Colorado State vs. New Mexico : Game Preview, TV, Radio Schedule, Livestream, Odds, More
New Mexico is, once again, without Bragg.
Carvacho and Colorado State – the home favorites – will test the New Mexico post presence without Bragg.
WHO: Colorado State Rams (11-7, 2-3 MW) vs. New Mexico Lobos (15-3, 4-1 MW)
WHEN: Wednesday, January 15 — 7:00 PM MT
WHERE: Moby Arena – For Collins, CO (8,745)
STREAM: ESPN3 (WatchESPN.com)
SERIES RECORD: New Mexico leads, 78-46
ODDS: Colorado State -3
In a season not without its share of off-the-court issues, New Mexico (15-3, 4-1 MW) is, once more, without low-post player Carlton Bragg (12.6 points, 10.3 rebounds, 1.1 steals, 1.5 blocks per game), who has been removed from New Mexico’s roster.
Bragg, who led New Mexico in both rebounds and blocks (he was also among the nation’s top 20 rebounders), will be sorely missed in what would have been an enticing matchup to watch between the New Mexico senior and the Rams’ senior big man, Nico Carvacho (12.6 points, 10.7 rebounds, 1.9 assists per game).
Meanwhile, Carvacho has averaged a conference best 10.7 rebounds per game (14th nationally) including 16 rebounds against San Jose State in the Rams’ 81-70 win at the Provident Credit Union Event Center.
Colorado State (11-7, 2-3 MW) will likely look to exploit a New Mexico team that is a little thinner out front, but New Mexico remains a talented group that is difficult to scout (and to outscore) because of the number of offensively talented players on the team.
Corey Manigault, while not a rebounder of the same caliber as Bragg, has been consistent as ever in his last five games amidst the Lobos’ off-court issues, averaging 16.4 points, 6 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.2 blocks and an impressive 2.4 steals per game. Zane Martin, who had not played point guard prior to heading to New Mexico, has looked good in the role lately, averaging 11.6 points, 3.4 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game in his last five. Then there’s the most consistent player on the team, JaQuan Lyle (17.4 points, 4.1 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.3 steals per game) who has, like Martin has recently, done a little bit of everything all season long.
Paul Weir said about his team after beating Air Force, “I think it’s a testament to our team that we’re on the court in a really big game and I look down the bench and I see JaQuan and Vance sitting on the bench.”
Though New Mexico has certainly been winning, they often struggle when the team they play is similarly skilled offensively, and they also give up a lot of possessions to other teams through turnovers and giving up offensive rebounds.
Unfortunately for Colorado State, these have not been areas that have seen major success this year on average. The Rams force 13.28 turnovers per game (226th nationally), pull down 8.5 offensive rebounds per game (284th nationally) and aren’t quite as offensively efficient according to KenPom.com, which has the Lobos ranked 48th in offensive efficiency and the Rams at 139th in the same statistical category.
Of course, this is college basketball and these are things that often stray from the averages and New Mexico has also been a different team on the road compared to their 12-0 home record, posting a 2-2 record in away contests (3-3 including neutral court games).
Still, it seems like New Mexico should be able to keep a pace that makes it difficult for Colorado State to hang with, despite what could be a big game for Nico Carvacho.