1933-34 Men’s Basketball Team

The 1933-34 men’s basketball team compiled an overall record of 26-4, including a 24-game winning streak, and featured five All-American starters: Art Haman (Aurora, Ill.), John Kimball (Lincoln, Neb.), Haskell Leuty (Denison, Tex.), Ed McGinty (Wheatland, Wyo.), and Les Witte (Lincoln, Neb.). Wyoming won five straight games and reached the finals at the AAU National Tournament before losing to the Diamond X Oilers of Tulsa, Oklahoma. They were named “National Champions” by the Helms Athletic Foundation, an organization based in Los Angeles, Calif., which for many years put together a panel of experts to rank college sports teams and determine All-America selections at the end of the season. There was no NCAA Tournament at that time. Undefeated in conference play, the Cowboys won the Rocky Mountain Conference championship and were the first Wyoming team to reach 20 victories. Coached by Willard “Dutch” Witte, the team also included Jack Bugas (Rock Springs), Ray Christensen, Stanley Christensen, Lloyd Dowler (Casper, Wyo.), Taft Harris, Leonard Kuiper, Oliver Rollins, and Willard “Buzz” West (Kansas City, Mo.). Les Witte, the younger brother of the head coach, led the team in scoring with 11.6 points per game. The team averaged 37.6 points per game, while allowing only 25.4. Their only losses were to non-collegiate teams, AAU entries Denver Piggly-Wiggly (three times, including two exhibition games for charity) and the Diamond X Oilers.