Cowboy Basketball Practice and Select-A-Seat for 'Poke Fans to be Held Saturday Morning

Oct. 12, 2006

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

The 2006-07 college basketball season is fast approaching, and college basketball teams across the country are allowed to begin practice this weekend.

To tip off its upcoming season, the University of Wyoming Cowboy Basketball team will hold a practice open to the public on Saturday, Oct. 14 at 11:00 a.m. in Wyoming's Arena-Auditorium on the UW campus.

In connection with Saturday's open practice, fans who have not yet purchased season tickets may do so from 10:00 a.m. to noon in the Arena-Auditorium at a Select-A-Seat event. Good seats in the lower bowl of the Arena-Auditorium are still available. For more information on the Select-A-Seat event, fans may contact the UW Athletics Ticket Office at (800) 922-9461 or (307) 766-4850. Fans may also purchase their tickets online at www.wyomingathletics.com.

A year ago, the Cowboys came up one overtime period and five points shy of earning a bid to the NCAA Tournament. UW lost in the Championship Game of the 2006 Mountain West Conference Tournament in Denver by a score of 64-69 in overtime to the regular-season and eventual tournament champion San Diego State.

Steve McClain will be entering his ninth season as head coach of the Cowboys this year.

"It's always exciting when you start a new season," said McClain. "When you have some success toward the end of the previous season, like we did, combined with the added experience we gained from the Canada trip this fall, I know our kids can't wait to get started."

Six lettermen return for McClain, including two returning starters -- sophomore guard Brandon Ewing and junior guard Brad Jones.

Ewing set a new Mountain West Conference freshman scoring record a year ago. He concluded his true freshman season with 423 points, breaking the previous MWC record of Brandon Heath, who scored 413 points for San Diego State in his freshman season of 2003-04. Ewing ranked No. 9 in the conference in scoring, averaging 13.2 points per game. The only Cowboy freshmen to post higher scoring averages in the 101 years of Wyoming Basketball were: LaDrell Whitehead (14.9 points per game in 1994-95), Charles Bradley (13.7 ppg in 1977-78) and Fennis Dembo (13.5 ppg in 1984-85). Ewing also earned Third Team All-MWC honors last season, and was one of only five players in the league named to the 2006 MWC All-Tournament Team.

Jones ranked fourth on the Wyoming squad in scoring as a sophomore last season. He averaged 10.0 points per game in his first season at UW after transferring from Fort Smith Community College in Fort Smith, Ark. He led Wyoming in assists and ranked No. 5 in the MWC, averaging 3.5 assists per game. Despite his 6'0" size, Jones also pulled down the second most rebounds (143) of any Cowboy in the 2005-06 season.

Other returning lettermen this season include: seniors Chris Anderson and Daaron Brown; and sophomores Ike Okoye and Bienvenu Songondo. Two redshirts, center Travis Nelson and forward Ryan Dermody, will join four newcomers in rounding out the Cowboy roster.

The four newcomers include Casper, Wyo., native Eric Platt, a freshman, and fellow freshman Aaron Henson from from Corona, Calif. The other newcomers are junior-college teammates James Spencer and Joseph Taylor from Los Angeles City College.

The Cowboys open their 2006-07 schedule with two exhibition home games on Saturday, Nov. 4 versus the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs and on Tuesday, Nov. 7 versus Western State. Wyoming opens regular-season play in Laramie on Saturday, Nov. 11 against Boise State.