Pokes kickoff 2022-23 campaign tonight against Colorado Christian
*University of Wyoming press release
LARAMIE -- The Wyoming Cowboys open the 2022-23 campaign on Monday evening, hosting Colorado Christian inside the Arena-Auditorium for a 7 p.m. start. It is the third season of the Jeff Linder era and Wyoming is 80-37 all-time in season openers, winners of 16 of the previous 18.
Fans can listen to the watch the contest, as well as follow stats, on GoWyo.com. The game will be broadcast live on radio over the 26 affiliate stations of the Cowboy Sports Network, as Reece Monaco will have the call with Kevin McKinney on color.
The contest will be on the Mountain West Network with David Settle on the call, joined by former Cowboy guard Steve Gosar.
About The Teams
The Cowboys were picked to finish second in the Mountain West in the Preseason Poll released in October. The poll marked the first time the Cowboys have ranked in the top two of the Preseason Poll since the 2002-03 and 2001-02 seasons.
Wyoming recorded 24 wins during the regular season in 2021-22, the most in a regular season since the Pokes recorded 24 during the 1951-52 campaign. Along with 85 percent of the scoring returning, the Cowboys return 84 percent of the rebounding from last season.
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Wyoming led the conference in defensive rebounds per game last season at 27.4 per game.
Offensively, the Pokes were one of the MW’s teams getting to the free-throw line, leading the conference with 669 attempts and 485 makes. The Cowboys also led the conference with 275 made three-pointers, which ranked fourth in single-season school history.
The Cougars finished last season with an 8-20 overall record and went 5-17 in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference under third-year head coach Liam Simmons. Colorado Christian was picked to finish 13th in the Preseason RMAC poll.
About The Players
Wyoming returns two players in forward Graham Ike and guard Hunter Maldonado who earned Preseason All-MW honors. Ike was also named the MW Preseason Player of the Year but will miss an extended period of time with a lower-leg injury. In all, Wyoming returns four starters and eight letterwinners to go along with two redshirts.
The Cowboys welcomed five new players, including a trio of transfers and two freshmen.
Maldonado was a First Team All-Mountain West selection, averaging 18.5 points per game to go along with 6.3 assists and 5.7 rebounds per night. He became Wyoming’s all-time leader in assists in the closing games of last season, as he ranked No. 5 in the nation in helpers.
Other returning starters include forward Jeremiah Oden had a strong season for the Pokes in his second season with the Program. He appeared in all 34 games and started 32 on the season. He averaged 7.8 points per game to go along with 4.5 rebounds per contest. He shot 52 percent from the field for the season.
Guard Xavier DuSell played in 30 games with 20 starts on the season. DuSell added 7.5 points per game to go along with 2.3 rebounds and one assists per game. He ranked second on the team connecting on 54 three pointers and has 111 in his career.
Colorado Christian returns one of their top players in guard DJ McDonald.
McDonald started 26 games last year for CCU and was the team’s second leading scorer as he averaged just under 15 points a game. He also led the team in assists. Isaiah Alonzo also returns, as he averaged just over 10 points per game along with 8.5 rebounds per night.
About The Series
Wyoming is 1-0 all-time against Colorado Christian earning a 67-60 win over the Cougars in the Arena-Auditorium on Dec. 5, 2016.
The Cowboys host defending Southland Conference regular season champion Nicholls on Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Arena-Auditorium.