Colorado State travels to nearby Laramie, Wyo., for the second leg of the annual “Border War” against arch rival Wyoming.
The 22-7 (9-5 MW) Rams, receiving votes in both national polls, are tied for second in the MW standings and are looking for a school-record tying 23rd victory on the season. The Rams are 6-1 at home and 3-4 on the road in Mountain West, having lost its last two games away from Moby Arena entering Wednesday’s road finale.
Wyoming (18-11, 4-11 MW) is tied for seventh in the Mountain West standings, one game ahead of last-place Nevada. The Cowboys have lost four straight in league play since back-to-back home wins in mid February vs. Nevada and Fresno State. UW is 12-4 overall at home, and 3-4 at the Arena-Auditorium in league play.
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.
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) is 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 1,151-1,177 (.494) in 2,328 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 22-7 record (9-5 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. CSU reached 13-2 to close non-conference play, tying the program’s best 15-game mark, with the 1953-54 team. CSU’s 22-7 mark is tied for the best record in program history through 29 games with the 1953-54 squad that finished with that same mark.
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. 4 rebounding team in the nation, pulling down 41.1 boards per game, leading the NCAA in rebounding margin with an average differential of 12.2 rebounds per game. The team has outrebounded its opponents in 27 of 29 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 5-6 on the road in 2012-13, the most road wins for the Rams since going 6-5 away from home in 2010-11. The Rams play their final road games of the season on Wednesday at Wyoming.
Overall, the Rams are 7-6 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.
The Cowboys enter Wednesday’s matchup tied with Fresno State for seventh place in the Mountain West standings with an 18-11 overall record and 4-11 mark in conference play.
Wyoming has lost four straight, and is 3-5 overall, including a non-conference win at CSU Bakersfield, since falling to the Rams at Moby Arena, 65-46, on Feb. 2.
Wyoming is 12-4 in Arena Auditorium on the year, with losses against UNLV (Feb. 23), New Mexico (Jan. 30), Air Force (Jan. 26) and Boise State (Jan. 9).
Wyoming and Colorado State sit on opposite sides of the spectrum in offensive scoring. CSU leads the Mountain West averaging 70.1 points per conference outing, while Wyoming (53.5) ranks ninth.
The Cowboys have shut down opponents from beyond the arc, allowing just 28.4 percent from long range. That mark leads the Mountain West .
Wyoming also ties for first in the conference in turnover margin at +2.0.
Senior forward Leonard Washington leads the team in scoring, averaging 12.5 per game since the beginning of league play. That mark ranks as the 14th highest in the MW.
Washington paces the league in steals, swiping 1.7 per game and also ranks second in rebounding, grabbing 9.4 per outing.
Senior guard Derrious Gilmore is one of the league’s biggest three-point threats, shooting 32.4 percent from long range; the fifth-best percentage in the MW.
Head Coach Larry Shyatt owns a 58-32 during his three years with the Cowboys.
Series vs. Wyoming
Wednesday’s game between the Rams and the Cowboys marks the 219th “Border War” in the series between the programs, dating back to the first meeting - a 20-17 CSU road victory - Jan. 27, 1911.
Wyoming holds a 128-90 lead in the all-time series in addition to a 74-34 edge in games played in Laramie.
Since the formation of the Mountain West in 1999-2000, CSU is 14-16 against Wyoming.
The Rams have won six of the last seven meetings in the series since the 2009-10 season.
CSU has won two of the previous three contests played in Arena Auditorium, with wins in 2010 and 2011.
Colorado State dropped last year’s matchup in Laramie 70-51 despite Greg Smith’s 18-point effort.
A win over Wyoming will...
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.
Improve CSU’s record in the Border War to 91-128 and 35-74 in Laramie.
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.
Be the Rams’ seventh win in the previous eight contests against the Cowboys.
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 Wednesday’s matchup at Wyoming just one shy of that mark.
20-win debut seasons in MW
Having led Colorado State to the 20-victory plateau following the Rams’ Feb .13 victory over San Diego State, CSU head coach Larry Eustachy became the seventh head coach in MW history to accomplish that feat in his first year in the league.
Other MW head coaches to have 20-win seasons in their inaugural campaigns are: Ray Giacoletti (29-6 in 2004-05 at Utah), Dave Rice (26-9 in 2011-12 at UNLV), Jeff Bzdelik (24-7 in 2005-06 at Air Force), Steve Alford (24-9 in 2007-08 at New Mexico), Larry Shyatt (21-12 in 2011-12 at Wyoming) and Dave Rice (20-9 in 2005-06 at BYU).
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 3.48 ranks fourth nationally behind Valparaiso (3.78), Middle Tennessee St. (3.53) and Ohio (3.49).
Combined, the top four schools are 94-26 (.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 Wednesday’s game at Wyoming.
Hornung, a 6-5 product from Arvada, Colo. Pulls down an average of 4.26 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 (4.36), and ahead of Notre Dame’s Jack Cooley (4.24), North Carolina-Wilmington’s Keith Rendleman (4.2) and UC-Santa Barbara’s Alan Williams (4.16), who round out the top five.
Hornung’s 115 offensive rebounds in 27 games, have accounted for 131 second-chance points, or 32 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 (3.24) ranks tied for 43rd nationally and third in the MW.
As a team the Rams are averaging 14.5 offensive boards per contest, which is 8th 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 18.9 rebounds per game entering Wednesday’s contest at Wyoming.
Iverson leads the Rams averaging 9.8 rebounds per game but Hornung is just behind him pulling down 9.1, 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 Wednesday’s game at Wyoming).
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 5-6 (.455) on the road this season, entering Wednesday’s road finale at Wyoming.
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 (22-7, 9-5 MW) closes out the 2012-13 regular season with a home matchup against the Nevada Wolf Pack (12-16, 3-11 MW).
Tipoff between the Rams and the Wolf Pack is set for 6:30 p.m. MT at Moby Arena. The game will be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network.
Colorado State came from behind to earn a road victory at Nevada on Feb. 6, thanks to a double-double performance of 28 points and 12 rebounds from senior forward Greg Smith. Pierce Hornung played just three minutes due to illness, but the Rams were able to overcome the Wolf Pack after trailing by as many as 12 points in the first half of the contest. Colton Iverson added 10 points and a game-high 16 rebounds for the Rams.