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Game notes: Rams visit Runnin' Utes on Wednesday

Junior G Adam Nigon

Junior G Adam Nigon

Feb. 1, 2010

 

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Game 22:  Colorado State at Utah
Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2010 | 6 p.m. MT | Salt Lake City, Utah | Huntsman Center (15,000)

Television
Network: The Mtn.
Play-by-Play: James Bates
Color Analyst: Blaine Fowler
Channel: Comcast (411), DirecTV (616)

Radio
Network: Colorado State Sports Network
Play-by-Play: Jerry Schemmel
Flagship: KLZ (560 AM)

Online
Live Statistics: CSURams.com
Streaming Audio: CSURams.com/allaccess
Streaming Video: None

Up next
The Colorado State men’s basketball team closes the first half of MWC play, traveling to Salt Lake City, Utah, for a Wednesday evening tilt against the Utah Utes.  The game is set for 6 p.m. MT from the Huntsman Center (15,000). 
 
The game will be televised live on The Mtn. with James Bates (play-by-play) and Blaine Fowler (color analyst) bringing fans all the action from courtside.   

The Rams (12-9, 3-4 MWC) are coming off of a 64-52 home loss to San Diego State on Saturday.  The Utes (10-11, 3-4 MWC) dropped an 82-69 decision at rival BYU. The teams enter the contest tied for fifth in the MWC standings. 

Fans can listen to the game on the Colorado State Sports Network. Jerry Schemmel will call all the action courtside. The game will be carried on flagship KLZ (560 AM) in Denver and on KCOL (600 AM), locally. Rams fans worldwide can listen to the action live streaming audio on CSURams.com/allaccess.

Live statistics are available by clicking the “GameTracker” logo on the men’s basketball “Schedule/Results” page on CSURams.com. 

Looking ahead
Colorado State kicks off the second half of their Mountain West Conference schedule on Saturday, hosting “Border War” rival Wyoming at 7 p.m. MT at Moby Arena. 

The Rams will be wearing special “tribute” uniforms, featuring the program’s original colors, pumpkin (orange) and alfalfa (green), and “Aggies,” the university’s former mascot, across the chest.

Saturday will also mark CSU’s second annual Ram Legends weekend, in which the program welcomes back former players.  Last year’s event, specifically honoring the 1989 team drew more than 50 former student-athletes from all eras to Moby Arena.  They will be recognized in a ceremony at halftime.

About Utah
Coming off of a difficult battle at No. 10/12 BYU on Saturday, Utah has lost two games in a row, and three of its last four. Utah is 10-11 on the season and tied with CSU at 3-4 in MWC play.

Head Coach Jim Boylen is in his third season in Salt Lake, compiling a 52-36 record. The Utes are a season removed from a first-place tie in the MWC standings and a trip to the NCAA tournament, finishing the season ranked No. 25 in the AP Poll.

Utah’s roster is made up of five freshmen and four sophomores, and just a pair of seniors. Freshman Marshall Henderson, who leads the team with 13.9 points per game in MWC action, will not play Wednesday due to a suspension after being ejected from Saturday’s loss at BYU.

Juniors Carlon Brown (13.4) and Jay Watkins (10.4) and senior Luka Drca (10.4) also average double figures for the Utes. Watkins connects on 52.3 percent of his shots, while Brown is good on 38.3 percent of his attempts from long range. Senior Kim Tillie leads Utah with 5.6 rebounds a contest.

Series vs. Utah
Entering Wednesday’s matchup, the Rams are 42-100 in the series against Utah. Colorado State has faced  Utah more than any opponent with the exception of Wyoming. On the road, the Rams are just 15-54, with the Utes claiming the last three games on their home court, and five overall. CSU’s last win over Utah came Jan. 9, 2007, a 73-57 victory at Moby Arena, which was the last of three-game win streak in the series.  CSU’s last victory at the Huntsman Center was a 69-61 overtime victory on Feb. 15, 2006. 

Last season vs. Utah
On the road, the Rams struggled defending the Utes, allowing them to convert 51 percent of their shots and 50 percent of their three-point attempts into baskets, falling 82-66. A month later on CSU’s home court, however, it was a different story.

The Rams were in control for the majority of the game, holding a pair of 10-point leads before Utah clawed its way back. The Utes took a six-point lead with 3 minutes, 15 seconds remaining in the game, but CSU used a 6-0 run to tie the game at 71 with 1:27 left. Utah’s Carlon Brown drove and dunked the basketball to give the Utes a 73-71 lead with just over a minute to play before senior Willis Gardner tied the game with a pair of free throws with 45 seconds left. CSU had the final possession in regulation as Marcus Walker dribbled down the clock, but saw his jumper at the buzzer partially tipped, and the game went into overtime.

