The Colorado State men's basketball team returns to the friendly confines of Moby Arena, looking to extend its school-record home win streak - currently at 24 games - hosting Boise State.
The 16-4 (3-2 MW) Rams are coming off of a 74-63 road win at Fresno State. The Rams snapped a four-game road losing skid and moved into a tie with UNLV and Air Force for third in the Mountain West standings, one game behind No. 2 San Diego State, and a full game behind conference-leading New Mexico.
Boise State (14-5, 2-3 MW) is coming off of a 75-59 road loss at Nevada on Saturday. The Broncos have lost three of their last four games since opening league play with a 63-61 road win over Wyoming on Jan. 9. The Broncos also recorded a home win over Fresno State (74-67) on Jan. 23.
Tipoff between the Rams and the Broncos is set for 7 p.m. MT.
The Rams and Broncos meet for the 10th time in the series between the two programs. Colorado State holds a 6-3 advantage. The teams split the series in 2011, each winning at home.
Voice of the Rams Brian Roth will have the call on the Colorado State Sports Network - 560 AM KLZ (Denver), 600 AM KCOL (Fort Collins), 105.5 FM KJAC (Fort Collins), 1010 AM KSIR (Fort Morgan) and 1100 AM KNZZ (Grand Junction).
Streaming audio (free) and video (subscription) are available via Rams All-Access and live statistics can be viewed online via GameTracker at CSURams.com.
Rams quick hits
The 2012-13 season marks the 110th in the history of the Colorado State men's basketball program. The Rams are 1,145-1,174 (.494) in 2,319 games all-time.
Colorado State enters the 2012-13 men's basketball season under the direction of new head coach Larry Eustachy, in his 22nd season as a head coach at the NCAA Division I level.
The Colorado State basketball program is looking for its fourth-consecutive postseason appearance, and its second straight NCAA Tournament berth, in 2012-13.
The Rams return an experienced roster with seven letterwinners back form the 2011-12 season.
The Rams welcome a host of talented newcomers to the court this season, including Division I transfers Colton Iverson (Minnesota) and Daniel Bejarano (Arizona) who sat out 2011-12 per NCAA transfer rules.
In early August, the CSU basketball program spent five days together at the Atlantis Paradise Island Resort in Nassau, Bahamas. Per NCAA rules, the team was allotted 10 days of practice leading up to the trip, and then played an exhibition contest against the Bahamas All-Stars, winning 95-80 behind a double-double effort (18 points, 14 rebounds) from Colton Iverson.
Colorado State enters Saturday's game with a 16-4 record (3-2 MW). The Rams opened the season 6-0, tying the program mark for best start established in 1970-71 and matched by the 2005-06 squad, and reached 13-2 to close non-conference play, tying the program's best 15-game mark, with the 1953-54 team, to close non-conference play.
The Rams have established a new program record by winning 24 straight home games at Moby Arena dating back to November of 2011. The streak currently ranks fourth nationally behind Syracuse (35), Kansas (33) and South Dakota State (26).
Colorado State ranks as the No. 4 rebounding team in the nation, pulling down 42.5 rebounds per game, and entered play this week leading the NCAA in rebounding margin with an average differential of 14.0 boards per game. The team has yet to be outrebounded in a game this year.
The Rams have been impressive at home in 2012-13, racking up a 10-0 mark and extending a record win streak at Moby Arena to 24 games. The streak ranks fourth nationally entering the Rams next home game, Jan. 30 vs. Boise State.
Colorado State is 3-4 on the road in 2012-13, picking up tough road wins at Denver and at Washington, before falling in four straight road outings - at Colorado, UIC, then-No. 16/15 San Diego State (overtime), and No. 15/17 New Mexico - before a 74-63 victory at Fresno State in their last venture away from Moby Arena. The Rams were 3-9 on the road in 2011-12.
