Colorado State travels to Boise, Idaho for a key road contest at fifth-place Boise State, a team looking to solidify it’s NCAA tournament hopes with a big win.
The 22-6 (9-4 MW) Rams, receiving votes in both national polls, are alone in second place in the Mountain West standings following Wednesday night’s home win over Fresno State (74-67). The Rams are 6-1 at home and 3-3 on the road in Mountain West, having suffered a narrow 61-59 loss at UNLV in the team’s most recent trip away from Moby Arena.
Boise State (19-8, 7-6 MW) is tied for fifth in the Mountain West standings, two games behind the second-place Rams. The Broncos are coming off of a 73-47 home win over Nevada, and have won three straight entering Saturday’s contest. Boise State is 12-1 overall at Taco Bell Arena this year, including a 5-1 mark in Mountain West play.
Tipoff between the Rams and the Broncos is set for 6 p.m. MT at Boise State’s Taco Bell Arena. The game will be broadcast via online streaming video through Boise State’s Bronco Vision service at BroncoSports.com.
Colorado State rolled to a 77-57 victory in Fort Collins on Jan. 30, behind a 23-point, 13-rebound effort from senior forward Pierce Hornung.
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 is available via Rams All-Access and live statistics can be viewed online via at BroncoSports.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 1,151-1,176 (.495) in 2,327 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 game against the Bahamas All-Stars, winning 95-80 behind a double-double (18 points, 14 rebounds) from Colton Iverson.
Colorado State enters Saturday’s game with a 22-6 record (9-4 MW), the program’s second consecutive 20-win season and the eighth in program history. The Rams are now approaching the program record for victories in a season, 23, set in 1988-89.
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. CSU’s 22-6 mark is tied for the best record in program history through 28 games with the 1953-54 squad.
From Nov. 21, 2011, an 85-75 win over UTSA, to Feb. 23, 2012, a 66-60 win over No. RV/22 San Diego State, Colorado State men’s basketball won 27 consecutive home games at Moby Arena, a program record for consecutive home victories. The streak grew to be the third-longest active streak in the nation before the Rams’ loss to then-No. 16/16 New Mexico (91-82) on Feb. 23.
Colorado State entered play this week ranked as the No. 2 rebounding team in the nation, pulling down 41.9 boards per game, leading the NCAA in rebounding margin with an average differential of 12.9 rebounds per game. The team has outrebounded its opponents in 27 of 28 contests this season.
The Rams have been impressive at home in 2012-13, racking up a 15-1 mark at Moby Arena. With one home games remaining on the schedule, the Rams tied the Moby Arena record for most wins in a season (15 in 1987-88) and have an opportunity to set the best single-season win percentage at Moby (14-1, .933 in 2011-12).
Colorado State is 5-5 on the road in 2012-13, the most road wins for the Rams since going 6-5 away from home, including a win at UNLV (78-63), in 2010-11. The Rams have two road games remaining on the 2012-13 schedule.
Overall, the Rams are 7-5 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.
About Boise State
The Broncos enter Saturday’s matchup tied with Air Force for fifth place in the Mountain West standings with a 19-8 record and 7-6 mark in conference play.
Boise State is coming off three straight victories, most recently defeating Nevada 73-47 in Taco Bell Arena. The team’s streak also includes victories at Fresno State (Feb. 23) and vs. Air Force (Feb. 20).
The Broncos shot nearly 50 percent from the field (28-57) on Wednesday and held Nevada to just 26.3 percent on the night (10-38).
As a team Boise State averages 43.9 percent shooting throughout conference play, the third-best mark in the MW.
The Broncos are even better from beyond the arc, connecting on 36.1 percent of their attempts, the second-best percentage in conference.
Sophomore guard Anthony Drmic leads the Mountain West in scoring, averaging 18.5 points per game through conference play. Drmic added 26 points in Boise State’s win Wednesday.
Drmic is joined in the backcourt by fellow sophomore guard Derrick Marks, who averages the Mountain West’s sixth-highest scoring total of 14.9 points per game.
Marks ranks fourth in the conference in field goal percentage, shooting an efficient 47.7 percent since the beginning of league play.
Head Coach Leon Rice is in his third season at the school, he has recorded a 54-38 mark through that time.
Series vs. Boise State
Saturday’s contest marks the 11th in the series between the Rams and Broncos, dating back to the first meeting – a 96-65 CSU victory – on Dec. 28, 1974 in Fort Collins.
Colorado State holds a 7-3 all-time series lead.
The Broncos own a 1-3 edge in Boise; with Colorado State’s sole victory coming on Nov. 20, 1991.
The last time CSU played at Taco Bell Arena the Rams suffered a 70-69 defeat, on a Derrick Marks buzzer beater, despite a career-high 30 points from Wes Eikmeier.
The Rams are 2-1 against the Broncos since Boise State joined the MW.
A win over Boise State will...
Improve CSU’s record against the Broncos to 8-3 all-time and 2-3 in Boise.
