A Cowboy Named to the All-Defensive Team for Third-Straight Year
Junior Forward Posts Career-High 38 Points and Season-High 12 Rebounds
2004-05 (Senior): Jay Straight is one of the top returning players in the Mountain West Conference, and is one of the top returning point guards in the nation. He will go down as one of the finest players to ever wear a Wyoming uniform. He earned Second Team All-MWC honors as a junior, and ranks among the career leaders in several categories in Wyoming school history. He is only the 30th player in 100 years of Cowboy Basketball to score 1,000 career points. The Chicago native enters his senior season ranked No. 28 in school history in scoring with 1,045 career points. He also ranks No. 6 in career assists at UW, with 305; is eighth in career three-point field goals made (111); and ranks No. 10 in career games started (82).
Straight is the most experienced returning Cowboy, and is the Pokes' leading returner in scoring and assists. He averaged 15.7 points per game in the 2003-04 season, to rank sixth in the MWC, and handed out 3.8 assists per game, ranking him fifth in the conference. He was the only player in conference play last season to rank in the Top Five in scoring, assists and steals. In conference games, he averaged 17.6 points per game (ranking him No. 3 in MWC games), 3.6 assists (No. 4 in conference play) and 1.4 steals (No. 3 in regular-season league games). He enters his senior season having scored in double figures in 24 of the last 28 games. He has 51 career double-figure scoring games.
Now a senior, he is the one remaining starter from Wyoming's 2001-02 team that advanced to the Second Round of the 2002 NCAA Tournament. A playmaker throughout his first two seasons, Straight took on more of a scoring role his junior season.
2003-04 (Junior): Straight scored in double figures in 23 of 27 games during his junior campaign. He scored in double figures in 12 of 14 conference games, and had seven 20-point games in conference play during the 2003-04 season -- scoring 20 or more at least once against each of the seven MWC member schools. Overall, he ranked among the league leaders in six statistical categories. He ranked No. 6 in the MWC in scoring (15.7 ppg). Straight was fifth in assists (3.81 apg), fifth in threes (1.81 made per game), No. 4 in steals (1.41 spg), No. 10 in FT% (.762) and No. 8 in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.12 to 1.00). He set a new UW single-game record for assists, with 15 against Winthrop on Dec. 20. Earned MWC Player of the Week honors on Feb. 2, 2004, after he posted two of the three highest scoring games of his career in back-to-back games. He scored a career high 30 vs. San Diego State on Jan. 26, 2004, and followed that up with a 26-point performance at CSU on Jan. 31. Prior to the start of the season, he was selected a First Team Preseason All-Mountain West Conference selection by: Athlon Sports, Basketball News, Sporting News and Street & Smith's. The Sporting News called Straight the best point guard in the MWC, and Street & Smith's tabbed him the "Best Penetrator" in the conference. Straight spent the summer of 2003 touring Europe with a college all-star team, a tour, which Straight himself said, helped him gain maturity and set new goals for himself.
2002-03 (Sophomore): Straight was an Honorable Mention All-Mountain West Conference selection as a sophomore. He led the Cowboys in assists, averaging 3.09 assists per game. In addition to handing out assists to his teammates, Straight was also the third leading scorer for the Pokes, averaging 10.5 points per game. He ranked No. 6 in the MWC in assists, and also ranked No. 6 in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.18 assists to every 1.00 turnover). Other categories that Straight was ranked among league leaders were: No. 10 in free-throw shooting (.755) and No. 14 in three-point field goals (1.16 per game). Straight scored in double figures in 17 of 32 games, including three 20-point games -- a season high 27 at Air Force on Feb. 17, 2003; 22 vs. CSU on Jan. 25, 2003; and 20 vs. CSU on Feb. 22, 2003. In three consecutive victories in February of 2003 -- at New Mexico, at Air Force and versus Colorado State -- Straight shot an amazing 64.3 percent from the field (18 of 28) and 81.3 percent from three-point range (13 of 16). He was named MWC Player of the Week following that three-game stretch. Straight earned the Barry Crater Sportsmanship Award at the 2002 Wyoming Shootout, helping lead UW to a 67-62 victory over Texas Tech. Lindy's named Straight the "Best Playmaker" in the MWC prior to the 2002-03 season. Street & Smith named him the "Best Penetrator" in the MWC entering the 2002-03 season.
2001-02 (Freshman): Straight had an outstanding freshman season. He was named Co-Freshman of the Year by Mountain West Conference coaches, and the Sporting News also named him its MWC Freshman of the Year. Straight was one of only 16 freshmen nationally to be selected to CollegeInsider.com's All-Freshman Team at the conclusion of the 2001-02 season. CollegeInsider.com also named Straight the Most Valuable Player in the Mountain West Conference at the end of his freshman season. He completed his freshman season ranked No. 5 in the MWC in assists (3.3 apg), No. 6 in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.34 to 1.00) and No. 12 in free-throw percentage (.726). He ended the season averaging 9.2 points per game, 2.4 rebounds and 3.3 assists. Straight started 27 of Wyoming's 31 games, including the last 26 consecutive. The true freshman led UW in assists and ranked fifth on the team in scoring. He scored a season high 24 vs. CSU on Jan. 12, and handed out a personal best 10 assists vs. Cal State Northridge on Dec. 6, 2001. In that Cal State Northridge game, Straight recorded the first double-double of his UW career with 10 points and 10 assists. He scored in double figures 11 times during his freshman season, and scored 20 or more points once.
High School/Personal: Straight played at Dunbar High School in Chicago, Ill. He earned All-State honors from Associated Press, The Chicago Sun Times and The Chicago Tribune. He led the Chicago Public League in scoring as a high school senior, averaging 29.8 points per game. In addition to averaging 29.8 points, he handed out 7.0 assists per game. He led Dunbar to a 21-8 record and the semifinals of the Chicago Public League Tournament. Straight was also a First Team All-City, First Team All-Area and First Team All-Conference selection both his junior and senior seasons. Following his senior season, he was selected to participate in the Wendy's All-Star Shootout, which features the top high school seniors from the state of Illinois against the top high school seniors from the state of New York.
As a junior, he averaged 27.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 8.0 assists per game. Dunbar High won three consecutive conference titles his sophomore through senior seasons. Straight's junior season, Dunbar posted a 20-8 record, captured a conference championship and advanced to the third round of the City Championship.
Straight also played for Illinois Gold AAU. As a member of Illinois Gold, he played with current NBA pro Eddy Curry of the Chicago Bulls. Straight helped lead the Illinois Gold to the AAU National Championship Tournament in the summer of 2000. His coach with Illinois Gold was Stan White. National recruiting expert Bob Gibbons of All-Star Scouting Service ranked Straight among his Top 75 players in the nation, and ranked him in the Top 15 in the nation at point guard. Gibbons had this to say about Straight's signing with Wyoming. "Jason Straight is an outstanding playmaker. He is an excellent penetrator and has the talent and intelligence to get everyone he plays with involved. While playing with the Illinois Gold AAU team, he had the opportunity to play with one of the nation's top-ranked seniors -- Eddy Curry. Curry loved Jason because Jason knew how to get Curry the ball."
Born Jan. 4, 1983, Straight is the grandson of Addie and James Thompson. He has one brother, Darryl, and two sisters, Jamilli and Dominique. Straight was on his high school's honor roll his sophomore, junior and senior years. He also earned Academic All-Conference honors as a senior in high school. Straight chose Wyoming over Boston College, Iowa State, Marquette, New Mexico State, Notre Dame and St. Louis. He is majoring in communication at Wyoming.