Game notes: CSU faces TCU in MW Championship quarterfinal
March 6, 2012
Colorado State (4) vs. TCU (5) | Game 30 | MW Championship Quarterfinals
|COLORADO STATE RAMS||TCU HORNED FROGS|
|CSU STATISTICAL LEADERS||TCU STATISTICAL LEADERS|
• The No. 4-seeded Colorado State Rams travels to Las Vegas, Nev., opening up the 2012 Conoco Mountain West Championships with a Thursday afternoon matchup against the No. 5-seeded TCU Horned Frogs.
• Tipoff between the Rams and the Horned Frogs is set for 3:30 p.m. MT and the game will be broadcast simulcast live in high definition on The Mtn. and CBS Sports Network.
• Rich (play-by-play) and Joe Cravens (analyst) will call the action courtside. The game can be found on Comcast Digital Cable (411/412/846), DirecTV (613/616) and Dish Network (152).
• Brian Roth will have the call on the Colorado State Sports Network, 560 AM KLZ (Denver) and 600 AM KCOL (Fort Collins).
• Streaming audio and live stats are available at CSURams.com.
The tournament field
• The Rams enter play at this week’s tournament as the No. 4 seed, after posting an overall record of 19-10 in the regular season, including an 8-6 mark against the Mountain West.
• Colorado State is slated to face the No. 5-seeded TCU Horned Frogs on Thursday in the quarterfinal round of the tournament. The game is slated to tip at 2:30 p.m. PT/3:30 p.m. MT from UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center (18,500).
• The winner of Thursday’s matchup will then face off against the winner of the quarterfinal contest between No. 1-seeded San Diego State (24-6, 10-4 MW), who is ranked 23rd by the Associated Press and 21st in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll, and No. 8 seed Boise State who finished the season 13-16 (3-11 MW).
• No. 2-seeded New Mexico (24-6, 10-4) and faces No. 7-seeded Air Force (13-15, 3-11) in the first quarterfinal matchup of the opposite side of the bracket.
• Host No. 17/17 UNLV (25-7, 9-5), the tourney’s No. 3 seed, and sixth-seeded Wyoming (20-10, 6-8) round out the tourney field.
• Semifinal matchups are scheduled for 6 p.m. PT/7 p.m. MT and 8:30 p.m. PT/9:30 p.m. MT on Friday, with the winners deciding the conference championship, and the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament, with a 4 p.m. PT/5 p.m. MT matchup in Saturday’s title game.
Colorado State Quick Hits
• Colorado State’s basketball history dates back to 1902, and the 2010-11 season marks the 108th for the program. The Rams are 1,128-1,168 (.491) in 2,296 games entering play at the 2012 Conoco MW Championship.
• Colorado State closed the regular season with a 19-10 record, becoming the 11th team in program history to reach the 19-win mark.
• The Rams finished the Mountain West race alone in fourth place in the league standings with an 8-6 mark.
• CSU boasts the No. 4-rated strength of schedule in the nation, as ranked by the NCAA through games played March 5. It is the top mark in the Mountain West.
• Colorado State also owns an a strong Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) score of 21. The RPI is one metric used by the NCAA tournament committee when selecting at-large participants in the 68-team bracket.
• The Rams rank as on of the most efficient offensive teams in the country, leading the Mountain West in field-goal percentage (.475), three-point percentage (.407), and free-throw percentage (.769) through the end of the regular season.
• Colorado State’s roster features a rare combination of youth and experience in 2011-12, with just two seniors - Kaipo Sabas and Will Bell - on the squad, and five juniors that have combined to play 472 career games in the green and gold.
• The 2011-12 CSU basketball team turned in one of the best home records in program history, going 14-1 and rattling off 13 straight wins at Moby Arena to close out the 2011-12 regular season.
• The Rams’ 13-game win streak at Moby Arena ranks tied for 13th nationally.
• The Rams completed a 7-0 mark at Moby Arena in Mountain West play, joining CSU’s nationally ranked volleyball team, and the Rams’ resurgent women’s program to combine for a 21-0 mark at Moby Arena against league foes in 2011-12.
