#142 Wyoming: 2010-11 Basketball Preview

    
July 28th, 2010

Overall Rank: #142

Conference Rank: #7 Mountain West Conference

 

2009-10: 10-21, 3-13

2009-10 postseason: none

Coach: Heath Schroyer (41-53 at Wyoming, 76-112 overall)

 

What Wyoming has lacked over the past few seasons is bodies. Whether due to injury or defection, the Cowboys have always seemed to struggle with depth. Coach Heath Schroyer wanted to make sure that did not happen again. Despite losing A.J. Davis late last season and Boubacar Sylla to a career ending injury, this should be a deep and experienced team thanks to the return of a slew of players, many of whom were forced into action last year and a trio of junior college transfers who are ready to step in immediately.

 

Key Losses: G A.J. Davis, F Ryan Dermody, C Boubacar Sylla

 

Key Newcomers:

Fransisco Cruz and Luke Martinez will provide some valuable experience and depth to the wings. The junior college transfers are not likely to crack the starting lineup barring some surprise outings leading up to the season, but both will be extremely valuable off the bench. Freshman Joe Hudson and transfer James Dean will provide even more depth on the perimeter. The most important newcomer could be Brian Gibson. The 6-8, 235 pound sophomore from Delgado Community College in Louisiana may not be the most talented big man around, but he is a big body who can hit the glass and eat up some fouls.

 

Backcourt:

JayDee Luster emerged as a solid point guard and team leader during his first season with the Cowboys. The former Aggie of New Mexico State is not much of a scorer, but he did dish out 4.3 assists per game and proved to be a more than capable defender. If he can start hitting his outside shot with more consistency, Luster will turn into one of the better point guards in the conference. Desmar Jackson, a 6-5 sophomore, also had an impressive debut season, averaging 11.8 points per game. Jackson needs to do a lot of work on his outside shooting, but the 6-4 wing is not afraid to attack the basket. Arthur Bouedo is not the answer to the shooting problems, but he did start a dozen games last year and will, along with the newcomers, provide some much needed depth on the perimeter.

 

Frontcourt:

The frontcourt may lose a couple players, but it also returns four who played significant minutes last season. Djibril Thiam was the only player on the team to start all 31 games. The 6-10 junior is one of the most experienced players on the squad and has developed into a solid scorer who can score inside and knock down the mid-range jumper. Adam Waddell will probably be the other starter in the frontcourt. Waddell is a more traditional back to the basket big man and can use his 6-10, 225 pound frame to create space for himself or his teammates. Amath M’Baye had a decent freshman campaign, as did Daylen Harrison, but he will spend most of his time on the wing.

 

Who to Watch:

Afam Muojeke is the player that turns Wyoming from a bad team to a potentially good team. The 6-8 wing has the versatility to play multiple positions and his combination of size and speed is always a great asset. Muojeke only played in 16 games last year, but he managed to average an impressive 16.8 points per game and 3.9 rebounds. After Muojeke went out with a knee injury and played his last game on January 20th, the Cowboys only won two more games. Muojeke is the key to this team and they cannot win if he struggles to return to form following his surgery.

 

Final Projection:

Wyoming has the talent and now the depth to make some noise in the Mountain West Conference. They may not compete with the likes of UNLV, San Diego State, New Mexico and BYU for a conference crown or even an NCAA berth, but the Cowboys should be much better this year if they can actually stay healthy. If all goes well, reaching a postseason tournament of some sort should be the goal this year and that should lead to a legitimate shot at the NCAA or NIT in 2011-2012.

 

Projected Post-season Tournament: none

 

Projected Starting Five:

JayDee Luster, Junior, Guard, 5.7 ppg

Desmar Jackson, Sophomore, Guard, 11.8 ppg

Afam Muojeke, Junior, Guard, 16.8 ppg

Djibril Thiam, Junior, Forward, 9.5 ppg

Adam Waddell, Junior, Center, 9.4 ppg

 

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