It's been a wild season in the Mountain West Conference, with five teams still in the hunt to be crowned the regular season conference champion. The Colorado State Rams are one of those five teams, as they sit two games behind leader San Diego State. The Rams (23-5, 10-5) play host on Wednesday night against the San Jose State Spartans (2-24, 0-14) who sit alone at the bottom of the conference. The first time the Rams and the Spartans met, the Rams led by as many as 32 points in their 70-41 victory in San Jose. This time around, it is senior night in Fort Collins and the last time this senior class will take the court at Moby Arena, and this senior class will want this game to be a game to remember.
One senior who will not be taking the court for the Rams is their do-everything forward J.J. Avila. Avila, who is fifth in the conference in points, fourth in rebounds, third in steals, as well as the Ram's assist leader, will sit out due to back spasms he suffered in Colorado State's win verses Air Force last week. While the injury isn't too serious, the coaching staff is resting Avila so he is ready to go for their final two road games to close out the season.
Larry Eustachy said after practice today JJ Avila won't play vs. SJSU. It's a smart move. Rest his back. #mwbb— Matt L. Stephens (@MattStephens) February 24, 2015
Without Avila, the Rams will rely on seniors Stanton Kidd and Daniel Bejarano to lead them to victory.
Also keep in mind the last time the #CSURams played without JJ Avila they won by 56 points. Just sayin'.— Brian Roth (@BrianHRoth) February 25, 2015
For the Spartans, they will look to start a run to end the season on a positive note. The Spartans haven't tasted victory since December 9th when they beat the St. Katherine Firebirds 74-63. They will lean leading scorers Rashad Muhammad, Jaleel Williams and Daryl Gaynor II.
The final three games of the season are very crucial for the Rams, as many basketball analysts consider them at bubble team at 23-5. Their ability to own the game against a team like San Jose State then go on the road and win in a tough environment like Utah State could be enough to earn a birth into the NCAA Tournament. The matchup between the Rams and the Spartans can be seen online on the Mountain West Network. Tipoff is set for 7:00 p.m. MST.