Head Coach Heath Schroyer has certaintly done a lot with the team since taking over two years ago. Last season the Cowboys finished 19-14 (7-9 MWC) and earned a post berth by playing in the CBI tournament.
The Cowboys certainly have plenty of new faces to fill in for all the talent that graduated last season. Gone is Brandon Ewing the leading scorer in the Mountain West last year as well Sean Ogirri and Tyler Johnson the #2 and #4 scorers last year for the Cowboys respectively.
While the Cowboys could spend their time worrying about who is gone instead they are excited about who is new to town and how they can impact the team. This is a young team that has only one senior and two juniors returning. Junior Djibril Thiam is only returning upperclassmen who had an impact on the court last season (5.2 points, 5.1 rebounds).
Taking a look at the Sophomore class will tell you nearly everything you need to know about the Cowboys this year:
F Afam Muojeke - The Cowboys returning scorer (13.8) from last year and Mountain West Freshman of the Year. Afam will be counted on to continue where he left off last year. At 6-7 210 he has nice size and will be startin at SF for the Cowboys.
G Jaydee Luster - Luster transferred from New Mexico State and had to sit out last year according to NCAA regulations. Expect him to be the catalyst for the Cowboy offense all season long. He is a pass first point guard that has solid ball control. Was voted team captain by his teammates.
C Boubacar Syalla - Transferred from Auburn last year. Listed at 7-2 235 he is the tallest player to ever play for the Cowboys. Didn't do much in his prep career at StoneRidge Prep (CA). It will be interesting to see if he can actually play or just spend most of his time just taking up space in the lane.
G Thomas Manzano - A 6-4 200lb SG that transferred from a JC (Garden City) last year. Manzano has a nice scoring touch and will help out on the perimeter. Will be counted on to help provide some offensive punch this season.
C Adam Waddell - Would be your starting center this year Waddell injured his knee during the preseason and will be out for two to four weeks. At 6-10 he will spent most of his time at center unless the Cowboys go with a large lineup, which means he could move to the 4 with Syalla playing the 5.
Schedule: The Cowboys have a fairly pedestrian non-conference schedule this year. Some highlights would be:
11/21 - Boise St
11/29 - Pepperdine
12/15 - @ Tennessee
12/23 - @ Northern Iowa
The Cowboys start their Mountain West schedule on January 6th at home against Colorado State.
Outlook: The Cowboys are a young and athletic team will wear out some teams with their ability to run. This energy combined with the soft schedule will help them win a few more games then they probably should. While they probably won't see the post season again this season the Mountain West is wide open and the Cowboys could finish anywhere between 4th and 8th.
The Cowboys start the season this Friday at home versus the South Dakota State Jackrabbits.