Nov. 17, 2010
Colorado State at Denver | Game 2
|COLORADO STATE RAMS||DENVER PIONEERS|
|CSU STATISTICAL LEADERS||DU STATISTICAL LEADERS|
After a dominant win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff in the season opener on Saturday, the Rams will play their only road game of November by traveling 70 miles south on I-25 to Magness Arena to face the Denver Pioneers. Tip is set for Thursday at 7 p.m., and the game will be aired regionally on Fox Sports Net Rocky Mountain. Colorado State has won five of the last six meetings between the two schools. However, the Rams fell short in the last meeting at Magness Arena, 66-55, in 2008.
Denver enters Thursday’s game in search of its first win after going 0-3 in the Basketball Travelers Invitational last weekend in Eugene, Ore. The Pioneers fell to UC-Santa Barbara, host Oregon and North Dakota State. While Denver is 0-3, it currently holds one of the nation’s longest home winning streaks at 15 games dating back to the season opener last year vs. Northern Iowa.
In three games this season, junior Brian Stafford leads the Pioneers with 13.7 points per game. The 6-4 guard from Walnut Creek, Calif., is shooting 13-of-24 (.542) from the floor, including 5-of-11 (.455) from three-point range, to go along with his team-leading 3.7 rebounds a game.
The Pioneers return nine players, including four starters and seven of their top eight scorers, from last year’s squad that went 19-13 and 10-8 in the Sun Belt Conference. The Pioneers, under fourth-year head coach Joe Scott, were picked to finish third in the conference this season.
Rams vs. the Pioneers
The intrastate rivalry between Colorado State and Denver has a rich history dating all the way back to 1902-03, the Rams’ second season. When the two teams faced each that season, it was just the third game in Colorado State men’s basketball history. The Rams won the contest 19-17.
All-time, CSU holds an 89-69 advantage over DU, with the 89 wins being the most over any opponent in CSU history. Recently, CSU has won five of the last six and 14 of the last 16 dating back to the 1979-80 season.
After an eight-year hiatus during the late-1980s and early 1990s, the Rams and Pioneers have played each other in 13 of the last 14 seasons (they did not play during the 1997-98 season) since reinstating the rivalry in 1996. CSU is 38-41 all-time in games played at DU. The Rams fell at Magness Arena in 2008, 66-55, but have won four of the last six in Denver.
The Rams will have a nine-day layover before their next game. The team returns home to play Sam Houston State on Nov. 27 at 7 p.m. at Moby Arena. It will be the first ever meeting between the Rams and Bearkats.
Join the Rams on the road
Tickets are available for several Colorado State road trips this season, includng an upcoming opportunity to cheer on the Rams against in-state Colorado (Dec. 8). Special ticket rates are available for Dec. 8 when the CSU men’s and women’s hoops teams invade the Coors Event Center in Boulder, Colo., to take on the rival Buffs in a doubleheader. For just $15 fans will receive a general-admission seat at the women’s game (5:30 p.m. tip) and a reserved seat for the men’s contest (8 p.m. tip). Tickets to the Rams vs. Buffs doubleheader are available through the CSU ticket office by calling 800/491-Rams or by visiting the McGraw Athletic Center ticket office Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.- 5 p.m.
Miles vs. Centennial State
The steady improvement in the Colorado State men’s basketball team over the last three seasons under Head Coach Tim Miles can be seen in the Rams’ regular-season record vs. the other four NCAA Division I programs in the state of Colorado. In Miles’ first season, the Rams posted a 1-4 record against in-state rivals Colorado, Denver, Northern Colorado and Air Force (two games). During the 2008-09 season, Miles’ second at CSU, the Rams improved to 3-2 in those contests, and last season, the Rams were impressive against their regional rivals, posting a 4-1 mark with the lone setback coming against a UNC team that went on to win 25 games in 2009-10.
