WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi did a question-and-answer session with Matt Stephens, who covers Colorado State men’s basketball for the Fort Collins Coloradoan.
Wyoming (18-11 overall, 4-11 Mountain West) hosts Colorado State (22-7, 9-5) at 8 tonight at the Arena-Auditorium in Laramie.
Question: Air Force’s Michael Lyons, New Mexico’s Kendall Williams and Boise State’s Derrick Marks have had huge games the last couple of weeks against the Rams. Is there a big concern about Colorado State’s perimeter defense, or do you chalk it up to three very good players having very good games?
Answer: I only get concerned when CSU is playing on a Saturday. The Rams held all UNLV and Fresno State players to less than 20 the past two Wednesday, so there must be some voodoo going on.
But really, I don’t see what CSU is missing in terms of on-ball defense. Williams and Lyons each had a hand in their faces on most shots, but they were allowed to catch the ball. The Rams have really focused on “no catch” defense the last week or so, and against Fresno State it worked, as they denied Kevin Olekaibe the ball in the second half to shut him down.
It is hard to really figure out what else CSU can do. Even Larry Shyatt noted it Monday that opponents were just having big games. No rhyme or reason.
Wyoming and Colorado State meet for the 218th time on the basketball court at 5 p.m. today at Moby Arena in Fort Collins.
It will be the first Border War experience for first-year CSU coach Larry Eustachy. One of the more entertaining and interesting coaches in the Mountain West, Eustachy had some kind words for UW earlier this week.
“There is no better coach in the Mountain West than (Wyoming’s) Larry Shyatt,” he said. “We know what we are in for. It’s going to be a battle, whether it is here or there or on a neutral court. I have the utmost respect for (Wyoming’s) fans and program than anyone in the country.”
Eustachy said he is good friends with former UW coach Jim Brandenburg.
WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi did a question-and-answer session with Matt Stephens, who covers Colorado State men’s basketball for the Fort Collins Coloradoan in Fort Collins. Wyoming plays at Colorado State at 5 p.m. today at Moby Arena.
Look for Q&As with beat writers of Wyoming’s conference foes throughout the rest of the season.
Question: What are the biggest differences or changes with the team this season with first-year coach Larry Eustachy compared to how things were with former coach Tim Miles?
Answer: Defense, defense, defense. When Miles arrived in 2007, he also wanted to build CSU as a defensive power, but he quickly realized that there wasn’t really anyone on the team who could shoot the ball that season outside of Marcus Walker. Instead, CSU had to find ways to score points and as the years went on and Miles recruited better talents to Fort Collins, coaching shooters paid off.
Eustachy is all about defense and rebounding. Call it luck of the draw if you will, but having five seniors as his starters made this easier. We all knew the scoring ability of guys like Wes Eikmeier and Dorian Green, but this year we’re seeing them as more complete players. Look at Colton Iverson and Pierce Hornung. Both of them do most of their work inside on both ends, but almost never get in foul trouble because they’ve been coached defensive positioning.
Colorado State beat UNLV in Fort Collins last Saturday. This is what CSU coach Larry Eustachy said about Bennett and UNLV this week on the Mountain West coaches teleconference: “(UNLV) was a little bit tired. I think Wyoming is going to get a real fresh UNLV team, along with Bennett. That’s going to be hard for anybody to handle, particularly at their place.”