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Lobo Pack: Colorado State Series Preview

Back on the court for UNM

NCAA Basketball: New Mexico at Fresno State Kiel Maddox-USA TODAY Sports

What:

New Mexico Lobos vs. Colorado State Rams

When:

Series is Tuesday February 9th, 2021 at 9:00 p.m. MT and Thursday February 11th, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. MT.

Where:

Both games will be played at Moby Arena in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Coverage:

Game 1 will be televised on Fox Sports 1, while Game 2 will be on CBS Sports Network. Both games will be broadcast on the radio on the Lobo Sports Radio Network, which is 770 AM/96.3 FM KKOB in Albuquerque.

Series:

This will be the 126th and 127th meetings between the schools on the hardwood. The Lobos own a 78-47 advantage between the two. Last season, though, it was Colorado State getting the win in the lone matchup between the two by a final of 105-72.

Breakdown:

After what was a tumultuous week last week for UNM, they will finally get back to playing when they visit Colorado State for two games in Fort Collins.

The Lobos had both of their games against San Diego State last week called off because the Lobos didn’t have enough scholarship players available. The Mountain West Conference requires teams to have seven scholarship players ready to play, and following the Fresno State series, the Lobos dipped below that mark due to injuries and players opting out.

Those who opted out subsequently chose not to officially opt out, keeping UNM’s season afloat. There is no word yet if they will have to make up the two games against San Diego State, but nonetheless they are in Fort Collins, ready to go again.

What to expect from Colorado State:

The Rams enter this series with a record of 14-4 overall and 11-3 in the Mountain West Conference, good enough for second in the conference standings, just ½ game behind Utah State for the lead. The Rams just swept Wyoming in a series on Thursday and Saturday. The game on Saturday was a 68-59 Rams win.

Colorado State is led by three players in double figures. Topping that list is forward David Roddy. He is averaging 16 points per game and nearly 10 rebounds a game. The 6-foot-5 sophomore had 15 points and 11 rebounds in the win over Wyoming on Saturday. Roddy had 12 points in the game versus UNM last season.

Sophomore Isaiah Stevens averages 15 points and six assists a game this year. He had 14 points on Saturday against Wyoming. He had 19 points against UNM last year.

The last player that averages in double figures for CSU is junior Kendle Moore, who is going for 10.7 points per game this season. Moore had just nine points against Wyoming on Saturday but went for 17 points against the Lobos last season.

Colorado State hit 19 three pointers in last season’s game, but I highly doubt they will even attempt 19 three pointers in this one. They love their inside game and will attack UNM’s lack of height on the inside.

Colorado State does turn the ball over a lot, having 18 in Thursday’s game against Wyoming and 17 in Saturday’s game. Turnovers will tell the tale in this one.

What to expect from New Mexico:

Depth will be an issue for the Lobos in this series. There are at least two players who will miss with injury and a third that will be a game time decision.

Isaiah Marin has an eye injury and will miss the series and Rod Brown injured his foot in the second game of the Fresno State series and he will miss as well.

Saquan Singleton has been nursing sore knees for the past couple of weeks and hasn’t practiced all week. As of now he is a game time decision. Even if he does play, do not expect Singleton to play many minutes.

With those three down, the slack will be picked up by Kurt Wegscheider, Jordan Arroyo, Clay Patterson, Daniel Headdings and Logan Padgett. All got significant practice time this week and are expected to play many minutes in this series, though not many have in game experience.

Prediction:

The Rams are the best shooting team in the Mountain West right now and the Lobos are one of the worst in the conference. Given that the Lobos depth is low and many of the players going to play do not have a ton of experience, I expect the Rams to cruise in both games.

Game 1: Rams-85 Lobos-72

Game 2: Rams-88 Lobos-67