Remaking of Wyoming Basketball Roster Begins; Morman, Milton Enter Transfer Portal
Tyler Morman and Greg Milton III, junior college transfers who joined the Wyoming basketball team for the 2019-20 season, took the first step in a premature ending to their days with the Cowboys on Thursday.
The pair, both of whom have two years of eligibility remaining, became the first Cowboys to enter the Transfer Portal since the hiring of Jeff Linder nine days ago, an indication that they may not feel they fit into the revamped game-plan of the new coaching staff.
TJ Taylor also is in the Transfer Portal. Taylor, however, entered the portal before Allen Edwards was fired as the coach, and prior to the hiring of Linder. He also indicated at the time that he was open to the possibility of remaining with the Cowboys.
Milton, who transferred to Wyoming after his freshman season at Sacramento City College, started the first three games of the season for the Cowboys, but did not start again. He appeared in 22 of the Cowboys' 30 regular season games, averaging 12 1/2 minutes a game.
Morman, who the Cowboys envisioned as an impact rebounder, opened the season sidelined by a concussion. He made his Cowboy debut with an eight-minute appearance against Utah Valley on Dec. 18, and then started in the Cowboys 72-66 win at Denver on Dec. 21. He, however, fell and hit his head hard on the floor at Denver late in the first half, was limited to 20 minutes in the game, and was sidelined the rest of the season with another concussion.
Linder is expected to create a more aggressive offensive approach than the slow-down style the Cowboys employed under Edwards, with an emphasis on success from the three-point range. The Cowboys hit only 30.7 percent of their three-point attempts in the 2019-20 season, and AJ Banks led the team with a 40.6 shooting percentage beyond the arc -- well ahead of Taylor, who hit 35.7 percent.
The Cowboys had only two seniors on their roster the past season -- guards Banks and Jake Hendricks -- which would have limited the ability of Linder and his staff to begin an overhaul without transfers.
Upon being hired, Linder said he felt the Cowboys had a core of players that, with the addition of a few new faces, could undergo a quick turnaround from a team that is coming off back-to-back regular seasons of 8-23 in 2018-19 and 7-24 in 2019-20. While they were eliminated in the first round of the MW tournament two years ago, the Cowboys did pull off two upsets in the MW tournament earlier this month before losing to eventual tournament champion Utah State in the semi-finals.
The Cowboys have a solid core to build around -- if they can avoid losing any of the key players. Hunter Maldanado already has announced he will return for his junior season, and all indications are that Hunter Thompson will be back for his junior season, as well.
The key will be pending decisions form sophomores-to-be Kwane Marble III and Kenny Foster, the key recruits of the Cowboys from a year ago. They both showed the potential to be impact players for Wyoming during their freshman season.
Marble started only once in the Cowboys first 14 regular-season games, did not play in five of the 14, and played a total of 31 minutes in the eight games in which he came off the bench. He, however, played in each of the final 14 regular-season games, starting the final eight games of the regular season. He scored in double figures in eight of the 14 games, and averaged 10.5 points per game.
Foster started six games -- all conference games -- and came off the bench in the others. The Colorado High School Player of the Year for the 2018-19 season, Foster scored in double figures in four games -- against Nebraska Wesleyan, and in MW games at Colorado State, and against UNLV and Boise State in Laramie.