#118 Wyoming Men's Basketball 2013-2014 Preview

Wyoming Cowboys

2013-2014 Overall Rank: #118
Conference Rank: #8 Mountain West

Wyoming Team Page#118 Wyoming Men's Basketball 2013-2014 PreviewBuy Wyoming Basketball Tickets

Wyoming started the 2012-2013 campaign 13-0. While the non-conference slate was not terribly difficult, they did beat some quality teams like Colorado, Illinois State, Denver and UCSB. But things fell apart in Mountain West play. The suspension of Luke Martinez was just the start. Losing an outside shooter like Martinez, while trying to navigate through a tough conference slate, resulted in a 4-12 record. Better days are ahead for Coach Larry Shyatt and company with a pretty young squad suiting up this season. A postseason berth this year is doable and then the expectations will go through the roof in 2014-2015.

2012-13 Record: 20-14, 4-12
2012-13 Postseason: CBI
Coach: Larry Shyatt
Coach Record: 60-35 at Wyoming, 130-119 overall

Who’s Out:
Martinez averaged 14.5 points and made nearly three three-pointers per game during his dozen appearances prior to the suspension. It was Derrious Gilmore and Leonard Washington who stepped up their scoring production in Martinez’s absence, but those two are now gone too. Gilmore turned into the most prolific outside shooter on the squad and led the team with 2.9 assists per contest. Washington averaged 12.5 points and a team high 8.2 rebounds and 1.7 blocks. That is a lot of production lost, but Coach Shyatt is ready to replace them.

Who’s In:
The three incoming freshmen are not a bad bunch, but Trey Washington, Keonta Vernon and Alan Herndon have been overshadowed by a couple transfers. Vernon, a 6-6 forward, will be the freshman to watch for now. He is an amazing athlete who put up huge numbers in high school. Vernon will certainly get the crowd rocking with a few thunderous dunks. Charles Hankerson, from Alabama, and Jerron Granberry, from North Florida, will make a huge impact this season. Hankerson, a 6-5 wing, did not play too much for the Crimson Tide as an underclassman, but when he did he was productive. At Alabama he was mostly used as a shooter off of the bench, but the Cowboys will get a more well-rounded scoring effort. Two years ago Granberry averaged 10.9 points for the Ospreys, while shooting nearly 40 percent from long range. He was almost a four-year starter, although he played in just five games last season before opting to transfer. As a graduate transfer, Granberry is eligible to play right away for Wyoming. A huge chunk of Granberry’s shots come from long range, yet he has proven to be extremely consistent. In some programs he may be better suited as a shooter off of the bench, but at Wyoming this year he should be a starter from day one.

Who to Watch:
Larry Nance Jr. and Derek Cooke Jr. will be the likely starters in the frontcourt. Nance Jr. started 33 games a year ago and averaged 10.7 points and 6.9 rebounds. He will be the player expected to pick up as much slack as possible from the loss of Washington. Cooke Jr. is coming off of a promising sophomore season in which he averaged 3.1 points and 3.8 rebounds in just 13.0 minutes. Cooke is an athletic 6-9 forward who is a beast on the glass. If he can develop into a relatively consistent interior scoring threat, the frontcourt will be in great shape…at least until Nance Jr. or Cooke Jr. need a break. The depth in the frontcourt is terribly inexperienced. Vernon and Herndon will be in the mix for serious playing time along with junior center Matt Sellers and sophomore Austin Haldorson. Sellers has the size to eat up some fouls and grab some rebounds, while Haldorson has much more potential as soon as he can add strength.

Final Projection:
The most interesting position battle will be at point guard where Josh Adams and Riley Grabau are battling for minutes. Both should see plenty of playing time, but it would be beneficial if one could be the leader on the floor. Grabau is a better ball handler, but his defense leaves much to be desired. Adams, a 6-2 sophomore, had a surprising freshman campaign in which he averaged 6.6 points per game and earned 26 starts. Adams is not as good of a shooter as Grabau, yet the defensive difference is significant. It is also very feasible that Adams and Grabau play together, as they did most of last season. However, with the new found experience and depth on the perimeter, that should not happen nearly as much this time around. Nathan Sobey is another player who may see his playing time decrease with the new backcourt depth. Sobey can provide an offensive spark with his ability to knock down the long ball and he should get the chance to see if his shot is falling. The difference this season is that Coach Shyatt has more options if somebody is having an off day.

Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT

Projected Starting Five:
Riley Grabau, Junior, Guard, 6.0 points per game
Jerron Granberry, Senior, Guard, DNP last season
Charles Hankerson, Junior, Guard, DNP last season
Larry Nance Jr., Junior, Forward, 10.7 points per game
Derek Cooke Jr., Junior, Forward, 3.1 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 61.0 (304th in nation, 8th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 59.1 (24, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 42.7 (203, 6)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.9 (178, 6)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.6 (123, 3)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 32.2 (231, 8)
Free-Throw Percentage: 67.5 (233, 8)
Rebound Margin: 11.9 (1, 1)
Assists Per Game: 11.7 (252, 7)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.4 (37, 2)


See All Top 144 Basketball Previews