2009-10 Opponent Preview: Eastern New Mexico

As the 2009-10 season men’s basketball season approaches, BYUCougars.com continues to preview each of the Cougars’ opponents. Today’s preview-Eastern New Mexico.

Game Preview

BYU will go up against Eastern New Mexico in its first game of 2010, competing against the Greyhounds for the first time ever. Eastern New Mexico is a Division II squad, the second season in a row BYU has faced a D-II opponent after hosting Western Oregon last season.

The game will be the Cougars’ first at home in two weeks and the first of 2010. BYU will start Mountain West Conference play four days later at home against UNLV.

Season Outlook

Head coach Andrew Helton is taking over in his first year with the Greyhound program. Previously, Helton helped lead both Texas A&M-Corpus Cristi and South Alabama to their respective conference championships and NCAA Tournament appearances.

Despite a down season that saw Eastern New Mexico finish 4-23 and winless in conference play, most members of the Greyhound roster have seen significant playing time. Equs Darby and Dannon Wafer, both senior guards, were the top two scorers from last year’s team, giving Eastern New Mexico a chance to improve greatly on 2008-09.

Player to Watch

Equs Darby, F, Sr., 6-5, 182

As a junior in 2008, Darby averaged a team-best 10.3 ppg, shooting .545 from the field and .729 from the free throw line. Darby was second on the team in minutes played, rebounds (126), and blocks (7). A 6-foot-5 swingman, Darby will look to be the key to cutting through BYU’s defense and opening up opportunities for his teammates on the perimeter.

Other Key Players

Dannon Wafer, F

Jimmie Marshall, G

Tommy York, C

Game Implications

Eastern New Mexico should be a nice matchup for the Cougars coming off of New Year celebrations before getting ready to begin the Mountain West Conference season.

Greyhounds at a Glance

Head Coach Andrew Helton
At Eastern New Mexico 1st year / 0-0
2008-09 Record 4-23 overall, 0-12 Lone Star
Home/Road/Neutral 4-10, 0-10, 0-3
Starters Ret/Lost 3/2
Lettermen Ret/Lost 6/7

2008-09 Team Stats

Points/Game 61.1
Points Allowed/Game 70.9
Field Goal % .442
Opponent FG % .467
Rebounds/Game 32.2
Assists/Game 11.6
Steals/Game 7.9
Blocks/Game 2.3

Returning Stat Leaders

Points/Game Equs Darby, 10.3
Rebounds/Game Dannon Wafer, 7.0
Assists/Game Jimmie Marshall, 3.0
Steals Dannon Wafer, 48
Blocks Tommy York, 19
Three-pointers Equs Darby, 8