Dec. 6, 2010
Colorado State at Colorado | Game 6
|COLORADO STATE RAMS||COLORADO BUFFALOES|
|CSU STATISTICAL LEADERS||CU STATISTICAL LEADERS|
After winning consecutive games and beginning the season 4-1, its best start since 2005-06, the Colorado State men’s basketball team looks to improve its record while traveling south on I-25 to Boulder to face intrastate rival Colorado. The game is part of a doubleheader with the CSU vs CU women’s game, slated to begin at 5:30 p.m. The men’s game is scheduled for an 8 p.m. MT tipoff. The contest will be televised live on Fox Sports Net Rocky Mountain.
Both the Rams and Buffs are entering Wednesday’s matchup coming off arguably their best games of the season, with the Buffs beating future Pac-12 opponent Oregon State, 83-57, in Boulder Saturday night, and the Rams avenging last year’s loss at Fresno State with an 87-74 victory at Moby Arena.
On the season, Colorado is 4-3, but all four victories have come at home. They are led by four players scoring in double figures, including sophomore guard Alec Burks and senior guard Cory Higgins, who average 19.9 and 17.1 points per game, respectively. Each of the players that have seen action this season for the Buffs are shooting better than 40 percent from the field, led by freshman Andre Roberson. The 6-7 guard is shooting 57.7 percent (15-of-26) from the floor, and leads the team in rebounds (6.9 per game), blocks (9) and steals (13).
As a team, Colorado is averaging 80.9 points per game, and is turning the ball over fewer than a dozen times.
Head Coach Tad Boyle is in his first season leading the Buffaloes after spending four seasons at Northern Colorado. While at UNC, Boyle posted a 2-2 record against the Rams. In his fifth season as a head coach, Boyle has a record of 60-69, including a 25-win season last year at Northern Colorado.
Rams vs. the Buffaloes
The series between Colorado and Colorado State, two schools separated by just 53 miles, began in 1905 when the Rams traveled to Boulder in just their 11th game in program history. Wednesday marks the 121st meeting between the two teams, with Colorado holding an 85-35 advantage, including 55-8 in Boulder. However, the Rams won the most recent meeting, a 77-62 triumph at Moby Arena last December. The Rams have also won three of the last five games in the series, including the 2006-07 game in Boulder.
Six of the last 10 meetings between the two teams have been decided by two possessions or less, and with a win, the Rams would claim back-to-back games for the 10th time in the series.
In last year’s win over CU, Dorian Green posted a career-high 21 points. Also with strong performances that night were Travis Franklin, who recorded a double-double with 22 points and 10 rebounds, and Andy Ogide, who scored 13 points for the second consecutive game against the Buffs.
After six matchups in the state of Colorado, the Rams will travel across state lines for the first time this season with a trip to Kansas City, Mo., to take on the nationally ranked Kansas Jayhawks. The game is being played on a neutral court, 43 miles east of Lawrence, Kan. at Kansas City’s Sprint Center. It will be the first meeting between the two schools, and the Rams look to knock off a Top 25 opponent for the first time since beating No. 25 Air Force in the 2004 MWC championship tournament, a 60-48 victory at Pepsi Center in Denver.
100 and counting
Saturday’s contest vs. Fresno State marked Tim Miles’ 100th game at the helm of CSU men’s basketball. He became the 10th coach in program history to have led the Rams in at least 100 games. While the Rams is 36-64 under Miles, the team has won 20 of its last 37 (54.1 percent) games heading into Wednesday’s contest at Colorado. Miles took over a program that was in need of a complete overhaul in 2007, and took the Rams’ to a poststeason berth at the end of his third year at the helm of the program in 2010.
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. After a 77-66 win over Denver on Nov. 18, the Rams are 1-0 in 2010-11, and have won five consecutive games against their closest rivals entering Wednesday’s matchup at Colorado.
Defend the Fort
After a three-game homestand (Nov. 27-Dec. 4), Colorado State has now won 10 of its last 11 home games against non-conference opponents. Prior to their setback on Nov. 27 to Sam Houston State, the Rams hadn’t lost a home non-conference game since hosting 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.
Zoning in from long range
The Rams hit nine three-pointers in each of the last two games, vs. Drake (Dec. 1) and Fresno State (Dec. 4), shooting 48.6 percent from beyond the arc. On the season, the Rams are shooting 39.8 percent from long range, and have had eight players hit a trey. Senior Andre McFarland leads the team with 11, and has drained 136 in his career at CSU. With 10 more three-pointers, McFarland will crack the Rams’ all-time top 5 list. As a team, CSU leads the Mountain West in three-pointers made and three-point percentage.
Good all around
While the Rams have been hot from three-point range, they also are having success all around. The Rams shot 59.2 percent from the floor in Saturday’s win against Fresno State. It marked the highest percentage of the season, and fourth consecutive game the Rams have connected on at least half of their attempts. On the season, CSU is shooting 52.9 percent, good for third in the nation.
