Ollie 833
1968–70 Carl Ashley 818
2012–15 Larry Nance, Jr. 807
1985–88 Eric Leckner 774
Career Assists Leaders
Seasons Player Assists
1984–88 Sean Dent 502
2006–09 Brandon Ewing 471
2002–05 Jay Straight 453
1999–03 Chris McMillian 434
1985–88 Fennis Dembo 410
2013–16 Josh Adams 398
1980–83 Mike Jackson 357
2006–08 Brad Jones 351
2010–12 JayDee Luster 344
1998–01 Brett McFall 307
Career Blocks Leaders
Seasons Player Blocks
1992–95 Theo Ratliff 425
2005–06 Justin Williams 244
1998–01 Josh Davis 173
1985–88 Eric Leckner 164
2012–15 Larry Nance, Jr. 135
1989–92 Reginald Slater 100
1979–82 Bill Garnett 97
2008–11 Djibril Thiam 95
1985–88 Fennis Dembo 95
Career Steals Leaders
Seasons Player Steals
1984–88 Sean Dent 249
1985–88 Fennis Dembo 176
2006–09 Brandon Ewing 161
1995–97 LaDrell Whitehead 150
2013–16 Josh Adams 144
2012–15 Larry Nance, Jr. 141
1999–02 Josh Davis 140
1999–03 Chris McMillian 136
2002–05 Jay Straight 126
2000–03 Marcus Bailey 113
Career Games played Leaders
Seasons Player Games
2013–16 Josh Adams 131
1985–88 Eric Leckner 131
1985–88 Fennis Dembo 129
1985–88 Turk Boyd 129
1985–88 David Lodgins 128
1984–88 Sean Dent 127
2006–09 Brandon Ewing 126
2009–12 Adam Waddell 124
2012–15 Larry Nance, Jr. 123
1989–92 Reginald Slater 121
1989–92 Tim Breaux 121

Single-season leaders[edit]

Single–Season Scoring Leaders
Season Player Points
2015–16 Josh Adams 740
1964–65 Flynn Robinson 701
1986–87 Fennis Dembo 689
1962–63 Flynn Robinson 682
1963–64 Flynn Robinson 666
1987–88 Fennis Dembo 653
1955–56 Joe Capua 637
1986–87 Eric Leckner 634
2006–07 Brandon Ewing 616
1990–91 Reginald Slater 613
Single–Season Rebounding Leaders
Season Player Rebounds
1990–91 Reginald Slater 331
2005–06 Justin Williams 329
1989–90 Reginald Slater 328
1991–92 Reginald Slater 328
1964–65 Leon Clark 315
1952–53 Ron Rivers 314
1996–97 HL Coleman 303
1965–66 Leon Clark 302
1951–52 Dick Haag 293
1986–87 Fennis Dembo 282
Single–Season Assists Leaders
Season Player Assists
1986–87 Sean Dent 183
2008–09 Brandon Ewing 166
1985–86 Sean Dent 166
2004–05 Jay Straight 148
1991–92 Maurice Alexander 147
2006–07 Brad Jones 135
1998–99 Chris McMillian 130
1991–92 Mike Jackson 129
1992–93 David Murray 128
2015–16 Josh Adams 127
Single–Season Blocks Leaders
Season Player Blocks
2005–06 Justin Williams 163
1994–95 Theo Ratliff 144
1992–93 Theo Ratliff 124
1993–94 Theo Ratliff 114
2004–05 Justin Williams 81
1989–90 Reggie Page 60
2013–14 Larry Nance, Jr. 55
2012–13 Leonard Washington 55
2000–01 Josh Davis 54
1999–00 Josh Davis 50
Single–Season Steals Leaders
Season Player Steals
1985–86 Sean Dent 93
1986–87 Sean Dent 75
1995–96 LaDrell Whitehead 70
2010–11 Desmar Jackson 61
1987–88 Sean Dent 61
1998–99 Anthony Blakes 59
1990–91 Maurice Alexander 58
2011–12 Luke Martinez 54
1993–94 David Murray 53
1998–99 Chris McMillian 52

Retired jerseys[edit]

Retired Basketball Jerseys
Number Player Year
4 Kenny Sailors 1940–43, 1945–46

Arena[edit]

The Arena-Auditorium, which seats 11,612, serves as the home court for the Cowboy basketball team. Since its opening in 1982, the Cowboys have enjoyed a strong homecourt advantage at the AA.

Wyoming's first home court was a small, red brick building known as the "Little Red Gym." That was followed by the Half Acre Gym, which served as the Cowboys' home from 1925 to 1951 and seated just over 4,000; the Cowboys had a record of 222-44 in the building. The Cowboys moved into War Memorial Fieldhouse in 1951 and remained there until the Arena-Auditorium opened in 1982.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Color Palette. University of Wyoming Athletics Style Guide. Wyoming Athletics Department. Retrieved 2017-05-08. 
  2. ^ a b "The Wyoming Way" (PDF). Grfx.cstv.com. Retrieved 2015-07-01. 
  3. ^ "SPORTS PEOPLE - Wyoming Coach Exits". The New York Times. 1987-03-25. Retrieved 2015-07-01. 
  4. ^ "Columns - CBSSports.com". Sportsline.com. 2015-06-26. Retrieved 2015-07-01. 
  5. ^ "Wyoming Cowboys' Desmar Jackson, Amath M'Baye won't return to team next season". Sports.espn.go.com. 2015-01-07. Retrieved 2015-07-01. 
  6. ^ "Wyoming guard Desmar Jackson transfers to Southern Illinois - Southern Illinois University Official Athletic Site". Siusalukis.com. 2011-04-13. Retrieved 2015-07-01. 
  7. ^ "Wyoming F Amath M'Baye Transferring to Oklahoma". Cowboyaltitude.com. 2011-04-18. Retrieved 2015-07-01. 
  8. ^ "Cowboys Clinch 20th Win with 71–59 Victory Over TCU". GoWyo.com. February 28, 2012. Retrieved March 21, 2016. 
  9. ^ "Wyoming Earns Postseason Berth in College Basketball Invitational". GoWyo.com. March 11, 2012. Retrieved March 21, 2016. 
  10. ^ "Wyoming Earns Postseason Berth in College Basketball Invitational". GoWyo.com. March 17, 2013. Retrieved March 21, 2016. 
  11. ^ "Wyoming Accepts Third-Straight College Basketball Invitational Bid". GoWyo.com. March 16, 2014. Retrieved March 21, 2016. 
  12. ^ "Wyoming Upsets No. 25 San Diego State, 45-43, to Earn First NCAA Bid Since 2002". GoWyo.com. March 14, 2015. Retrieved March 21, 2016. 
  13. ^ Holmgren, Ryan (March 21, 2016). "Larry Shyatt resigns after six season at Wyoming". Casper Star-Tribune. 
  14. ^ "National Campus Tournament 1951". Luckyshow.org. Retrieved 2015-07-01. 
  15. ^ "2015–16 Wyoming Cowboys Media Guide" (PDF). University of Wyoming. 

External links[edit]