Wyoming rewards Larry Shyatt with a contract extension

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One of the best one-year turnarounds in college basketball last season took place in Laramie, Wyoming, where Larry Shyatt’s Wyoming Cowboys won 21 games after winning just ten in 2010-11.

And as a result, Wyoming athletic director Tom Burman announced on Thursday that the school extended Shyatt’s contract through the 2016-17 season.

The terms of the contract won’t change, as Shyatt will continue to earn a base salary of $190,000 with the opportunity to earn as much as $645,000 with incentives.

“We are thrilled with the work Coach Shyatt has done on and off the floor in his first year back at the University of Wyoming,” Burman said in a statement released by the school.

“His desire to rebuild Cowboy basketball is evident by the long-term visionary decisions he is continually making for the team. This shows his commitment to the continued success of our basketball program.”

Last season was Wyoming’s first 20-win campaign since 2003, and their win over North Dakota in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament was the program’s first postseason victory since 2003.

The big question for the Cowboys going into 2012-13 is the status of forward Leonard Washington, who has run into some legal issues during the off-season.

But with Luke Martinez (11.8 ppg, 4.0 rpg) back for his senior campaign and a young player in Larry Nance Jr. who could be a much-improved player in the Mountain West next season, the Cowboys are capable of building on their successful 2011-12 campaign in a tough Mountain West.

Wyoming will take a trip to Canada in early August, playing four games in six days in Calgary and that should help their three freshmen and four transfers mesh with the returnees.

Raphielle is also the assistant editor at CollegeHoops.net and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.