Colorado State is 6-0 for the first time since 2005 and look to continue that streak against a wavering Colorado Buffaloes team. The Buffs are reeling off a loss to Wyoming and are facing their 3rd MWC opponent is rival Colorado State. Both teams play similarly in that both teams scoring power comes from their guards, but the frontcourt provides the rest. Look for this game to be a close one, and to be decided on the glass.
When: Wednesday, December 5th, 10:30 PM ET
Where: Boulder, Colorado
Watch: Pac 12 Networks
No Injuries To Report
Duo Guards Spencer Dinwiddie (16.1 PPG-5.1 RPG) and Askia Booker (15.3 PPG-3.6 RPG) may deliver the wow factor, in terms of scoring, but the frontcourt is what wins games for the Buffs'. F Josh Scott (13.1 PPG-6 RPG) leads the frontcourt and is followed by F Andre Roberson (11.6 PPG-11.1 RPG) and F Xavier Johnson (6.9 PPG-3.9 RPG) The starters for the Buffs' have contributed 74% of the teams rebounding presence, so the Rams must limit the Buffs' scoring opportunities, especially when Colorado has hit 55% in the paint in their last 3 games.
Weakness: Interior Defense
In Colorado's last 3 games the Buffs' have allowed 64% of the shots taken in the paint score. The Buffs perimeter defense has been stellar this year, allowing only 34% beyond the arc, though with CSU's already pitiful 3 point shooting, it is a no brainier for the Rams to take advantage of their recent defensive struggles in the paint.
F Pierce Hornung (Concussion)
Strength: Inside Scoring
As stated above, the Rams must take advantage of the Buffs' weak interior defense if they want to score consistently, as 3 point shots will be a rarity in this game. In the CSU last 3 games, the Rams have made 40% of their points scored in he paint, and with the Rams loaded frontcourt, scoring opportunities in the paint should become more frequent.
Weakness: Three Point Shooting
The Rams are not a 3 point shooting team, that has been made clear as of late. The Rams have shot 33% outside the perimeter, which doesn't match up well with the Buffs' 34% perimeter defense. In fact, the Buffs defense outside the paint has been 34% as well, so for the Rams offensively, it is paint or bust.
Player Trending Down: G Askia Booker
Booker wasn't much of a factor in the Buffs 3 game stretch of ranked glory, as he averaged only 12 PPG with 3 turnovers per game. In the Buffs last game with a MWC opponent, Booker scored a season low 7 points with 2 assists and rebounds.
Player Trending UP: C-F Colton Iverson
Has C-F Iverson been the best transfer to hit Fort Collins or what? Iverson has been a beast on the glass while providing tons of rebounding and assists. As of now Iverson is averaging 16.5 PPG with 11.2 RPG, but is averaging 15.6 PPG, 12.3 RPG and 2.6 APG in his last games including the Rams last game against Evansville when he logged 16 points, 12 rebounds and 3 blocks. If Iverson keeps up this kind of production, he mine as well be considered the best center in the MWC, and may even land on the MWC first team.
The Rams have already proven that they can win on the road against Pac 12 teams, although Colorado will be a much tougher test than the Huskies were. Aside from this being a highly heated rivalry game in a hostile environment, The Rams may find it hard to score outside the paint and may be parched for points if they can't effectively score inside. The Buffs' have shot particularly well outside 41% and inside with 55%, 46% overall, so Colorado shouldn't have a hard time keeping this game a high scoring affair. Honestly if the Buffs' didn't lose to the Cowboys this game may be leanign towards the Buffs, though with Colorado's recent struggles and CSU's uprising, this game could go either way.