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UW vs Niagara

Wyoming head coach Allen Edwards stands on the side of the court before their game against Niagara last season at the Arena-Auditorium in Laramie.

LARAMIE — The first day of college basketball’s spring signing period was a relatively quiet one for Wyoming, but there’s still work for the Cowboys to do in their 2019 recruiting class.

Wyoming’s only two signings Wednesday were a pair of guards that were verbally committed to the Cowboys going into the day. The first signature came from Kwane Marble Jr., a combo guard out of Denver East (Colorado) High. Next was Sacramento City College standout Greg Milton III, who averaged 19 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.4 assists while shooting 40.2 percent from 3-point range as a freshman for the Panthers last season.

With three seasons of eligibility remaining, Milton will step in immediately and compete for the starting job at a point guard position that’s lacking with Justin James and Ny Redding having exhausted their eligibility. The 6-foot-3, 185-pounder’s main competition will be A.J. Banks, another junior college transfer who averaged 5.1 points and 1.5 rebounds in 23.8 minutes in his first season at Wyoming.

“Greg is a lead guard that does a good job running the program and running the team,” Wyoming coach Allen Edwards said. “He has a really good confidence within himself and also his ability to shoot the basketball while also defending.”

Marble’s signing ended a recruitment in which he committed twice to Wyoming. The 6-6, 195-pounder originally gave his verbal pledge to the Cowboys back in September, but the scholarship numbers for the current class got tight once Smoky Hill (Colorado) High standout Kenny Foster inked with the Cowboys during the early signing period in November. With Justin James and Jordan Naughton being the only scholarship seniors Wyoming was losing after this past season, Edwards told Marble he couldn’t guarantee him a scholarship.

“I thought I was very honest within the scenario with him and his family, and I just thought his desire to play for us was there,” Edwards said. “He was a little hurt by the honesty, but I told him that if something were to happen, he’d be my first phone call.”

Once Lwal Dung’s decision to leave the team in mid-December freed up another scholarship, Edwards said he made that call. It wasn’t long after that that the Cowboys got a recommitment from Marble, whom Edwards said has the physical maturity that could allow him to get minutes sooner rather than later at multiple positions.

“He’s a big guard.” Edwards said. “You won’t be blown away by his speed, but I think he does a great job getting where he wants to get to whenever he wants to get there. Uses his body really well, shoots it and also a guy that defends. We’re excited to have both of them.”

Trace Young’s decision to transfer and Tariq Johnson’s recent medical disqualification opened up two more scholarships that the Cowboys will look to fill with bigs. Counting the players returning from last year’s team and the players already signed in the 2019 class, Wyoming has just one player — forward Hunter Thompson — taller than 6-7 on its roster.

One of the Cowboys’ top remaining targets is junior college center Ethan Richardson, who was offered a scholarship by Wyoming late last month after averaging 16.3 points and 7.4 rebounds as a sophomore at Fresno City College. Wyoming will have at least one recruit on campus for a visit this weekend as Edwards fully intends to use both scholarships.

The spring signing period ends May 15.

“Activity,” Edwards said of the type of big he’s looking for. “Fly-around mentality and chase-down-rebounds type of guy, and the ball screens. Being able to either hedge, corral or switch and not be on an island by himself at the end of the day. All of that comes into play when we’re evaluating bigs.”

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Follow UW athletics beat writer Davis Potter on Twitter at @DavisEPotter

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College Sports Reporter

Davis Potter is the University of Wyoming athletics reporter. An Alabama native and 2011 Auburn University graduate, Potter joined the Star-Tribune in 2018 after five years covering Ole Miss and the Southeastern Conference. He lives in Laramie.

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