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Head coach Allen Edwards and the Wyoming Cowboys are in their fourth week of practice. With nine returners, three redshirts and four newcomers the Pokes are making improvements on the floor in anticipation of the exhibition opener against Chadron State next Thursday evening in Torrington, Wyo. GoWyo.com caught up with Edwards and asked him about his team’s preparations during his first preseason as head coach.
What Have you liked from the returners so far?
Edwards: I like the fact that this group has taken to the identity of the program going forward. They are good leaders and have really listened to the coaching from the entire staff. They have set the example to the new guys, that this program will be all about the work that you put in on and off the court.
What have liked about the newcomers?
Edwards: They have also taken to the new approach of this basketball team. We as a staff have a vision of what we want to do and the older guys have taken the lead and the younger guys have fed off of them.
You have scrimmaged a few times, What has impressed you the most?
Edwards: We have moved the ball really well and have really shot the basketball at an effective rate. When playing with an unselfish mentality we can be a very competitive team. We have seen some progress on the defensive end of the floor. We have been battling fatigue in the scrimmages, but in an inter squad scrimmage you don’t have the subs like you would by having a whole team.
You have talked about crashing the boards more this season. How has rebounding played out in practice?
Edwards: Rebounding been solid in our scrimmages. It is an area we can get better at and I think the effort is there. We have guys going to the glass in our new system and some of the guys on the floor have an obligation to crash the offense boards. I like the competitive nature of us defending the glass and attacking it.
What will practices look like heading into game week?
Edwards: We will look at a lot of special situations. We will work on a lot of different scenarios, whether that is fouling at the end of a game or maintaining a late lead.
Is the team excited to play some competition other than themselves?
Edwards: Every team goes through that around this time of the season. At the end of the day, it becomes about the competition. As we get ready for the process of playing someone else, it really gets this group excited to go out there and compete.
Following their exhibition game on Nov. 3, the Cowboys will open the 2016-17 regular season on Friday, Nov. 11 when they host Western State at 8:30 p.m.