• Colorado State posted a 14-1 mark at home in 2011-12, setting a Moby Arena record for single-season winning percentage at .933. The previous record was set during the 1989-90 season when the Rams went 13-1 (.929) at Moby Arena.
• Colorado State faced a school-record four different ranked teams in 2011-12, playing six games against top-25 opponents, the second-largest total in program history behind the 1950-51 squad that played four games each against ranked foes from BYU and Wyoming.
• The Rams defeated three ranked teams throughout the 2011-12 season, establishing a school record for most victories over top-25 opponents in a single season.
• Colorado State won eight consecutive games from Dec. 19 through Jan. 17, tying for the fifth-longest win streak in program history.
• Colorado State posted an impressive mark against its Front Range rivals - Air Force, Colorado, Denver, Northern Colorado and Wyoming - during the 2011-12 season, finishing 6-1 in those contests.
• Colorado State crowds at Moby Arena averaged more than 4,000 fans per game (4,193) for the second consecutive season, the first time CSU crowds have reached the 4,000-fan plateau in consecutive years since 2005-06 (4,303) and 2006-07 (4,620).
• The Rams competed in the Dick’s Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off in 2011-12, posting a 3-1 mark, including a pair of home victories over UTEP and Manhattan in the consolation rounds at Moby Arena.
• CSU took home the tournament title at the Bank of the West Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational, opening with a road victory over host UTEP before defeating Jacksonville State in the tournament championship.
• No. 5-seeded TCU enters Thursday’s contest with a 17-13 overall record, having finished one game behind CSU in the league standings with a 7-7 mark in the MW.
• The Frogs enter the tournament on a two-game skid, after losing at Wyoming (71-59) and suffering a 98-92 overtime loss at home against top-seeded San Diego State.
• The Frogs are 1-2 in neutral-court games in 2011-12, playing Virginia (W, 57-55), Norfolk State (L, 66-53) and Ole Miss (L, 80-69) at the 2011 Paradise Jam in St. Thomas, U.S.V.I.
• Head coach Jim Christian is 55-70 in his fourth season at TCU, and boasts a career record of 193-128 in 10 seasons at Kent State and TCU.
• The Horned Frogs are led by first-team all-MW senior guard Hank Thorns who paces the team in minutes per game (33.9), scoring (13.4 ppg.), three-pointers (68) and assists (138).
• Senior guard J.R. Cadot. a third-team all-league selection, paces the team in rebounding (7.0 per game), and ranks second in scoring at 11.3 points per game.
• Amric Fields, the MW Sixth Man of the Year, averages 9.8 points and 2.4 rebounds per game, while league Freshman of the Year Kyan Anderson averages 8.1 points per game and dished out 81 assists on the year.
• As a team, the Horned Frogs rank third in the MW in scoring (71.9), and last in scoring defense (70.8).
Series vs. TCU
• Thursday’s matchup between the Rams and Horned Frogs marks the 22nd in the series between the two programs.
• The first meeting in the series came during the 1971-72 season and resulted in a 109-78 CSU victory.
• TCU leads the all-time series, 11-10.
• In 15 matchups since TCU joined the Mountain West in 2005-06, CSU holds a 9-6 mark.
• The Rams and Horned Frogs have met just once on a neutral floor, with Colorado State capturing a 64-60 victory in the first round of the 2006 MW tournament at Pepsi Center in Denver, Colo.
• The Rams and Horned Frogs split two matchups during the regular season, each winning on their home court.
• CSU needed double overtime to deny the Frogs comeback bid at Moby Arena, 95-89.
• The Horned Frogs pulled off the season split at the Daniel-Meyer Coliseum, coming back from a halftime deficit to down the Rams, 75-71.
• Head Coach Tim Miles is 5-5 vs. TCU in his fifth seasons at CSU.
In the first meeting...
• Colorado State escaped with a 95-89 double-overtime victory in the first meeting of the season between the Rams and the Horned Frogs.
• CSU led by 11 points with 2:47 remaining before the Horned Frogs stormed back to tied the game, 76-76, at the end of regulation.
• Senior forward Will Bell had a career night with 23 points, four blocks and two steals, all career-high marks, to go along with eight rebounds in the victory.
