WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi did a question-and-answer session with Matt Stephens, who helps cover Colorado State men’s basketball for the Fort Collins Coloradoan, about Wednesday’s game with the University of Wyoming.
Tip off between the two teams is at 7 p.m. MT at the Arena-Auditorium in Laramie.
Follow on Twitter: @MattStephens
The Rams are 19-3 and 6-3 in the league. As of late, what has this team been doing well?
Colorado State has done a much better job of having each player realize what he’s good at. If you look at Tiel Daniels, he’s starting to utilize more of his strength. In the loss to
Wyoming, there was a point in the first half where he had an easy dunk had he just gone up with the ball after catching it in the post. Instead, he puts it on the floor and has three guys surround him leading to a five-second violation.
Point guard John Gillon has continued to be a spark plug hitting big 3-pointers, Daniel Bejarano knows when to put on the gas and make big plays himself or pass the ball off, and J.J. Avila’s free-throw shooting is getting better. Colorado State’s success lately has been guys doing what they’re good at instead of trying to be players they’re not.
Two of the three conference losses have come on the road — against good teams like New Mexico and Boise State. What areas of the game did Colorado State struggle at in those losses, and in particular the 82-78 loss at Boise State on Jan. 27?
At New Mexico, it was just the offense in general, but at Boise State, the Rams got too comfortable. They got off to a poor start, overcame the deficit, then played most the game with a nice lead.
Queue Derrick Marks, the one Boise State player who killed them at Taco Bell Arena two seasons ago. He did it again by scoring 28 points Jan. 27. CSU let him do what he wanted on the floor and it killed any momentum the Rams had.
Scoring 78 points should be enough to win a college basketball game, but Colorado State’s defense had a rare breakdown. Of course, the late technical (regardless whether it was warranted or not) against coach Larry Eustachy played a big role in momentum, leading to a four-point possession for the Broncos. Colorado State lost that game by four points.