LARAMIE — Wyoming head coach Allen Edwards felt his team got too comfortable in the second half of its nine-point season-opening win over Chattanooga.
“Like I told them,” Edwards said, “I think sometimes I feel like they get a feel for the opponents, and they feel like we can just win just because, rather than playing to our principles for 40 minutes and playing against a faceless opponent.”
They probably won’t get that luxury against a Pac-12 team.
The Cowboys (1-0) begin their road schedule Monday with a 9 p.m. Mountain Time game at Oregon State (1-0).
Edwards had not yet watched any film of Oregon State when he last met with media after the Cowboys’ season opener.
“I know who they are in the sense of being in the Pac-12, but I’m not even sure what style of play (they have), what they do,” Edwards said. “Because I’m more of a what’s-in-front-of-me type guy. I’ll take a look at tonight’s game, and to be honest with you, the first thing (Saturday) morning start looking at Oregon State.”
The Beavers finished last in the Pac-12 last season, going 1-17 in conference play and 5-27 overall. Fourth-year coach Wayne Tinkle, whose son Tres plays on the team, took the Beavers to the NCAA Tournament in 2016.
Oregon State returned 95 percent of its scoring production from last season, including Tinkle’s 20.2 points per game, Stephen Thompson Jr.’s 16.3 ppg and Drew Eubanks’ 14.5 ppg.
The Beavers opened their season with a 99-82 home win over Southern Utah on Friday.
Wyoming will be without freshman Anthony Mack (concussion), and senior Alexander Aka Gorski (ankle) probably will not play. Sophomore Andrew Moemeka (concussion) is day-to-day.
“We’ve talked about that, just in the sense of it being somewhat of a wacky preseason with injuries,” Edwards said. “Most of them are happening when we’re not even competing. But being able to utilize the bench early and give guys experience helps us long term.
“Just having Hunter Maldonado out there for a long period of time, and then being able to get Austin (Mueller) and Sam (Averbuck) on the floor was also helpful — even in the sense of Hunter leaving the game with the cramps and then Lou (Adams) fouling out — to still be able to put valuable bodies on the floor really helps.”
Justin James, a preseason all-conference junior, was limited with an ankle injury Friday.
“He’s only two days removed from just being in practice,” Edwards said afterward. “And one of the practices when he was in was doing none of the (contact) stuff, and then when he did practice, he was limited within our practice. So (Friday) was more just for him to get a feel, get back and play and then hopefully against Oregon State keep him out there a little bit more.”
The Cowboys were 3-11 in true road games last season. They played two Pac-12 teams in Edwards’ first season, losing to both California and Southern California.
“Our coaches will have us ready and I think it’s great for us on the road,” senior Hayden Dalton said. “Always good experience, especially against a good team like them.”
Wyoming and Oregon State have played 11 times in their history, with Oregon State winning 10 of those meetings. The teams last played in 2000, a game Wyoming won at home.
“I think with this group coming back, we kind of did that in the CBI with those quick turnaround games,” senior Alan Herndon said. “... You just come in, get a good rehab in tomorrow, nice little practice, get ready for the next team. You can’t complain about it. Just go out there and play.”