Andrew Fielding-US PRESSWIRE
The Pokes are finally back in action after a 10 day layoff.
Wyoming remains just outside of the top 25 rankings. Not playing any games for over a week will make it hard to move up. The break is over as the Cowboys return to the AA this evening the face Front Range rival Denver Pioneers. While Wyoming is an eight point favorite over 3-5 Denver I would certainly expect a close game. These two teams have split the last four games and Denver won last year.
The fives losses for Denver have come against some quality opponents: Iona, Cal, Colorado State, Southern Miss and Stanford. This will be a nice benchmark to see how Wyoming handles the Pioneers compared to CSU who won by seven points. The Pioneers have struggled on the road which is apparent by their 0-3 record, they also have yet to defeat a team with an RPI of 50 or lower. Nice to see Wyoming checking in with an RPI of 37.
It will be interesting to see what type of crowd shows up tonight. The students are gone for winter break and weekday games typically have lower attendance. Weather conditions are not going to going help very much either. Still this team is pretty impressive and deserves as much support as possible. Hopefully the fans are able to make their presence known.
The biggest threat for Denver is sophomore forward Royce O'Neal. The versatile 6-5 215lb O'Neal is one of only two Pioneers to average double digits in scoring. He drops in 15.3 points a game, a team best 5.75 rebounds, 3.5 assists and two steals per game. Forward Chris Udofia averages an even 12 points a game. Guards Brett Olson and Chase Hallam are both averaging over night points per game but have yet to crack double digits.
A big weakness that Wyoming will look to exploit is poor rebounding by Denver. They only average 27 rebounds and allow 33 as a team. The Cowboys do a great job of grabbing offensive boards and scoring second chance points. If they can continue that trend then the chances of win number 11 increases greatly.