The last time Colorado State seriously contended for the Mountain West regular season title was…well….hey, they won the WAC in 1990!
Now they find themselves a half game behind New Mexico and are making a trip tonight to face UNLV. If they win in Vegas, they go home to prepare to host New Mexico this weekend, with a chance to take control of the conference race. A win tonight and one this weekend would also tie them for their most wins ever in a single season.
If the Rams are going to do it, then they need to do it now. With five seniors in the starting lineup, next season they'll be rebuilding.
The Rams, led by 1st year head coach Larry Eustachy, win games by winning the hidden battle of possessions. They're the 2nd best offensive rebounding team in the nation, and the No. 1 defensive rebounding team. They rebound over 42% of their own misses, but only allow opponents to grab 22.6% of their misses. That works out to seven extra possessions a game where Colorado State gets to keep trying to score. Considering that the average CSU game only features 65 possessions, those 7 extra are a big deal.
UNLV (No. 36 nationally in DR%) and New Mexico (No. 9) are both excellent defensive rebounding teams. But if they don't do their job this week then everyone in the Mountain West will be looking up at the Rams.