• Wes Eikmeier and Dorian Green added 21 and 19 points, respectively, while Jesse Carr (12) and Pierce Hornung (11) also scored in double figures for the Rams.
• TCU was led by first-team all-conference guard Hank Thorns who scored 21 points and dished out five assists in the contest.
• Amric Fields also tallied 20 points for the Frogs, while Garlon Green notched a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds.
In the second meeting...
• Colorado State suffered a disappointing loss at TCU, 75-71, after giving up a 10-point lead in the contest, and failing to execute down the stretch while clinging to a slim margin.
• The Rams held the 10-point advantage with just more than three minutes to play in the first half, but TCU stormed back to head into the locker room down just five. The Horned Frogs opened the second half on an 11-1 run to regain the lead.
• TCU led by as many as six points in the second half, but CSU held a late 69-67 lead. But the Rams turned the ball over three times in the final three minutes and TCU scored nine of the games final 11 points to capture the victory.
• Wes Eikemeier led CSU with then-career-high mark of 26 points. Pierce Hornung added 14 points and nine rebounds, while Will Bell chipped in with 11 points and five boards.
• TCU center Craig Williams led the Frogs’ three-point barrage, going 4-of-5 from distance to score a team-high 20 points. Hank Thorns added 15 points.
A win over TCU will...
• Move the Rams to 20-10 overall, and advance CSU to a semifinal matchup against either No. 1 San Diego Sate or No. 8 Boise State.
• A 20th win would move the 2011-12 Rams up the program’s all-time win charts into a tie for sixth in program history.
• Move the all-time series between the schools to an 11-11 tie
• Give the Rams their first win in the Mountain West tournament since a 68-63 victory over Wyoming in the 2008 first round.
• Improve Colorado State’s record in MW tournament quarterfinal games to 4-9. CSU’s last victory in a quarterfinal game came against San Diego State, 69-64, at the 2007 conference tournament.
• Push the Rams overall win streak to three games, including a pair of victories over UNLV and Air Force to close out the regular season.
• Improve CSU to 3-0 on the season in neutral-site games. The Rams defeated SMU at Stanford’s Maples Pavilion to open the Dick’s Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off in early November, and downed Jacksonville State at UTEP’s Don Haskins Center at the Bank of the West Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational in late December.
A loss to TCU will...
• Drop the Rams to 19-11 overall, and eliminate CSU from the 2012 MW Championship.
• Move the all-time series between the schools 12-10 in favor of TCU.
• Hand CSU a third consecutive loss in the quarterfinal round of the MW tournament.
• Drop Colorado State’s record in MW tournament quarterfinal games to 3-10.
• Halt the Rams’ current win streak at two games.
• Drop the Rams to 2-1 in 2011-12 in neutral-site games.
• With a victory, Colorado State would continue play in the 2012 MW tournament, advancing to play either No. 1 SDSU or No. 8 Boise State at 6 p.m. PT/7 p.m. MT on Friday.
• With a loss, the Rams would return to Fort Collins and await their fate during the selection shows for the NCAA tournament and National Invitation Tournament (NIT).
Milestone watch: Entering MW quarterfinals...
• Will Bell: needs 31 points to reach 350 in two seasons in a Rams uniform since transferring to CSU from Northeastern Junior College in Sterling, Colo.
• Jesse Carr: closing in on milestones of 200 career rebounds and assists, with 198 boards and 189 helpers to his credit to date. Carr is also approaching 200 points on the season (193), something he hasn’t accomplished since scoring 219 during a stellar freshman season.
• Wes Eikmeier: is 23 points shy of 750 career points in a CSU uniform, and is just nine assist shy of 150 for his DI career at CSU (114) and Iowa State (20).
• Dorian Green: is nine points shy of 1,000 for his career, entering postseason play. Green should eclipse the 1,000-point mark this season, to become the 19th player in program history to accomplish the feat. Also approaching 250-career assists (245) and 300 rebounds (278).
• Pierce Hornung: is 31 rebounds shy of 500 total boards, and needs just nine offensive rebounds for 200 in a Rams uniform. Hornung is also closing in on 450 career points (414) and 50 career blocks (41).
• Kaipo Sabas: is 12 points shy of 150 for his career at CSU.
