Rams ready to dance

 Uncategorized
Mar 192003
 
Authors: Jason Graziadei

The CSU men’s basketball team managed to escape the blizzard

that paralyzed the Front Range

Tuesday after chartering a flight out of Loveland to Salt Lake

City.

Now the Rams await the storm brought by the Duke Blue Devils

Thursday night when the teams

play their NCAA First Round match-up at the Huntsman Center on

the University of Utah’s

campus.

In the days since the Rams selection, the team had one practice

before traveling to Utah. In that

time, the team had a chance to scout the Blue Devils, and also

assess their chances against one of

the perennial powers in Division I basketball.

“I’m sure people outside aren’t giving us a chance,” Rams’

center Matt Nelson said. “But Duke

isn’t like what they were in the past. I know they’re not the

biggest inside so hopefully we can

exploit them there.”

Nelson addressed what may be the Rams’ best chance at pulling

off the upset. With Duke’s trio

of guards Chris Duhon, J.J. Redick and Daniel Ewing likely to

give CSU trouble on the

outside, the Rams will have to look to expose Duke’s inside

players.

“That’s gonna be our game plan to get the ball inside,” Rams’

foward Ronnie Clark said.

“We’ve got to get it inside. If we do that, we’ve got a good

chance.”

Nelson will have to go up against Duke’s 6-11 senior Casey

Sanders and 6-10 junior Nick

Horvath, who both share duties at center for the Blue

Devils.

Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski said his team is ready for the

challenge of the difficult West

Region, but concentrated on CSU.

“We are excited about everything,” Krzyzewski said. “We are in a

very difficult region, but any

region is going to be difficult. The main thing we are trying to

focus on now is getting our kids

ready for Colorado State.”

The game will mark the first-ever meeting between the two teams

and only CSU’s third game

against an ACC opponent. The winner of the game will play the

victor of the Central Michigan-

Creighton match-up that will be played prior to the Rams’ game

in Utah.

With the threat of war with Iraq looming and the announcement by

the NCAA that the games

will go on even if the invasion begins Thursday, both players

and coaches have had to think

about their priorities and what the games will mean if war

breaks out.

“Whatever happens, I would hope that basketball would help in

the big picture of things in

whatever way that is,” Krzyzewski said. “You follow the lead of

your leaders. What happens in

the next 24 hours or what is happening right now could have a

huge impact with what is going on

with us.”

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