Practice report: Pokes welcome talented newcomers
LARAMIE -- The Cowboy basketball program is entering their second week of practice prepping for the season opener against Detroit on Nov. 10 in the Arena-Auditorium. The roster for the Cowboys features six newcomers with one Division I transfer, one junior college transfer and four high school players.
The six newcomers headed to Laramie in July except for Brendan Wenzel, who joined the team in January after transferring from Utah.
Wenzel appeared in two games for the Utes playing 5.5 minutes per game adding three rebounds and one assist. Coming out of high school he was a three-star recruit and ranked as the No. 18 recruit in the state of Texas according to Rivals.com. As a senior at O'Connor High School, Wenzel averaged 24.1 points per game to go along with five rebounds.
Linder added Junior College All-American Deng Dut to the roster. He earned Region 18 Player of the Year honors at College of Southern Idaho. The First Team All-Conference selection added 14.7 points per game. He also added 5.4 rebounds per game and added 5.1 assists per night.
Wyoming also added four-high school players to the roster.
The first commit was from Colorado native Ben Bowen. He is the son of former NBA player and current Nuggets assistant coach Ryan Bowen.
Bowen played at Mountain Vista High School for head coach Brian Wood. During his senior season, he averaged 20.2 points per game with 5.9 rebounds per game to go along with 4.3 assists per night. He was named his conference's Player of the Year as a senior and was a First Team All-State selection.
Wyoming second commitment came from Nate Barnhart, a three-star recruit from DeSoto High School in Kansas. He is the first seven-footer on the Cowboy roster since Boubacar Sylla during the 2009-10 season. He was named was named Honorable Mention All-State. Banrhart was also an All-Conference selection and earned Spectrum HyVee Player of the Week in the Kansas City area in December.
During the spring signing period Wyoming added guard Noah Reynolds to the roster. Reynolds, a 6-3, 195-pound guard is the third Illinois native on the Cowboy roster along with Drake Jeffries and Jeremiah Oden. As a senior, Reynolds averaged 15.3 points per game to go along with 6.3 assists to lead the area in that category. He also added 5.6 rebounds per game and 2.2 steals.
Linder added walk-on guard Cort Roberson to the roster as well. A graduate of Stanwood High School. Earned First Team All-Wesco Honors. He was named to the Herald All-Area First Team. His father Harlan Roberson played basketball at Western Colorado University the alma mater of Cowboy head coach Jeff Linder.
A Veteran's Take on the Newcomers
"The new guys have really gotten into great shape, which can be hard to do at 7220 feet,” Jefferies said. “The group has really adjusted to the speed of the game. That can be a very difficult thing to do, but the new guys have really picked up on that along with the physicality of the game at this level.”
Hearing from a Newcomer
"For any freshmen there is an adjustment period, and we did a great job getting through that this. summer,” Bowen said. “We have gotten used to the speed of the game and have ramped things up. We have continued to do what we can do every day to get better. We are going to keep on getting better as we head into the season.”
Cowboys Heading to Cheyenne
The Wyoming Cowboy basketball team will hit the road for an intrasquad scrimmage with the Pokes heading to Cheyenne on Saturday, October 9. The Cowboys trip to Storey Gymnasium is set to start at 2 p.m.
Autographs with players will take place on the floor following the scrimmage.
* University of Wyoming press release