The rivalry between Colorado State(5-3) and Colorado(6-3) will add another chapter Thursday night as the Buffs walk into Moby Arena in Fort Collins. The Buffs hold a three game streak in the series, the last time the Rams beat the Buffs on the hard floor was December 2006. As the football games go these are usually close, except for last year when the Buffs won 75-56. Before that the last 5 games were decided by two possessions or less with the last three being 3 points of less. A look at the teams after the jump...
The Colorado Buffalos are off to a good start at 6-3 and dropping a game to Gonzaga by only 4 and they took Arizona to overtime before losing. They are lead by guards Cory Higgins (20.6 ppg) and freshman stud Alec Burks(15.4 ppg). As a team they are shooting 50.3% from the field and 78.5% from the stripe. They lack a dominating force inside as do the Rams so it will be a key for both teams to try and establish a presence inside and dominate the paint. 6'9" Austin Dufault will attempt to be that presence for the Buffs along with Shane Harris-Tunks when he gets minutes.
The Rams will counter the guard play with freshman Dorian Green and another. The Rams have been shifting around their guards with the play of Adam Nigon, Travis Franklin, Arin Dunn. In consistent shooting and more turnovers then Tim Miles would like has left him looking for someone to stand up. Transfer forward Travis Busch is back early from knee surgery and could give the Rams a much needed boost at the 3-4 spots from the bench. His minutes will need to be limited however as they want him ready for conference play. 6'9" Andy Ogide will have to be the Rams inside presence against the Buffs. He has been inconsistent early on leading to him coming off the bench against Denver University.
The keys for both teams will be to establish inside play and have smart guard play. The crowd at Moby is usually lackluster and even a bit embarrassing at times, but you mention a CSU vs. CU game and kids will show. The Buffs will have to deal with crowd noise. If the Rams can come out firing early and keep the crowd in it all game they have a chance to win one against a good CU team. For the Buffs it will be about shooting a high percentage and keeping the crowd quiet and sending them home early to prep for finals.
If your in the Fort head over to Moby Arena, first 1000 fans get a free t-shirtt!