1942–43 Wyoming Cowboys basketball team

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1942–43 Wyoming Cowboys basketball
Mountain States Conference (Big Seven) champions
Conference Mountain States Conference
1942–43 record 31–2 ( Big Seven)
Head coach Everett Shelton
Seasons
« 1941–42 1943–44 »

The 1942–43 Wyoming Cowboys basketball team represented the University of Wyoming in NCAA men's competition in the 1942–43 season.[1] The Cowboys won the Mountain States Conference championship and were the first basketball team from the Rocky Mountains to win an NCAA Basketball Championship. Kenny Sailors of Hillsdale, Wyoming averaged 15.5 points per game and Milo Komenich averaged 16.7 points per game in leading the team to the championship.[2] Despite playing just nine home games during the year, the Cowboys won 32 games.[3]

Roster[edit]

Name Position Home Town
Charles Castle Forward Phoenix, AZ
James Collins Guard Laramie, WY
Jimmy Darden Forward Cheyenne, WY
Jack Downey Guard Phoenix, AZ
Vernon Jensen Guard Lyman, WY
Antone Katana Center Rock Springs, WY
Milo Komenich Center Gary, IN
Earl Ray Guard Casper, WY
Jimmie Reese Forward Rock Springs, WY
Lou Roney Guard Powell, WY
Ken Sailors Forward Laramie, WY
Kenneth Tallman Forward Cheyenne, WY
Floyd Volker Forward Casper, WY
Donald Waite Guard Scottsbluff, NE
Jim Weir Forward Green River, WY

[4]

Regular season[edit]

In the fourth game of the season, the Cowboys lost to Duquesne. It would be the last game the Cowboys lost to a college team during the season. Their only other loss was to the Denver Legion team.[3] The Cowboys outscored their opponents by an average of over 20 points per game and that 1942–43 squad became the first Wyoming team to score over 100 points in a game, by beating Regis 101–45.

NCAA basketball tournament[edit]

  • West
    • Wyoming 53,Oklahoma 50
  • Final Four

[5]

Red Cross game[edit]

St. John's won the National Invitation Tournament that same year and claimed it was better than Wyoming and that the NIT was a better tournament than the NCAA.[6] Ev Shelton talked Ned Irish, the promoter at Madison Square Garden, into hosting a showdown game, with proceeds going to the Red Cross. Two days after winning the NCAA Championship, Wyoming played NIT Champion St. John's in a Red Cross benefit game for the war effort. Wyoming beat St. John's in overtime by a score of 52–47, in Madison Square Garden.[6]

Illinois controversy[edit]

Wyoming's championship may not have happened had the season not coincided with World War II. That same year, the Illinois Fighting Illini finished the season with a record of 17 wins and 1 loss. The season was cut short as all five starters headed off to active duty in the armed forces. Illinois won the Big Ten Conference Title and had finished the regular season as the nations' top ranked team. Due to military service, the club did not participate in either the NCAA or NIT tournament.[2]

Awards and honors[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Cowboys" is specific to men's sports at Wyoming; women's teams and athletes are "Cowgirls".
  2. ^ a b http://www.mylosingseason.com/2007/01/sailors-ferrin-mikan-and-great-santini.html
  3. ^ a b c d e http://www.wyomingathletics.com/trads/hof-1993.html
  4. ^ "2011–12 Wyoming Cowboys media guide, pg. 115". University of Wyoming Athletics. 2011. Retrieved January 24, 2012. 
  5. ^ http://www.databasesports.com/ncaab/tourney.htm?yr=1943
  6. ^ a b Moss, Irv (April 7, 2009). "Sailors still big shot in Wyoming history". Denver Post. Retrieved May 14, 2009. 
  7. ^ "Final Four Most Outstanding Players". cbs.sportsline.com. Archived from the original on March 4, 2009. Retrieved March 31, 2009.