Pokes open season Wednesday against Detroit Mercy
* University of Wyoming athletics media relations release
LARAMIE -- The Wyoming Cowboys open the 2021-22 season on Wednesday evening host Detroit Mercy in the Arena-Auditorium. The contest, which is set for a 7 p.m. start will be the fifth meeting all-time between the two schools. Wyoming has won 15 of their last 17 openers dating back to the 2004-05 season.
Fans can watch, listen to the contest, as well as follow stats on GoWyo.com. The contest 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.
About The Teams
Wyoming returns nine letter-winners and three starters from last season’s squad. The Pokes led the conference in scoring last season at 76.6 points per game. Wyoming was one of the nation’s top three-point shooting teams averaging 10 per game to lead the MW and rank No. 12 in country. Wyoming finished the season with 252 threes, which ranked No. 22 in the nation. The Cowboys also took care of the basketball ranking second in the MW with only 11.3 turnovers per game.
Wyoming welcomes back 68 percent of their scoring from last season. The Pokes also welcome back 80 percent of rebounds from last season’s squad that went 14-11 overall. Wyoming was picked to finish tied for eighth in the Mountain West.
The Titans and veteran head coach Mike Davis welcome back six letter winners and two starters from a team that finished last season with a 12-10 overall record and a 10-6 mark in the Horizon League. Detroit Mercy was picked to finish fifth in the Horizon League in the conference’s preseason poll. The Titans also received two first-place votes, as it marked their highest predicted finish in the polls since the 2016 season.
About The Players
The Cowboys feature four returners that averaged over nine points per game. Hunter Maldonado leads the way averaging 12.5 points per game last season. Graham Ike added 11.2 points per game playing in 12 contests in the final stretch of the season. Xavier DuSell, who ranked sixth amongst freshmen in the nation with 57 three pointers added 9.7 points per game. Kenny Foster added 9.1 points per game but did miss time with an injury.
The Pokes also bring back Drake Jeffries, who ranked second on the team in three pointers with 52 on the season, as he added 7.4 points per game. Veteran Hunter Thompson added 7.0 points per game and added 3.8 rebounds, as he hit 39 threes. Jeremiah Oden had a strong first season and along with a great summer. He added 4.0 points per game in 23 contests with 11 starts. Eoin Nelson missed nearly all of conference play but added 3.1 points and 3.1 rebounds. John Grigsby appeared in three games off the bench for the Pokes.
Detroit Mercy is led by Preseason Player of the Year in the Horizon League in Antoine Davis. 0.5 shy of the nation’s lead - as he led the conference in scoring for the third-straight year, only the second person to ever do that joining Loyola’s Alfredrick Hughes.
An Associated Press Honorable Mention All-American, Davis has scored 2,040 points in his career, third in school history and ninth all-time in the record books, trailing the school record held by Rashad Phillips by 279 points (2,319) and the conference record held by Hughes by 874 points (2,914).
About The Series
Wyoming and Detroit Mercy will meet for the fifth time on Wednesday. The series is currently tied at 2-2 with both teams earning two wins on their home floors. The Pokes defeated UDM in the last meeting by a score of 79-46 on November 19, 2019.
The Cowboys will host Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. in the Arena-Auditorium.