Heath Schroyer doesn't believe in moral victories.
So the McNeese head men's basketball coach was in a way pleased to see that his team was not happy to have barely lost on the road to Texas 73-71 last Saturday.
"Obviously, I know where we're at," Schroyer said during his weekly press conference on Monday afternoon. "And I know where we're at in the process of building a program. I thought it was a good step forward for us to go there and compete like that. But it would have been even bigger if we could have figured out a way to win it."
After Saturday's loss, Schroyer said he went into the locker room and saw a team that was disappointed to not close out and beat Texas, not a team that was simply happy to be in a close game on the road against a Big 12 opponent.
Because of that, the Cowboys feel like they can hang with any team they play against, especially once Southland Conference action starts for them on Dec. 21. But before that, McNeese has three more non-conference games, starting on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. when the Cowboys will host Campbellsville-Harrodsburg at the H&HP Complex.
This is a game that the Cowboys will be expected to win easily, against an NCCAA (National Christian College Athletic Association) team – the second one that McNeese has played this season (Arlington Baptist being the first) – and a potential challenge for Schroyer could be getting the team focused after such an emotional and highly-charged game against Texas.
"You always worry about that a little bit," Schroyer said about his team overlooking CU-Harrodsburg. "We talked about that (Sunday) night. At the end of the day, Texas is over. Win or lose, Texas is over and the next game comes. And we have to be ready to play. That's our job as coaches, our job as players. To be ready to play no matter who we play and where we play and when we play."
Tuesday's game is the first of a five-game home stand for McNeese that will cover the entire month of December and the start of January when SLC play will already be a few games old. It's a stark contrast to November, which saw the Cowboys play 75 percent of their games on the road.
CU-Harrodsburg played Nicholls on Monday night, but before that, the Tigers had a 3-3 record. Nicholls and McNeese are the only two Division I teams that the Tigers will play this season.
Last season, McNeese and CU-Harrodsburg played, with the host Cowboys winning the game 91-73.