LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The WyomingCowboys played one of the best schedulesin school history in 2003-04.
Highlighting the non-conferenceschedule were three opponents thatplayed in the 2004 NCAA Tournament(Dayton, Southern Illinois and Washington)and a fourth non-conference foe thatplayed in the 2004 NIT (Creighton). Ofthose four opponents, all four played inLaramie during the 2003-04 season.
Three Mountain West Conferenceopponents played in the 2004 NCAAs -- AirForce, BYU and Utah. A fourth MWCteam, UNLV, played in the 2004 NIT.
In addition to those four NCAATournament teams, Wyoming also playedroad games at Pacific-10 Conferencemember California and at Big 12 memberKansas State.
Southern Illinois was the Pokes'regular-season home opener on Saturday,Nov. 22, 2003. The Salukis lost to Alabamain the opening round of the 2004 NCAAChampionship. SIU was the 2004 MissouriValley Conference regular-seasonchampion.
The December home schedule beganwith the University of Washington Huskiestraveling to Laramie for a Saturday, Dec. 6contest. That game marked the first timea Pacific-10 Conference member hadplayed in the Arena-Auditorium since USClost to Wyoming, 77-81, in the first roundof the 1999 National InvitationTournament. That was during SteveMcClain's first season as Cowboy headcoach. This year's appearance byWashington was the first regular-seasonappearance by a PAC-10 team in Laramiesince Dec. 9, 1985, when the USC Trojanslost to the Cowboys 79-89.
Creighton wrapped up the Decemberschedule. The Blue Jays lost to Nebraska inthe first round of the 2004 NationalInvitation Tournament.
January's home schedule began onSaturday, Jan. 3 when Dayton faced theCowboys in Laramie. The Flyers lost in thefirst round of the 2004 NCAA Tournamentto DePaul.
Cowboys Ranked Among Best Rebounding and Defensive Teams inMWC in 2003-04 Season:
This season, the Wyoming Cowboys were No. 1 in theMWC in rebounding (36.7 rpg), were No. 2 in defensive rebounding (24.2 rpg), No. 2 inoffensive rebounds (12.5 rpg), No. 2 in blocked shots (3.5 bspg), No. 3 in reboundingmargin (+2.2 rpg) and No. 3 in the MWC in field-goal percentage defense (.429).
Shooting the Key for Cowboysin 2003-04:
One of the mosttelling trends for the Wyoming Cowboysduring the 2003-04 season was shooting.
Wyoming was 8-3 when it shotbetter from the field than its opponent.When Wyoming shot worse than itsopponent from the field, the Cowboysare 3-13.
In the New Mexico game on Feb. 9,Wyoming and New Mexico both shot 50percent in a game UW lost that game 75-87.
The only three games in whichWyoming lost when shooting better thanits opponent were at Colorado State onJan. 31, at SDSU on Feb. 21 and vs. AirForce on March 6. The Cowboys shot 45.2percent in Fort Collins vs. CSU, while CSUshot only 39.3. The Cowboys lost at CSUby a score of 74-75 in overtime. AgainstSan Diego State, the Pokes hit 37.7 percentof their field goals, while the Aztecs shot34.4 percent. At home versus Air Force,the Cowboys shot 41.9 percent to theFalcons' 40.0 percent. UW lost 47-52.