Season openers under Miles
Since losing a 75-39 contest at Montana in Head Coach Tim Miles’ regular-season debut with the Rams in 2007, CSU has won three consecutive regular-season openers. In 2008, the Rams avenged the loss at Montana by beating the Grizzlies 85-55 at Moby Arena. Last season, CSU rolled to a 91-73 victory over UC Davis in the first round of the Basketball Travelers Tip-Off in Eugene, Ore. Last week, the Rams made it three-in-a-row, with an 82-51 victory over the Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
Hot in home openers
Saturday’s season-opening win at Moby Arena marked the 30th consecutive victory in a home opener for the Rams. Their last home-opening loss came during the 1980-81 season when CSU fell to Oklahoma State, 79-64. Since the construction of Moby Arena in 1966, Colorado State is now 42-4 in home openers. Under Tim Miles, the Rams have outscored their opponents 319-196 in three home-opening games, winning by an average of 30.75 points per game.
Defend the Fort
Following CSU’s 82-51 victory over Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Saturday, Colorado State has now won eight consectuve home games against non-conference opponents dating back to a loss against Stanford on Dec. 14, 2008, the Rams’ final non-conference home game that season. In 2009-10 the Rams went 7-0 vs. non-conference opponents at Moby Arena and finished the year 11-4 overall at home, their most home wins since recording 14 victories at Moby in 2003.
Over 80, under 60
Last season, the formula for a victory for the CSU mens’ basketball team was simple. The Rams posted a 5-0 record when scoring 80 or more points in a contest, and were 8-0 when holding opponents under 60 points. Through two exhibition wins - vs. Regis (88-48) and Western State (89-51) - and a season-opening victory over Arkansas-Pine Bluff (82-51), the Rams have been able to follow that formula.
The Rams play four of their first five games at home in 2010-11, and won’t leave the state of Colorado until a Dec. 11 showdown against the nationally ranked Kansas Jayhawks (CSU plays at Denver on Nov. 18 and at Colorado on Dec. 8). After a season-opening tournament in Eugene, Ore. last season, followed by a game at Indiana State, the Rams didn’t play their first home game until Nov. 24, their fifth game of the season.
The 2010-11 season marks the 107th in the history of the Colorado State men’s basketball program. The Rams are 1,090-1,145 (.488) in 2,235 games all-time.
MWC preseason poll
The Colorado State men’s basketball team was selected to finish fifth in the Mountain West Conference preseason media poll when the standings were released Oct. 12 at MWC men’s basketball media day at the studios of The Mtn. – MountainWest Sports Network. The fifth-place prediction marks the highest preseason ranking for the Rams since CSU came into the 2003-04 season as the predicted third-place finisher. The Rams entered that season coming off of the 2003 MWC tournament championship to earn the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament the previous March. The complete preseason poll and preseason all-MWC selections can be found on Page 6 of this release.
Colorado State’s 2010-11 schedule features 11 contests against teams receiving votes in the national rankings. The Rams’ first contest against a team receiving attention comes Dec. 8 at rival Colorado. The Buffaloes are receiving votes in the AP top-25 poll. Then the Rams head to Kansas City, Mo., for a matchup against No. 7/6 Kansas at the Sprint Center on Dec.11. CSU’s opening-round matchup in the Cancun Governor’s Cup comes against --/RV Appalachian State. The Rams’ MWC schedule features eight tilts against such opponents with two each against No. 24/RV BYU, No. 25/RV San Diego State, RV/RV UNLV, and RV/RV New Mexico.
Colorado State entered the 2010-11 season coming off of a postseason appearance in the 2010 College Basketball Invitational (CBI). The Rams’ appearance in the CBI marked the first postseason berth for the program since the 2003 NCAA tournament. Overall, it marked CSU’s 15th postseason appearance.
CSU was one of five teams from the Mountain West Conference to make postseason play in 2010. New Mexico, BYU, UNLV and San Diego State all made the field of 65 for the NCAA tournament, marking the first time in MWC history that four teams competed for the national title. Colorado State was the only other team to continue its season.
Career records Update
Several CSU seniors are closing in on the career charts in the Colorado State record book. Forwards Andy Ogide and Andre McFarland have each scored more than 650 career points with the Rams and will look to become the 18th and 19th players in school history to reach the 1,000-point plateau this season. Ogide enters Thursday’s game at DU with 699 career points, while McFarland has 655 points as a Ram. McFarland currently ranks on the top 10 for career three-pointers, having made 128 in his career at CSU. He needs 18 three-pointers to crack the top five. Forward Travis Franklin ranks just outside the top five for career free throws attempted, and is on pace to close his career in fifth on that list. He currently has 360 career free-throw attempts in a CSU uniform. Guard Adam Nigon will soon rank among the top 10 in program history for steals. He enters Thursday’s game at DU with 90 career swipes and needs five more to tie Micheal Morris (2003-06) for 10th all-time at CSU.
