Linder named to Naismith Coach of the Year watch list
ATLANTA -- University of Wyoming head men’s basketball coach Jeff Linder was named to the Werner Naismith Coach of the Year Late Season Watch List on Friday, as announced by the Atlanta Tipoff Club.
Linder, who is in his second season in Laramie is one of 15 coaches named to the prestigious list and the only coach from the Mountain West Conference.
The Pokes, who were picked to finish eighth in the conference are currently ranked No. 22 in the nation in both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches’ polls. Wyoming is 21-4 overall and 10-2 in the conference and currently sitting in second place. Wyoming rank No. 35 in the most recent NCAA Net Rankings.
Linder has mentored the nation’s top scoring duo in Graham Ike and Hunter Maldonado. Ike is the reigning Lute Olson Award National Player of the Week. Maldonado was named the Oscar Robertson Nation Player of the Week the previous Week.
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The Pokes are one of the most improved defensive teams in the nation this season. Wyoming is holding opponents to 41.6 percent, an improvement of nearly six percent from last season. The Cowboys are allowing opponents to shot just 29 percent from behind the arc to rank No. 14 in the nation.
Offensively, Wyoming ranks No. 26 in the nation shooting 47.7 percent.
The Cowboys are a perfect 11-0 at home this season and have won 12-straight contests inside the Arena-Auditorium. Wyoming has gone over a calendar year without a loss at home and will host Air Force on Saturday at 2 p.m.
Werner Naismith Coach of the Year Late Season Watch List
Mark Adams – Texas tech
John Calipari – Kentucky
Ed Cooley – Providence
Scott Drew – Baylor
Mark Few – Gonzaga
Steve Forbes – Wake Forest
Greg Gard – Wisconsin
Jeff Linder – Wyoming
Tommy Lloyd – Arizona
Bob McKillop – Davidson
Matt McMahon – Murray State
Bruce Pearl – Auburn
Kelvin Sampson – Houston