LARAMIE, WYOMING (MARCH 20, 2020) – Earlier this week, the University of Wyoming announced Jeff Linder would be the Cowboys new head basketball coach replacing Allen Edwards. Linder comes to the Cowboys from the University of Northern Colorado in Greely were he led the Bears to 20-win seasons the last three-years. His teams also defeated Wyoming each of the last three-years.
Nick Seeman, University of Wyoming Athletic Department, talked with Ken Pomeroy, a 1999 Wyoming alum and founder of the advanced analysis of college basketball website KenPom.com recently about the Linder hire.
Pomeroy is hailed by many to be the foremost statistical analyst for NCAA men’s basketball. He developed the Pomeroy College Basketball Ratings (www.KenPom.com), an algorithm to predict success of teams using multiple sets of data for each squad in the nation. He still follows the Cowboys after receiving his master’s degree in atmospheric science at UW.
“I try to catch as many Cowboy games on television as I can and have seen them at the MW Tournament for the past few seasons,” Pomeroy said. “I look forward to watching Cowboy basketball under coach Linder.”
Northern Colorado (22-9) finished the season with a ranking of No. 75 in the KenPom Rankings. In the same poll, Wyoming (9-24) finished ranked No. 246 out of 353 Division I teams.
“I think what Jeff Linder did at Northern Colorado was very impressive and they had their best campaign they have ever had,” Pomeroy said. “Offensively his team last season shot the ball very well ranking in the top-30 in both two-point and three-point baskets and that is the sign of an offenese that is difficult to defend. His offense last season ranked 45th in the nation and that will transfer over well to the Mountain West Conference.”
Last season, Linder mentored a team that ranked fourth in the nation in three-point field goal percentage defense at 28 percent. In two of the last three season his teams led the nation in the amount of three-point field goals attempted by an opponent at 23 percent (2019-20) and 24 percent (2017-18), as those numbers came from KenPom.com.
“The three-point defense with his teams may be the most unique thing with his coaching philosophy,” Pomeroy said. “His defense is based about getting people to move in from behind the arc and not allowing them to shoot from three.”
On the flip side, his team also ranked sixth in the nation in three-pointers per game at 10.2 last season. Linder also preaches taking care of the basketball, as his squad ranked seventh in the nation in turnovers at 10.2 per game.