The Buffs aim to continue their four-game home winning streak against in-state rivals Colorado State.
Colorado will host the Rams at the Coors Events Center on Wednesday night in their eighth game of the season. Following a huge win Saturday against Oregon State, the Buffs look to avenge last year’s defeat. Falling to the Rams 77-62 last season at Moby Arena, the team is prepared to fight for a win this time around.
“They’re a tough, well-coached, experienced team,” CU Head Coach Tad Boyle said of the Rams. “It should be a great game, there should be a lot of energy in the building, and it’s not going to be easy for us.”
Colorado State comes into Wednesday night’s game with a 4-1 record, averaging 81 points per game, just ahead of CU in the NCAA standings.
Senior forward Andy Ogide leads CSU in scoring, and is coming off his second straight double-double in a victory against Fresno State Saturday. Senior forward Travis Franklin is second in scoring for the Rams, averaging 15.6 points per game.
“We have to be concerned with their two post players, Travis Franklin and Andy Ogide,” Boyle said. “For us, it’s going to take a great team effort and we are going to need all hands on deck to beat this CSU team.”
Boyle said anyone could be a big player Wednesday night. Several standout players have been surfacing in recent games. Freshman guard Andre Roberson is leading the Buffs in rebounds, averaging 6.9 rebounds per game, leaving him in second in the nation for true freshmen. Senior guard Levi Knutson led the Buffs against Oregon State, scoring a career-high 22 points and six 3-pointers.
Knutson has turned the heat up in his final season as a Buff, leading the team in scoring for two consecutive games and taking the limelight off of regular leading scorers Cory Higgins and Alec Burks.
Knutson said the team chemistry is a big factor in CU’s successes this season. Of his recent performance, Knutson said his hard work has finally paid off.
“I had a good off season training in the weight room, and getting in the gym,” Knutson said. “I think that was the biggest thing.”
As for CSU, Knutson said he is confident in the Buff’s abilities.
“As a team if we can put together two good halves defending and rebounding I think we’ll come out on top,” Knutson said.
Senior guard Cory Higgins and sophomore guard Alec Burks haven’t slowed down this season either. Despite Knutson’s recent back-to-back scoring lead, Higgins and Burks have gone back and forth, leading CU in scoring in 33 of the past 38 games.
Burks said Wednesday’s game will be a tough match-up, with the entire team working hard.
“I expect a hard game,” Burks said. “It’s going to be tough, physical, and a hard game to win.”
Tip-off is scheduled for 8:07 p.m. at the Coors Events Center in Boulder. The game will be televised on FSN Rocky Mountain.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Mackenzie Carroll at Carrolma@colorado.edu.