LARAMIE, Wyo. Dave Rose and his long-time friend Heath Schroyer have traded many text messages to one another the past few months. There will be none of that today at the University of Wyoming when the Cougars meet the Cowboys.
BYU will try and notch its second road win this week when the Cougars (16-5, 5-1) take on the Cowboys (8-11, 2-5). The game will be televised on The mtn. at 2 p.m.
The Cowboys, lurkers at the bottom the MWC standings, caught a lot of attention with their win at Utah on Wednesday and with overtime losses to Air Force and New Mexico last month could have gone either way.
Rose is preparing for a war today and believes the Cougars will get all they can handle in trying to stay atop the league standings with UNLV by the end of the weekend.
Watching the Cowboy win over Utah, Rose said Schroyer's team did a solid job contesting shots by Utah's shooters. "Defensively, they continue to get better and better. Early on, they played a lot of zone and now they are playing more man defense right now, and I think Heath has them playing more competitively. They didn't look that way in a blowout at San Diego State, but since then, they have been right there."
The Cowboys are led by a guard tandem of Brandon Ewing and Brad Jones. But forward Ryan Dermody has logged some big games including a 24-point effort against New Mexico.
"Brandon and Brad are as difficult to defend in the backcourt as any we play," said Rose.
"They have a real good shooter in Dermody, and Joseph Taylor is very athletic and very active around the basket at making plays around the basket. Travis Nelson is a good player around the rim.
"The thing about these guys is they've all had big games at different times. When you are putting a game plan together, you want to limit them from putting it all together and having everyone of them go off on the same night.
"You have to take some things away from each or it will be very, very difficult."
The Cougars have defeated Wyoming three times in a row including the last meeting in the MWC Tournament semifinals in Las Vegas.
Rose hopes the Cougars continue to show the patience and balance scoring with confidence displayed in wins over New Mexico a week ago and Wednesday's win at Air Force.
"When we shoot with confidence, we are very capable," said Rose.The Cougars got 22 points from Jonathan Tavernari and 21 from Lee Cummard in the last outing. Trent Plaisted, who has been ill most of this past week and played sparingly at AFA, is expected to start against the Cowboys.