Colorado State men's basketball remains at Moby Arena for the second game of a three-game homestand with a Wednesday evening matchup against the UTEP Miners.
The 11-2 Rams are riding a five-game winning streak in which the team has won each game by at least 17 points, a string of blowout victories matched only once in program history, during the 1970-71 season.
The Miners are off to a 5-6 start to the 2012-13 season, but have won four of their last five games (including a triple-overtime thriller vs. Oregon) with the lone loss coming by two points against then-No. 21 UNLV.
Tipoff between the Rams and the Miners is set for Wednesday at 8:15 p.m. MT at Moby Arena.
The contest will mark the 72nd in the series between the former WAC rivals.
The game will be televised live on CBS Sports Network with Andrew Catalon (play-by-play), Steve Lappas (analyst) and Lauren Gardner (sideline) bringing fans the action from courtside.
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), 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 1,140-1,172 (.493) in 2,312 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 contest against the Bahamas All-Stars, winning 95-80 behind a double-double effort (18 points, 14 rebounds) from Colton Iverson.
Colorado State enters Wednesday's game with an 11-2 record. 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 teams current mark is the best 13-game record since going 12-1 to open the 1997-98 and 1953-54 seasons.
Colorado State ranks as one of the top rebounding teams in the nation, and entered play this week leading the NCAA in rebounding margin with an average differential of 14.2 boards per game. The team has yet to be outrebounded in a game this year.
Colorado State has opened the 2012-13 campaign with a 2-2 record on the road, picking up tough road wins at Denver and at Washington, before falling in their last two road outings at Colorado and UIC. The Rams were 3-9 on the road last year.
Overall, the Rams are 4-2 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's two road losses have come to programs (Colorado and UIC) with a combined 19-6 (.760) record.
The Rams have been even more impressive at home, racking up a 7-0 mark and extending a record win streak at Moby Arena to 20 games. The streak ranks fourth nationally entering the Rams' tilt Wednesday vs. UTEP.
During Colorado State's current five-game winning streak, the Rams have won each game by at least 17 points, with an average differential of 79.8-54.6. The last time that Colorado State won five straight games by 15+ points was December of 1970 when the Rams notched consecutive wins vs. Cal State Fullerton (98-74), at Air Force (79-63), vs. Rice (73-57), vs. West Texas State (117-93) and at Oklahoma City (86-64).
Also during that stretch, four different Rams are averaging better than 5.0 rebounds per game. Hornung, once again, leads the Rams at 8.8 rpg, followed by Daniel Bejarano (8.0), Iverson (5.4) and Greg Smith (5.2). Hornung (22), Bejarano (13) and Smith (10) have each tallied 10 or more offensive rebounds during the Rams' streak.
The UTEP Miners own a 6-5 overall record to open the 2012-13 season, most recently defeating former Rams head coach Tim Miles and Nebraska, 68-52, to win the WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational (Dec. 23). Colorado State took home the same title last year, defeating UTEP in the first round of action.
UTEP has played only one true road game during the 2012-13 campaign; a 72-51 loss at then-No. 12 Arizona (Nov. 15). The Miners are 0-4 away from El Paso.
Senior Konner Tucker is the team's leading scorer, averaging 15.0 points per game. Tucker has shot 50 percent (17-34) from the field, 62.5 percent (15-24) from beyond the arc and 100 percent (11-11) from the line during his four games this season.
Tucker was named the Conference USA player of the week on Dec. 24.
Sophomore Julian Washburn (12.9) and junior John Bohannon (12.3) also average double-digits scoring for the Miners.
Head Coach Tim Floyd has accumulated a 374-212 record during his 20 years in the NCAA. Floyd also spent time in the NBA with the Chicago Bulls (1998-2002) and New Orleans Hornets (2003-04). He has compiled a 46-32 record with the Miners, currently in his third season.
Larry Eustachy-Tim Floyd connection
Wednesday's matchup between Colorado State and UTEP pits Rams' head coach Larry Eustachy against his longtime friend, UTEP head coach Tim Floyd.
Eustachy was Floyd's successor at Iowa State University, and had previously worked on Floyd's staff at the University of Idaho during the 1986-87 season, Floyd's first year as a collegiate head coach.
