Larry Nance Jr

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Wyoming’s Larry Nance expected to miss two more games

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Wyoming looks to get back in the win column on Saturday against San Jose State, which is winless in Mountain West play.

Like the Cowboys have done in the last two games, both losses, they enter the conference matchup without Larry Nance Jr., the team’s top scorer and rebounder. Nance, the Mountain West preseason player of the year, has been out since Feb. 6 with a case of mononucleosis.

Wyoming head coach Larry Shyatt updated the condition of his star forward on Friday, and unfortunately it’s only gotten worse, according to the Casper Star-Tribune.

“Larry’s been struggling a little bit,” Wyoming head coach Larry Shyatt said. “He’s been in the hospital a couple days, and actually regressed a little bit. His tonsils were extremely swollen. We hope he’s going to be back in his apartment as early as (Friday night) or (Saturday). What we had thought originally was a mild case of mono, because his symptoms were mild. Unfortunately, it became intensified.

“Fortunately, he’s been with some wonderful doctors. Thank goodness his mother is in town. I think that’s been extremely helpful. But there is no timeline, except, one would think, day-to-day. I would question if he would even be close in these next two games. We do have an eight-day break after that from league play, and that could possibly be a very good thing.”

Wyoming struggling without Nance is an understatement. In the last two games, the Cowboys lost to Air Force and San Diego State by 23 and 26 points, respectively. Wyoming, a fringe tournament team entering conference play, is currently on the outside looking in with six regular season games remaining.

Nance is averaging 16.3 points, 7.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.2 blocks per game.

 

 

Wyoming senior forward one of two players dealing with mononucleosis

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Larry Shyatt’s Wyoming Cowboys, picked to finish sixth in the Mountain West preseason media poll, are currently tied for first with San Diego State ahead of their game at Air Force Saturday afternoon. One of the big reasons for their success has been senior forward Larry Nance Jr., who leads the team in both scoring (16.2 ppg) and rebounding (7.3 rpg).

However Nance isn’t at full strength at this time, as it was announced by Shyatt Friday morning that the forward has been diagnosed with mononucleosis. Also dealing with this particular health issue is redshirt freshman forward Alan Herndon, who has been the first front court player off the bench for the Cowboys.

“Alan Herndon has shown improvement with his mononucleosis and will continue to be evaluated on a day-to-day basis,” Shyatt said Friday. “Larry Nance Jr. has been diagnosed with a mild case of mononucleosis and will be monitored on a day-to-day basis as well.”

While the game against Air Force is a dangerous one for the Cowboys, it’s the game that follows that is of even greater importance when it comes to winning the Mountain West. Wyoming is scheduled to visit San Diego State Wednesday night, and given the Aztecs’ front court options having Nance and Herndon available is important.

#POSTERIZED: Larry Nance Jr. channels his inner … Larry Nance Sr. (VIDEO)

Wyoming's Larry Nance Jr. (AP Photo)
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This is nasty, Larry, but if it was your pops, he would have thrown down this dunk with a ball in each hand:

Weekly Awards: Larry Nance leads Wyoming, Seton Hall’s pair of upsets

Larry Nance Jr. (AP Photo)
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Larry Nance Jr. (AP Photo)

PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Larry Nance Jr., Wyoming

Nance was terrific in the first week of Mountain West play, leading the Cowboys to a 2-0 start and putting them in a position where they look like the favorite to win the league. On New Year’s Eve, Nance out-dueled UNLV’s Christian Wood, finishing with 29 points, five boards, three blocks and two steals in an impressive 76-71 win. He followed that up with 18 points, 13 boards and two assists as the Pokes came from behind to knock off San Jose State on the road. In the two games, Nance shot 17-for-27 from the floor.

As good as Wyoming has been in stretches this season, if they are going to be a Mountain West contender, they’re going to have a chance to prove it this week. They’ll be paying a visit to Colorado State on Wednesday night.

THE ‘ALL THEY WERE GOOD, TOO’ TEAM

  • Jahlil Okafor, Duke: In wins over Elon, Wofford and Boston College, Okafor averaged 26.3 points, 8.0 boards, 2.3 blocks and shot 30-for-39 from the floor.
  • Kyle Collinsworth, BYU: Collinsworth notched his third triple-double of the season in a win at San Francisco and averaged 13.7 points, 11.7 boards and 6.7 assists in three WCC wins.
  • London Perrantes, Virginia: Perrantes has been in a shooting slump this season but busted out of it in a big way on Saturday, finishing with 26 points and eight assists, hitting five threes, in a double-overtime win at Miami.
  • Shannon Evans, Buffalo: There have been six triple-doubles on the season, Evans has one of them, going for 14 points, 10 boards and 10 assists in a win at Binghamton. He followed that up with 33 points, five boards and four assists against Cornell.
  • Phil Forte, Oklahoma State: Forte led the Pokes to a pair of wins over Kansas State and Missouri last week, averaging 20.5 points and shooting 14.for-22 from the floor and 6-for-12 from three.

