One might expect the Wyoming men's basketball team to use Wednesday's poor showing in the second half of a 75-66 loss at New Mexico as a wake-up call.
Allen Edwards' message to his team afterward was just the opposite. The Cowboys had already used one disappointing loss to rally themselves, a home loss to Northern Colorado that ended Wyoming's nonconference schedule. The Cowboys then won two of their next three games while opening Mountain West play against the top three teams in the preseason poll.
But with a loss Wednesday, Edwards wanted to make sure his team didn't get in the habit of creating wake up calls for itself — or needing them in the first place.
"What I don’t want to do," Edwards said, "is get on this roller coaster ride of: We don’t play well, we’re on the road, we have the come-to-Jesus meeting in the locker room, and then we come out and play great against (Colorado State) and then we go on the road against Utah State and then we still don’t understand that mindset about going in on the road and getting wins.
"It was more about whether we’re at home or whether we’re on the road, the type of energy and effort we have to play with consistently throughout the game that puts us in position to win."
The Cowboys return home Saturday for the first Border War of the season at 2 p.m. Then, following a midweek bye, Wyoming plays at Utah State.
Wednesday, Wyoming went into halftime with a five-point lead on New Mexico, which had been predicted to finish sixth in the conference. But the Pokes were outscored 48-34 in the second half.
Edwards spent around 20 minutes conveying his message to the team, after he and his assistant coaches had met for nearly 15 minutes away from the players.
"He knows the type of team that we are," junior Justin James said. "We know the type of team that we are. I mean, the coaching staff has been doing great with giving us the scouting report and telling us what these teams do best.
"But we’re just not going out there and doing it for 40 minutes. That’s what we need to do."
Edwards received his first technical of the season midway through the second half of Wednesday's game. He said afterward he was frustrated that New Mexico's Antino Jackson wasn't being called for carrying on some of his crossovers.
"And to be honest with you, I didn’t think I deserved it either," Edwards said. "But at the end of the day, I do have a right to disagree with calls. I pride myself on never being disrespectful while I’m disagreeing. Now, you can get mad because I keep beating a point or whatnot, but I do have that option, and that’s why I’m the head coach.
"If I feel like something out there is not being called, I feel like I’ve got to fight for the guys to make the whistle a little even or what not. But I think Mike (Reed) is one of the better refs in our league, so it wasn’t nothing personal. I think he does his job. I just thought in the midst of emotion, I was given one, but I was fine."
Edwards had a number of technicals last season. However, he said the lower number this year hasn't been a result of getting a longer leash as a second-year coach.
"No, to be honest with you, I’ve take in effect what was brought to my attention when dealing with referees," he said. "The biggest part is probably the language has changed. Even when I had bad (comments), it wasn’t like it was directed at the person, it was more at the calls.
"But even moving forward, now it’s more, my thing is just interact with me. I thought last year, I felt like it was less interaction and didn’t want to talk. It felt like a little bit of that tonight."