The Wyoming Cowboy basketball team will officially begin the 2016-17 season on Monday as it will hold the first full practice of the year. The Cowboys will have 31 days to prepare for their first game of the season, an exhibition game against Chadron State on Saturday, Nov. 3 in Torrington.
First Year head coach Allen Edwards welcomes back four starters and nine total letter-winners from last season’s team. Senior guard Jason McManamen emerged as one of the top three-point shooters in the MW and the NCAA last season, as his 44 percent beyond the arc ranked second in the conference and 15th in the nation. McManamen averaged 14.4 points per game last season. He will be joined by juniors Alan Herndon, Jeremy Lieberman and Jonathan Barnes.
“I think this is a team that has experience,” Edwards said. “We have nice mixture of older and younger guys, not just in age, but in court experience. It is exciting to see and is something we can build around.”
Herndon was second on the team in field goal percentage at 52 percent last season. He was third on the team in scoring pouring in 7.8 per game. Lieberman started 22 games last season shooting 35 percent from beyond the three point line. Barnes started 23 games for the Pokes in 2015-16.
The UW bench returns sophomore guard Justin James. He averaged 5.2 points per game as a freshman. Junior guard Alexander Aka Gorski added 5.6 points per game to go along with 2.0 rebounds. Junior forward Hayden Dalton will also add to the Pokes’ bench. He finished his first season in the Brown and Gold averaging 3.8 points per game and 3.3 boards. Another promising big man is sophomore forward Jordan Naughton, as he added 3.0 points per game off the UW bench. Senior guard Morris Marshall will add to a deep bench after appearing in eight contests a season ago.
Edwards added four newcomers to this season’s roster. Junior college transfer junior guard Louis Adams and freshman forward Austin Mueller will be eligible to play for UW this season. Transfers Nyaires Redding from Washington State and Brodricks Jones of UTEP will sit out this season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules.
Following their exhibition game on Nov. 3, the Cowboys will open the 2016-17 regular season on Friday, Nov. 11 when they host Western State at 8:30 p.m.