• Greg Smith: closing in on milestones for career assists and steals, needing five helpers for 100 and nine takeaways for 50. Also needs 45 points for 700.
Records update: Entering MW quarterfinals...
• Single-Season Three-Point Percentage: .491 - Eighth on the Rams’ single-season list, behind Jemeel Mahmud (.465 in 1997) and just ahead of David Turcotte (.431 in 1987).
• Single-Season Points: 463 - is 85 points shy of the Barry Young (548 in 1978) for 10th on the list.
• Single-Season Field-Goal Attempts: 377 - Needs just 15 field-goal attempts to tie David Turcotte (1988) for 10th in a single season in program history with 392.
• Career Free-Throw Percentage: .869 - Ranks second at CSU, just behind No. 1 Ryan Yoder (1991-94) who hit at a .889 clip from the stripe during his career.
• Single-Season Free-Throw Percentage: .875 - Ranks sixth at CSU, just behind No. 5 Ryan Yoder, who hit at a .880 clip from the stripe in 1991-92.
• Career Points: 991 - Ranks 19th all-time at CSU, and is 16 points shy of No. 19 John Sivesind (1,009) and No. 18 Marcus Walker (1,009).
• Career Assists: 245 - 49 assists shy of tying Rich Strong (1983-86) for 10th on the Rams’ career assists list at 294, and will likely finish his career as just the 10th player in CSU history with at least 300 career helpers.
• Three-Pointers Made: 139 - Ranks seventh in CSU history and is five treys shy of No. 6 Andre McFarland (144 from 2008-11), and just 15 away from tying Mark Meredith (154 1990-91) for third on the list.
• Three-Pointers Attempted: 372 - 14 three-point attempts from tying David Evans (1995-96) for fourth on the all-time list.
• Career Rebounds: 469 - As a junior, needs just 169 rebounds to reach the Rams’ career top-10 list.
• Single-Season Rebounds: 190 - Enters postseason play 61 rebounds shy of the Rams’ single-season top 10 - Pat Durham (251 in 1989).
• Career Field-Goal Percentage: .601 - Ranks fourth in CSU annals with a career field-goal percentage of .601, just behind Stuart Creason, who shot 60.2 percent from the field from 2005-08.
• Single-Season Field-Goal Percentage: .632 - Enters postseason play ranked third on the Rams’ single-season charts, below Matt Nelson (.643 in 2003) and ahead of Michael Harrison (.623 in 2006).
• Career Steals: 110 - Two steals shy of tying Eddie Hughes (1979-82) for fifth all-time and just six takaways from matching No. 4 David Evans (1995-96).
• Single-Season Steals: 43 - Five steals shy of tying Milt Palacio (1998), Delmonte Madison (1996) and Eric Friehauf (1988) for eighth in a single-season at CSU.
• Career Three-Point Percentage: .500 - Ranks second on the career list, behind Joel Tribelhorn (.535 in 1989) and ahead of Trent Shippen (.480 from 1988-89).
• Single-Season Three-Point Percentage: .491 - Third on the Rams’ single-season list, behind Trent Shippen (.522 in 1988) and just ahead of Aki Palmer (.490 in 2000).
Miles vs. the Centennial State
• The steady improvement in the Colorado State men’s basketball team over the last four seasons under Head Coach Tim Miles can be seen in the Rams’ regular-season record vs. the other four NCAA Division I programs in the state of Colorado.
• In Miles’ first season, the Rams posted a 1-4 record against in-state rivals Colorado, Denver, Northern Colorado and Air Force (two games).
• During the 2008-09 season, Miles’ second at CSU, the Rams improved to 3-2 in those contests.
• In Miles’ third year, 2009-10, the Rams were impressive against their regional rivals, posting a 4-1 mark with the lone setback coming against a UNC team that went on to win 25 games.
• In 2010-11, the Rams once again posted a winning record vs. their in-state rivals, going 3-2 with wins over DU and UNC and a split vs. Air Force.
• This season, the Rams posted a perfect 5-0 mark against in-state rivals, with victories over Colorado (65-64), at Northern Colorado (92-78), vs. Denver (79-75) and vs. Air Force (67-49 and 75-65).