Give the Rams their 23rd victory, matching the most wins in school history. The 1988-89 squad totaled 23 wins en route to a Western Athletic Conference championship and trip to the second round of the NCAA tournament.
Make the 2012-13 squad the fastest CSU team to reach 23 wins in a season. The 1988-89 team won its 23rd on March 17.
Mark the Rams’ fourth conference road win of the season, only the second time CSU has met that mark since joining the Mountain West (2010-11).
Give the Rams’ 10 conference victories, establishing a record for the team as a member of the Mountain West, and the first time the squad has reached 10+ conference victories since going 10-6 in the WAC in 1996-97.
20 and counting
Colorado State captured its 20th victory of the season Feb. 13 vs. San Diego State, marking the second-consecutive season with 20 victories, and the eighth overall in program history.
Five of the previous seven 20-win seasons have ended in NCAA tournament berths, while the 1996-97 Rams finished 20-9 and made a trip to the NIT. The 1997-98 squad also finished 20-9 but did not play in the postseason.
CSU’s school record for victories in a season is 23 set during the 1988-89 season. The Rams enter Saturday’s matchup at Boise State just one win shy of that mark.
Competing for 40 minutes
The Colorado State men’s basketball program is one of only five teams nationally (out of 345) that has yet to lose a game in 2012-13 by 10 or more points.
The Rams five losses have all been within single digits: at Colorado (70-61), at UIC (64-55), at San Diego State (79-72, OT), at New Mexico (66-61), at UNLV (61-59) and vs. New Mexico (91-82).
The only other programs in the country to have been within 10 points in each loss this season are: Indiana, Kansas, Louisville and Stephen F. Austin.
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 3.47 ranks fourth nationally behind Valparaiso (3.78), Middle Tennessee St. (3.52) and Ohio (3.49).
Combined, the top four schools are 90-25 (.783) this season.
Hornung among nation’s top O-rebounders
Colorado State senior F Pierce Hornung ranks as the No. 2 offensive rebounder in the nation entering Saturday’s game at Boise State.
Hornung, a 6-5 product from Arvada, Colo. Pulls down an average of 4.38 offensive rebounds per game, well ahead of the MW’s No. 2 performer on the offensive glass, Boise State’s Ryan Watkins (3.29 per game).
Nationally, Hornung ranks just behind South Alabama’s Augustine Rubit (4.5), and ahead of Notre Dame’s Jack Cooley (4.35), North Carolina-Wilmington’s Keith Rendleman (4.27) and Tulane’s Josh Davis (4.18), who round out the top five.
Hornung’s 114 offensive rebounds in 26 games, have accounted for 131 second-chance points, or 33 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 mate Colton Iverson (3.25) ranks 43rd nationally and third in the MW.
As a team the Rams are averaging 14.5 offensive boards per contest, which ties them for 7th nationally and first in the MW.
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 19.2 rebounds per game entering Wednesday’s contest vs. Fresno State.
Iverson leads the Rams averaging 9.9 rebounds per game but Hornung is just behind him pulling down 9.3, making the duo the only teammates in the country averaging more than 9.0 rebounds per game apiece.
A winning era
Colorado State’s fourth-year seniors – Dorian Green, Pierce Hornung and Greg Smith – have been a part of 77 wins during their careers at CSU (entering Saturday’s game at Boise State).
That total is now tied for third in program history for wins in a four-year period, matching the marks set from 1995-96 to 1998-99 and 1996-97 to 1999-2000.
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.
The school record for wins in a single season is 23 set during the 1988-89 campaign.
The importance of road wins
CSU Head Coach Larry Eustachy has stressed the importance of road wins to his team since stepping on campus for the first time last April.
Entering the 2012-13 season, Eustachy was 84-152 (.356) in his career in road contests, but his win percentage on the road jumps to .525 (42-38) in seasons that he has led his programs to the postseason.
In four seasons that ended in NCAA Tournament appearances at Southern Miss (2011-12), Iowa State (1999-00 and 2000-01) and Utah State (1997-98), Eustachy’s programs were an impressive 26-20 (.565) on the road.
Colorado State is 5-5 (.500) on the road this season, following the Rams’ last road outing, a 61-59 loss at UNLV.
In 2011-12, under Tim Miles, the Rams earned an at-large bid to the NCAA tourney despite a 3-9 road record.
Colorado State (22-6, 9-4 MW) travel to nearby Laramie, Wyo., for the second leg of the annual “Border War” against arch rival Wyoming (18-10, 4-10 MW).
Tipoff between the Rams and the Cowboys is set for 8 p.m. MT at UW’s Arena-Auditorium. The game will be broadcast live on Root Sports.
Colorado State rolled to a 65-46 victory in Fort Collins on Feb. 2, behind a balanced scoring attack that saw Dorian Green (15), Wes Eikmeier (13), Daniel Bejarano (13), Colton Iverrson (12) and Pierce Hornung (12) all reach double-figures scoring. Hornung tallied a double-double by adding 11 boards.