Cowboy Season Wrap-Up
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The Wyoming Cowboys played one of the best schedules in school history in 2003-04.
Highlighting the non-conference schedule were three opponents that played in the 2004 NCAA Tournament (Dayton, Southern Illinois and Washington) and a fourth non-conference foe that played in the 2004 NIT (Creighton). Of those four opponents, all four played in Laramie during the 2003-04 season.
Three Mountain West Conference opponents played in the 2004 NCAAs -- Air Force, BYU and Utah. A fourth MWC team, UNLV, played in the 2004 NIT.
In addition to those four NCAA Tournament teams, Wyoming also played road games at Pacific-10 Conference member California and at Big 12 member Kansas State.
Southern Illinois was the Pokes' regular-season home opener on Saturday, Nov. 22, 2003. The Salukis lost to Alabama in the opening round of the 2004 NCAA Championship. SIU was the 2004 Missouri Valley Conference regular-season champion.
The December home schedule began with the University of Washington Huskies traveling to Laramie for a Saturday, Dec. 6 contest. That game marked the first time a Pacific-10 Conference member had played in the Arena-Auditorium since USC lost to Wyoming, 77-81, in the first round of the 1999 National Invitation Tournament. That was during Steve McClain's first season as Cowboy head coach. This year's appearance by Washington was the first regular-season appearance by a PAC-10 team in Laramie since Dec. 9, 1985, when the USC Trojans lost to the Cowboys 79-89.
Creighton wrapped up the December schedule. The Blue Jays lost to Nebraska in the first round of the 2004 National Invitation Tournament.
January's home schedule began on Saturday, Jan. 3 when Dayton faced the Cowboys in Laramie. The Flyers lost in the first round of the 2004 NCAA Tournament to DePaul.
Cowboys Ranked Among Best Rebounding and Defensive Teams in MWC in 2003-04 Season:
This season, the Wyoming Cowboys were No. 1 in the MWC in rebounding (36.7 rpg), were No. 2 in defensive rebounding (24.2 rpg), No. 2 in offensive rebounds (12.5 rpg), No. 2 in blocked shots (3.5 bspg), No. 3 in rebounding margin (+2.2 rpg) and No. 3 in the MWC in field-goal percentage defense (.429).
Shooting the Key for Cowboys in 2003-04:
One of the most telling trends for the Wyoming Cowboys during the 2003-04 season was shooting.
Wyoming was 8-3 when it shot better from the field than its opponent. When Wyoming shot worse than its opponent from the field, the Cowboys are 3-13.
In the New Mexico game on Feb. 9, Wyoming and New Mexico both shot 50 percent in a game UW lost that game 75- 87.
The only three games in which
Wyoming lost when shooting better than
its opponent were at Colorado State on
Jan. 31, at SDSU on Feb. 21 and vs. Air
Force on March 6. The Cowboys shot 45.2
percent in Fort Collins vs. CSU, while CSU
shot only 39.3. The Cowboys lost at CSU
by a score of 74-75 in overtime. Against
San Diego State, the Pokes hit 37.7 percent
of their field goals, while the Aztecs shot
34.4 percent. At home versus Air Force,
the Cowboys shot 41.9 percent to the
Falcons' 40.0 percent. UW lost 47-52.