It's time for the sheep to once again make the drive north to Laramie to face the 15-3 Cowboys. Thankfully this game will be much more meaningful and competitive then previous editions. Colorado State has swept the series the last two years while aiming for post season berths. Meanwhile Wyoming was fighting to just reach double digit wins. Attendance was nearly 7k last week against New Mexico, it should exceed that number with the Rams in town. Any attendance predictions? I'll go ahead and say 8,200.
Tim Miles keeps trying to get the Rams (13-4) into the NCAA tournament and put together a very tough non conference schedule to boost their resume. Their four losses have come to Duke, Stanford, Northern Iowa and Southern Miss. Thus the Rams enter with an impressive RPI of 21 and strength of schedule of 19. They have struggled on the road however and sit at 2-3 on the year. As far common opponents go both teams beat CU and Northern Colorado. CSU did beat Denver at home 79-75 while Wyoming lost to Denver on the road 57-46.
You certainly need to keep an eye on junior guards Dorian Green (14.2ppg) and Wes Eikmeier (16.7ppg). They are the two Rams who can get hot from outside. Green is shooting 50% from long range and Eikmeier is at 38%. Greg Smith (10.5ppg) is the only other Ram to average double figures. Once again Wyoming will be at a disadvantage when it comes to depth. F Pierce Hornung comes off the bench to average 7.3 ppg and a team best 7.3 rpg. Expect the Rams to use a heavy rotation with up to eight players getting double digit minutes.
This game will feature a clash of styles as CSU likes play a faster tempo and push the ball while Wyoming will slow things down and play tough defense. When things turned into a shootout against New Mexico it didn't work out well for the Cowboys. They need to avoid that same mistake this time around. CSU averages 74 points a game while giving up 69. As team the Rams shoot 43% from behind the arc. They tend to get in foul trouble fairly often and commit a number of turnovers. That is something that Wyoming will need to exploit to keep CSU from taking as many shots.
A victory here would have huge implications for the Cowboys. It would give them a big win over their hated rival obviously. But it will also mean a win over a high ranked program and also improve their resume for post season consideration. Can't wait to see the crowd this Saturday and the AA rocking once again!