Cowboy Basketball Welcomes UCSB for 2018-19 Season Opener on Tuesday
LARAMIE, WY. – The Cowboys officially open the 2018-19 campaign on Tuesday at 8 p.m. inside the Arena-Auditorium hosting UC Santa Barbara in the season opener. It marks the seventh meeting all-time between the schools and the first time since 2012.
The game will be televised on the AT&T SportsNet with Drew Goodman on play-by-play, Joe Cravens on color and Jenny Cavnar on the sidelines. Fans can listen to the game and follow stats on GoWyo.com. The game will be broadcast live on radio over the 25 affiliate stations of the Cowboy Sports Network, as Dave Walsh and Kevin McKinney will call the action.
A Look at the Matchup
Wyoming returns two starters and five letterwinners from last season. The Pokes welcomed nine new players to the lineup this season. That group includes a redshirt, three junior college players and five prep school freshmen. One of those starters, senior Justin James will be in the lineup after not playing against Colorado Christian.
Edwards became the only coach in Cowboy history to win at least 20 games in his first two seasons as head coach. Wyoming was once again a potent offense last season averaging 79.8 points per game, as UW hit 304 three pointers for the third-most in school history. Wyoming also tied an NCAA record a season ago going 6-0 in overtime joining Chattanooga (1989) to go 6-0 in overtime in a single season.
UC Santa Barbara posted an impressive 23-9 record last season in head coach Joe Pasternack’s first season. UCSB finished second in the Big West last season and did not see any postseason action. The Gauchos return from start from that team and six letter winners. UC Santa Barbara welcomes 10 newcomers the squad that includes five Division I transfers.
Each Team’s Leaders
Wyoming returns two starters in senior guard Justin James and sophomore guard Hunter Maldonado. James was a First Team All-Mountain West selection last season averaging 18.9 points per game to go along with 6.0 rebounds per night and 3.1 assists per game. In conference play, James averaged 20.8 points per game ranking second in the MW. James scored 20 or more points 15 times this season including a career-high 33 points on two occasions. Maldonado averaged 5.3 points per game and 2.2 rebounds per night. He led Wyoming with 13 points and 10 rebounds in the exhibition contest against Colorado Christian.
Other returners include senior guard Nyaires Redding (3.7 PPG, 1.3 APG), senior forward Jordan Naughton (2.0 PPG, 1.2 RPG) and sophomore forward Austin Mueller (1.1 PPG, 0.5 RGP). Redshirt freshman Hunter Thompson earned valuable experience last season redshirting for the Cowboys.
The Gaucho’s top returner is guard Max Heidegger. The lone returning start averaged 19.1 points per game last season with a school record 95 three pointers. He was named First Team All-Big West and was a Second Team All-NABC All-District. Fellow guard Christian Terrell played the second most minutes of any UCSB returner. He added 2.8 points per game and 3.1 rebounds per night.
About the Series
Tuesday’s game is the seventh all-time meeting between the two schools and the first since 2012. Wyoming holds a 4-2 lead in the all-time series, which dates back to 1966. Wyoming has won three-straight games in the series and is 3-0 all-time against UCSB in Laramie.
The Cowboys hit the road for a contest against Pac-12 foe Oregon State on Saturday. The game slated for a 1 p.m. MT start can be seen on the Pac-12 Network. It will be the second-straight season Wyoming has played against the Beavers on the road.