UW-Boise State pregame notes

Wyoming men’s basketball coach Larry Shyatt has targeted 54 points.

That’s what his team has averaged offensively since senior guard Luke Martinez was suspended after his arrest back in January. Shyatt feels if his team can get to 54 points, and keep holding teams to a Mountain West-low 55.2 points per contest then the Cowboys have a chance to win.

Of course, Shyatt would like to see his team score more, but this team is limited offensively. We all know that by now, especially since Martinez is out.

It will be interesting to see if UW’s defense can hold Boise State in the mid-50s tonight in Boise. The Broncos lead the MW in scoring at 75.2 ppg, and they are second in conference games at 68.2 ppg.

Looking back at the box score from the Jan. 9 game that Boise State won 63-61 on Jan. 9 in Laramie, we all remember that junior guard Jeff Elorriaga made the game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer. He made 6-of-10 in that game, and the Broncos made 11-of-19 as a team. UW can’t let that happen if it has any chance of winning tonight.

Boise State will have a much different look tonight as it didn’t have four players in Laramie due to suspension — most notably sophomore guard and leading scorer Derrick Marks (16.6 ppg).

It would be nice if UW can keep getting good minutes off the bench from guys like sophomore Derrick Cooke Jr. (24 rebounds in the last two games) and true freshman guard Jason McManamen (career-high 10 points in 22 minutes at Cal-State Bakersfield Wednesday). Any and all bench contributions are welcome at this point.

UW needs senior forward Leonard Washington to bounce back from a season-low two points at Bakersfield. He was saddled with foul trouble and fouled out late in the game. He attempted only three shots, and his two points came from the free-throw line.

Washington has scored in single-digits the last two games. However, in the previous three games he scored in single-digits, he bounced back with double-digit scoring games and he also had more rebounds.

That needs to happen again tonight.

I am going to be out of the basketball loop for a few days as I attend the APSE (Associated Press Sports Editors) winter meetings and contest judging in Orlando today through Wednesday. But there will be UW coverage while I am gone, so check back to the Wyoming Tribune Eagle, Laramie Boomerang and www.wyosports.net.