With a pair of struggling teams meeting in Laramie today this could be just the cure for ailments. Wyoming (8-9, 1-2) has dealt with inconsistent play and more recently a rash of injuries. The Utah Utes (7-10, 0-3) have had a rough two year stretch and the fan base is growing restless. The Cowboys are actually favored by three points since they are on their home court. Last Saturday Wyoming knocked off the New Mexico Lobos 67-66 with a last second shot by Francisco Cruz.
The Utes are riding a seven game losing streak into Laramie. Their most recent loss was a 104-79 loss to BYU which summed up the season so far perfectly. Defense has been an issue all year and the Utes give up 73 points a contest while only averaging 70 of their own. They also give up four more turnovers per game than their opponents.
Utah does have some weapons depsite their struggles. Will Clyburn is second in the Mountain West in scoring with 19.5 points to go along with his 8 rebounds. Josh Watkins (14.3) is the only other Ute averaging double digit points. One big test the Cowboys will have to tend with is 7-3 Center David Foster. The sophomore is only playing 17 minutes this year but has over two blocks a game. His size and arm length may make it hard for some smaller shooters.
We'll have to wait for game time to see what lineup Coach Schroyer rolls out today. Djibril Thiam and JayDee Luster both missed the TCU game on Wednesday. Thiam practiced on Friday while Luster did not, both will be game day decisions. If Luster can't go then Jackson will end up playing PG again which will limit his scoring. Thiam will also be needed to defend Clyburn.
KEYS FOR THE COWBOYS
- Kick them while their down. The Utes are struggling mightily so don't let them get any momentum. A fast start is vital for breaking their will.
- Get the depth back. The Pokes only dressed eight players on Wednesdays game at TCU. Getting at least one of Luster of Thiam back will be a big bonus.
- Win one for Kenny Sailors! The Cowboy legend just turned 90 and the University is celebrating his birthday at the game. His best present would be a Cowboy win.