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Game On!

December 5, 2012

One of the most anticipated games in years will be played tonight as Colorado State (6-0) travels to Boulder to take on the Colorado Buffaloes (6-1).

Both teams are off to hot starts after making appearances in last year’s NCAA Tournament. Colorado State brings a team laden with experience, starting 5 seniors including transfer big Colton Iverson. Colorado is less experienced but they are young and talented, led by rebounding machine Andre Roberson and guards Spencer Dinwiddie and Askia Booker.

And the game had a bit of a glow put on it this week when Dinwiddie referred to CSU as CU’s little brother. The same CSU that has beaten the Buffs 4 out of the last 7 including last years 65-64 thriller in Fort Collins.

But like any rivalry game, you can throw away any past history. There’s no Jason Smith to lead the Rams to victory like he did in Boulder in 2006. There’s no Alec Burks or Cory Higgins to lead the Buffs to an OT win like they did in 2010.

But there is a collection of seniors at CSU who can further establish their legacy with a famous road win over their rivals. Dorian Green will make his 103rd consecutive start; the same Dorian Green who hit the leaner with 10 seconds to go last season for the winning points. There’s Wes Eikmeier who had a game high 19 last year. Greg Smith who defended the Buffs’ Nate Tomlinson on the last play, forcing him to miss a long jumper. Pierce Hornung, hungry after missing last seasons affair with a concussion. Jesse Carr, who will miss this year with a knee injury. And Iverson.

The Rams will be playing a very good CU team who rarely loses at home under third year coach Tad Boyle. When the Buffs are on their game they defend passing lanes, get a lot of rebounds, and attack the rim relentlessly. Roberson is their workhorse on both ends, relying on his uncanny rebounding skills to do most of his damage in the paint. DInwiddie is tall and poised with ability to get into the lane on the bounce or to catch-and-shoot from the perimeter. And Booker is a bouncy guard who loves to attack the paint but can beat you from the perimeter as well.

With the Buffs coming off a rather difficult loss at Wyoming where they were physically beaten in the last 20 minutes, look for them to come out with a lot of energy over the 94′ with traps on defense and attacks directly at Iverson on offense.

Look for CSU to play their trademark defense and to hit the glass hard, traits they have developed under new head coach Larry Eustachy. On offense, look for them to utilize Iverson’s presence in the post to take advantage of his size and maturity advantages he possesses over Buff big Josh Scott.

There’s no rocket science keys to this game. It will be about CSU using their maturity and strength on the glass and staying in front of the Buffs on defense while minimizing the fouling. If the Buffs can get anywhere near a stalemate on the boards from Roberson and force some open play turnovers to score easy transition baskets, they will be a load to beat. If the Rams can get Iverson going and get some contribution off the bench from guards Jon Octeus and Daniel Bejarano, they have a solid chance to score a famous victory tonight.


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