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3 things to look for in CSU’s home game against Utah State

After dropping the first matchup against the Utah State Aggies (77-61), the Colorado State men’s basketball team will get a shot at redemption on Tuesday night. The Aggies will head to Moby Arena looking to complete the season sweep. Here are three things to look for at Tuesday’s matchup.

Can the Rams improve on the dominant home record, or will Utah State improve on a poor away record?

Isaiah Stevens (4) watches his shot roll around the rim before going in
Isaiah Stevens (4) watches his shot roll around the rim before going in during the Colorado State home game vs. Fresno State. CSU won 86-68. (Devin Cornelius | The Collegian)

CSU has a record of 10-3 at home and has Moby Madness on their side. Utah State, fortunately, has only picked up two wins on the road, and they were against Wyoming (worst record in the Mountain West) and San Jose State (second-worst record in the MW).

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For the Aggies, coming into the second-place team’s home arena and winning would make that 2-5 look not so bad. It would boost some confidence for their two remaining away games after CSU, and in the best case scenario, it would boost a run in the MW Championship playoffs.

For the Rams, a win would prove yet again they cannot be messed with on their home floor. A win against Utah State would propel this young squad for the remaining two home games of the regular season after Utah State.

Will a win solidify CSU’s presence in the Mountain West?

The Mountain West conference is getting more attention this year than usual, mostly because San Diego State is going on a tear, currently ranked No. 4 in the nation. The Rams are also catching some much-deserved attention, sitting second in the MW with an 8-4 conference record, 17-8 overall.

Currently, the Rams are on a three game win streak after beating the University of Nevada Wolf Pack, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and Fresno State. CSU still has six games left and is on pace for their best record since the 2016-17 season when they went 24-12 (13-5 in conference play).

Depending on the outcomes of Boise State and Nevada in their next games, a win over the Aggies could separate the Rams from the third place teams in the MW. But a loss will throw them right back into the mix.

A big win over Utah State and a solid remainder of the season should put CSU basketball on the map and ensure a bid in the NIT tournament, especially since the current roster holds a lot of young guys who still have plenty of room to develop and take charge of the MW for years to come. 

Battle in the paint: Can Carvacho keep up his recent play and help keep the Aggies off the boards?

Nico Carvacho (32) finishes a drive to the basket with a left handed layup
Nico Carvacho (32) finishes a drive to the basket with a left handed layup during the Colorado State game against the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. CSU won 95-77. (Devin Cornelius | The Collegian)

Nico Carvacho has put up monster double-doubles in his past three games. Against Nevada, he had 16 points and 15 rebounds. In the blowout win against UNLV, he had 16 points and 11 rebounds. Topping his double-double against Nevada, he posted 17 points and 16 rebounds against Fresno State.

Utah State currently sits above the MW in offensive rebounds per game with 40.5. The Rams rank eighth with 35.3 rebounds per game. 

In this matchup, two of the MW best rebounders face off. Carvacho leads the MW in rebounds by a narrow margin (10.8 per game and 271 overall). Placing right below Carvacho is Utah State’s Justin Bean, who averages 10.4 rebounds per game and has racked up 270 total rebounds this season; keep in mind that Bean has played one more game than Carvacho.

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Bean has picked up more offensive rebounds than Carvacho with 96 total (3.7 per game). Carvacho has 77 total offensive boards and averages 3.1 per game. However, Carvacho does more of his damage on the defensive side, posting 194 defensive rebounds (7.8 per game). Bean has 174 defensive rebounds and averages 6.7 per game.

Offensively, both of these teams have an advanced capability to score the basketball, but by a small margin, the Aggies average 0.2 more points than the Rams (76.7 vs. 76.5). The key to victory for CSU will be containing Utah State on the glass and not allowing a lot of offensive rebounds to Bean.

Tyler Meguire can be reached at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @TMeguire

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About the Contributor
Devin Cornelius
Devin Cornelius, Digital Managing Editor
Devin Cornelius is the digital managing editor for The Collegian. He is a fifth-year computer science major from Austin, Texas. He moved to Colorado State University and started working for The Collegian in 2017 as a photographer. His passion for photography began in high school, so finding a photography job in college was one of his top priorities. He primarily takes sports photos, volleyball being his favorite to shoot. Having been on The Collegian staff for 4 1/2 years, he's watched the paper evolve from a daily to a weekly paper, and being involved in this transition is interesting and exciting. Although Cornelius is a computer science major, his time at The Collegian has been the most fulfilling experience in his college career — he has loved every second. From working 12-hour days to taking photos in Las Vegas for the Mountain West Conference, he cannot think of a better place to work. Working as a photographer for The Collegian pushed him outside of his comfort zone, taking him places that he never expected and making him the photographer he is today. As the digital managing editor, Cornelius oversees the photos, graphics and social media of The Collegian along with other small tech things. Working on the editorial staff with Katrina Leibee and Serena Bettis has been super fun and extremely rewarding, and together they have been pushing The Collegian toward being an alt-weekly. Outside of The Collegian, he enjoys playing volleyball, rugby, tumbling and a variety of video games. When in Austin, you can find him out on the lake, wake surfing, wake boarding and tubing. You can expect that Cornelius and the rest of The Collegian staff will do their best to provide you with interesting and exciting content.

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