• Overall, Miles has led the Rams’ to a 16-9 record against in-state Division I rivals since taking over the program in 2007-08, and has compiled an impressive mark of 15-5 tally since the start of the 2008-09 campaign.
• Three Colorado State juniors - Wes Eikmeier, Dorian Green and Pierce Hornung - earned all-Mountain West honors for the Rams in 2011-12.
• The three all-league selections are a program record for the Rams in either the MW or the Western Athletic Conference.
• All three are first-time all-conference selections.
• Eikmeier earned first-team honors after leading Colorado State in scoring at 16.0 points per game. He is the fourth first-team all-MW honoree in CSU history, joining former teammate Andy Ogide (2011) and NBA Draft selection Jason Smith (2006 and 2007).
• Green, who was named to the all-MW third team, has started 93 consecutive games - every game of his collegiate career - through the end of the 2011-12 regular-season, He has led CSU in assists in each of the last three seasons, and ranks as the Rams’ second-leading scorer in 2011-12 (13.4 ppg).
• Pierce Hornung joined Green on the all-MW third team and was selected as a member of the MW all-defensive squad, CSU’s first honoree since on the defensive team. He ranked third in the MW in rebounding (8.3 rpg) and led the Rams with 1.87 steals per game, good enough for second in the league.
Miles honored by USBWA
• Colorado State’s fifth-year Head Coach Tim Miles was honored Tuesday by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association as the District VIII Coach of the Year.
• Miles is joined by Harvard’s Tommy Amaker (District I), Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim (II), Virginia’s Tony Bennett (III), Steve Prohm of Murray State (IV), Michigan State’s Tom Izzo (V), Missouri’s Frank Haith (VI), Trent Johnson of LSU (VII) and fellow MW mentor Steve Fisher (IX).
• Miles was previously named the CollegeInsider.com Mountain West Coach of the Year during the 2009-10 season. In 2005-06, he was selected as the CBS Sportsline DI Independent Coach of the Year while at North Dakota State.
• For a complete list of Miles’ coach honors, please see his bio in the CSU mens’ basketball game notes.
Eikmeier earns all-district nod
• First-team all-conference guard Wes Eikmeier was also honored by the USBWA, earning all-district VIII honors.
• Eikmeier is joined on the team by Will Cherry (Montana), Drew Gordon (New Mexico), Noah Hartsock (BYU), Damian Lillard (Weber State), Michael Lyons (Air Force), Wendell McKines (New Mexico State), Mike Moser (UNLV), Andre Roberson (Colorado) and Malik Story (Nevada)
Back-to-back-to-back postseason berths
• Head Coach Tim Miles will become the third coach in school history to lead the Rams to three consecutive postseason berths in 2011-12, having guided the Rams to the 2010 CBI and the 2011 NIT, and taking the Rams to the brink of an NCAA tournament berth with a 19-10 record to close out the regular season.
• CSU has made three straight postseason appearances twice in program history, under head coaches Jim Williams (1961-63) and Boyd Grant (1988-90):
• 1960-61 (NIT), 1961-62 (NIT) and 1962-63 (NCAA)
• 1987-88 (NIT), 1988-89 (NCAA) and 1989-90 (NCAA)
• Junior forward Pierce Hornung returned to the court for Colorado State in CSU’s Dec. 19 victory over Texas Southern. It marked Hornung’s first action since Nov. 15 when he suffered a concussion in the Rams’ game at Stanford.
• Hornung, a junior co-captain who had played in 67 consecutive games to start his career at Colorado State, missed CSU’s games vs. Southern Miss (Nov. 19), vs. UTSA (Nov. 21), vs. Manhattan (Nov. 22), vs. Colorado (Nov. 30), at UNI (Dec. 3) and at Duke (Dec. 7) after suffering a concussion.
• Prior to the injury Hornung, who was named 2011 MW Sixth Man of the Year, led the Rams in minutes per game, rebounds per game, blocks and steals.
• With Hornung in the lineup this season, the Rams are 16-7, giving up just 65.5 points per game defensively. Without Hornung, the Rams posted a 3-3 mark, and gave up an average of 79.0 points per game, a difference of 13.5 points per game.