Basketball is officially here. The first practice of the 2017-2018 college basketball season for the Wyoming Cowboys is Friday.

Second year head coach Allen Edwards welcomes back three starters and nine lettermen from last season’s team that finished 23-15. UW won the College Basketball Invitational (CBI) for their first postseason title since 1943.

Edwards said he’s excited for year two for him and his staff.

“Excited about the young men in the program. After one year under our belt playing the new style, I feel like we’re going into a year with more of a veteran group with four seniors and two juniors, I think can really have a tremendous impact on the program. Also excited about the incoming guys. I thought they had a great summer.

Wyoming set a school record with 2,961 points scored last season. They also set a school and Mountain West record with 369 made three pointers.

As they begin practice Edwards says, “I think this year is more so direct and straight to the point because we have that year under our belt, so now it’s about, in a sense, taking it to that next level. So, yes, I can do some different things, but still within the confinements of what we’re trying to do offensively and defensively.”

The Cowboys are led by returning Third Team All-Mountain West honoree Justin James, who averaged 16 points and five rebounds a game last season. Also back is Honorable Mention All-MW selection Hayden Dalton, who chipped in 12.2 points and team-high 8.3 rebounds per game.

In addition, seniors Alan Herndon, Louis Adams and Alexander Aka Gorski all started games last season, as did junior forward Jordan Naughton. The other returners include sophomores Cody Kelley, Andrew Moemeka and Sam Averbuck.

The newcomers are redshirt junior Nyaires Redding, redshirt sophomore Brodericks Jones and redshirt freshman Austin Mueller. The three newest Cowboys are freshmen Anthony Mack, Hunter Maldonado and Hunter Thompson.

UW is doing an outreach next Saturday in Casper. The Pokes will practice at Swede Erickson Thunderbird Gymnasium on the Casper College campus from 4-to-5 p.m.

Wyoming has 36 days before their exhibition game versus Regis Nov. 3 in the Arena-Auditorium.

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