SAN DIEGO, CA - JANUARY 21: Chase Tapley #22 of the San Diego State Aztecs dribbles the ball during the second half of the game against the Air Force Falcons at Viejas Arena on January 21, 2012 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Kent C. Horner/Getty Images)
The Wyoming Cowboys (16-3,2-1) are coming off two solid victories last week over Air Force and Colorado State. Now they are hoping to use that momentum to try and knock off the Mountain West leading San Diego State Aztecs (17-2,3-0). The only two losses this season for the Aztecs have been to #6 Baylor and #15 Creighton. Coach Steve Fisher hates the trip to Laramie but he may have over thought things this time.
Instead of taking a commercial flight to Denver and driving vans up to Laramie he decided they needed a charter plane instead. So school splurged an extra $20k for the nineteen seat plane so they could arrive quicker to Wyoming. Unfortunately their charter plane has a fuel tank the size of a teenage girl and couldn't make the 868 mile flight without refueling. They were originally scheduled to refuel in St. George, Utah but bad weather conditions forced them to land in Cedar City, Utah instead. Once on the ground the snow arrived and all flights were halted. So instead of taking the 8 hour trip the Aztecs are in Utah for the night and won't fly out till 8a.m. on Tuesday.
Having to wake early on game day and travel even more will certainly throw things for the Aztecs. They always seem to struggle in Laramie (7-24 all time) and this travel delay won't be doing them any favors. Still the Cowboys will face a big challenge in trying to knock off the league leaders.
After losing several key players from their NCAA tournament team; San Diego State has rebuilt their team in incredible fashion. This is a quick, athletic team that can shoot the ball from anywhere. Their averaging 73 points a game and Chase Tapley leads the way with 16 a game. Jamaal Franklin averages 15/5 while Xavier Thames averages 11 points and dishes out 5 assists a game. G James Rahon also puts up over 10 points per game. All four of these players are shooting at least 40% from the field and higher then 30% from behind the arc.
F Tim Shelton is also promoting the Aztecs with their very own rap video. Take a look for yourself.
Leonard Washington was a monster last week en-route to earning Co-MW Player of the week award. It would be unfair to expect another 32 point performance but he and Adam Waddell certainly need to be effective inside where the Aztecs are thin. The Cowboys also need to protect the paint and keep taking charges. San Diego State loves to attack the basket and has plenty of weapons. If the Cowboy defense does their thing then this game will be close. The crowd will probably be slightly smaller then Saturday because it is a weekday night. However Coach Shyatt has said that he wants the student section to be as rowdy as possible. The Pokes are loving all the support from the fans these last two weeks. This will be the second to last time the Aztecs will face the Cowboys in Laramie as conference foes.
I wonder how many Big West gyms could fit inside the AA? Three maybe four? Oh well.....