LARAMIE -- The Cowboy basketball team will officially open the season on Thursday morning with the first practice of the 2021-22 season. Wyoming head coach Jeff Linder will begin his second season returning nine letterwinners and three starters. Wyoming will have six newcomers wearing the Brown and Gold this season.

“During the summer and fall with 15 players we were able to have great workouts,” Linder said. “We are very pleased with the progress we have made. We are definitely making strides in the right direction.”

The Cowboys finished last season with a 14-11 record and pushed top-seeded San Diego State to the wire in the quarterfinals of the MW tournament. The Pokes led the conference in scoring last season at 76.6 points per game.

Wyoming was one of the nation’s top three-point shooting teams averaging 10 per game to lead the MW and rank No. 12 in country. Wyoming finished the season with 252 threes, which ranked No. 22 in the nation. The Cowboys also took care of the basketball ranking second in the MW with only 11.3 turnovers per game.

Junior Hunter Maldonado was named Honorable Mention All-MW. He ranked second on the team with 12.5 points per night. He led the team with 6.8 rebounds per game and 4.6 assists, which ranked third in the conference. Maldonado reached the 1,000 point club against Colorado State. He became the 39th player in school history to do so and the third straight Colorado native with Alan Herndon and Hayden Dalton doing so in 2018.

Freshman Graham Ike recorded a career-high 32 points against San Jose State in the first round of the MW Tournament. His 32 points was tied for the second most amongst freshman in a single game in the NCAA last season. Freshman Xavier DuSell led the Pokes with 57 threes on the season, which ranked sixth amongst freshmen in the nation. He also ranked sixth in the conference.

Cowboy Basketball Intrasquad Scrimmages in Sheridan Cancelled  

Due to Covid-19 protocols the Cowboy basketball scrimmage set for Saturday, Oct. 2 in Sheridan has been cancelled. Due to cases within the program the first outreach event of the season will not take place out of an abundance of caution. The Pokes trip on Oct. 9 in Storey Gym in Cheyenne is on as scheduled.

"The Cowboy basketball program was very excited to visit the great town of Sheridan and showcase our roster,” Linder said. “But it is important to keep our student-athletes and staff as healthy as possible as we get ready for a great season of Cowboy basketball. We will make sure going to see our fans in Sheridan in the near future a priority.”

UW: University of Wyoming Cowboys’ Greatest Games From the First Decade of the 2000’s