Tuesday, January 22, 2013
How Martinez's absence hurts Pokes
By Matt Giles
During the recent Mountain West conference coaches' call, Wyoming's Larry Shyatt explained how the loss of Luke Martinez is affecting his squad's offense. Specifically, opposing teams are using Martinez's absence to key in on Wyoming's interior options, Larry Nance Jr. and Leonard Washington. According to Shyatt, "[It's] clear that Larry and Leonard aren't going to have too many opportunities to put the ball on the deck and make plays. They are really going to have to rely on one dribble at the most, because either people are running somebody at them or deep digging."
Martinez was one of the Cowboys' most consistent perimeter threats, a guard capable of stretching the defense by converting 42.2 percent of his threes. Since opponents could not help off Martinez, both Nance and Washington were often able to operate in one-on-one post situations, and use a full range of post moves to get to the bucket. However, without Martinez, opposing teams have begun to sag on Wyoming's frontline; the squad attempted 27 threes (and made just five) in a loss to Fresno State, and both forwards were limited offensively.
However, during a recent win over San Diego State, Shyatt and his staff seem to have found how they will use the bigs efficiently -- additional ball movement caused openings for Nance and Washington, and the team also severely cut down on the number of three-point attempts. It will not be surprising in upcoming weeks if Wyoming's perimeter attempts decline dramatically. Even before Martinez began missing tilts, Derrious Gilmore was Wyoming's other long-range threat, and it appears Shyatt has stressed to his team that Gilmore is the sole Cowboy with a constant green light.