Kansas State preview

Dec 062005
Authors: Trevor Edy

Coming off their best shooting performance of the season Saturday, the Rams have to keep it up as they head to Kansas State (5-1) today.

CSU shot a season-best 56.8 percent from the field and 20 of 23 from the free throw line just five days ago in a win over IUPUI in Moby Arena.

Led by sophomores Jason Smith and Sean Morris, the Rams are currently 6-0, tying the school's best start since the 1970-71 season. The 7-foot center Smith is averaging nearly 20 points a game and grabbing almost 10 rebounds.

Guard Sean Morris is putting in 13 points a night, including his best performance against CU when he drilled nine three-pointers and ended the night with a career-high 34 points.

"In a way, it's a pick your poison with them a little bit," Auburn head coach Jeff Lebo said to the Denver Post on the Rams many weapons after his Tigers fell 77-67 to the Rams.

CSU has also been getting contribution from their transfers. Junior guard Cory Lewis is averaging 10 points a night to go along with five assists. Lewis had his best game against IUPUI putting in 13 points, nine rebounds and five assists to lead the Rams to their sixth win in a row. Michael Harrison has been getting it done by averaging 10 points and three blocks a game.

Not only have the Rams been getting it done on the offensive side of the court, they are holding opponents to a discouraging 37 percent shooting. CSU's defense will be tested tonight when they travel to Manhattan, Kan. The Wildcats are led by 6'8'' junior Cartier Martin, who is averaging 20 points and nine boards in his first six games.

Kansas State already downed one Mountain West Conference opponent this year in a 68-56 win over the University of New Mexico nearly two weeks ago. The Wildcats showed their explosive offense by capping the night off with a 22-7 run late in the second half after being down 35-26 at halftime.

Their only loss came in a one-point heartbreaker more than a month ago at Washington State when junior guard Lance Harris' last-second shot was blocked as time expired. Harris is coming off a career night where he scored 26 points in an 86-60 win over Longwood Monday night.

The Wildcats perimeter defense struggled by giving up nine three-pointers to the visiting team. However, KSU won with intense defense by holding opponents to an average 57 points in their six games.

CSU will have their hands full with the Wildcats when they try to break the school record for the best start in Rams history.

"I'm not worried about 1971; I'm worried about 7-0," sophomore center Stuart Creason told the Denver Post about breaking the record.

The record won't be broken easily as the Rams will face a Kansas State team that is 13-1 at home against non-conference foes in the last three seasons.

The Rams return home Saturday when they host Pepperdine University at 7 p.m.

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