On the heels of a season that tumbled downhill shortly after the dismissal of guard Luke Martinez (who was averaging 14.5 ppg at the time of his arrest on assault charges), the Wyoming Cowboys made some changes to the way in which they do things.
To strengthen team unity Derek Cooke Jr. and Charles Hankerson Jr. created “624,” which also allows players to avoid the potential risks that can come with a trip to the clubs and bars in downtown Laramie. As a result Larry Shyatt’s team has become a closer-knit group, and the atmosphere throughout the program certainly had an impact on 2014 forward Diontae Jones.
In fact, the Las Vegas native cited this as one of the key reasons for his decision to cancel a scheduled official visit to UCSB and commit to the Mountain West school on Thursday.
Jones, a 6-foot-6 forward praised for his defense and rebounding, instantly fell in love with the Wyoming program. His parents accompanied him on the trip and felt the same way.
“The trip was awesome. It’s such a beautiful place,” Jones said. “The people there are nice and genuine. I felt the love once I got there.”
The 6-6 Jones helped lead Clark High School to the Nevada Class 1A state title game, averaging 12.2 points and 8.8 rebounds per game, and his versatility is seen as an asset that will help Wyoming down the line.
The Cowboys have just one player at his position for the upcoming season in former North Florida wing Jerron Granberry. Granberry, who averaged 10.6 points and 3.2 rebounds per game at UNF, has just one year of eligibility remaining so landing Jones is an important transaction for the Wyoming coaching staff.
Granberry and guard Nathan Sobey (3.5 ppg) are the lone seniors on this season’s squad, meaning that Jones will join an experienced group that includes the aforementioned Cooke and Hankerson, as well as forward Larry Nance Jr. in 2014.