Wyoming Cowboys


Wyoming Cowboys Stats

Arena: Arena-Auditorium
Coach: Jeff Linder, Allen Edwards


Wyoming Cowboys

Team Summary

The University of Wyoming Cowboys Men’s Basketball program represents the University of Wyoming, located in Laramie, WY, and is in the NCAA‘s Division I. Wearing brown and gold, Wyoming currently competes in the Mountain West Conference.

Their current head coach is Jeff Linder, who is in his second season and has a 27-13 record as coach of the Cowboys. The team plays their home games at the Arena-Auditorium, in Laramie, WY.

They finished the 2020 season with a 14-11 overall record and were 7-9 in the Mountain West, finishing eighth in the conference. The Cowboys were defeated in the Mountain West Conference Tournament quarterfinals, losing to San Diego State 69-66.

The Cowboys entered the Mountain West Conference in its inaugural 1999 season after being a member of the Western Athletic Conference from 1962 to1998. From 1922 to 1961, they were members of the Mountain States Athletic Conference (MSAC).

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Team History

The University of Wyoming started play in 1904 when a team from the school was challenged to a game by a local team called the Laramie Town Team. Wyoming won this only game they played that year 17-5.

The Cowboys were an independent program until the 1922-23 season when they joined the Mountain States Athletic Conference, also known as the Skyline Conference and the NCAA Division I. They finished that season with a 2-6 record and were 0-6 in the conference, finishing in last place.

The team made its first appearance in the NCAA Tournament in 1941 and has played in a total of fifteen tournaments to date, winning the NCAA Championship in 1943 after defeating Georgetown 46-34 in the final.

There have been twenty-three coaches in Wyoming Men’s basketball history, the first being West Point alumnus W. Yates. He led the team for just two seasons and six games, finishing with a 4-2 career record.

2022 Key Stats

The University of Wyoming Cowboys are 13-2 in 2022 and are second in the Mountain West Conference with a 2-0 mark. Graham Ike is their leading scorer at 20 points per game. He also leads the team in rebounding with 8.5 per game. Hunter Maldonado is second in scoring with 17.1 points. In addition, he leads the team in assists with 6.3 per contest and in steals with 1.4 per game.

The Wyoming Cowboys are averaging 77.1 points per game, ranking second in the Mountain West Conference, and are fifth in points allowed, giving up 63.7 points per game.

Championships Won by the Team

Wyoming has won a total of three conference tournament championships. They won the Western Athletic Conference Tournaments in 1987 and 1988, and were the Mountain West Tournament champions in 2015.

They have also won twenty-one regular-season conference championships, winning the Skyline Conference regular-season championship fourteen times between 1928 and 1958.

They also took the Western Athletic Conference Championship in 1967, 1969,1981, 1982, and 1986, and the Mountain West Conference regular-season title in 2001 and 2002.

The Cowboys were NCAA Champions in 1943, which was their only appearance in the Final Four.

Important Team Events

The Wyoming Cowboys have played in 29 postseason tournaments in their history in the NCAA’s Division I. They have fifteen NCAA Tournament appearances with a combined record of 9-20, winning the tournament championship in 1943.

Besides their championship season, the furthest they advanced in the tournament was to the Sweet Sixteen on three different occasions. Their last appearance was in 2015 when they lost in the first round to Northern Iowa 71-54.

Wyoming has also played in eight National Invitational Tournaments (NIT), with their best performance being in 1986 when they won the championship, taking the final against Ohio State 73-63. It was the only year the team made it further than the second round in all their appearances in the tournament.

Wyoming also competed in the College Basketball Invitational five times, with a combined record of 7-5. They won the tournament championship in 2017, taking the final game over Coastal Carolina 83-59.

The Cowboys also appeared in the National Campus Basketball Tournament, which was only played for one season in 1951. The team had a 1-2 record and finished in fourth place.

Top Players

The Wyoming Cowboys have had many outstanding players in their history, including some who have played in the NBA. Twenty-three players in total went on to have careers in the league.

The best known of these is probably Flynn Robinson, who played with five different teams in the NBA and had a career average of 14.5 points three assists in 494 career games.

He was a backup guard for one of the best teams in history, the 1972 NBA Champion LA Lakers behind Jerry West and Gail Goodrich. The team won an NBA record 33 straight games that season en route to the title.

Fennis Dembo is the all-time leading scorer for the Cowboys. He ended his career at the school with 2,311 points between 1984 and 1988.

The former player with the highest career points per game is Robinson. He scored 26.3 points per game on average for the Cowboys between 1962 and 1965.

Top Coaches

The coach with the most wins for Wyoming is Everett Shelton, who led the team for nineteen seasons from 1940 to 1959. He won a total of 328 games, and his teams won eight regular-season conference championships under his leadership.

With Shelton as head coach, the team made eight NCAA Tournament appearances and won the National Championship in 1943. He ended his career at Wyoming with a .620 winning percentage and coached a total of 529 games, which is the most for any former Cowboys coach.

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Wyoming Cowboys FAQs

What two former Cowboys have been selected as first-team Consensus All-Americans?

Les Witte in 1932 and 1934 and Ken Sailors in 1943.

How many players have moved on from Wyoming to play in the NBA?


Who has played the most games for the Wyoming Cowboys in his career?

Alan Herndon played in 133 games between 2015 and 2018.

How many times have the Wyoming Cowboys made it to the Final Four?

One, in 1943, when they won the NCAA Championship.

What coach has the highest winning percentage in Cowboys history?

Of coaches with more than 100 games, Willard Witte has the highest winning percentage at .724.

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