TEAM OF THE WEEK: Seton Hall Pirates

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Sterling Gibbs (Getty Images)

Things didn’t look bright for Seton Hall entering this week, as the Pirates kicked off Big East play with home games against No. 15 St. John’s and No. 6 Villanova without their star guard, Isaiah Whitehead. That didn’t matter, however, as Kevin Willard’s club landed the two upset wins, which included a thrilling overtime win against the Wildcats.

The star of the week for the Pirates was Sterling Gibbs, who averaged 22.5 points and 6.0 assists in the two games. There is not a player in the conference who has been in better form than Gibbs, and his play — along with that of Jaren Sina and Khadeen Carrington — made the fans in Newark forget about Whitehead’s absence really quickly. Here’s the question: what happens when Whitehead, a high-volume and low-efficiency scorer, returns to the mix?

THEY WERE GOOD, TOO

  • South Carolina: The Gamecocks made a statement on Saturday as they knocked off No. 9 Iowa State at the Barclays Center.
  • Maryland: The Terps moved to 2-0 in their first season in the Big Ten, picking up a win at Michigan State and knocking off Minnesota in College Park.
  • New Mexico: The Lobos lost Cullen Neal for the season, but they won their first two Mountain West games, including a blowout win over previously undefeated Colorado State.
  • Dayton: The Flyers put together a 2-0 week, including a win over Ole Miss, despite playing shot-handed.
  • Cincinnati: Mick Cronin won’t be coaching for the rest of the season, but the Bearcats played well without him. They blew out N.C. State in Raleigh and followed that up by beating SMU at home.
  • DePaul: The Blue Demons are 2-0 in the Big East. Seriously.

SET YOUR DVR

  • No. 14 Notre Dame at No. 19 North Carolina, Mon. 7:00 p.m.
  • No. 18 Oklahoma at No. 11 Texas, Mon. 9:00 p.m.
  • Wyoming at No. 24 Colorado State, Wed. 9:00 p.m.
  • No. 13 Kansas at No. 22 Baylor, Wed. 9:00 p.m.
  • No. 5 Louisville at No. 19 North Carolina, Sat. 2:00 p.m.
  • No. 3 Virginia at No. 14 Notre Dame, Sat. 6:00 p.m.
  • No. 9 Iowa State at No. 17 West Virginia, Sat. 8:00 p.m.

POSTERIZED: Wyoming’s Larry Nance Jr. throws down an alley-oop in traffic

Larry Nance (AP Photo)
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I guess it’s safe to say that Wyoming forward Larry Nance Jr. has fully recovered from his torn ACL from last season. The 6-foot-8 senior threw down a tremendous alley-oop in the Cowboys’ big home win over Colorado on Saturday night as Buffaloes center Josh Scott was victimized here trying to contest the pass.

Nance Jr. finished with 10 points, five rebounds, four assists, four blocks and three steals in a 56-33 Wyoming win. CBT‘s Raphielle Johnson has more on this game from last night.

If Nance Jr. is healthy and throwing down dunks like this then Wyoming should be a team to track this season.

Second-half efficiency the difference as Wyoming steamrolls Colorado

Wyoming v UNLV
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During the tipoff marathon earlier this week Colorado put forth one of the better second half performances of the event, going on a 24-0 run to turn a close game against Auburn into a rout they would win by the final score of 90-59. For some that display meant that Tad Boyle’s team, which was already receiving votes in both Top 25 polls, were only a win at Wyoming away from becoming a ranked team for the first time this season.

However that task is one easier said than done for Colorado, as they last won a game in Laramie back in 1996. And that will remain the case for the time being, as the Buffaloes could only muster nine second-half points in their 56-33 loss to Larry Shyatt’s Cowboys.

Josh Adams, who scored the first eight points of the second half, scored a game-high 14 points (and tallied seven assists) and Charles Hankerson Jr. and Larry Nance Jr. added ten apiece to lead the way offensively for Wyoming. Wyoming, whose ball movement and spacing was solid throughout the game, shot nearly 58 percent from the field in the second half and all eleven of their second-half field goals were assisted.

For the game, all 22 of Wyoming’s field goals were assisted and they committed just eight turnovers. So while the point total may not look good, the Cowboys were incredibly efficient on that end of the floor.

By comparison Colorado shot just 27.9% from the field, with Xavier Johnson leading the way with nine points. And while the 12 turnovers Colorado may not seem like much, keep in mind two things: they only had six assists, and more importantly Wyoming converted those turnovers into 22 points (plus-18 margin in points off turnovers). Freshman point guard Dominique Collier made his debut in a Colorado uniform, and the expectation is that he will help them when it comes to solidifying that position.

The Buffaloes have plenty of work to do on the offensive end of the floor, and their consistency in getting the ball inside (ten points in the paint) is one of the areas Colorado needs to address in the days and weeks to come. They’ll be better, as will Wyoming. And in a game that was expected by many to be a highly competitive affair, Larry Shyatt’s Cowboys took control in the second half and didn’t look back.