The Wyomingites are coming.
The CSU men’s basketball team faces border rival Wyoming for the
197th time Saturday at 7 p.m. at Moby Arena. Thousands of Wyoming
fans are expected to travel down to Fort Collins in what is usually
an evenly divided, near-sellout crowd on the Rams’ home floor.
The Rams (10-8 overall, 2-3 Mountain West Conference) will take
on the Cowboys (9-9, 2-3) without the services of their 7-foot
center and leading scorer Matt Nelson. Nelson re-injured a sprained
right knee during Monday’s 89-83 overtime win against Nevada – Las
Vegas. Nelson, who averages 14.8 points a game, also missed time
earlier this season after injuring the knee Jan. 5 at Montana
State. He is out of the CSU lineup indefinitely.
“We will move forward,” CSU head coach Dale Layer said in a
release. “I feel badly for Matt (Nelson) that he was injured. I
know that he will work hard to return as quickly as possible.”
Both teams are not enjoying as much success as they had hoped
this season, but both are coming off conference wins. CSU has won
two straight overtime MWC games against UNLV and San Diego State at
home, while Wyoming had a 79-71 comeback win against SDSU
Cowboy point guard Jay Straight scored 21 of a career-high 30
points in the second half against the Aztecs. Straight should have
a great matchup against CSU point guard Micheal Morris.
Morris was held scoreless for the first 20 minutes in his first
game back from his hamstring injury against SDSU Saturday but
exploded for a career-high 24 points in the second half and
overtime in CSU’s 92-82 double-overtime win against the Aztecs.
The guard play of Straight and David Adams leads the Cowboys.
Adams averages 10.6 points and 4.2 rebounds per game.
Without Nelson, 6-10 freshman center Stephen Verwers will have
to again step into a starting role, guarding Cowboy 7-foot center
Alex Dunn. Forward Matt Williams, CSU’s second leading scorer, has
been shooting the ball well of late and will have to pick up the
scoring load along with Morris.
“I got in trouble with my family and my coaches after taking all
those charges at Utah,” Williams said after the SDSU game. “I got
to make people come out and guard me.”
The Rams have broken their all-time record in foul shots
attempted in the past two games. CSU shot 56 foul shots against
UNLV and 53 against SDSU. CSU is shooting 68.7 percent from the
line this season.
Majerus to quit
Longtime Utah head coach Rick Majerus announced Wednesday that
he will resign as the Utes head coach at the end of the season.
Majerus was hospitalized Wednesday with chest pains and said he is
resigning because of continual health problems and to be with his
family. He has a 320-95 record in 15 seasons at Utah and a 422-147
career record as a college head coach. Utes assistant Kerry Rupp
will fill in for Majerus while he is hospitalized.
Probable starting lineups
CSU (10-8, 2-3 MWC)
G #32 Michael Morris 6-3
G #22 Shelton Johnson 6-3
F #13 Freddy Robinson 6-5
F #42 Matt Williams 6-6
C #34 Stephen Verwers 6-10
Wyoming (9-9, 2-3 MWC)
G #3 Jay Straight 5-11
G #23 David Adam 6-2
F #5 Tim Henry 6-5
F #25 Joe Ries 6-8
C #13 Alex Dunn 7-0