In the overtime period, Utah connected on 3-of-6 from the field and 10-of-10 from the line. CSU was held to 1-of-7 shooting as the Rams were outscored 16-6 in the final 5 minutes, falling 89-79.

Current Rams vs. Utah
In possibly the best game of his career, senior Harvey Perry scored a personal-best 15 points and pulled down eight rebounds in a loss at Utah last season. Perry shot 4-of-6 from three-point range and added a pair of assists to his stat line.

Also with impressive performances against the Utes are juniors Andy Ogide, Andre McFarland and Travis Franklin. Ogide has scored a combined 34 points in just two games against Utah, shooting 15-for-28 from the field, combined. He has also added 12 rebounds, three assists, two blocks and a steal.  

At Utah during his freshman campaign, McFarland attempted a career-high 17 field goals, totaling 15 points, which tied for his third best performance that season. During the last meeting between the two schools, Franklin totaled 10 points.

Green going the distance
For the second time in his brief career at CSU, freshman G Dorian Green played an entire game in Saturday’s loss vs. San Diego State.  Green, who tallied nine points, played a full 40 minutes.  He also accomplished the feat on Nov. 29 vs. San Francisco, playing 55 minutes in the Rams’ 91-75 triple-overtime victory over the Dons.  Green enters Wednesday’s game at Utah averaging a team-leading 33.9 minutes per game, second in the MWC behind Air Force’s Evan Washington (34.5 mpg). 

Rams on the road
Colorado State has struggled away from Moby Arena this season, and enters Wednesday’s game at Utah looking for the team’s second road victory of the season.  The Rams lost their first five road games of the year before capturing an 83-73 at Wyoming on Jan. 6.  Since then, CSU has lost at BYU and at New Mexico, bringing their record to 1-7 on the road this season. 

Defending the Fort
Colorado State won its first eight home games of the season before suffering an 80-72 loss vs. visiting UNLV on Jan. 20.  The eight-game streak marked the longest home winning streak for the Rams since the team rattled off nine straight at Moby between the 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons. 

The Rams enter Saturday’s game against Wyoming with a 9-2 mark at Moby Arena this season. 

Through the years, Moby Arena has been a tough environment for opposing teams. CSU has won 70 percent (437-189) of its games at Moby Arena. Since the 2002-03 season, the Rams have had several winning streaks to start their home season: 2002-03, 13 consecutive; 2004-05, 9; 2005-06, 8; and 2006-07, 6.

Rams’ 20-point games
Freshman G Dorian Green scored a team-leading 20 points in the Rams’ loss to UNLV on Jan. 20.  It marked his second 20 -point game in his first 18 contests at CSU.  He tallied a personal-best 21 points in the Rams’ 77-62 victory over Colorado on Dec. 10. 

Green’s 20-point scoring effort marked the eighth such game by a Rams player this season.  The following is a list of CSU’s 20-point scoring games for 2009-10:

Andy Ogide (24), vs. UC Davis (11-13-09)
Andre McFarland (20), vs. UC Davis (11-13-09)
Travis Franklin (24), vs. San Francisco (11-29-09)
Travis Franklin (22), vs. Colorado (12-10-09)
Dorian Green (21), vs. Colorado (12-10-09)
Travis Franklin (22), vs. Northern Arizona (12-20-09)
Andy Ogide (22), at Wyoming (1-6-10)
Dorian Green (20), vs. UNLV (1-20-10)

Block Party
Led by senior Mame Bocar Ba’s two blocks, the Rams swatted away a season-high five shots against TCU on Jan. 27.  It was the most blocked shots since CSU recorded five against Air Force on Jan. 20, 2009.  The Rams also blocked a half dozen shots twice last year.

Strong Freshman Class
The Rams have a talented trio of freshmen that have turned many heads during their first year of collegiate basketball. Through two-thirds of the regular season, these freshmen are eying several categories in CSU’s freshman record book.

Dorian Green not only leads the team but ranks No. 9 in the MWC with 13.0 points per game. His current average would go down as third all-time among freshmen. Additionally, his 21 starts in 21 games currently ranks No. 6, with the potential to keep moving up depending on how many games the Rams play this season.

Pierce Hornung has been great on the glass, averaging 5.0 rebounds a contest. His current average is tied for fourth all-time with Matt Nelson.

Greg Smith has turned his play up a notch over the past two weeks. During the last five games, the freshman is averaging 10.6 points a game. On the season, he averages 7.5 points and 4.0 rebounds.

