Preview: Cowboys head to Provo for final time

LAS VEGAS NV - JANUARY 05: Brandon Davies #0 of the Brigham Young University Cougars shoots against Derrick Jasper #5 of the UNLV Rebels during their game at the Thomas & Mack Center January 5 2011 in Las Vegas Nevada. BYU won 89-77. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Next Game

Wyoming Cowboys
@ BYU Cougars

Saturday, Mar 5, 2011, 1:30 PM MST
Marriott Center

TV: The Mtn

Complete Coverage >

Well just one final game and then the 2011 regular season is in the books for the Mountain West.  Wyoming sits at 10-20 on the year and now face the #3 BYU Cougars.  The Cougars are eying a top seed in the NCAA tournament but those chances took a big blow on Tuesday. 

Starting center Brandon Davies was suspended for the remainder of the season by BYU for an honor code violation.  The school never discusses what occurred in situations like this and there are a large number of possibilities.  The honor code is a vital part of attending BYU and it is taken very seriously.  Last year the football team dismissed star running back Harvery Unga for a violation.

The loss of Davies puts a big metaphorical pin to the Cougars dream balloon of a Final Four run.  They were already thin up front and now lose their 6-9 center who has started every game this season.  Davies averaged 11.1 points and 6.2 rebounds per game.  He was the third leading scorer on the team as well as the leading rebounder. 

Looks like the Cougars aren't taking things very easily.  New Mexico beat the Cougars in Provo on Wednesday 82-64.  The Lobos swept the season series and now BYU looks like a shell of themselves.  With a couple days off they will regroup and get ready for the Cowboys.

It's not like BYU is completely wiped out here though, they still have a certain point guard named Jimmer Freddette.  Perhaps you've heard of  him?

  Jimmer mania is still full throttle and for good reason.  He still needs the nation with over 27 points per game and is shooting 41% on three pointers and most of those attempts come several feet behind the line.  He doesn't look like a prime physical specimen when you see him in warmups and some may mistake him for the water boy.  But that is part of the intrigue here, normal looking joe is an incredible baller and will take his show on the biggest stage next year. 

Without Davies it will be hard to tell how much else Jimmer can do to help the Cougars win.  More likely someone else will need to step up if the Cougars want to win the MWC tournament and make a run to the Sweet 16 or further.  Noah Hartsock is the big man that may take Davie's spot inside, the 6-8 junior is averaging 9 points and 6 rebounds currently.  

Other candidates could be Jackson Emery who is averaging 12 points a game leads the Mountain West with 2.8 steals.  Charles Abouo stepped up big for the Cougars in the win over San Diego State last week so he could be a factor.

With BYU taking their basketball team to the WCC next year this may be the final time that Wyoming and BYU meet up in Provo.  These are long time rivals with very little love between the two fan bases.  Neither side really seems to think they will miss the other.  There is a chance that these two teams could meet next week though in the Mountain West tournament.

If Wyoming beats TCU in the #8 vs #9 game and BYU holds onto their #1 seed then the Pokes and Cougars would face off on Thursday.  When these two teams met in Laramie it was close but BYU held on 69-62.  The Pokes are winless on the road this year and it would hard for them to win at the Marriot Center.  With this being Jimmer's final home game except a crazy crowd that will give them an even bigger home court advantage.


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