The big news that came out this week in the Mountain West was the announcement that the San Diego State Aztecs would not be leaving for the Big East. That is a big win for the league, particularly on the basketball side of things. The #14 Aztecs are 14-3 and 2-1 in conference play. Under coach Steve Fisher the team has turned into a hoops power and is consistently ranked.
Despite their ranking the Aztecs have not had an easy time to so far in conference play. They only beat Fresno State by three points in their conference opener. Last Saturday they gave up a huge lead to Colorado State and finally ended up winning in overtime. On Wednesday UNLV came to to Viejas Arena and won 82-75. That close win to Fresno State is nothing to sneeze at since the Bulldogs embarrassed the Cowboys three days ago. Colorado State and UNLV are both projected as tournament teams at this moment.
If the Cowboys continue to play like they did on Wednesday they will see their tournament chances vanish.
Every team can have an off night. The Cowboys have been fairly consistent this year and the wheels came off in Fresno. I think back to back long road trips wore the team out and there has certainly been plenty of off the court distractions taking place.
Finally Wyoming will be playing a home game in front a large home crowd. School is back in session and the student section should be in full force. The atmosphere at the AA will be needed to help make things hard on a talented Aztec team. San Diego State is a 1.5 point favorite today.
While Wyoming is going to miss Luke Martinez the Aztecs will likely be without PG Xavier Thames who has been battling a leg injury the last couple weeks. Still with Jamaal Franklin and Chase Tapley on the court there is plenty of offensive firepower available.
Here is an amazing dunk that Franklin had against Fresno State.
Wyoming will need to do way better in free shooting. Going 7 of 20 against Fresno State is a brutal performance and there is no way the Cowboys can give up so many easy points and expect to win. Derrious Gilmore, Riley Grabau and Larry Nance Jr. are the only active players that see significant minutes that are shooting over 75% from the charity stripe. Austin Haldorson is shooting 100% but has only had two attempts.
This game is not televised locally in Wyoming. Your best bet is find someone with the DirecTV sports package and tune it to channel 691.