Border War basketball Q&A

Here is my question-and-answer session with Kelly Lyell, who covers Colorado State men’s basketball for the Fort Collins Coloradoan, about Saturday’s game with the University of Wyoming.

Tip off is at 2 p.m. MT at Moby Arena in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Follow on Twitter: @KellyLyell

Kelly Lyell

Kelly Lyell

After the 72-59 loss at Utah State Wednesday the Rams have lost four of their last six. Are they a good indication of their record (14-12, 6-7 MW) or is his squad better than that?

They’re a good indication of their record on the season, better than half the teams they’ve played and worse than half. They’re capable of playing at a very high level at times, but not on a consistent enough basis to be a better-than-average team in the Mountain West this season.

In the loss to Utah State, Colorado State missed 18 of its last 20 3-pointers. Even though the Rams have been among the leaders in the MW in 3-point shooting this season, is this a team that lives and dies by the 3?

Very much so. The first thing the Rams do when they fall behind is try to shoot their way back into it from 3-point range. It’s worked enough times this season, too, that they keep trying that approach, even if it’s not necessarily the best way for them to get back into a game.

Wyoming has been similar this season in terms of relying on the 3. Do you see Saturday’s game coming down to who makes the most 3s, or are their other keys in your mind?

I expect 3-point shooting to be a big part of this game but not the only important factor. Strong play on the defensive end is probably going to dictate the winner more than anything, forcing the opponent to work for its points instead of just giving them away, particularly in the paint.

What did you take from the first game between the two teams — an 83-76 Wyoming win in Laramie on Jan. 30?

I felt like these are two pretty evenly matched teams, and the home-court advantage was probably what gave Wyoming the edge it needed to win that game.

What kind of buzz is there or will there be for this game in Fort Collins, and how do you see the game playing out?

There won’t be nearly as much excitement as there usually is for a Border War matchup, just because neither team is having a very good season. Attendance is down at both schools. There will be a little extra buzz simply because it’s the annual “Orange Out” game for the Rams, and players and fans alike seem to bring a little more energy for those games in every sport than they do for a typical game.

Cowboys game day

Game: Wyoming (12-15 overall, 5-9 Mountain West) at Colorado State (14-12, 6-7)

When: 2 p.m. Saturday

Where: Moby Arena, Fort Collins, Colorado

TV: MW Network (online)

Radio: KFBC (1240 AM) Cheyenne; KCGY (96.1 FM) Laramie