Gear up for gameday: Boise State
LARAMIE -- Wyoming ranks 252nd in the nation in rebounding.
That's an average of just 33.9 boards per game. The Cowboys' average in their first three Mountain West games of the season, 26.
In those contests -- one win and back-to-back losses -- UW has been out-rebounded, 124-78.
Your eyes aren't deceiving you, it's been that bad.
"There's just no excuse to get out-rebounded by by 24," Wyoming head coach Jeff Linder said after the Cowboys fell to Boise State 83-60 Monday night in Laramie. "I mean, you look at the stat sheet, and you get out-rebounded by 24. I mean, yeah, we should have lost by 23."
The Cowboys are currently without 6-foot-10 forward Eoin Nelson. The sophomore is out with a left leg injury. Wyoming is also awaiting the debut of Graham Ike, another big body down on the block, who has yet to play as he recovers from offseason ACL surgery.
Linder knew Boise State's length and athleticism would be an issue, and he isn't surprised the Broncos are going at his team in the paint, but rebounding has been a big issue so far this season. In fact, UW has won that particular battle just three times in 10 games.
Those came against Mississippi Valley State, Incarnate Word and Omaha.
Not exactly the who's who of the college basketball world.
"Ultimately, it comes down to real toughness -- not fake toughness," Linder said. "But when it comes down to when you got to get stops, when you got to finish the possession by getting a rebound, we've got to find a way to go get it. And that's just part of it. Right now, I mean, as we are a little bit banged up and small inside, you know, we're going to have to find a way to get some rebounds ..."
Hunter Thompson, the Cowboys' lone big man on the roster that is healthy, drew the ire of his head coach after Monday night's lopsided loss.
"So, it's not it's not like we don't work on them; we emphasize them," he said. "It's a big part of our program, is the ability to limit teams to one shot. And, at some point, I don't know what to tell you now, Thompson's going to have to find a way. I don't know if he can?"
Boise State's lineup is likely to get bigger and better in the lane tonight with the return of Emmanuel Akot, who is returning from an Achilles injury.
Can the Cowboys' snap Boise State's school record 11-game winning streak tonight? That will likely depend on who wins the battle of the boards.
Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. from the Arena-Auditorium.
Here is all you need to know about tonight’s tilt in Laramie:
WHO: Boise State (11-1, 7-0) at Wyoming (7-3, 1-2)
WHEN: Wednesday, Jan. 13 at 7 p.m. MST
WHERE: Arena-Auditorium, Laramie, Wyo.
TV: CBS Sports Network
RADIO: Wyoming affiliates
TICKETS: No fans allowed
BOX SCORE: Live stats
ROSTERS: Wyoming / Boise State
VEGAS ODDS: Boise State -8.5, O/U 148.5
HISTORY: UW trails the all-time series 18-14 (Broncos won Monday night, 83-60)
HEAD COACHES: Jeff Linder / Leon Rice