2022 Record: 9-22 (4-14)

Head Coach: Jeff Linder (Career Record 128-92) (Wyoming Record 48-42)

Projected Lineup:

PG: Akuel Kot (Fort Lewis 24.3 Pts, 3.2 Reb, 1.3 Ast)

SG: Sam Griffin (Tulsa 15.2 Pts, 2.7 Reb, 2.0 Ast)

SF: Brendan Wenzel (7.9 Pts, 3.8 Reb, 0.9 Ast)

PF: Mason Walters (Jamestown 26.6 Pts, 9.4 Reb, 3.1 Ast)

C: Caden Powell (1.9 Pts, 2.0 Reb, 0.2 Ast)

6: SG Kenny Foster (4.8 Pts, 2.4 Reb, 0.4 Ast)

7: PG Kobe Newton (Fullerton CC 13.7 Pts, 3.5 Reb, 1.8 Ast)

8: SG Nigle Cook

9: C Oleg Kojenets (Nebraska 0.6 Pts, 0.7 Reb, 0.0 Ast)

10: PG Jacob Theodosiou

11: PF Jonas Sirtautas

12: SG Kael Combs

13: PF Cam Manyawu

Wyoming had a season to forget last year. After having lofty preseason expectations following an NCAA tournament appearance, they were battered by injuries which led to their very disappointing 9-22 record in the 2022-23 campaign. A few notable returners from last seasons team which underwent a great deal of roster turnover include: Kenny Foster, Caden Powell, and Brendan Wenzel.

Wenzel is a former Utah Ute who started the majority of games for the Wyoming Cowboys last season. He has great size at 6-7 and is a very capable three point shooter. He is the only returning player shooting over 30% from beyond the arc and will have a lot of responsibility being the best returner to the squad. Kenny Foster is the projected 6th man on the team this upcoming season. Foster is going into his 5th season with the Cowboys and has had a very up and down career with the team. Entering his 4th year in the Linder system, he should be on track to have one of his better seasons in a Cowboy uniform. Caden Powell could very well start at center for the Cowboys this season. The rising sophomore saw very limited action in his freshman season, but is poised to make a big jump. He’ll battle Nebraska transfer Oleg Kojenets for the starting center spot. Kojenets, a Lithuania native, barely saw any action with the Huskers last season but will at the very least be in the rotation with Wyoming this upcoming season.

Sam Griffin is an experienced volume scorer that Wyoming added this offseason. The former UT Arlington and Tulsa guard is going into his 5th season and averaged double figures each of the last 3 seasons. Griffin shot an average of 14 shots per game last season. He won’t need to put up that many shots with the surrounding core he’ll have in Laramie, but he will still be a very sound scorer in the Mountain West. The Cowboys also landed a commitment from JUCO transfer guard Kobe Newton. He averaged just over 13PPG on a JUCO team that went 32-1. He adds the winning culture that this Wyoming program needs after a very lackluster season last year.

Wyoming has also gone the non-D1 route to fill some spots on the roster. They made 2 very good additions in D2 transfer Akuel Kot out of Fort Lewis and NAIA transfer Mason Walters out of Jamestown. Kot was a first team All-American this past season averaging over 23PPG. He’s also a career 40% 3 point shooter, he has great handles and can score from just about anywhere on the court. Mason Walters was one of the best players in NAIA last season. The 6-9 forward averaged nearly 27PPG. He’s a very capable shooter and like Kot can score from just about everywhere on the court. These non-D1 additions could very well end up being the best players on this years Wyoming team.

Wyoming also added 5 freshman to complete their roster. The most notable of the group are Nigel Cook and Jacob Theodosiou both of which had high major offers but opted to go the MM+ route. They will likely see time in the rotation this season. The remaining freshman that the Cowboys added are: PFs Cam Manyawu and Jonas Sirtautas along with SG Kael Combs.

The expectations for Wyoming this season should be to obviously vastly improve on their record from last season. They should try to be in the upper half of the conference this upcoming season which is possible considering all of their additions via the portal. I believe that many college basketball fans will be very surprised with the duo of Akuel Kot and Mason Walters. Wyoming is a dark horse in the Mountain West and should be getting more attention.