LARAMIE, Wyo. — After dropping four straight games to the top four teams in the Mountain West Conference, Utah State hopes that playing on the road will help turn the ship around. The Aggies travel to Laramie, Wyo., for a Saturday afternoon contest with Wyoming.
Wyoming has had a flair for the dramatic in conference play. The Cowboys (13-7, 4-3) have had just one conference game decided by more than seven points, and two of their league games have gone to overtime.
Wyoming, in many ways, is a mirror image of Utah State on the court. The Cowboys have a tendency to slow things down on offense and work for the best shot. Thanks to that offensive patience, the team shoots 49 percent from the floor. Larry Nance Jr., son of Cleveland Cavalier great Larry Nance, leads the team in scoring, rebounds, blocks and steals.
One area where the Aggies (12-8, 2-6) might have an advantage is on the glass. Forward Kyle Davis fought off a knee injury to score 10 points and grab five rebounds against New Mexico earlier this week. With a healthy Davis to go along with Jarred Shaw, the Aggies could regain the form in the paint that saw them dominate opponents in the rebounding department earlier in the season. Wyoming averages just 30 rebounds per game, which ranks ninth in the Mountain West Conference
Wyoming will be without coach Larry Shyatt, who has been advised by doctors to take a few days off to recover from a viral illness. Shyatt also missed the Cowboys' game at Air Force on Jan. 22 with the same illness. Assistant coach Jeremy Shyatt, the oldest son of Larry, will take over as acting head coach against Utah State. He was in charge of the Cowboys' game plan against the Aggies.
Kraig Williams is a 2010 Utah State University graduate and regular Deseret News sports blogger. He can be followed on Twitter @DesNewsKraig.