Busch in the starting lineup
Senior forward Travis Busch made his first start in a Rams uniform on Jan. 23 at New Mexico, tallying a career-high-tying seven points in 25 minutes.  Busch remained in the starting lineup for the second consecutive game in the Rams’ victory over TCU on Jan. 27, once again tying his career-high at CSU with seven points again the Horned Frogs in 20 minutes of action.  Busch also earned the start on Saturday vs. SDSU, his third straight start entering Wednesday’s game at Utah.     

Smith hitting his stride
Over his last four games, entering Saturday’s contest against San Diego State, freshman F Greg Smith has shown steady improvement for the Rams and has seen his production, and minutes, rise steadily in MWC play.

Smith posted his best performance vs. TCU.  He recorded career highs in minutes (29) and points (15), leading CSU to a victory over the Horned Frogs on Jan. 27.

That performance capped a four-game stretch in which Smith averaged 11.8 points and 4.5 rebounds per contest, while hitting 81.5 percent (22-for-27) from the free-throw line during one of the Rams’ toughest stretches on their schedule. 

Smith was a bright spot during a three-game losing streak for the Rams. He posted a then-career-high and team-leading 13 points at BYU on Jan. 16, and matched that effort and tied for team-high honors with another 13-point effort at New Mexico on Jan. 23.  Smith also tallied six points and four rebounds in a tough home loss to UNLV on Jan. 20. 

Franklin a force for the Rams
Despite struggling from the free-throw line (3-for-14 FTs) in the Rams’ 80-72 loss vs. UNLV on Jan. 20, junior F Travis Franklin turned in one of the best single-game performances by a CSU player this season.  Franklin poured in 17 points, while pulling down a game-high-tying nine rebounds and dishing out a team-leading five assists.  It marked just the second time this season that a CSU player had scored in double-figures, and led the team in both rebounds and assists.  Franklin also accomplished the feat when he tallied 10 points and added 10 rebounds, while dishing out a pair of assists at Northern Colorado on Dec. 1., a 70-63 CSU loss.  Freshman Greg Smith also accomplished the feat at New Mexico on Jan. 23 with 13 points, seven rebounds and three assists.   

Scoring for the Rams
Freshman G Dorian Green, junior F Andy Ogide and junior F Travis Franklin rank 1-2-3 for the Rams in terms of scoring through 21 games this season. Green (13.0 ppg.) has scored in double figures in 13 of his first 21 collegiate contests as a true freshman, while Franklin (11.0 ppg.) has reached double-figure scoring in 11 of his last 16 games.  Ogide (11.3 ppg.) has led CSU in scoring in six games this season, including the Rams’ first two MWC victories, at Wyoming (22 points) and vs. Air Force (13 points), and Saturday’s loss vs. SDSU (13 points). 

Entering Wednesday’s game at Utah, Green ranks ninth in the MWC in scoring, and first among freshmen.  Ogide is 18th and Franklin is 19th. 

Putting it on the line
CSU has become one of the top teams in the Mountain West Conference when it comes to getting to the free throw line this season.  Entering Wednesday’s contest at Utah, CSU is averaging 26.6 free throw attempts per game as a team.  This ranks third in the MWC behind Wyoming (29.9 per game) and the New Mexico (27.6 per game). 

This season, the Rams are 11-1 when attempting more free-throws than an opponent.  The Rams are 11-0 when making more free-throws than an opponent.

McFarland climbing the three-point charts
For his career at Colorado State, McFarland has hit 119 three-pointers, just one shy of cracking the program’s top-10 list.  David Turcotte (1984-88) currently holds the 10th spot with 120 career three-pointers.  McFarland’s career three-point percentage of .420 is currently ninth, just behind Turcotte (.426), in the Rams’ record book.

Nigon heating up
Junior Adam Nigon entered the season averaging 2.87 points per contest through two seasons. This year, the guard is averaging 8.4 points.  Nigon is shooting 40.4 percent from the floor and 38.3 percent from three-point range. During a five-game stretch from Nov. 29 to Dec. 12, he averaged 11.6 points, including a career-high 17 against Montana, helping the Rams to a 4-1 record during that stretch.   

Entering Wednesday’s contest vs. Utah, Nigon has hit a three pointer in eight consecutive games, the longest active streak among players on the CSU roster, and the longest streak of his career in a Rams’ uniform. 

Seeing double
Junior F Travis Franklin recorded his second career double-double performance in the Rams’ victory over rival Colorado (Dec. 10).  Franklin tallied 22 points, his second 20-point effort of the season, and capped off the double-double performance with 10 rebounds to help CSU to the 77-62 victory.  Franklin shot 7-for-9 from the field and 8-for-10 from the free-throw line, while adding a block and two steals against the Buffs.  Franklin also recorded a double-double (10 points, 10 rebounds) nine days earlier in the Rams’ 70-63 loss at Northern Colorado (Dec.1).  

