Jan. 28, 2011
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
A tough test awaits the Wyoming Cowboy basketball team this Saturday night as they will play at No. 4 ranked San Diego State. The Cowboys and Aztecs are set to tip-off at 8 p.m. (Mountain Time) from San Diego State's Viejas Arena. The game will be televised by The Mtn.
A Look at the Matchup with San Diego State:
The Cowboys (8-12 overall and 1-5 in the Mountain West Conference) are looking to break a four-game losing streak. The Pokes have posted an 8-4 record at home this season, but are still looking for their first road win of the season and are 0-6 in road games.
San Diego State, the fourth ranked team in the country in both the AP and ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Poll, suffered their first loss of the season this past Wednesday at No. 9 ranked BYU. The Aztecs are 20-1 overall and 5-1 in MWC play. They have posted a 9-0 record at home this season and have won 14 straight home games.
Each Team's Leaders:
The Cowboys are led by a trio of players who are averaging double figures in scoring. Sophomore Desmar Jackson leads the way with a 15.2 points per game average. Senior Djibril Thiam is adding 10.7 ppg and sophomore Amath M'Baye is averaging 10.5 ppg.
Jackson is one of only three players to rank among the MWC's top scorers, steal artists and rebounders. With his respective averages of 15.2 points, 2.26 steals and 4.6 rebounds, he ranks eighth in scoring, seconds in steals and 18th in rebounding.
All four San Diego State starters average above eight points a game. The team's leading scorer is sophomore forward Kawhi Leonard, who ranks third in the MWC in scoring (16.0 ppg) and leads the league in rebounding (10.6 rpg). Senior guard D.J. Gay is averaging 12.3 points a game and senior forward Malcolm Thomas is averaging 11.8 points and 8.0 rebounds a game.
Thiam Needs Just Two More Blocks to Join UW's All-Time Top-10 Shot Blockers:
Senior Djibril Thiam is close to entering his name among the top-10 shot blockers in Wyoming history. During his two and a half-year career, he has blocked 78 shots. He enters Saturday's game needing just two more blocks to reach UW's all-time top 10.
Cruz has Played the Second Most Minutes in the MWC in League Play, Includes Three 40-Minute Games:
Junior Francisco Cruz has seen a lot of playing time since the Cowboys began MWC play. In fact, he is tied for second in the league in minutes played during conference games with an average of 37.67 minutes a game. He is tied with BYU's Jimmer Fredette. Cruz played all 40 minutes against New Mexico, TCU and UNLV. He also played 39 minutes against Utah.
Cowboys Lead the All-Time Series with San Diego State 37-30:
Saturday's meeting will be the 68th between Wyoming and San Diego State. The Cowboys lead the all-time series 37-30. Of the last 38 meetings between the two schools, 26 have been decided by 10 points or less. In games played in San Diego, the Pokes are 11-19.
On the Horizon:
The Cowboys will return home next week to face No. 9 ranked BYU on Wednesday night. If both San Diego State and BYU remain in the top 10 of next week's national polls, this will mark the first time that the Cowboys have played back-to-back games against top-10 ranked teams since the 2002 NCAA Tournament. In 2002, the Pokes beat No. 6 ranked Gonzaga in the first round of the tournament and lost to No. 7 ranked Arizona in the second round. Wednesday's game is set to begin at 6 p.m. and will be televised by The Mtn.