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My excellent trip to Laramie

November 16, 2011

The Dome of Doom just prior to tipoff

The roads were clear, the #4 combo meal at Wendys was tasty, and there was no snow on the ground as we trekked to the Pimple on the Prairie.  I can’t remember the last time I attended a hoops game in Laramie without bitter cold and the need for snow boots.

We sat about 10 rows behind one of the baskets.  And witnessed an unbelievable foul festival for nearly 40 minutes.  Northern Colorado jumped out 7-0 in the first three minutes.  By the time the half ended WYO had a 32-14 lead, accumulated mostly off of 16 team fouls and technical committed by UNC.  From the 12 minute mark to the 2 minute mark there was one field goal scored by both teams – a breakaway dunk.

The second half was much the same except WYO decided they should foul as much as UNC.  Both teams committed 16 fouls in those 20 minutes – a foul every 35 seconds or so!  

And while I thought the officiating was marginal (Big Sky officiating crew) you have to put most of what happened on the players who decided it was more important to defend by grabbing than by moving their feet.

To WYO’s credit’ they are a far better organized team on both ends of the floor.  Gone are the Heath Schroyer days of lots of dribbling and here are the days of an offense that moves the ball with the pass.  Defensively, the Pokes were far more savvy in terms of defending the 3-point line and funneling players into their bigger defenders.  Newcomer Leonard Washington is a physical presence and makes a difference when defending the paint.

UNC lost a lot from last years NCAA team and the new players are young and not quite ready physically.   They will improve as the season goes on but it looks to be a tough November and December for them.

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