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Oregon State Basketball: Opponent Preview - Wyoming Cowboys (Game 4)

Wyoming and Oregon State clash for the fourth straight season.

NCAA Basketball: Mountain West Conference Tournament- Wyoming vs Nevada Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Wyoming Cowboys (2-1)

  • Head Coach: Jeff Linder (1st Season, Overall: 2-1)
  • Top Performer: Marcus Williams (19.0 PPG, 6.0 APG)
  • Points For: 88.3 PPG (T-36th)
  • Points Against: 73.3 PPG (185th)
  • Last Game/Streak: 94-83 OT Win vs. Incarnate Word (1W)

The Skinny

Coming off a hard-fought loss to Washington State, in which Oregon State’s youth, lack of chemistry and maybe some general talent became a bit exposed, the Beavers will now be tasked with bouncing back on Sunday with a home game against Wyoming.

The Cowboys should be a familiar group for the Beavers, as they’ve battled each other during every one of the past four campaigns, but under new first-year head coach Jeff Linder, Wyoming may be displaying a different product than they have in their most recent go-rounds.

For starters, the Cowboys have a new centerpiece talent in freshman guard Marcus Williams (19.0 PPG), who is featured below in our Player To Watch. Williams is not just arguably the best pure talent on the Wyoming roster, but also potentially the Mountain West’s top freshman, who if he hangs around in Laramie, is sure to break records over the next handful of seasons.

And for once in recent memory, the Cowboys looks like they have a little bit more to surround their star talent with, as a pair of great “Hunters” in Hunter Maldonado (14.0 PPG) and Hunter Thompson (13.0 PPG) can play a more than significant role on both the wing and interior.

What makes a team like Wyoming so interesting and dangerous though is that their full depth chart is an enigmatic flow of options, which includes sophomore guard Kenny Foster (21.0 PPG), who dropped a career-high 21 points in his season debut against Incarnate Word.

Foster, who was red-hot from the field in his first showing, is part of a batch of players including 6’ 6” sophomore Kwane Marble II (12.0 PPG), junior guard Drake Jeffries (9.3 PPG), freshman big man Jeremiah Oden (6.3 PPG), developing forward Drew LaMont (5.7 PPG), perimeter threat Xavier DuSell (5.0 PPG) and Irish transplant Eoin Nelson (5.0 PPG), who make up a cast of intriguing talents that all can pick and choose their spots throughout the game.

Overall, this seems to be a Wyoming group who is learning to grow into their coach’s style and feeding off the energy of having a new face in charge. The Beavers didn’t play their best offensively against the Cougars and if there’s one thing the Cowboys have shown their going to do, it’s definitely score the basketball. I’m not big on predictions, but I’d say get yourself ready for another hard fought forty minutes at Gill Coliseum for Wayne Tinkle and company.

Player To Watch

Marcus Williams (Freshman - Guard)

Northern Colorado v Arizona
New Wyoming head coach Jeff Linder is going to rely heavily on Marcus Williams this season.
Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images

A 6’ 2” guard out of Texas, Marcus Williams is a massive impact freshman for first-year head coach Jeff Linder’s team, who may be one of the crucial pieces in the rebuild of the Cowboys program. After averaging 21.4 points and 7.3 assists per game as a senior in high school, Williams dropped 20 points on an 8-12 shooting display from the field and dished out 8 assists in his collegiate debut against Mississippi Valley State. Wyoming has a true star in the making.

Game Info

  • Date: Sunday, December 6th
  • Time: 1:00 PM PT
  • Location: Gill Coliseum (Corvallis, Oregon)
  • Coverage: Pac-12 Networks