CBI the first step
When Colorado State Head Coach Tim Miles came to CSU three seasons ago, he clearly stated his goals for the program were to compete in postseason competition and win when they got there. With last season’s announcement that the team had accepted a bid to the CBI, the Rams took the first step toward becoming a perennial postseason contender.
Of the 16 teams to compete in the CBI in 2009, nine of those programs went on to compete in either the NCAA or National Invitation tournaments in 2010.
UTEP (C-USA/at-large), Richmond (A-10/at-large), Vermont (America East/automatic) and Houston (C-USA/automatic) each earned berths in the NCAA field of 65 in 2010-11.
Northeastern, Wichita State, Troy, St. John’s and Nevada all competed in the NIT.
In addition, three teams that played in the inaugural CBI in 2008 went on to earn NCAA or NIT postseason berths in 2009. Utah (MWC/automatic) and Washington (Pac-10/at-large) played in the NCAA tourney, while Tulsa participated in the NIT.
Colorado State closed the 2009-10 season with an NCAA RPI of 132, which ranked fifth in the MWC behind New Mexico (14), BYU (24), San Diego State (25) and UNLV (50), and ahead of Utah (165), TCU (191), Wyoming (230), and Air Force (247).
Under Head Coach Tim Miles’ watch, the Rams’ RPI has steadily improved. In Miles’ first season, CSU closed the year at No. 273, and improved to 217th following the 2008-09 campaign. Factoring in last season’s 132 final RPI, the Rams have improved by an average of nearly 71 spots in each of the last two seasons.
The Colorado State men’s basketball team enters the 2010-11 season returning nearly all of its production from the previous season. The Rams return their top five leading scorers - Dorian Green (11.8 ppg.), Andy Ogide (11.7 ppg.), Travis Franklin (10.5 ppg.), Adam Nigon (8.7 ppg.), and Greg Smith (7.1 ppg.) - and their top six rebounders - Ogide (6.5 rpg.), Franklin (5.0 rpg.), Pierce Hornung (4.2 rpg.), Smith (3.8 rpg.), Nigon (2.9 rpg.), and Green (2.4 rpg.). Miles garners postseason honor
Head Coach Tim Miles garnered postseason honors to close the 2009-10 season when he was honored March 9 as the Mountain West Conference Coach of the Year by CollegeInsider.com.
Miles, who took over the program in 2007, took the Rams from seven wins in his first season and nine wins in Year 2, to 16 victories in 2009-10.
Miles also guided the Rams to their best record (7-9) and finish (fifth) in the Mountain West Conference since the league’s inaugural campaign, 1999-2000, and led the team to its first postseason appearance in seven seasons.
Ogide returns after pair of postseason honors
Colorado State’s Andy Ogide returns in 2010-11 after being selected as a member of the Mountain West all-conference second team and earning NABC second-team all-district honors to close out the 2009-10 season.
A native of Marietta, Ga., Ogide paced Colorado State in scoring and rebounding, averaging 12.3 points and 7.2 boards per game in Mountain West Conference action. He finished the season as one of just three players in the conference, along with league Player of the Year Darrington Hobson (New Mexico) and Freshman of the Year Kawhi Leonard (San Diego State) to average more than 12 points and seven rebounds per game in league games. Both Hobson and Leonard were selected to the first team. Hobson went on to be selected with the 37th overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft by the Milwaukee Bucks.
Ogide became the Rams’ first second-team all-MWC selection since guard Marcus Walker in 2008, and the first all-MWC post player for the Rams since Jason Smith was named to the first team as a junior, just three months before being drafted 20th overall by the Miami Heat in the first round of the 2007 NBA Draft.
Katz tabs Rams as team “on the rise”
The Colorado State men’s basketball team garnered national attention this preseason from ESPN’s Andy Katz. Katz, senior college basketball writer for ESPN.com, used his blog on the national Web site to tab the Rams as a team “on the rise” under Head Coach Tim Miles, who enters his fourth year at the helm of the CSU program. Katz says the Rams will have an opportunity in 2010-11 to crack the upper echelon of the Mountain West Conference and could be in the mix come tourney time, vying for an NCAA berth in a strong league that received four bids the year before.
