The Colorado State Rams (11-5, 2-0) are tied with the #17 (17-1, 2-0) for the early lead in the MWC. The Cougars are fresh off a road win at Air Force on Wednesday by a score of 67 - 49. The Rams have had the week off last beating Air Force at home on Jan 9th 70 - 44. BYU is also undefeated at home this year and CSU has struggled on the road at just 1-5. Out of the 12 conference games played this year the home team has dominated winning 9 of them, CSU is one of the teams with a road conference win. This game features the MWC co-players of the week in Andy Ogide and Jonathan Tavernari. Let's take a look at the teams after the jump.
BYU is on top of all the categories that a team would want to be in a conference. Wins, scoring, field goal%, free throw%, and assists among a few others. The only stat I can find that the Cougars are last in is losses, that's a good thing. Brigham Young is one of the nations leaders in efficiency. For those who don't know what the efficiency stat means it is how many points you score per 100 possessions. BYU is 5th in the nation in efficiency at 118.6. So interpret that as for every 100 possessions BYU gets they will score about 118 points. BYU holds their opponents to 89.1, good for 22nd in the nation. They are ranked so highly because of their three point shooting at 42%, 5th in the nation. BYU has 4 players who average double digits in Jimmer Fredette, Jackson Emery, Tyler Haws, and Jonathan Tavernari.
The Rams come in at 104.5 efficiency, slightly above average and allow 94.1, also above average. The Rams will have a big task on their hands trying to beat BYU in Provo. They will need to play their best game of the young season and get a lot of defensive stops that other teams haven't been able to. Against Air Force and Wyoming they were able to post an efficiency over 120.
It should be fun to watch the matchup between Andy Ogide and Noah Hartsock. Also seeing who gets the assignment of guarding the dangerous Jimmer Fredette will be a key to the game. I see a few Rams getting the chance to slow him down. For the Rams it will be important that Dorian Green does a good job directing the pace of the game and the Rams offense, a tall task for the freshman on the road.
It will be a very tough game for CSU as BYU is ranked #17 nationally. So far MWC road games have produced some upsets, however the favorite is playing at home in this one. It would be surprising to see BYU drop their first game at home this year.