Next Level: Cowboys' James Goes 2nd round to NBA's Sacramento Kings
With a roster so depleted by injuries, Wyoming put one of the student trainers in uniform at mid-season, and then welcomed Haze Fornstrom, who had initially been a football walk-on, to walk-on to the basketball team, too.
The Cowboys suffered through a season in which they suffered the most losses (24) in school history, finishing 4-14 in the Mountain West Conference.
Justin James never gave up. He pushed his teammets to excel, and led the Mountain West in scoring at 22.1 points per game.
The first phase of his reward came Thursday. James was selected in the second round of the NBA draft, going to the Sacramento Kings. He was one of only three Mountain West players to be among the 60 players taken in the NBA draft.
Shooting forward Cody Martin of Nevada ws the 36th selection, going to the Charlotte Hornets, four picks ahead of James. Power forward Jalen McCaniels went No. 52 to the Charlotte Hornets.
James is the 29th Cowboy player taken in the draft, the first since Larry Nance, Jr., in 2015, the 29th Cowboy drafted overall, but only the second swince Theo Ratliff went No. 18 overall to the Detroit Pistons in 1995.
In addition to scoring 22.1 points a game, James averaged 8.5 rebounds, which ranked seventh in the Mountain West, and 4.4 assist per game. He led the MW with an average 1.5 steals per game.
James was the first college player since Penney Hardaway in 1993 to average over 22 points per game, over four assists, eight rebounds and one steal.