It will be interesting to see in today’s Wyoming-San Diego State men’s hoops game if San Diego State has point guard Xavier Thames. He sat out the conference-opener last week at Fresno State with a bad back, and had no points and no assists in 25 minutes in the Aztecs’ 82-75 home loss to UNLV on Wednesday.
There are plenty of other guys that can play the point for SDSU. But still, that could be an interesting thing to follow today. This would have been a good game to get senior guard Luke Martinez back at 6-foot-4 to help defend the 6-3 Thames, 6-3 senior guard Chase Tapley or even 6-5 guard Jamaal Franklin — the reigning MW Player of the Year. SDSU also has a 6-8 freshman, Winston Shepard, than can play the point, or at very least, handle the ball.
–UW and San Diego State were a combined 8 of 56 (14.3 percent) from 3-point range in their last games. The Cowboys must make some 3s to have a chance to win today.
–Three-point shooting is always important for UW, but so is free-throw shooting. That’s why it was so odd to see it go 7 of 20 from the line at Fresno State. The Cowboys were a 72-plus percent free-throw shooting team prior to that. Will what happened in Fresno get in their heads? Coach Larry Shyatt said there wouldn’t be a lot of tough, physical work in practices leading up to today’s game, but there would be a lot of free throws shot.
–UW senior forward Leonard Washington scored a season-low six points on 3 of 10 shooting at Fresno State. Here’s what Shyatt said about Washington’s effort: “Leonard plays hard as heck, but he was even out of control sometimes. As a consequence, he had seven or eight inside touches that you people familiar seeing him finish.”
–Shyatt on San Diego State’s Franklin: “His appeal to me last year, the reason I thought hew was the most valuable player in our league, was simply he competes. He plays with a passion and he plays the way I like to see the game played. Once in a while maybe some others think he’s a little reckless. I admire that quality.”
For more on today’s game, see Saturday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and go to www.wyosports.net.