Leading the nation
Senior forward Andy Ogide leads the nation in field-goal percentage, connecting on 70.4 percent (38-54) from the field this season. Classmate Travis Franklin, who ranks just behind Ogide as the Rams’ second leading scorer, also ranks in the top 25 nationally in terms of field-goal percentage. Franklin has connected on 26-of-42 attempts, a .619 clip, which is good enough for 21st in the country.
Practice makes perfect
Senior captain Adam Nigon said that the Rams have been making their free-throw shots in practice, but it just hadn’t been carrying over to the games. That showed in the Nov. 27 loss to Sam Houston State, when the Rams shot 41.2 percent (7-of-17) from the charity stripe. In the two games since, the Rams have connected on 33-of-47 (70.2 percent) free-throw attempts, including a 7-of-7 performance from senior Travis Franklin on Saturday vs. Fresno State. The Rams are 3-0 this season when shooting better than their opponent from the foul line.
With a win Saturday, the Rams became the 35th team in program history to start a season at least 4-1. Prior to this season, the last time a CSU team won at least four of its first five games was in 2005-06 when the Rams began the season 6-0. A win Wednesday would give the Rams a 5-1 start to the season for the 18th time in school history. The last time the Rams went 5-1 to start a season came during the 2000-01 season.
Strong starts, Part II
The Rams have outscored their opponents 190-160 in the first half this season, and have entered the halftime locker room with a lead in all six games. Last year, the Rams were 12-1 when leading at halftime.
Mountain West/Missouri Valley Challenge
After falling in the first annual Mountain West/Missouri Valley Challenge last season, CSU and the Mountain West got revenge, winning the 2010-11 challenge 8-1. The MWC opened the series up with a 4-0 lead after the first day, and TCU was the only MWC school to lose in the series, falling by four to Northern Iowa, a team who made it to the Sweet 16 in last year’s NCAA tournament. Overall, the MWC outscored the MVC 660-542, winning by double digits in six of the games and overall by an average of 13.1 points. 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 was the Valley institution that did not participate in the 2010 Challenge Series. All nine games of the 2010 Challenge took 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.
Senior forwards Travis Franklin (22 points) and Andy Ogide (20 points) each eclipsed the 20-point mark in last Saturday’s loss to Sam Houston State. It marked the first time since Dec. 10, 2009, a 77-62 win over rival Colorado, that two Rams scored 20 or more points in the same game. In two outings, at Denver and vs. Sam Houston State, Franklin recorded back-to-back games of 22 points, finishing just two points shy of his career best each time.
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. The Rams opened this season with an 82-51 victory over Arkansas-Pine Bluff, making it three in a row.
Hot in home openers
The Rams’ season-opening victory over Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Nov. 13 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 four home-opening games, winning by an average of 30.75 points per game.
Over 80, under 60
Last season, the formula for a victory for the CSU men’s 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 were able to follow that formula.
The Rams played 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 played at Denver on Nov. 18 and will travel to Colorado on Wednesday). 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 1,093-1,146 (.488) in 2,239 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 10 contests against teams that received votes in the preseason national rankings. The Rams’ first contest against a team receiving attention comes Wednesday at rival Colorado. The Buffaloes received votes in the AP preseason top-25 poll, but have since fallen off the rankings. The Rams head to Kansas City, Mo., for a matchup against current No. 4/4 Kansas at the Sprint Center on Dec.11. The Rams’ MWC schedule features eight tilts against opponents receiving attention in the polls with two each against No. 18/21 BYU, No. 14/15 San Diego State, 20/19 UNLV, and --/RV New Mexico.
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-career point plateau this season. Ogide enters Wednesday’s game at Colorado with 788 points at CSU, while McFarland has 687 points as a Ram. McFarland currently ranks on the top 10 for career three-pointers, having made 136 in his career at CSU. He needs 10 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 389 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 Wednesday’s game at Colorado with 92 career swipes and needs three more to tie Michael Morris (2003-06) for 10th all-time at CSU.
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.
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.
Miles, Slocum participating in “Shots from the Heart”
Colorado State Head Coach Tim Miles and assistant coach DeMarlo Slocum each competed 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 competed in the East Region of the bracket, with his opening-round matchup coming against former University of Colorado head coach Jeff Bzdelik, who is in his first season at Prosser’s former school, Wake Forest. Miles was impressive, connecting on 23-of-25 attempts, but fell just short of Bzdelik, who claimed to hit all 25 shots. Bzdelik now advances to shoot 25 more free throws against Chris Mack (Xavier), who defeated Oakland’s Greg Kampe in a tiebreaker. Each coach hit 20-of-25 attempts in his opening round matchup but Mack had the longest consecutive streak (10). Round 2 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 matched Miles, connecting on 23-of-25 attempts, but fell to George Mason’s Eric Konkol, who also said he was perfect in Round 1.
Miles was one of three Mountain West Conference coaches to participate in the event. He was joined by UNLV’s Lon Kruger and New Mexico’s Steve Alford, each of whom have yet to complete their first-round matchups.
Additional information can be found at www.CollegeInsider.com/Shots.
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