Low expectations on the outside motivation for Wyoming to ‘prove people wrong’ – Casper Star-Tribune

Posted: November 16, 2020 at 7:55 pm

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Hunter Maldonado and the rest of Wyoming's men's basketball team are looking to exceed expectations after being picked to finish ninth in the Mountain West preseason poll.

LARAMIE Nobody expected much from Jeff Linders team in 2006 either.

At the time, Linder was entering his first season as an assistant on Randy Rahes staff at Weber State. The Wildcats, with just three players returning from a team that finished 10-17 the year before, were picked in the preseason to finish last in the Big Sky Conference.

Fast forward 14 years, and the outside expectations for Linders new team are nearly as low. Before the start of Mountain West basketballs virtual media days earlier this week, Wyoming was picked to finish ninth in the leagues preseason media poll. Only Air Force and San Jose State were below the Cowboys in the 11-team conference.

It was kind of the same situation, Linder said.

The Cowboys place in the preseason pecking order didnt come as much of a surprise entering Linders first season as head coach. UW, which has won just 17 games the last two seasons, finished last in the Mountain West standings last season and has just four players returning following the offseason coaching change.

But many of them, including leading returning scorer and rebounder Hunter Maldonado, were key cogs in helping the Cowboys make a surprise run to the Mountain West tournament semifinals last season. And with new philosophies in place that emphasize 3-point shooting and defending the 3-point line Linders Northern Colorado team ranked in the top 10 nationally in both categories last season theres a feeling within UWs camp that the Cowboys blend of holdovers and eight newcomers will surprise.

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Low expectations on the outside motivation for Wyoming to 'prove people wrong' - Casper Star-Tribune

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November 16th, 2020 at 7:55 pm

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