Rams to face Tubby Smith, Minnesota
CSU looks for first road win
The Colorado Stae Rams are perfect in contests that take place at home or a neutral site, but unfortunately they are winless in their three road games, losing by more than 10 points in every game.
The task of getting their first road win doesn’t get any easier on Saturday, as the Rams travel to Minnesota for a matchup with the 5-1 Golden Gophers, who are in their first season under former Kentucky coach Tubby Smith.
The Rams, 44-40 winners over the Denver Pioneers in a slow-paced battle Wednesday, now face a team that plays a completely opposite style than Denver.
“They’re a ball-hawking team that gets in passing lanes. They’re long, and they get a lot of tips and deflections and like to get up and down the court. They are a Tubby Smith team,” said first-year coach Tim Miles after Wednesday’s game.
Miles feels facing two completely different styles of play in consecutive games will be good for his team, pointing out that teams often face multiple styles of play in rapid succession during end of the season tournaments.
Miles is also excited for his team to play against Smith, who won a national championship with Kentucky in 1998, but his team didn’t seem to care much about the coach on the opposing sideline.
“I already got a coach right there,” said junior guard Willis Gardner, pointing to Miles when asked about facing Smith.
Both teams have a trio of players averaging double digits in points. The Rams are led by guard Marcus Walker with 15.9 per game, while Willis Gardner and Stuart Creason average 12.8 and 12.4 points per game, respectively.
Senior guard Lawrence McKenzie leads the Gophers with 11.8 points per game, while big men Spencer Tollackson and Dan Coleman both average 10.5 points per game.
The game starts at 6 p.m. MT and will be shown over the Internet on ESPN360.com and will also be broadcast over the radio on KLZ 560 AM.
Miles feels that his team is improved in some areas last game, but they are still not at the level he wants.
“I thought we did some things that were all right. If I were to give a grade I would give us a C-minus, even though we don’t give those at CSU anymore,” Miles said, wanting to add “a little academic humor” to his post game comments.