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Going over the Border: Q&A with coaches and players from both sides

With the Pokes on the ropes, Colorado State basketball has a chance to sweep the University of Wyoming in the regular season series in men and women’s basketball for the first time since the 1999-2000 season. Men’s basketball will head to Laramie for a matchup with the Cowboys while the women’s team will host the Cowgirls at Moby, with both teams playing at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 15. Before tipoff, we caught up with both coaches for the Rams and redshirt seniors Nico Carvacho and Andrea Brady for a Q&A about the Border War rivalry. 

Men’s coach: Niko Medved 

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Q: What does the Border War mean to you and the team?

A: “It’s huge. It’s the Border War. It’s Wyoming. It’s always a big game regardless of what’s going on. It’s one that the fans care about and people in Northern Colorado (care about), CSU fans care about, Wyoming fans care about, so there’s … always something a little bit extra to that game.”

Q: What do you think this game means to the fans?

A:“(For) both teams it’s bragging rights. People want to beat each other. As a coach, we know it’s another game. It’s another key conference game, but it does (mean something). Whenever you play Wyoming, you’d be lying to say it doesn’t mean something, and I know it means more to their fans than it does to our fans.”

Q: Going for a sweep, how does a win help momentum and bragging rights to take both games against them?

A: “Every game out you’re working, and we’ve worked hard to put ourselves in (this) position, so every game is huge. I know it’s a cliche, but it’s huge just because it’s the next conference game, and we’ve got to continue to play well.”

Men’s player: Nico Carvacho

Q: What does the Border War mean to you and the team?

A: “It’s Wyoming versus CSU. I’m not from Colorado, but being here for as many years as I have, it means a lot to the fans, and that’s what’s really important as a rivalry. (They’re only) 45 minutes away. It’s the Border War rivalry game, and it just means a lot to go out there and get a win, especially for the fans.”

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Q: What do you think this game means to the fans?

A: “These are the types of games that fans mark their calendars (for): (the Border War), Air Force and CU. To win it is big. It gets the community more involved.” 

Q: Going for a sweep, how does a win help momentum and bragging rights to take both games against them?

A: “I don’t do much with bragging rights. It’s one of those things (where) you’ve got to go in there and do your job. (We’ve) just got to go out there and play the best we can. We know it’s gonna be tough. They’re gonna come out firing, so we’ve just got to go out there, have fun and play with confidence and grind it out.” 

Women’s coach: Ryun Williams 

Q: What does the Border War mean to you and the team?

A: “It’s a huge rivalry. It’s a fun rivalry. I think you’ve got prideful states and two prideful fan bases that this is an important game to. We take great pride in representing CSU in this game.”

Q: What do you think this game means to the fans, especially with the UCHealth event happening that night?

A: “It’s a cool opportunity to play a big-time rival but more importantly to partner with UCHealth and raise awareness and appreciation to what they do. This game (has) a lot of meaning in a couple different ways.”

Q: Going for a sweep, what do you expect from the Cowgirls and how they’ll come out in this game?

A: ”Wyoming is playing good basketball right now, and they’re gonna come out hungry to not let us get a sweep; we know that. Wyoming is a very good shooting team. We’re going to have to do a good job defending the (3-point line). We’re going to have to guard them and play them with a tremendous amount of toughness. We expect a close contest, and (we’re) going to have to make plays down the stretch to win that game.”

Q: What does this game/rivalry mean for you being from Wyoming?

A: ”We paid attention to (the rivalry) growing up. (I) came to a Border War game back when Fennis Dembo was playing for the Wyoming Cowboys, (and I) came to Moby Arena to watch a game. I remember I came to watch the game with U.S. Senator Mike Enzi. It’s a fun game for both states, but for me personally, I have a few memories of it.”

Women’s player: Andrea Brady 

Q: What does the Border War mean to you and the team?

A: “It’s just a big game because it’s two schools, 45 minutes from each other, on the border. I think there’s a lot of state pride on both sides, and the rivalry has gone on for a long time, so you always want to win this game, especially for us with it being at home.”

Q: What do you think this game means to the fans, especially with the UCHealth event happening that night?

A: ”I think it’s a cool opportunity to combine not only our community and Wyoming’s community but the UCHealth community too. I don’t think we’ve had a lot of interaction with them in the past, and this is a cool opportunity to bring everybody together and use basketball as a platform to focus on something bigger.”

Q: Going for a sweep after beating them in Laramie, what do you expect from the Cowgirls and how they’ll come out in this game?

A: ”That was a really good win for us, a really good team game. It’s always tough. Wyoming is a tough place to play, and we want to defend our home court and get Moby going next weekend. It’ll be a big game for us. “

Ryan Loberger can be reached at sports@collegian.com or on twitter @LobergerRyan.

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