The Wyoming Cowboys thoroughly enjoyed the first two months of the college basketball season. January, not so much.
Riding a 13-0 start, the (then) number-25 Cowboys were upset by Boise State last Wednesday, giving them their first loss of the season.
The loss came in just their second game without senior guard Luke Martinez, who had been on the bench with a broken finger since late December. With Martinez unavailable to play, the Cowboys suddenly suspended him indefinitely on Monday, for his actions leading up to the injury. Also known as the late night bar fight he got caught up in a couple of weeks ago.
The 6-foot-4 shooting machine was averaging a career-best 14.5 points on 42-percent shooting from deep, scoring in double-digits in 10 of the 12 games he played in prior to his injury. Martinez also tied the single-game three point record for Wyoming earlier this season, when he went 7-for-9 in a 20-point win over South Dakota.
Second-year coach Larry Shyatt has the Cowboys looking like a brand new program since he left Billy Donovan and Florida for glorious Laramie, Wyoming, and there’s no question that Martinez combines with Larry Nance, Jr., and Leonard Washington to give this team a legitimate shot at a postseason run. With this injury, and his inappropriate actions, Martinez may have really hurt the Cowboys season.
With New Mexico, San Diego State, and UNLV still on the schedule, Shyatt has to make a big decision on the future of one of his most important players, which I’m going to guess really depends more on Martinez’s finger than how big of a mistake he made by fighting (charges were not pressed against him, for the record).
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