Rams prepare for Thursday's NCAA tournament battle with Missouri

March 20, 2013



by Stuart Buchanan, Athletics Media Relations

LEXINGTON, Ky.--The Rams spent most of Wednesday preparing for their showdown against the ninth-seeded Missouri Tigers, going through two practices, a full-session in the morning and a shoot-around at Rupp Arena in the early evening.

Following breakfast and morning meetings the team departed for its first practice. The hour-long session, which began at 11 a.m., was held in the Joe Craft Center, the on-campus practice facility for the University of Kentucky. Players went through a light warm up to keep their legs fresh and ran through some sets they’ll likely see from Missouri on Thursday.

Later in the day Head Coach Larry Eustachy spoke highly of the performance Missouri guard Phil Pressey is capable of.

“When teams haven’t (stayed in front of him) they’ve lost every time,” Eustachy said. “So he’s the key…we have to stay in front of him.”

The team had lunch and a couple hours to rest before getting back on the bus and heading to Rupp Arena for the evening’s public practice and interview session with local and national media.

Eustachy and seniors Colton Iverson and Wes Eikmeier had a 20-minute press conference in which they were asked about what they expect from Missouri, Pressey and the battle on the glass.

Eikmeier was asked about the difference coming into the NCAA tournament this year in comparison to last season.

“When we got here (last year) it was just a feat on its own,” the senior guard said. “This year it’s a different team, completely different feel and we’re here to win.”

Following the time with the media, the fans had a chance to see the Rams practice for the first time in Lexington. Eustachy had the team run through a couple drills that they do every day in practice then allowed them to have some fun.

With the encouragement of the fans, some Rams put on a dunking exhibition while center Iverson demonstrated his range, knocking down several three pointers. CSU concluded the public practice with half court shots.

The Rams will meet one more time Wednesday night and enjoy a team dinner before turning the page to game day. Tipoff versus the Tigers is set for approximately 7:20 p.m. (MT), following the evening session’s first game between No. 1 seed Louisville and North Carolina A&T. The game will be televised on TBS.

New kicks: The team was given new shoes by Nike which the players have been breaking in over the past couple of days.

Incentive?: Rams point guard Dorian Green grew up in Lawrence, Kan., before coming to Colorado State. He was asked whether there is any extra incentive playing Missouri since he grew up a Jayhawk fan.

“Where I’m from you never want to lose to Missouri,” Green said. “I don’t know if that is any added incentive or not. You never like to lose to Mizzou, being from Kansas. I definitely want to win. A bunch of my friends are Jayhawks and go to KU and they texted me as soon as we got matched up saying, ‘you can’t lose to Missouri.’ It is what it is, being from that part of the country.”