Like Floyd, Eustachy would also get his first head coaching job with the Vandals, taking over the program in 1990-91, two years after Floyd's departure to the University of New Orleans.
The two coaches have faced each other three times on the court, with Floyd holding a 2-1 advantage. Floyd's UNO Privateers defeated Eustachy's Idaho Vandals, 73-56, in the Great Alaska Shoot out, Nov. 29, 1991.
Eustachy and Floyd have met in on the court each of the previous two seasons as C-USA rivals when Eustachy was at Southern Miss. The Golden Eagles bested the Miners, 64-51, in Hattiesburg on Feb. 16, 2011. The next year, UTEP came from behind to capture the 76-68 home victory over USM.
Series vs. UTEP
Colorado State and UTEP feature a storied history, and Wednesday marks the 71st contest in the series between the two schools.
UTEP holds a decided advantage, 46-25, but the two programs - which competed 60 times as WAC rivals from 1969-1998, have met on the hardwood only once since (last season) since 1998.
The first meeting between the two schools came during the 1955-56 season, a 57-34 home victory for UTEP.
The Rams have won six straight games against UTEP, including last year's 56-53 road win over the host Miners in the opening round of the Bank of the West Sun Bowl Invitational at the Don Haskins Center.
The Rams have also won the last five meetings in Fort Collins, dating back to an 86-68 win during the 1991-92 season.
Rams vs. the C-USA
Colorado State is 41-60 (.406) all-time against the current members of Conference USA.
Most of those matchups have come against UTEP. The rams are 25-46 all-time in 71 matchups against the Miners.
CSU is 16-14 against the rest of C-USA, with winning records against Rice (5-3), Marshall (2-1) and Southern Miss (2-1). The Rams are .500 against ECU (1-1) and Houston (1-1) and are 3-4 and 2-3 all-time against SMU and Tulsa, respectively.
The Rams have never faced Memphis, Tulane, UAB or Central Florida in regular-season or postseason competition.
A win over UTEP will...
Run the Rams' win streak to six straight games. CSU's five-game win streak ranks tied for 22nd nationally entering play this week.
Extend CSU's winning streak over UTEP to seven straight games overall, and give the Rams six in a row at Moby Arena against the Miners.
Improve CSU's home record against UTEP to 18-13 and overall record to 26-46.
Mark the second consecutive calendar year the Rams have started with a victory. CSU defeated Nebraska-Omaha 87-63 (Jan. 7) in the team's first contest of 2012.
Push the Rams' home-court win streak to 21 games, extending the team's Moby Arena record and moving within one home win of the program's all-time home win streak of 22 set from 1960-62 at South College Gym.
Improve CSU's overall record to 12-2, matching its best start through 14 games with the 1997-98 squad that began the season 12-2.
That total, 13 games into their senior season, is now tied for 14th in program history for wins in a four-year period, just three victories away from the top 10 (69 wins) recorded from 1960-61 to 1963-64.
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, and entered this year 20 wins away from the top-5 on that list of most successful four-year periods in program history.
Streaking at home
Colorado State's current 20-game home-court win streak ranks fourth nationally entering the Rams' Jan. 2 home contest against UTEP.
The Rams' Nov. 15 victory over Chadron State (93-50), the team's 15th straight at home, established a new Moby Arena record for the program, which the Rams have since extended to 20 games.
The Ram's current home streak is the second-longest all-time in school history behind a 22-game run between 1960-62 when Colorado State played still called South College Gym home.
Colorado State remains at Moby Arena for its final non-conference test of the regular season, hosting Atlantic 10 Conference foe St. Bonaventure (7-4).
Tipoff between the Rams and the Bonnies is set for 2:30 p.m. MT on Saturday.
The matchup is the third in the series between CSU and St. Bonaventure, and the first in Fort Collins.
Colorado State won the initial matchup, 86-81, on the road on Dec. 19, 1964, before falling on a neutral court at the Sparklett's Invitational in Malibu, Calif., 64-54, on Nov. 27, 1999.
The contest is the final game of a three-game homestand to close out non-conference play for the Rams.