Nov. 3, 2011
Laramie, Wyo. -
The University of Wyoming men's basketball team continues its preparations for the 2011-12 season by hosting CSU-Pueblo for an exhibition game at 6 p.m. on Saturday in the Arena-Auditorium. The Cowboys are 41-6 (.872) in exhibition contests and currently enjoy a 20-game winning streak.
The Wyoming Athletics Ticket Office is offering a special promotion for the game, as fans with a ticket stub from UW's football game versus TCU on Saturday can purchase a $5 ticket to the men's basketball exhibition. Tickets to all UW basketball games can be purchased by calling the ticket office at 877-WYO-FAN1 (877-996-3261) or online at WyomingAthletics.com.
Fans can also follow live stats and live audio of the game, as well as live video of the postgame press conference, through the men's basketball Gameday Central page on the website. The contest will be broadcast on the radio through the Cowboy Sports Network.
A Look at the Matchup
Wyoming turned heads with the hiring of top Florida assistant Larry Shyatt in March and now is ready to return to the hardwood for its second stint under Shyatt. The Cowboys return two starters and six letterwinners from a 10-21 squad last year, while featuring six seniors, two juniors and five freshmen this fall. UW will look for several upperclassmen that are now healthy to step into prominent roles this year.
CSU-Pueblo is in a similar position with first-year head coach Ralph Turner. A former NAIA National Coach of the Year, Turner came to the Thunderwolves after serving as the longtime coach at Union (Tenn.) University from 1994 to 2009. He led the Bulldogs to 10 NAIA National Tournaments in his 15 seasons at the helm, but inherits a CSUP team that went 11-14, including 8-13 in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, in 2010-11. He welcomes back seven Thunderwolves that saw action last season. CSUP lost a 97-82 exhibition game at Colorado State on Tuesday night.
Each Team's Leaders
Senior guard Francisco Cruz is Wyoming's top returning scorer after averaging 10.0 points and 3.3 rebounds per game in 2010-11. In his first season with the program, he was one of two players who played in all 31 games, with starts in 30 of those games. Cruz paced UW in three pointers made (48) and three-point percentage (.381). The Cowboys will also lean heavily on fellow returning starter JayDee Luster. The point guard enters his senior campaign with 222 career assists and needs 51 more to enter Wyoming's all-time top-10 list. He averaged 5.9 points and 3.4 assists in 28 games last season.
The Pokes will look for big contributions from senior center Adam Waddell and junior guard Luke Martinez, both of whom missed extended time last season with injuries. Junior forward Leonard Washington makes his long-awaited debut this season after transferring from USC and redshirting in 2010-11.
CSU-Pueblo's top returning scorer is junior guard Nathan Tigner, who earned 9.0 points, 2.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game last season. Probable starters Andre Martin and Kevin Coates, both seniors, posted 7.9 and 6.1 points, respectively, last season for the Thunderwolves. Martin, a guard added 1.3 assists and Coates, a forward, contributed 2.8 rebounds. CSUP's probable starting lineup includes three seniors and two juniors.
About the Series
Wyoming is 3-0 all-time against CSU-Pueblo in the regular season and 2-0 in exhibition contests, claiming its most recent victory, 73-66, on Nov. 6, 2007. All five meetings have come with Wyoming as the home team. The Pokes hold a 41-6 (.872) record all-time in exhibition contests, including a 20-game winning streak. Below is a breakdown of UW's last 10 exhibition games.
11-13-04CU-Colo. SpringsW 99-50
11-8-05Chadron StateW 74-58
11-4-06CU-Colo. SpringsW 101-82
11-7-06Western StateW 96-61
11-8-08Colo. School of MinesW 72-60
11-7-09Regis W 78-60
11-6-10Peru StateW 100-55
The Cowboys begin the 2011-12 regular season by squaring off with Western State at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 12 in the Arena-Auditorium, before hosting Northern Colorado on Tuesday, Nov. 15 at 7 p.m.