Fans React to Graham Ike’s Decision to Leave Wyoming
LARAMIE -- How are you handling the Graham Ike decision?
Wyoming's big man announced Tuesday he would be leaving the program and entering the NCAA Transfer Portal, joining seven of his former teammates -- Noah Reynolds, Nate Barnhart, Jeremiah Oden, Xavier DuSell, Jake Kyman, Ethan Anderson and Max Agbonkpolo -- in college basketball's version of free agency.
Only three scholarship players -- none from Jeff Linder's initial 2020 recruiting class -- remain on the roster: Brendan Wenzel, Caden Powell and Kenny Foster.
We have all been waiting to see what No. 33 would do.
Now, life after Ike has officially begun.
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The 6-foot-10, 255-junior, who still has three seasons of college eligibility remaining, netted nearly 20 points and pulled down 10 rebounds per game while leading the Cowboys to the NCAA Tournament at the conclusion of the 2021-22 season.
Ike was named the Mountain West's Preseason Player of the Year last October, the same month he suffered what would become a season-ending right foot injury. Originally thought to be a "6-to-8 week" setback, Wyoming fans waited for the Aurora, Colo., product to eventually save the day.
That didn't happen. The Cowboys won just nine games.
Fans from around the globe sounded off after Ike hit the open market. Some happy, some not -- to say the least.
Here are some select responses to the news Pokes fans have been dreading:
Ron Weltmer (Facebook) Good for him! He needs to go somewhere he can play facing the basket. Only way he gets to the nba
Dennis Daniel (Facebook) Linder I am sure has not changed over the past year. They all were willing to stay when they thought the team would be successful. Now they bail when there is any hint of adversity. This makes you appreciate the Hunter’s even more!!
Jeff Lansing (Facebook) Part of the blame needs to lie with Wyoming fans. The AA was empty for most every game this season. Why would a young athlete want to play to empty seats?
Ann Tollefson (Facebook) We will see what Jeff Linder is really made of now.
Ron Behnke (Facebook) What bothers me the most about this transfer is that Linder stuck with Ike after he blew out his knee in high school and brought him to Wyoming to rehab when other programs would have dropped him like a hot rock. I don't think that most people understand how valuable a commodity loyalty is. Much like trust, It's hard to obtain and easy to lose.
Tyler Jones (Facebook) Don’t bail on coach Linder because the team had a bad year. That’s exactly what these players did. When faced with a little adversity they just jumped ship. Give the man a break. He’s not the only coach in the ncaa that’s losing players.
Richard Oien (Facebook) A persons character will always be defined by how they handle adversity. With the transfer portal….when the going gets tough….players flee. We are creating a bunch of soft, it’s about me kids who will be clueless when the real world slaps them in the face. It is sad
Josh Rasnake��(Facebook) Can Linder enter the portal? Asking for a friend
Jason Ferguson (Facebook) This is a complete collapse of a program unfolding before our very eyes. Unreal.
Paul James (Facebook) Good luck in your future endeavors Ike, and best of luck with your continued healing process. Next man up!!
James Donahue (Facebook) Players and coaches....how does anyone want to support this BS anymore!
Travis WebB (Facebook) Don’t tell me it’s not a coaching issue when…THE ENTIRE TEAM LEAVES THE PROGRAM
Clay Daniel Cates (Facebook) His injury put this whole thing in motion.... crazy....
Janeé Havens (Facebook) Can’t say I’m surprised. Sad, but not surprised.
Ed Ricks (Facebook) I’m not surprised, I figured when all the others were bailing it was because he wasn’t coming back
Mark Ogg (Facebook) Don’t let the screen door hit cha where the Good Lord split cha.
Gordon Clyde Gephart (Facebook) It was never a matter of IF it was always WHEN. Sorry to see him leave. Maybe Maldonado can come back for a SEVENTH year
Jason Phillips (Facebook) It was fun while it lasted.....the portal bums me out.
Celyn Rogers (Facebook) Good luck Ike, he’s a class guy all around and frankly an NBA caliber player. Unfortunately Wyoming was unable to recruit missing pieces from the portal like so many other successful teams did this season and this is the result.
Luke Todd (Facebook) All the small Universities should come together and file a class-action lawsuit against the NCAA and/or other responsible parties to end NIL and Transfer Portal. It has proved to be a disaster for the schools and my guess is that it isn't going to benefit the vast majority of athletes except for the tiny percentage that will go pro.
Kiona Alexis (Facebook) Its crazy how fast people can bash these athletes when they were just their biggest fan. Or being wishy washy throughout the season. Just move on and continue to have your “WYO pride”. Don’t wanna hear you guys be a fan again when they are in the NBA
James D Gregorio (Facebook) I enjoyed watching him play best of luck to him
Derek Walls (Facebook) A coach who demands respect and doesn't put up with BS now has to pander and coddle because there is no way to make these players honor their commitment. As soon as a coach shows some tough love the players can bolt without consequences. The transfer portal and NIL has degraded what college athletics was about.
Kristin McLean (Facebook) Is anyone really shocked by this after what’s been going on last few weeks? I’ve never seen a program implode quite like this. Very sad. I mean seriously….with all the drama…..who is going to want to come play here????
Sam Burkett (Facebook) I hate to be pessimistic but it'll take at least a 10 year rebuild. There's nothing to be excited about with this team and Linder is way above his head. Bring in someone who's at least had Power 5 experience to rebuild.
Laura Weliever Drake (Facebook) And just like that, Cowboy Basketball truly saw the sky fall
Mark Boyer (Facebook) Maybe drop the program and add Women's softball. : )
D.j. Ackerman (Facebook) I said we had seen him in a POKES jersey for the last time many months ago, the writing was on the wall : ( This new Era of college athletics is pitiful!
Josh Nall (Facebook) Can't really blame him. 6'9" 20-10 guys don't grow on trees. He can go anywhere he wants and play in sold out arenas and have a shot to play in the final 4.
Austin Ingram (Facebook) Wow this situation seems really concerning. We have no team.
Tyler Trowbridge (Facebook) We pretty much don’t have a basketball team anymore. Wow. So sad.
Jason Redmond (Facebook) So at what point are they going to seriously start looking at Linder. Not only didn’t he win games his entire team has left! There is a common denominator here!
Steven Neal (Facebook) Y'all calling for Linder's head have a short memory. Top 25 team at one point and made the play-in game one season prior. His overall is 128-92 (.582 win%)... 48-42 at UW. I don't think you fire a guy going into his fourth season with an above .500 record. Going into this season he was 39-18 at UW. He was 80-50 at UNC.
University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players
- University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players