|2009 - Afam Muojeke||16||28.4||4.8||11.1||43.3||1.8||5.4||33.3||5.4||6.4||83.5||0.8||3.1||3.9||1.4||3.4||1.6||0.3||1.6||16.8|
Sometimes it can be hard to remember how good Afam Muojeke really was during his Freshman year at Wyoming. En route to Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year honors the kid from Jamaica Queens, NY averaged 13.8 points and 5.3 rebounds. After that year the Cowboys lost three of their top four scorers and leading rebounder.
This left Muojeke as lone returner that averaged more then six points per game for the 2009/10 season. This meant that the 6-8 GF was the leader of the young Cowboy team. He certainly did what he could by averaging 16 points a game to lead the Pokes. The lack of other weapons meant Muojeke was forced to bear the load and his shooting percentage dropped from .462 to .433 in his second year.
As pressure for winning grew on the Cowboys so did the stress on Muojeke's knee increase. Eight minutes into a game at BYU he ruptured his patellar tendon and missed the rest of the season. The past eight months have included a surgery and rehab to repair the vital joint. With tomorrow being the official start of basketball practice, except the recovery of Muojeke to play a big role in the way this season plays out.
Injuries are never a good thing, especially for the person who deals with the pain and recovery. The one upside of the loss was the increase in playing time that several players saw as a result. Sophomore G Desmar Jackson truly stepped up his game after the Cowboys leading scorer went down. In the final twelve games of the season Jackson reached double digits in eight of those contests.
With the development of Jackson and the return of Muojeke the Pokes now have have two solid options at SG and SF. Afam has the ability to put up 20-30 points on nearly any night, while Desmar can play post double figures while playing solid defense. Hopefully Jackson can lift some of the pressure off Muojeke and it will help both of their games.
"He’s been through a lot. He stayed all summer and did his rehab as diligently as he could. We’re taking him slow." - Heath Schroyer Laramie Boomerang
Excepting the Junior wing to be at 100% on day one is not reasonable. Luckily the Cowboys schedule starts off fairly lightly and he should be able to work his way back into the game shape. The fact he stayed in Laramie all summer to work on his rehab is impressive. Basketball is his life and getting back onto the court is his main focus.
All five starters are returning the Cowboys and that increase in familiarity will be a huge boost this season. If Muojeke can return to his star role then the Pokes should surprise a number of teams this year.