Welcome to The Preview of Hate, a wildly popular preview column that focuses on Colorado State athletics. This week is a special basketball edition of the PoH as the 5-1 Rams prepare for the biggest week of their season so far. Tonight they travel to Boulder, California to take on the Colorado Buffaloes and on Saturday they welcome in Conner Frankamp and the Wichita State Shockers. Frankamp you might remember because he transferred from Kansas nearly 30 years ago and also because Wichita State found a little known loophole that allows players to play for them for 38 years. Fred Van Vleet is actually 62 years old.
For football, the format was four tiers of hate as I moved up the things I hated the most. Basketball is going to be a little different, since these will be special editions spaced out through the season and also since the majority of the Rams games come against cities I’ve already roasted impeccably.
Basketball will be separated into two Hemispheres of Hate! I will use one Hemisphere to talk about the game and one to talk about everything else. Plus it fits in that college basketball has two halves and not four quarters, basically I accidentally landed in a theme.
Anyway, here they are, the Hemispheres of Hate!
CU basketball is 5-1 and coming off two strong performances in a win over Texas and a tight loss to Notre Dame. Led by 6’7 senior Xavier Johnson and one of the best coaches in country in Tad Boyle, the Buffs are without a doubt the strongest team on the Rams schedule so far (and possibly altogether). They’re strong, they’re tall, and they’re experienced all over the floor.
For the Rams, a slow starting team that can get into extreme slumps shooting from the floor, this game will come down to their defense.
CU shoots well from the field and generates easy buckets on numerous possessions with Boyle’s system, that’s going to be where the game is won or lost. CSU knows they’ll go cold at some point, they go cold every game. It’s just whether or not their cold snap is paired with a good defensive run or if they’ll wilt away as the Buffs drain easy close range buckets.
Another factor playing against CSU is the fact this game is in the California suburb of Boulder. Coors Event Center doesn’t sell out as often as Folsom (due to everyone in Boulder deciding to go ski or host a Bourgeois ruling class party on their snow yacht), but it can get loud and with this being a midweek game before finals week, the crowd will likely be a factor.
For Larry Eustachy and his army of Diet Coke cans, keeping his team cool amidst a Buffs run will be one of his tallest tasks. Those Boulder kids aren’t clever with their heckles, but they are persistent. They will get loud! That is, until they have to go make sure no poor people have coughed on their Range Rover.
★ ★ ★
For Wichita State, the 6-2 Shockers are coming off two straight losses to traditional powers Louisville and Michigan State. They hung around in both games and those results, combined with their blowout victories in every other game this year, make this a very tall task for the Rams.
Led inside by 6’8 Markis McDuffie and Kansas transfer Conner Frankamp, the Shockers have played extremely well in what many considered a transition year for the squad. Frankamp you might remember after transferring from Kansas in 1986. He’s still only a Redshirt Junior and has 31 years of eligibility left at Wichita.
This game the Rams are going to need to use their length to matchup with Wichita. Using Omogbo and Che Bob’s long arms to try and disrupt the offensive gameplan. With the Rams at home, they can work to be more aggressive to try and get the crowd into it, hopefully the crowd shows up! From my time at CSU I remember a lot of times they’d only go if you offered them free pizza or if they could yell at Jimmer Fredette (a time honored tradition).
Wichita may also be distracted by the mountains, the Rams could utilize the plains-walkers distraction to their advantage.
★ ★ ★
As many of you may know, I have opinions on Boulder.
A quaint, wholesome town filled with 98% white people who think a soda tax is a good idea and would prefer if poor people just disappeared so they could pretend to care about them from a distance.
Boulder is a town of many cultures, for instance there’s “white guys who love rap” culture and “white guys who love reggae”, or my favorite “regular white guys”.
A town filled with long boards and dreadlocks, where there’s always a weirdo wearing sandals in the first snow and for some reason 30 kids sharing one vape on the lawn.
Yes, Boulder is a town where old white people and young white people can intermingle pretending like they’re the first town to invent partying. Ah, the beauty of it all. I can’t wait to see what the crowd has in store for the Rams tonight.
★ ★ ★
I’ve driven through Wichita. It’s actually huge. I was surprised.
Nearly 400,000 people live in Wichita proper, making it the largest city in Kansas. Did you know that? I didn’t know that. I guess I never thought to ever look anything up about Wichita before though, so I have an excuse.
Well, that’s all I know about Wichita. I know they build planes there! That’s pretty neat. Keep building those planes, Wichita! Do that plane thing! We need them to fly over your town and say “wow, look at Wichita, isn’t it nice. Anyway, onward to Denver, where things happen.”
Kansas is a boring state, I never go there. I’m sure Wichita is nice though.
★ ★ ★
I want to wrap up this PoH by talking about the football team’s utter smackdown of San Diego State.
All year I heard about how good this SDSU defense was and how the Rams offense was just beating up on puny nobodies in the conference. Then they go and drop 500 yards and 63 points on this supposedly good defense.
Who is the puny nobody here? The Rams couldn’t put up 500 yards on UTSA, so apparently it’s San Diego State that is puny. The San Diego State Puny Babies.
The Rams are good, the Rams will be better next year, the Rams are contenders. Get on the hype train now or forever hold your peace suckas, this baby’s going all the way to a 10-win season next year! Count it.
That’s the PoH, see you for bowl week or if basketball does something exciting again.