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Fraternizing with the Enemy: notes on the CSU Rams MBB team

Is this Buffaloes team still "overrated?"

  • Yes

    Votes: 8 32.0%
  • No

    Votes: 7 28.0%
  • Give it some more time, we'll see

    Votes: 10 40.0%

  • Total voters
    25

Justin M Guerriero

Well-Known Member
Club Member
Hey guys, I usually do this story on a weekly basis to get some intel on the football team's opponent, but since CU hosts CSU at the Keg this Wednesday, I thought it would be fitting to find out a bit about this year's Rams basketball squad.

Eddie Herz of the Rocky Mountain Collegian (CSU's student newspaper) is the Rams' basketball beat writer and I asked him a few questions about his team in light of the showdown in Boulder coming up tomorrow evening.

I liked what I read. Long story short: CSU does not consistently make baskets but excels at rebounding. Pay special attention to the fourth question that he responded to; apparently this Rams team is out for blood. Partly because we stomped their football team. But anyway, that's enough out of me. Enjoy.

Justin Guerriero: Wednesday at Coors Events Center features the 5-1 Buffs vs. the 5-1 Rams. What's you impression of this Rams squad so far this year? Are they poised to improve from last year's 18-16 campaign?

Eddie Herz: After losing second team All-Mountain West guard Antwan Scott and three other starters, the Rams have their work cut out for them. Their leading returning scorer from 2015-2016, Gian Clavell, was also suspended indefinitely before the season began. As a result, the Rams have yet to find their rhythm with so many former bench players and new faces seeing significant floor time. That being said, the Rams will definitely take a 5-1 start. However, it’s without a doubt been a soft 5-1. CSU has struggled to beat inferior programs such as Fort Lewis, Maryland-Eastern Shore, and Southeastern Louisiana. The Rams were actually trailing D2 Fort Lewis at halftime. Though they have a decent amount of talent, winning more than 18 games is a long-shot given their lack of experience. I’m guessing they win anywhere from 14 to 16 games.

JG: The Buffaloes have struggled defensively this year. What's been a noticeable weakness of CSU's so far this year?

EH: Shooting the ball from anywhere but the free-throw line. The Rams have been one of the worst teams in the nation shooting the ball through six games. Their team field-goal percentage of 41.9 ranks 267th in all of college basketball. They’ve also been atrocious from three, shooting only 27.2 percent, ranking them 339th in the country.

JG: The Buffs have been spreading the ball around well this year. In all six games, the team has had at least three players score in double digits. Will the Rams' defense be able to devote attention to multiple playmakers?

EH: While they’ve struggled on offense, CSU’s defense is a big reason why they’ve won five games. The Rams have held their opponents under 60 points in three of their six games. They’ve also only let their opponents get more than 70 on one occasion. Their 42.8 rebounds per game (21st best in the country) have also created a lot of one shot possessions on defense. If anything, their defense and ability to limit second and third chance opportunities on the glass will keep CSU in the game. The Rams should be able to keep some of the Buff’s key scorers in check for the most part.

JG: I couldn't not bring up the success of CU's football team in this. After the Buffs throttled the Rams in football this year, is there an intensified desire to beat the Buffs on the basketball court from this Rams team?

EH: Beating the Buffs is always a bit sweeter than any other non-conference win. I’d be lying if I said CSU was just treating this like any other game, especially after how badly they lost to CU in football. All of the CSU players witnessed their football team get embarrassed in football. Six of them were also on the team last year when the Rams let a 13-point halftime lead slip away against the Buffs at home. They’re hungry, and I don’t think there’s one individual regular season game they want to win as bad as this one.

JG: Who are the Rams main offensive threats?

EH: Gian Clavell would be if he was eligible to play. Without him suiting up, double-double machine Emmanuel Omogbo is the guy to watch out for. He is the team leader in both points and rebounds, averaging 13.5 points per game and 12.3 boards. The second-year junior college transfer has recorded double-digit points and rebounds in four of the Rams six contests. Next is Che Bob, who seems to be a younger version of Omogbo. In only 21.3 minutes per game, which are mainly off the bench, Bob has scored 10.8 points per game and has racked up 7.2 rebounds in his first year as Ram. J.D. Paige is also a guy to watch. Though he began the season a little slow, the redshirt sophomore guard dropped 23 points and dished out six assists last Sunday against Alcorn State. Paige is averaging 11 points per game and has scored in double figures three times.

JG: Score predictions?

EH: This should be a competitive and close game through the first half. CSU’s rebounding and defense will keep the Buff’s lead to single digits going into the locker room. However, the Rams do not come close to matching CU’s versatility and experience. The Buffs should pull away down the stretch and cold shooting will once again hurt CSU. Colorado 85 Colorado State 68.

Contact CU Independent Head Sports Editor Justin Guerriero at justin.guerriero@colorado.edu and follow him on Twitter @TheHungry_Hippo

Contact Rocky Mountain Collegian basketball beat writer Eddie Herz at eddieh@rams.colostate.edu
 

Justin M Guerriero

Well-Known Member
Club Member
Rammie student beat writer picked CU to win by 17? :ROFLMAO:
Yeah he seems pretty logical. CSU always play us hard and I expect nothing less on Wednesday but I think he's right...by the time 25 minutes have gone by in this game I think the Buffs will have ran away, at least somewhat.
 

jsmilkst

Well-Known Member
Over-rated compared to the pre-season PAC 12 poll? Compared to AB hype? Or just cuz Tad said so to try to get the kids to focus up? We weren't really "rated" that high (5th?), so... no. Especially with some of the junk other P12 teams have put up so far.
 
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