Lou Adams started both halves in Wyoming’s 102-100 four-overtime home win over Fresno State last Wednesday, but played only at total of seven minutes.
First-year coach Allen Edwards didn’t like the energy Adams showed on the floor, so he didn’t play him when it mattered most.
Adams, a junior guard in his first season with the Cowboys after transferrring from Odessa College in Texas, got the message Edwards was conveying. He scored a team-best 16 points and three steals in 24 minutes in Wyoming’s 81-74 loss at Utah State last Saturday. The points were the most Adams scored in a MW game, and tied for the second-most minutes he’s played in a game this season.
“Lou came out with more energy, but at the same time, it has to be more of a consistent thing,” Edwards said. “He seems to have figured it out, and we will go with that from there.”
Added Adams: “I was just trying to help my team win and do the little things.”
Whether it’s scoring, steals, rebounding — whatever — Adams has the physical abilities to help UW (16-10 overall, 6-7 MW) move up the standings and avoid playing in a first-round game in the MW Tournament in a few weeks. At 6-foot-4, Adams’ athleticism enables him to be one of the Cowboys’ best players at driving to the basket and creating his own shot. His three steals at Utah State also showed that he can be one of the teams’ best defenders.
Adams may play a big role Tuesday when the Cowboys host Border War rival Colorado State (17-9, 9-4). Down to just seven scholarship players, the Rams have one of the best scorers in the MW in senior guard Gian Clavell (18.6 ppg). Sophomore Prentiss Nixon (12.2 ppg) and J.D. Paige (9.3 ppg) aren’t bad, either.
However, Edwards said Clavell has the ability to take over a game, much like Josh Adams did for UW many times last season. Edwards wouldn’t say how he plans to defend Clavell, but added that UW must be “creative” in doing so and must try to make things as difficult and uncomfortable for him as possible.
Putting more length on him with a guy like 6-9 junior forward Alan Herndon is a possibility, but so is a guy like Adams with his skill set. That should be something to watch for Tuesday night.
Like him or not, Colorado State coach Larry Eustachy is making a serious case for MW Coach of the Year with that he’s done so far in league play being so under manned. He’s also an interesting interview. Here is what Eustachy said about UW this season and the way Edwards is doing things compared to the previous five seasons with coach Larry Shyatt. The quotes are courtesy of Kelly Lyell of the Fort Collins Coloradoan.
“I think anybody that interviewed for that job said we’re going to play (how Wyoming currently is). The last guy that would’ve gotten that job was the coach from Denver (Joe Scott),” Eustachyy said. “They wanted to hire Paul Westhead, if you remember how his teams played, that’s who they wanted. Just something different.
“So they are playing really different. They’ve got the seventh fastest tempo in the country. They have a rule if you’re feet are set you shoot it no matter what. It’s a completely different team as far as how you go about preparing for them.”