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MWC basketball notebook: Wyoming fires coach, BYU assistant targeted

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 8 2011 6:43 p.m. MST

One former BYU assistant has been fired at Wyoming. Could a current Cougar assistant take over the Cowboys' program next season?

Heath Schroyer, who served as Steve Cleveland's assistant at BYU from 1997-2001 before eventually ending up as Wyoming's head coach in 2007, was fired Monday. There's plenty of speculation that Dave Rice, who joined the Cougar staff in 2005, is a leading candidate to replace Schroyer.

Rice, a former UNLV player and assistant, knows the league well and coordinates BYU's recruiting and its offense.

Other candidates include Florida assistant Larry Shyatt, who was the head coach at Wyoming in 1997-98 before taking the head coaching job at Clemson; Wyoming interim head coach Fred Langley, who will guide the Cowboys the rest of the season; Johnny Jones, the head coach at North Texas; and Jeremy Cox, a South Florida assistant who was a graduate assistant at Wyoming in the early 1990s.

Wyoming athletic director Tom Burman said a national search for a coach will begin immediately.

The Cowboys, who are 8-15 overall and 1-8 in the Mountain West Conference, have lost seven straight games. Schroyer compiled a 49-68 record in 3 ½ seasons in Laramie.

"Although I am obviously disappointed in the university's decision to terminate my contract, I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as head coach at the University of Wyoming," Schroyer said in a statement. "I am grateful to President [Tom] Buchanan, Tom Burman and the entire university community for their support of our basketball program. I love our team, and I believe they have a bright future on and off the court."

Schroyer's contract would have expired at the conclusion of the 2013-14 season. Under the terms of that contract, the school will pay him $160,000 per year for the remaining three years.

TICKET SALES BRISK: The Mountain West Conference Tournament is only four weeks away, and fans are gobbling up tickets.

The league announced Monday that all lower bowl all-session tickets, VIP all-session tickets and institutional all-session tickets for the tournament -- which will take place on March 8-12 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas -- are sold out. Upper level all-session and single-session tickets are being made available this week.

Upper level all-session tickets, which are priced at $175, may be ordered directly through the Thomas & Mack Center ticket office by calling 702-739-3267 or toll free at 866-388-3267.

INJURY FRONT: San Diego State received good news when it found out that X-rays of Chase Tapley and Tim Shelton were negative. Tapley suffered an ankle sprain in a 60-53 win over TCU. In the same game, Shelton left with a foot injury.

e-mail: jeffc@desnews.com

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