Wyoming is hurting as well; the Cowboys have lost four straight games by an average margin of 17 points since starting forward Leonard Washington injured his ankle. Head coach Larry Shyatt said Monday on the MW coaches teleconference that Washington would have an MRI on his rolled ankle and that it’s uncertain whether the senior will be able to play Wednesday.
Missing Washington, the leading scorer (13.4) and rebounder (9.0), would be a huge blow to the Cowboys chances against a hungry CSU team that is demonstrative on the glass.
The best rebounding team in the country would really be able to flex their muscles against a Washington-less Wyoming squad, and it only benefits the Rams that center Colton Iverson has been going off. The senior has recorded a double-double in 3-4 games, going after opponents with tenacity. And while Iverson leads the MW in rebounding (9.8 RPG), teammate Pierce Hornung is second (9.1).
Rebounding the rock, and therefore controlling the game, has been Colorado State’s M.O. all year—it will be the key statistic in determining the outcome of the game.
In the backcourt, each team sports talented guards in Dorian Green and Derrious Gilmore. Gilmore’s a quick guy, and when he’s on, he can also light it up from downtown. In the teams’ first meeting this season, he set a season-high with 26 points, including six made three-pointers. Green is the Rams’ rock; he’s started all 124 games in his collegiate career with CSU and can hit shots in the clutch. Green’s nine assists that night were a season-high as well, and ball-movement leads to bountiful buckets.
What really plays into the Cowboys hands is that they’re playing in the Arena-Auditorium in Laramie, Wy. The Rams are only 5-6 on the road this season, dropping their last two to the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels and the Boise State Broncos, and there’s no doubt Cowboys fans will be loud and proud for the border war.
Wyoming (18-11, 4-11 MWC) plays the best defense of anyone in the conference, allowing a mere 56.9 points per, making the Rams difficult challenge even tougher.
The game tips off at 8 p.m. Mountain and will be televised on ROOT Sports Rocky Mountain.
A win for Colorado State (22-7, 9-5 MWC) would be their 23rd of the season, which would tie a school record.