Home is where the heart is, and for the CSU men’s basketball team, it’s the only place where it has won a game this season.
The Rams currently are the owners of a 13-5 overall record, but four of those five losses have all come on the road. And with seven of the Rams’ last 11 games on the road this season, both the coaches and the players will have to find a way to remedy the road woes.
“We’ve got to turn our attention to the road games where we’ve struggled a little bit,” head coach Dale Layer said during his weekly radio show. “We’ve played tough teams on the road, but I think we haven’t done enough little things. We’ve played a little fast and we’ve been a little careless with the ball, and you can’t do those things on the road.”
However, as Layer mentioned, the Rams have had their fair share of difficult road opponents. Of the four teams they have lost to on the road, both Southern Illinois and Purdue are undefeated on their home courts. The other two teams, Colorado and Arkansas-Little Rock, have only one loss against visiting teams.
The Rams next two games both come on the road, against San Diego State on Saturday and UNLV on Monday, two teams with a combined 3-5 conference record so far.
“We know we haven’t won on the road yet, so we’re going to have to go out there with our game faces on,” Rams’ center Matt Nelson said in an interview with KIIX 1410 AM.
After last Saturday’s disappointing two-point loss to Border rival Wyoming, many of the Rams’ players weren’t satisfied with coming up short, but realized that they had many opportunities to win the ball game.
“If Wyoming is supposed to be one of the top teams in our league, well, we’re right there with them,” assistant coach Bill Peterson said. “None of our kids, or us, have been in an atmosphere like that. There’s going to be a time in the near future where will be winning those games.”
The Wyoming game drew 8,745 fans to Moby Arena, making it the first sellout since the 1998-99 season when CSU defeated Colorado in the second-round of the NIT Tournament. And while Layer said he enjoyed the crowd’s enthusiasm, he hopes the Rams will receive similar support for the rest of their home games.
“We have an entertaining team, and hopefully the fans respond to that,” Layer said. “I think we’ve earned some respect and we have growing support.”
Fans can only do so much for the Rams at Moby. CSU only needs to handle itself on the road to keep them showing up.