Mountain West Conference Standings
Wyoming is in the midst of a 10 day gap between games. This comes at a perfect time as finals are taking place in Laramie and the players can focus on finishing the semester strong academically. With the Pokes on the verge of cracking the Top 25 they can focus on finishing the year with a perfect 12-0 record.
The next time the Cowboys will be in action is December 18th when hosting the Denver Pioneers. On the 21st they host Cal State Bakersfield in their final 2012 contest. Afterwards the players can hopefully enjoy Christmas with their families.
Wyoming is not the only Mountain West school off to a hot start. New Mexico is also off to a 10-0 start and the only other undefeated team in the league. San Diego State and UNLV are sitting at 7-1 with Air Force at 7-2. Boise State and Colorado State are both 6-2. The Lobos, Aztecs and Rebels are all in the AP Top 25. The top seven teams all have a strong shot at post season play.
There have been a number of games where Wyoming was in a tight contest or way behind in the second half. Thanks to their lock down defense and impressive halftime speeches by Coach Shyatt the team has never had a game finish closer than seven points. On average Wyoming has won by 15 points per game. That is an amazing figure with some of the nail-biting that occurred at times.
The offense has shown balance with four players averaging double digit scoring. Leonard Washington leads the team with 15 points while Luke Martinez and Derrious Gilmore are each at 13 points. Larry Nance Jr. is putting up 10.6 points per game. Washington leads the team in points rebounds and blocks. He is also managing two assists per game and has not gotten into foul trouble this year. He has shown a much cooler demeanor on the court and that additional playing time has shown up in the stat sheet.
Coach Shyatt has relied heavily on his starters for much of the teams success. Riley Grabau is the normal starter at the two spot but he has been slowed by a terrible case of ITB syndrome. Josh Adams has done an impressive job of filling in for Grabau. Going forward Wyoming will need help from both to have success in the conference schedule. The Pokes can not stand to suffer severe injuries to their starters and hope to win many Mountain West games. Every game will be a battle. While Wyoming will hold a significant home-court advantage it will be a huge challenge for any road wins.
Attendance will likely not be huge next week with students gone. Hopefully support will be strong when the conference schedule starts on January 9th with Boise State coming to Laramie. If you live within driving distance of Laramie please make an effort to help fill Arena-Auditorium.