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Colorado State vs. Fresno State Preview

The Rams look to pick up a crucial road win at Fresno

NCAA Basketball: Colorado State at San Jose State Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado State Rams play their first official game without 3 of their players. Kimani Jackson, Che Bob, and Devocio Butler are all academically ineligible for the spring semester.

The Rams were down to five players, due to five players sitting out a year because they transferred in. However, between the fall and spring semesters, Alex Tarkanian left the program due to medical issues. This allowed the Rams to bring in a walk-on.

Juan Sabino II joins the Rams as a walk-on. The 5’11” sophomore walked on to the track team last year, so he had already gone through the NCAA clearinghouse process. Sabino will be the Rams emergency option. Only playing in absolutely necessary situations (foul trouble, injury, or sickness).

Expect the Rams to get back to the offense that works for them. Slowing down the pace of the game, looking for the extra pass, not taking the first shot. Emmanuel Omogbo, Gian Clavell, and Prentiss Nixon will lead the team against the Fresno State Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs have academic issues of their own. It is unknown at this time whether senior forward Cullen Russo will play either against the Rams or for the rest of the semester.

Fresno didn’t seem to miss him much in the win against Boise State, as they beat the Broncos 89-80. Sophomore Sam Bittner moved into the starting lineup against Boise. When the Broncos went small, Paul Watson played the four and Karachi Edo played the five.

Neither team shoots the ball that well outside. Both CSU and Fresno are shooting under 35% from three. Expect the Rams to pound it inside and attempt to get to the free throw line, where they are one of the country’s best.

Both teams rebound well with the Rams having a +3.2 rebounding margin and the Bulldogs having a +1.4 rebounding margin.

This game should a be a slugfest. Expect both teams to work it inside. The Bulldogs are favored by 5. Tipoff is 8pm PST. Game can be seen on CBS Sports.