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Wyoming at San Jose State preview: Cowboys face shorthanded Spartans in road tilt

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After Wednesday's upset win against UNLV, Wyoming visits a depth-riddled San Jose State squad for its Mountain West road opener — a game it should easily win.

Wyoming faces shorthanded San Jose State in its first Mountain West road game of the season.
Wyoming faces shorthanded San Jose State in its first Mountain West road game of the season.
Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

Wednesday's upset win over UNLV was Wyoming's first win in a Mountain West opener since 2006. The Pokes (12-2) improve to 2-0 overall in conference play if they beat their opponent Saturday — host San Jose State (2-11, 0-1), a team that hasn't defeated a Division I opponent yet this season.

When Wyoming visited SJSU one year ago, it limited the Spartans to nine points in the second half. Expect the Pokes to have a similar defensive effort Saturday. Due to a mixture of injuries and suspensions, SJSU's depth will hinder its ability to hang with Wyoming. That was proven in its loss to Utah State earlier this week. SJSU dressed only seven players and couldn't slow down an Aggies team that used a 32-4 run to grab a huge lead in the first half.

Darryl Gaynor leads SJSU in scoring. Prior to his eight-point performance against Utah State, he had a pair of games where he scored 20 or more points. Wyoming looks to stop him first, but because SJSU is missing two players to season-ending injuries and five others to suspensions, there aren't any other contributors who scare the Pokes.

If Wyoming senior Larry Nance Jr. continues his hot shooting streak — 29 points against UNLV and 60 points in his two most recent games — Spartans fans should clear out Event Center fairly early. Scoring should be spread out among several players, as coach Larry Shyatt may preserve his starters' minutes to keep them fresh heading into Wednesday's matchup at No. 24 Colorado State.

Expect Wyoming to easily race past the Spartans — the team the Mountain West's preseason poll picked to finish 11th in the conference. Wyoming leads SJSU 6-1 overall and 2-1 in road games in the all-time series.

TIP INS

  • Saturday's clash with SJSU is senior Riley Grabau's 100th game playing for Wyoming.
  • SJSU's had 12 different players in its starting lineup already this season.
  • Eight of 12 Cowboys saw playing time against UNLV on Wednesday. Even more could play against SJSU on Saturday.