Cowboy Basketball Will Begin Practice for the 2009-10 Season this Friday

Oct. 14, 2009

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

The 2009-10 college basketball season has arrived and the University of Wyoming Cowboys will begin practice this Friday, October 16 at 4 p.m. in the Arena-Auditorium.

Third-year Wyoming head coach Heath Schroyer welcomes back two starters and five letterwinners from a successful 2008-09 season. Last year, the Cowboys finished 19-14 overall and earned a spot in the postseason, hosting a first round game of the College Basketball Invitational. It marked the best season by a Cowboy team since 2002-03 and the postseason invitation was the 23rd in UW basketball history. The Pokes also advanced to the semifinals of the Mountain West Conference Championship.

"We can't wait to start practicing, as we have been anticipating this day for some time," Schroyer said. "I really like this group and the chemistry they have. It is the best team chemistry I have seen in my time here. We have a young, talented team and they are ready to take the next step.

"During the first couple weeks of practice, we will focus on laying the foundation. We will emphasize our offensive and defensive philosophy as we install everything from the ground up. As we get closer to our first game, we will shift our focus toward more of the specifics."

This season, the Cowboys will be led by a pair of returning starters in sophomores Afam Muojeke and Adam Waddell.

Muojeke ,the 2009 MWC Freshman of the Year, broke the conference's all-time freshman scoring record with 454 points. He also pulled down 175 rebounds, which are the seventh most by a freshman in MWC history. In addition, he was also selected as an Honorable Mention All-Freshman by Collegehoops.net, as he averaged 13.8 points and 5.3 rebounds a game last year.

Waddell, the Cowboys' starting center last season, averaged 5.1 points, 3.9 rebounds and 0.64 blocks per game. He scored in double-figures five times and pulled down double figure rebounds once.

The Cowboys also welcome back three other letterwinners including senior Ryan Dermody, junior Djibril Thiam and sophomore A.J. Davis.

One exciting aspect of the 2009-10 season will be the emergence of two NCAA Division I transfers. Redshirt sophomores JayDee Luster and Boubacar Sylla, each of whom sat out last season, will be eligible to play this season. Luster, a point guard who transferred from New Mexico State, was named a team captain this past May. Sylla, who came to UW from Auburn, is the tallest player in Wyoming history at 7'2".

The Cowboys also welcome six newcomers and one returning team member from last season. The newcomers include sophomore junior college transfer Thomas Manzano and freshmen Daylen Harrison, Desmar Jackson and Amath M'Baye, as well as a pair of walkons in junior Rob Watsabaugh and sophomore James Dean. Sophomore Arthur Bouedo also returns for the Cowboys after missing last season with an injury. However, he will have to sit out of non-conference play to satisfy NCAA rules regarding amateurism.

From Friday's first day of practice, the Cowboys will have 22 days to prepare for their first game of the 2009-10 season. The Pokes will host Regis University, in an exhibition game, on Saturday, November 7. They will open regular season play on Friday, November 13 by hosting South Dakota State.