Oct. 16, 2008
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The Wyoming Cowboy basketball team will officially begin the 2008-09 season on Friday as they will hold their first full practice of the year. The Cowboys will have 22 days to prepare for their first game of the season, an exhibition game against the Colorado School of Mines on Saturday, Nov. 8 in Laramie.
"We are really looking forward to getting the season started on Friday," said second-year head coach Heath Schroyer. "This is an exciting time for our guys and our staff. As we enter our second season, we are excited about taking the next step as a program.
"We have a very nice mix of guys on our team this year. We have some great senior leaders, some strong guys coming back and some talented younger players. As we begin practice, our goal is to improve every day from now until the moment that we walk off the floor after our final game."
The Cowboys welcome back three starters and four letterwinners from the 2007-08 season. Brandon Ewing, who was named Preseason All-Mountain West Conference on Tuesday, will be back for his senior season after leading the MWC in scoring in each of the past two seasons. The Pokes also welcome junior Ryan Dermody, senior Tyson Johnson and sophomore Mikhail Linskens, who each started at least 11 games in 07-08. Dermody was UW's third-leading scorer with an average of 9.3 points per game. Johnson had a great stretch run in the second half of the season and averaged 9.8 points a game during MWC play. Linskens started 15 games as a true freshman while averaging 4.2 points and 3.1 rebounds a game.
There will also be a number of new faces on the floor for the Cowboys this season, including three redshirts who sat out last season and seven newcomers. Redshirt senior Sean Ogirri, who sat out last year after transferring from Wichita State, is expected to be a main component of the Cowboy backcourt. Redshirt freshmen Afam Muojeke and Adam Waddell will both be playing their first full season with the Cowboys after redshirting last year.
The Cowboy newcomers include junior Mahamoud Diakite, sophomores JayDee Luster, Boubacar Sylla and Djibril Thiam as well as freshmen Arthur Bouedo, A.J. Davis and Galand Thaxton. Thiam transferred to Wyoming in January of 2008 and will not be available to play for UW until the end of the 2008 fall semester. Luster, a transfer from New Mexico State, and Sylla, a transfer from Auburn, will both have to sit out of competition this season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules.
Following their exhibition game on Nov. 8, the Cowboys will open the 2008-09 regular season on Friday, Nov. 14 when they host Cal State Bakersfield at 7 p.m.
Friday's practice will not be open.