Colorado and Colorado State renew their hardcourtrivalry Wednesday night as the Buffaloes host the Rams at the Coors EventsCenter. Both teams bring 5-1 records into the contest, but for Colorado it’sbeen an uneven start.
Coach Tad Boyle’s Buffaloes have shown well in stretches,most notably a 68-54 win over then-No. 22 Texas in the Legends Classic inBrooklyn, but have struggled in others, including a tight first half Sunday inwhich they led visiting Wofford only 31-30 at the break before pulling away inthe second 20 minutes to win 75-60. Colorado also had a hard time in the firsthalf of a Legends Classic loss to Notre Dame, falling behind by 18 beforeeventually making a game of it at 89-83. “The difference between good and average teams is the good teams doit consistently,” Boyle told the school’s athletics web site on Monday. “ ... Itdoesn’t matter where, when or who they play. They play, and they play the waythey’re supposed to play. This group – now maybe a half of the Notre Dame gameand a half against Wofford – they’ve been pretty good. But a half isn’t goodenough to win.” Wednesday’s game closes a mini two-game homestand for theBuffaloes, who will play two of their next three on the road with trips toPortland and BYU.
TV: 9 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network
ABOUT COLORADO STATE (5-1): The Rams, guided byfifth-year coach Larry Eustachy, bring a three-game win streak into thecontest, but it will only be their second road game of the season. Senior forwardEmmanuel Omogbo leads the team in scoring (13.2 points per game) and rebounding(a Mountain West-best 11.8 per contest) and has earned MW Player of the Weekhonors after averaging 14.7 points and 13.7 boards in his last three outings. GuardJ.D. Paige (11.0 points, 4.2 assists) and forward Che Bob (10.8 points, 7.2rebounds) also have stood out for the Rams, who are outrebounding foes by 10.8per game but are struggling with 3-point shooting (27.2 percent) and takingcare of the ball (14 turnovers per contest).
ABOUT COLORADO (5-1): Forward Xavier Johnson,coming off a season missed due to an Achilles injury, is averaging a team-best15 points per game and is coming off a career-high 27 points against Woffordwhile also pulling down a team-leading 12 rebounds. Division II transferDerrick White (13.7 points) and guards George King (11.3) and Josh Fortune (10.0)also are averaging double figures for the Buffaloes, who are shooting 45percent from the field and 38.9 percent from 3-point range. Senior forwardWesley Gordon (9.5 rebounds), King (7.0) and Johnson (6.3) are the leaders onthe glass for Colorado, which is outrebounding the opposition by an average of8.7 per game.
1. Colorado has dominated the series at 89-36,including a 53-8 mark at home. The Buffaloes won 88-77 on the road last season,outscoring Colorado State 49-25 in the second half.
2. Sunday’s win over Wofford was Colorado’s 12thstraight home win and 14th consecutive home victory over anon-conference opponent.
3. Since the start of last season, the Rams are6-12 away from home, including a 56-49 loss at Stanford in their only road gameso far this year.
PREDICTION: Colorado 76, Colorado State 67