Wyoming Hoops Improves To 6-1 After Winning Jim Thorpe Classic




Wyoming is certainly off to a quick start this year under new coach Larry Shyatt. After sweeping their own Thanksgiving weekend tournament the Jim Thorpe Classic the Pokes improved to 6-1. On Friday the Pokes defeated Portland State 65-51, on Saturday they took down Maryland-Eastern Shore 73-43 and finished things off with a 73-58 win over Louisiana Tech Sunday night.

Luke Martinez earned tournament MVP honors and Francisco Cruz was named to the All-Tournament team. Others that earned honors were:

G Percy Woods - Maryland Eastern Shore

F Michael Kyser - Louisiana Tech

G Charles Odum - Portland State

F Chehales Tapscott - Portland State

After the jump we take a look at how Wyoming has achieved their wins so far this year. We'll also do a quick preview of the Cowboys next game against Utah Valley.

Shyatt has brought an aggressive defensive attitude for the Pokes. This is something that was sorely missed last season. Currently Wyoming is giving up just 50.7 points per game (fifth in the nation), Opposing teams are shooting just 35.9% from the field and 28.2% from three point range. All three of those rankings lead the Mountain West.

With Luke Martinez healthy this year he has provided a spark from long range with a team high 16 three pointers so far. Francisco Cruz lost weight during the off season and his production has also improved. Leonard Washington has provided a strong inside presence and is great at attacking the basket. He is currently averaging over 10 points and nearly 6 rebounds a game. Adam Waddell has stayed healthy so far and has seen plenty of minutes, he is shooting 68% from the field and averaging nearly 10 points a game.

Next up the Pokes host the Utah Valley Wolverines on Wednesday night. Despite their 4-3 record this Utah Valley team is tough and they've played a very strong schedule. Their three losses are against Houston, Arkansas and Oakland. The lost by eight points to Oakland which just beat Tennessee the other night. This is a senior heavy team that is led by G Isiah Williams has 17 points a game. F Geddes Robinson averages a double double with 13 points and 11.7 rebounds.

This will be the first ever meeting between these two teams. On January 3rd the Cowboys will face this same Utah Valley team on the road.

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