Terel Hughes and Kaipo Sabas, both juniors, joined the CSU men’s basketball team as walk-ons in late October. Both are already household names among Rams fans. Both players’ fathers, Eddie Hughes and Barry Sabas, donned the green and gold during their playing days.
Hughes’ father, Eddie, was a four-time letterwinner at CSU from 1979-82, and went on the play professional basketball for the Utah Jazz and Denver Nuggets. During his illustrious career at CSU, he became the first Ram to ever be selected first-team all-Western Athletic Conference as a freshman. He was a three-time all-conference selection and was named to several All-America teams before being inducted to the CSU Hall of Fame. He still holds several spots in CSU’s record book, including scoring (1,360 career points, seventh all-time), assists (366, sixth), field goals made (566, fifth), steals (112, fourth), steals in a game (eight, tied for first) and freshman scoring average (15.4 points, first).
Sabas’ father, Barry, spent two seasons in a Rams uniform, earning second-team all-WAC honors and the 1975 WAC Newcomer of the Year award. During his junior campaign, his first at CSU, he led the Rams in scoring with 14.2 points per game. In his two-year career, the guard averaged 13.9 points and was considered “one of the best back-court men” Jim Williams, CSU basketball’s all-time winningest coach, had ever coached.
Family affair, Part 2
Colorado State’s roster also includes a pair of brothers from Omaha, Neb., natives Greg and Dwight Smith. Greg Smith, a sophomore forward, was a key contributor for the Rams as a true freshman in 2009-10, averaging 7.1 points and 3.8 rebounds per game in 28 contests. Dwight Smith, is a true freshman for the Rams this season, and comes to the Rams as a highly touted guard. The duo, born just 15 months apart, played together at Ralston High School, where they combined to lead the Rams to a Nebraska Class B state championship in 2009.
Mountain West/Missouri Valley Challenge
The 2010-11 season fetures the return of the Mounain West/Missouri Valley Challenge. The agreement between the MWC and MVC is in its second year of a four-year term. Nine Challenge Series games will be played each year, and each conference will host a total of 18 games in the four-year period. Missouri State will be the Valley institution that does not participate in the 2010 Challenge Series. All nine games of the 2010 Challenge will take place the week of Dec. 1-5. Last year, the MVC won the series, 5-4, but notably all four MWC winning teams reached the NCAA Tournament. The two leagues combined for four NCAA Tournament victories, which included first-round wins by BYU and New Mexico, and a Sweet 16 appearance by Northern Iowa. The leagues combined for a total of 11 postseason berths and 10 postseason wins. The following is a complete schedule for the 2010-11 MWC/MVC Challenge. All games hosted by MWC institutions, including CSU’s Dec. 1 matchup against Drake, will be televised live on The Mtn. - The MountainWest Sports Network.
Miles, Slocum participating in “Shots from the Heart”
Colorado State Head Coach Tim Miles and assistant coach DeMarlo Slocum will each compete in a bracket-style free-throw tournament, against 63 other head and assistant coaches, respectively, as part of CollegeInsider.com’s inaugural “Shots from the Heart” campaign to raise awareness for the growing problem of heart disease and raise money to benefit the American Heart Association. The competition was organized in memory of the late Skip Prosser, the former Wake Forest head coach who passed away suddenly in 2007 from a heart attack.
Miles will compete in the East Region of the bracket, with his opening-round matchup slated against former University of Colorado head coach Jeff Bzdelik, who is in his first season at Prosser’s former school, Wake Forest. Each coach will shoot 25 free throws at his convenience, with the results being recorded by a member of their respective athletic deparments. The winner will advance to shoot 25 more free throws against either Chris Mack (Xavier) or Greg Kampe (Oakland) in Round 2 which will take place in December. The Round of 16 and Round of 8 are slated for January and February, respectively, while the semifinals will be contested at the NCAA men’s Final Four in Houston, Texas, in March. Slocum is set to compete in the South Region against George Mason assistant coach Eric Konkol.
Miles is one of three Mountain West Conference coaches to participate in the event. He is joined by UNLV’s Lon Kruger and New Mexico’s Steve Alford.
Additional information can be found at www.CollegeInsider.com/Shots.
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