Cowboys Open Hoop Practice Saturday, 10/17

October 16, 1998

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

The Steve McClain Era at the University of Wyoming, officially opens Saturday when the Cowboy basketball team begins pre-season drills.

McClain, 36, was hired last April as Wyoming's 19th head hoop coach. He welcomes eight lettermen from last year's breakthrough team that finished third in the WAC Mountain Division with a 19-9 overall mark, and a 9-5 league slate.

The Cowboys will practice twice Saturday (10-12, 7-9) and Sunday (same time) and begin once-a-day workouts on Monday. After the first weekend, the Cowboys will go once-a-day each day. The Cowboys will take Wednesdays off from practice.

Uptempo basketball is McClains nature. He inherits a team used to a very deliberate style of play. . .two ends of the spectrum philosophically speaking. While McClain is adamant that he will play the style that best suits his players, he and the Cowboys are itching to see what can be done at a faster pace.

"During the first two weeks we want to establish a style offensively and defensively," McClain said. "We need to establish our identity, and who are eight, nine or ten top guys are.

"I think by the end of the first week we will know what tempo we can play, and how we are defensively."

The Cowboys will scrimmage for the first time before the public on Oct. 24, following the Cowboy-Rice football game. "We want to give the fans a peek at us," McClain said. "But we will have practiced that day. We can get so much more out of practice than a scrimmage."

Only one Cowboy will not be available when practice begins, freshman Pasha Bains. Bains underwent surgery on his left elbow, and will be sidelined until the end of November.