(Editor's note: UW Athletics release)
LARAMIE, Wyo. – The Wyoming Cowboys are in their third week of practice and it was a busy week for the Brown and Gold. The team went through workouts and then met with the media on Wednesday as part of Wyoming’s media day.
The Cowboys have 16 days to prepare for its exhibition opener against Northwest Nazarene in the Arena-Auditorium. The group of veterans, who played 63 percent of the Pokes’ minutes last season are ready to take the next step.
Wyoming returns 57 percent of its scoring from a season ago. The Pokes also return 56 percent of its rebounding from last season. In fact, Wyoming returns three of its top four scorers from last season.
The eight retuning players for the Pokes bring plenty of experience, as six of the eight returners played 20 or more minutes per game and no other returning averaged less than four minutes per night. That group also combined for 163 triples for the season, which was two-thirds of the Pokes’ three pointers last season.
“Our team culture is the best that I have seen because of the great leadership we have with Hunter Maldonado and then it trickles down,” head coach Allen Edwards said. “We had a lot of players get throw in the fire last season and those guys have really improved on their game and in their confidence. I’m excited about how this group has come together.”
Redshirt sophomore Hunter Maldonado appeared in only eight games, but was second on the team in scoring and rebounding averaging 13.8 points per game and 6.8 rebounds.
Other starters returning include senior guard Jake Hendricks, as he averaged 10.8 points per game for the season connecting on 67 three pointers to lead the team. Sophomore Hunter Thompson added 8.8 points per game and 2.9 rebounds, as he hit 39. Sophomore Trevon “TJ” Taylor added 6.4 points per game and 3.1 rebounds in 22 starts.
Other returners include senior guard A.J. Banks, as he added 5.2 points per game including averaging 11.7 points per game in the final five games of the season. Sophomore forward Brandon Porter added 2.5 points per game and fellow forward Austin Mueller is returning from injury, but he added 3.9 points per game and 3.6 rebounds. Sophomore Haize Fornstrom added 1.3 points per game after joining the team during conference play.
“This group understands that we dealt with a lot, but in those moments it really builds who you are as a team and individual,” Edwards said. “We have a great competitive edge out on the court and we are ready to compete in games.”
Single game tickets for Wyoming Cowboy Basketball went on sale on Wednesday. Fans can get single game tickets for as low as $15 with a special $5 price for the exhibition game on Oct. 30.
Season-tickets are available for Cowboy basketball. Contact the UW Ticket Office at GoWyo.com/tickets, by calling 307-766-7220 or in person at the University of Wyoming Athletics Ticket Office on the west side of the Arena-Auditorium. Single game tickets go on sale on Oct. 9. The popular Seat Hopper package, which is the best seat available on gameday is only $135.