Overall, the Rams are 5-4 away from Moby Arena, having captured a pair of neutral-court victories over Portland and Virginia Tech en route to the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic title, Dec. 22-23 at the Orleans Arena.
Colorado State recorded a school-record 13 non-conference victories in 2012-13, besting the mark of 11 set in 1997-98 and matched in 2002-03, 2005-06 and 2011-12.
Colorado State enters play this week as one of eight teams in the country to rank in the top-50 in the nation in both scoring offense (50th) and scoring defense (T-47th). CSU joins Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Louisville, Michigan, Southern Miss and Syracuse.
About Boise State
The Broncos enter Wednesday's contest with a 14-5 record, including a 2-3 mark in Mountain West action, having lost three of their last four games, following a conference-opening road win at Wyoming (63-61) on Jan. 9.
Since that win at Wyoming, the Broncos have lost two straight MW road games, at Air Force (91-80) and at Nevada (75-59), with a home win over Fresno State (74-67) during that stretch.
Overall, Boise State is 4-4 on the road this season, including an impressive win at then-No. 11 Creighton (83-70) on Nov. 28.
The Rams and Broncos sit atop the Mountain West in scoring offense in conference play. CSU ranks first, averaging 70.4 points per outing, with the Broncos in a close second, scoring 70 points per game.
The Broncos rank last in the conference in scoring defense and defensive field goal percentage, giving up 74.6 points per conference outing, while letting their opponents shoot 48 percent from the field.
In league play, Boise State boasts two of the top three scorers in the Mountain West. Sophomore guard Derrick Marks leads the conference in scoring, averaging 21.3 points per contest. The Bronco's second sophomore guard Anthony Drmic ranks third in the conference, pouring in 18.6 points per game against conference foes.
Drmic also paces the conference in steals (2.5) and made three point field goals (3.0) per contest.
Junior forward Ryan Watkins ranks second in rebounding in the MW, trailing only Colorado State's Colton Iverson. Watkins is pulling down an average of 10.2 boards per game and has recorded a double-double in three of his last four outings.
Boise State shot a perfect 26-of-26 from the free throw line in its Jan. 23 game against Fresno State. The mark stands as a school and conference record and is the best performance in the NCAA the last four seasons.
Only five teams have posted double-digit leads on the Broncos during the 2012-13 season; Utah (26), Air Force (22), Idaho (11), Wyoming (10) and Nevada (17).
Head Coach Leon Rice is his third season with the Broncos. He has accumulated a 49-35 record during his time at the school.
Series vs. Boise State
Wednesday's game between the Rams and the Broncos marks the 10th in the series between the programs, dating back to the first meeting - a 96-65 CSU victory - on Dec. 28, 1974 in Fort Collins.
Colorado State holds an 6-3 lead in the all-time series.
The Rams are 5-0 all-time against the Broncos in games played in Fort Collins, including last season's 66-55 win in Moby Arena.
The programs split two meetings last season, each winning at home. Following the Rams' 66-55 win in Fort Collins, CSU suffered a heart-breaking 70-69 loss at Taco Bell Arena, on a Derrick Marks buzzer beater, despite a career-high 30 points from Rams' guard Wes Eikmeier.
A win over Boise State will...
Move CSU's overall record to 17-4, tying the 1953-54 team for the second best mark through 21 games. The Rams began the 1997-98 season with an 18-3 record.
Extend the program record for consecutive home wins to 25. The streak ranks as the fourth-longest in the nation.
Make CSU 4-2 in conference play for the second time in three years.
Maintain Colorado State's perfect record against the Broncos in Fort Collins, winning all six meetings.
Improve the Rams' record vs. Boise State to 7-3.
Make the 2012-13 squad the fastest CSU team to reach 17 victories in a season. The 1997-98 team won its 17th game on Jan. 31.
Move CSU to 3-0 at home in conference play for the second consecutive season.
