The University of Wyoming men’s basketball team is set to tip off its 2021-22 campaign tonight at the Arena-Auditorium.
UW will open its season at 7 p.m. against Detroit Mercy, as the Cowboys look to build off a five-win turnaround in their first year under coach Jeff Linder.
Wyoming returns nine letter-winners and three starters from last season’s group, which led the Mountain West with 76.6 points per game and ranked 12th nationally with 10 made 3-pointers per contest. The Pokes have won 15 of their past 17 season openers.
The Cowboys will be close to full strength, with junior guard Kenny Foster still working his way back from a high ankle sprain.
“I’m excited for the season opener,” Linder said. “It always comes up on you quick. You think it’s a long ways away, and then low and behold it’s upon you. Compared to last year at this time, we’re way ahead of where we were at — from a program standpoint, offensively, defensively and depth.”
Detroit Mercy finished 12-10 overall and 10-6 in the Horizon League last season, and was recently picked to finish fifth in the conference. The Titans are led by Preseason Player of the Year and AP All-American Honorable Mention Antoine Davis.
“It’s not one of those openers where you can sit back and relax a little bit,” Linder said. “This is a good team coming in here, and we’re excited to get challenged.”
UW’s season opener will be broadcast on GoWyo.com.
Muma named defensive player of the weekUW linebacker Chad Muma was named the Mountain West Defensive Player of the Week on Monday following a standout performance in the Cowboys’ Border War win over Colorado State.
This marks the second time Muma has received the honor this season.
Muma had 11 tackles in the 31-17 victory, including six solo stops. The senior from Lone Tree, Colorado, who ranks No. 3 nationally with 6.4 solo tackles per game, also recorded his third interception of the season for the Pokes.
The linebacker helped limit CSU to just 17 points, a touchdown below its season average. The Rams were also held to 47 yards below their season average.
Muma is one of 16 semifinalists for the Butkus Award, given to the nation’s top linebacker. He’s also one of 18 semifinalists for the Chuck Bednarik Award, which honors the most outstanding defensive player in college football.
Cowboys impress at Mines Rookie Open
Younger members of the Wyoming wrestling team showcased their talents over the weekend at the Mines Rookie Open in Golden, Colorado.
Of the 15 Cowboys that competed at the event, which featured athletes with less than three seasons of college experience, 13 finished the day as place-winners — including five champions in their respective weight classes.
At 133 pounds, Josh Kyle out-scored his first three opponents of the tournament 41-4. Kyle kept this momentum rolling in the finals, as he defeated Malachi Contreras of Colorado School of Mines 10-6. Darren Green also battled his way to a first-place finish in the 141-pound weight class. He went 4-0 on the day, which was highlighted by an overtime victory over Northern Colorado’s Benji Alanis.
The top three spots in the 165-pound weight class all went to Cowboys. Cooper Voorhees and Kevin Anderson met each other in the finals, where Voorhees grinded out a 9-5 win. Hayden Lieb fought his way through the consolation bracket and took third after defeating Air Force’s Ty Ryan 12-0.
The next Cowboy champion came in the 184-pound weight class, as true freshman Quayin Short fought his way to the title. Short went 4-0 on the day, defeating Air Force’s Andrew Wenzel 2-0 in the finals. Bradley Moore rounded out UW’s champions in the 285-pound bracket, pinning his way to the finals, where he defeated Mines’ Anthony Atria.
Warren Carr and Gage Hockett also made the finals, finishing second at 149 and 174 pounds, respectively.
The Cowboys will officially begin their season on Nov. 27 with the Cowboy Open in Laramie.