Seeing double, part two
Freshman F Greg Smith recorded his first career double-double on Dec. 20 in the Rams’ victory over Northern Arizona.  Smith, playing in just the seventh game of his career at CSU, tallied 10 points and 10 rebounds to help the Rams to the 64-56 victory. 

Seeing double, part three
Senior F Andy Ogide became the third player this season to record a double-double for the Rams, joining classmate Travis Franklin and freshman Greg Smith.  Ogide recorded 14 points and a game-high 10 rebounds in the Rams 63-57 victory over TCU on Wednesday.  It marked Ogide’s fifth career double-double, but his first since Jan. 17, 2009 at Utah (19 points, 10 rebounds).  The Rams are 3-2 all-time when Ogide records a double-double. 

500 and counting
Forward Andy Ogide garnered MWC player-of-the-week honors on Jan. 10, and the final points scored in the win against Air Force, a jumper with 3:05 remaining to put the Rams up by 11, was also his 500th of his career in a Rams uniform. The junior did it in 46 games, and will have one year of eligibility remaining at CSU to try to become the 18th player in CSU history to record 1,000 points.  Ogide has now recorded 542 points in 51 career games entering Wednesday’s contest at Utah.

Classmate Andre McFarland is also on pace to reach 1,000 points for his career and is the Rams’ active career scoring leader with 624 points in 77 games at CSU.  

McFarland back in action
Sidelined by back stiffness, junior Andre McFarland missed four straight games for the Rams after playing in every game of his career at CSU to that point.  McFarland missed victories over CU (77-62), Montana (62-61) and Northern Arizona (64-56), and was unable to go in the Rams’ loss at UCLA (75-63).  McFarland returned to the court for the Rams at Fresno State, tallying three points and one rebound in 12 minutes of action, and played in five consecutive games between Dec. 28 and Jan. 16, before missing the Rams’ home game vs. UNLV on Jan. 20.  McFarland returned to the CSU lineup at New Mexico on Saturday, knocking down a pair of three-pointers and finishing with eight points, his highest scoring effort since a nine-point game vs. Yale.  The junior missed his seventh game of the season on Saturday, in the Rams’ loss vs. San Diego State.   

Draining the three
After shooting just 1-for-13 from three-point range at BYU (Jan. 16), the Rams got back on track from behind the arc against UNLV on Jan. 20, hitting 8-of-20 attempts for 40 percent.  The Rams followed up that performance shooting 6-for-16 at New Mexico on Jan. 23. 

Colorado State ranks among the top schools in the Mountain West in terms of three-point shooting percentage this season.  The Rams are shooting 34.5 percent from long range, which ranks third in the league behind nationally ranked programs from BYU (.419) and New Mexico (.373).

Balanced rebounding attack
Despite only having five 10-plus rebounding efforts this season, the Rams have three players - Andy Ogide, Travis Franklin and Pierce Hornung - ranked in the top 14 in the MWC in rebounding average: Ogide (5.6), eighth; Franklin (5.6), ninth; and Hornung (5.0), 14th.  As a team, Colorado State ranks fifth in the MWC pulling down 35.8 boards per game.  The Rams’ are outrebounding opponents by 3.0 per game, the fourth-highest rebounding margin in the league (SDSU, +7.7; BYU, +5.3; and New Mexico, +5.1). 

Green means go
Entering Wednesday’s game at Utah, freshman G Dorian Green, the Rams leading scorer at 13.0 points per game, has reached double-digits scoring in a team-leading 13 games this season.  His scoring average ranks ninth overall in the MWC and first among freshmen.

BYU freshman Tyler Haws (12.3 ppg.), SDSU’s Kawhi Leonard (11.7 ppg.), and Utah’s Marshall Henderson (11.5 ppg.), rank 11th, 14th and 15th, respectively, in the MWC in scoring, and are the only other freshmen to appear in the top 20.      

If I can be frank
Junior F Travis Franklin has started 20 of CSU’s 21 contests this season; he came off the bench against DU (Dec. 5).  Franklin has left his mark at both ends of the court for the Rams. The Baton Rouge, La., native ranks second on the team in rebounding (5.6 rebounds per game) and third in scoring (11.0 points per game), while leading the team in offensive rebounds (50), and free-throw attempts (159).  He enters Wednesday’s game vs. Utah ranking in the MWC in a number of categories, including 19th in scoring, ninth in rebounding and sixth in offensive rebounding (2.4 per game).


 

 

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