Utah State vs Wyoming preview: How to watch, projected starters, injuries

Utah State forward Dan Akin shoots a free throw during the second half of the team's NCAA college basketball game against Air Force at Air Force Academy, Colo., Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023. (Parker Seibold/The Gazette via AP)

LOGAN – Following the worst loss of the Ryan Odom era at Utah State, the Aggies have a chance to rebound against a struggling Wyoming team. The Cowboys have lost five straight games including all three of its Mountain West contests.

How to watch

  • Tip-off: 8:40 p.m. MT
  • Location: Dee Glen Smith Spectrum | Logan, UT
  • TV Broadcast: FS1
  • Aggie GameDay Coverage on KVNU (102.1 FM/610 AM & KVNU mobile app): 7:30 p.m. MT
  • KVNU Aggie Call (102.1 FM/610 AM, KVNU mobile app): Immediately after game ends


Utah State

G – Rylan Jones (Undisclosed) – OUT

Jones will miss Tuesday’s game per head coach Ryan Odom.


G – Kenny Foster (Back) – OUT

F – Graham Ike (Leg) – OUT

G – Noah Reynolds (Concussion) – OUT

G – Brendan Wenzel (Leg) – OUT

F – Hunter Thompson (Illness) – OUT

Projected Starters

Utah State (13-3, 2-1)

  • G – Steven Ashworth (6-1, Jr.) – 16.1 points | 3.0 rebounds | 4.1 assists
  • G – Max Shulga (6-4, Jr.) – 12.1 points | 5.3 rebounds | 4.3 assists
  • G/F – Sean Bairstow (6-8, Sr.) – 10.7 points | 4.3 rebounds | 2.3 assists
  • F – Taylor Funk (6-9, Gr.) – 13.6 points | 5.7 rebounds | 1.8 assists
  • C – Trevin Dorius (7-0, Sr.) – 5.0 points | 3.6 rebounds | 0.3 assists
  • 6th Man – Dan Akin (6-9, Gr.) – 11.9 points | 6.9 rebounds | 0.6 assists

Wyoming (5-10, 0-3)

  • G – Ethan Anderson (6-1, Jr.) – 7.2 points | 4.4 rebounds | 3.2 assists
  • G – Hunter Maldonado (6-7, Sr.) – 13.0 points | 4.5 rebounds | 3.4 assists
  • G – Brendan Wenzel (6-7, Jr.) – 8.4 points | 3.8 rebounds | 0.6 assists
  • F – Jeremiah Oden (6-8, Jr.) – 7.0 points | 2.8 rebounds | 0.7 assists
  • F – Max Agbonkpolo (6-8, Jr.) – 7.9 points | 3.3 rebounds | 1.1 assists

Team Statistical Ranks

Stats and ratings are from Basketball Reference (except the NET ranking). All ranks are out of 363 Division I teams.

Utah State

  • Pace – 71.2 (83rd)
  • Offensive Rating – 114.0 (21st)
  • Defensive Rating – 98.4 (169th)
  • Field Goal % – 48.9 (19th)
  • 3-point % – 42.8 (1st)
  • Rebounding % – 53.5 (66th)
  • NET Rank – 26th


  • Pace – 66.2 (306th)
  • Offensive Rating – 106.6 (123rd)
  • Defensive Rating – 104.5 (289th)
  • Field Goal % – 45.7 (122nd)
  • 3-point % – 34.6 (154th)
  • Rebounding % – 50.3 (214th)
  • NET Rank – 200th

While this isn’t the first time the Aggies have had a chance to bounce back from a loss, this game certainly feels a little different seeing as the loss to Boise State wasn’t just one more in the loss column, but a potentially demoralizing 23-point defeat. But Ryan Odom said the team is responding well and similarly to the other losses USU has taken this year.

“They responded the same way they did with our other two losses,” Odom said. “They’re ready to get back to work. They’re understanding of the mistakes that we made. Our discipline and our execution was not there in that game.”

Wyoming presents an interesting challenge, though not always an unwelcome one. The Cowboys have five players on their injury report, including preseason player of the year Graham Ike and current leading scorer Noah Reynolds. Ike – who averaged 19.5 points and 9.6 rebounds last year – hasn’t played this year which does make things easier for the Aggies as Odom plainly put it.

“It’s definitely different because he was getting 19 a game,” Odom said of Ike. “That guy is a really good player. It’s unfortunate for their team because he’s such a good player and he provides not only rebounding but a post presence and a guy around the rim that can dominate a game and gets fouled.”

While Ike being out is a certainty, trying to prepare for a team with three players being listed as questionable can be difficult. Whether or not Reynolds plays is a big question to want answered seeing as he’s the team’s leader in points per game this season.

You have to prepare like they’re all going to be there and then whatever happens happens and you have to deal with it as it comes,” Odom said. “It’s not an exact thing.”

UPDATE: Since publication, Noah Reynolds, Brendan Wenzel and Hunter Thompson – who were previously listed as questionable – have been ruled OUT for tonight’s game according to a report by CBS Sports reporter Jon Rothstein.

The Aggies will face a familiar foe in Hunter Maldonado. The senior guard scored 21 and 23 points in the two games Wyoming and Utah State played last year, both of which the Cowboys won. He’s a tough matchup as a 6-foot-7 guard capable of posting up, shooting, or passing.

Especially with Ike (and potentially Reynolds) out, the Cowboys rely a lot on Maldonado’s ball-handling and post-ups to generate offense. They run numerous sets that involve isolating Maldonado in the post and then running actions to either get shooters open or allow Maldonado to simply go to work and score. Wyoming attempts 26 threes per game on average – 32nd in the country (USU is 84th in 3-point attempts despite ranking first in percentage) – with many of those attempts played off of Maldonado post-ups or other actions.

Utah State will have its own troubles with injury. Point guard Rylan Jones is once again out, having suffered an injury while taking a charge in the team’s loss to Boise State. A timetable for return has not been established. In Jones’ stead, Steven Ashworth will suit up and start for the seventh time this season.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!


  • pablo January 20, 2023 at 6:08 pm Reply

    Let me guess…USU wins 83 to 63?

  • Charlie February 16, 2023 at 8:26 pm Reply

    How many more days are you going to keep this story up as the main story? Go find some new news.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

For security, use of Google's reCAPTCHA service is required which is subject to the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

I agree to these terms.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.