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Oregon State Basketball: Wyoming Cowboys Preview (Game 4)

Oregon State will look to bounce back from their first loss against Wyoming in Laramie.

NCAA Basketball: Wyoming at Boise State Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

Wyoming Cowboys (1-2)

  • Head Coach: Allen Edwards (4th Season)
  • Top Performer: Hunter Maldonado (19.0 PPG, 5.3 RPG)
  • Points For: 46.3 PPG (421st)
  • Points Against: 55.3 PPG (29th)
  • Last Game/Streak: 60-53 Loss vs. Cal State Fullerton (2L)
  • Conference Affiliation: Mountain West Conference

The Skinny

From 23 wins and a CBI Championship in his first season to only 8 victories in 2018-2019, the Wyoming basketball program has struggled to find it’s identity under head coach Allen Edwards and seems to be trending in the wrong direction.

Sitting at 1-2 on the season, the Cowboys are already entering the danger zone once again, with a less than likeable stretch before the end of the month of November that includes a showdown with Colorado. Welcome to life in the world of college basketball.

A slower paced and methodical team who are averaging a paltry 46.3 points per game, one of the lowest marks in the country, Wyoming is a top-heavy unit that hasn’t found much to rely on outside 6’ 6” guard Hunter Maldonado (19.0 PPG).

Maldonado looked to be coming into his own last season, as he averaged 13.8 PPG through the team’s first 8 games before knee and back injuries ended his campaign early. However, his bounce-back start to this year has seen him emerge as undoubtedly the top talent in the Cowboys’ roster.

Unfortunately, his dominance has meant a lack of suitable options surrounding him.

NCAA Basketball: Nevada at Wyoming
Jake Hendricks needs to be a reliable court-spacing three-point threat for Wyoming.
Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

A grab bag of guards that includes Jake Hendricks (6.3 PPG), a strong perimeter shooter whose yet to regain his form, Trevon Taylor (4.7 PPG), A.J. Banks (4.0 PPG), Greg Milton III (2.7 PPG) and Kenny Foster (2.5 PPG) are all bits and pieces guys, who can give their measurable contributions of any given night.

But in total, it’s a group that simply isn’t strong enough to regularly contend.

In the front-court, depth is another red flag where even the amazingly named 6’ 10” Wyoming native Hunter Thompson (4.3 PPG) hasn’t had the projected breakout second-season, after a solid freshman year in which he averaged 8.8 PPG. Around him, Austin Mueller (1.7 PPG), a tough undersized four who plays hard, is more complimentary by nature and not a true dominant talent.

So who Edwards turn to besides Maldonado to find some other choices with this group is anyone’s guess.

If the Beavers can take anything from their Oklahoma loss it’s that they must capitalize on the offensive end and quickly take this contest to the Cowboys on their home floor. They haven’t shown it too much yet, but Wyoming is a squad that could be waiting for their first big showing of the season on against a power conference foe.

Player To Watch

NCAA Basketball: New Mexico at Wyoming Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

Hunter Maldonado (Guard - RS Sophomore)

While injuries are never a good thing for any player, Hunter Maldonado’s return from missing most of last season has shown a growth and maturity in the once-role player that was hard to foresee early in his career. The oversized guard has taken the reigns as the go-to option for Wyoming and will surely have all ten eyes on the defensive end locked on him at all times.

Game Info

  • Date: Saturday, November 16th
  • Time: 6:00 PM PT
  • Location: Arena-Auditorium (Laramie, WY)
  • Coverage: Stadium/Facebook