Rams in elite company
Entering Wednesday's game vs. Boise State, Colorado State is one of eight programs nationally to rank in the top-50 in both scoring offense (47th) and scoring defense (47th), joining an elite group of programs.
Other schools to rank among the national leaders on both lists are: Florida (48th offense/3rd defense), Indiana (2/49), Kansas (40/32), Lousiville (41/16), Michigan (12/37), Southern Miss (45/15) and Syracuse (24/T-35).
Colorado State ranks among the nation's most experienced teams, and is the top-rated team in the Mountain West in terms of average class year per minute played, according to StatSheet.com.
The Rams average of 3.44 ranks fourth in the country behind Valparaiso (3.77), Middle Tennessee State (3.51) and Ohio (3.49).
Combined, the top four schools have a 65-18 record (.783) record.
Hornung among nation's top O-rebounders
Colorado State senior F Pierce Hornung ranks as the No. 3 offensive rebounder in the nation entering Wednesday's game vs. Boise State
Hornung, a 6-5 product from Arvada, Colo., pulls down an average of 4.44 offensive rebounds per game, well ahead the MW's No. 2 performer on the offensive glass, Boise State's Ryan Watkins (3.47 per game).
Nationally, Hornung ranks just behind South Alabama's Augustin Rubit (4.63) and Notre Dame's Jack Cooley (4.60) and ahead of Murray State's Ed Daniel (4.35) and Siena's O.D. Anosike (4.19) who round out the top five.
Hornung's 80 offensive rebounds in 18 games, have accounted for 91 second chance points, or 36 percent of the Rams' total second-chance points in those contests.
More on offensive boards
In addition to Hornung's prowess of the offensive glass, senior frontcourt mates Colton Iverson (3.0) and Greg Smith (2.75) rank 62nd and tied for 125th in the nation, respectively, in offensive boards per game.
Colorado State is the only team in the country to have three players listed in the Top 125, through games played Jan. 26.
Rams boast NCAA's top rebounding tandem
Colorado State's senior frontcourt of Pierce Hornung and Colton Iverson ranks as the No. 1 rebounding tandem in the country, combining to average 19.1 rebounds per game entering Wednesday's contest vs. Boise State.
Hornung leads the Rams, pulling down 9.6 rebounds per game, while Iverson averages 9.5.
A winning era
CSU's fourth-year seniors - Dorian Green, Pierce Hornung and Greg Smith - have been a part of 71 wins during their careers at Colorado State (entering Wednesday's game vs. Boise State).
That total is now eighth in program history for wins in a four-year period, just four wins away from the top five (75 wins), recorded from 1994-95 to 1997-98.
The school record for wins in a four-year period is 81 victories from 1987-88 to 1990-91. The team would need 26 wins in 2012-13 to tie that record, and entered this year 20 wins away from the top-5 on that list of most successful four-year periods in program history.
Streaking at home
Colorado State's current 24-game home-court win streak ranks fourth nationally entering the Rams' road contest at No. 15/17 New Mexico on Wednesday night.
The Rams' Nov. 15 victory over Chadron State (93-50), the team's 15th straight at home, established a new Moby Arena record for the program, which the Rams have since extended to 24 games.
The Rams' Jan. 16 victory over Air Force (79-40), the team's 23rd straight at home, established a new program record, eclipsing the old mark set from 1960-62 when the program called South College Gym home.
The Colorado State men's basketball team renews the "Border War" on Saturday evening, hosting the arch-rival Wyoming Cowboys in the second-game of a two-game homestand.
Tipoff between the Rams and the Cowboys is set for 5 p.m. MT at Moby Arena, and the game will be televised live on ROOT Sports.
The Rams and Cowboys meet for the 218th time in the series between the two programs which has featured more than 50 games more than any other series in CSU history. Wyoming holds the Colorado State holds a 128-89 advantage, and a 16-13 lead in games played as Mountain West foes. The Rams and Cowboys split two meetings in 2011-12, each winning at home.