Nevada vs. Colorado State: Preview, Live Stream, Odds, Predictions
Rams, Wolf Pack do battle
Can Nevada pull off the upset?
coming off a huge win against Fresno State.
WHO: Nevada Wolf Pack (9-7, 3-2 in the MW) vs. Colorado State Rams (15-1, 5-1 in the MW)
WHEN: Tuesday, January 25, 6:00 PM PT, 7:00 PM CT
WHERE: Moby Arena: Fort Collins, CO
STREAM: FuboTV — Get a free trial
Line: KenPom, Rams 9-point favorites
Colorado State is living up to all expectations that were bestowed upon them once the season started. The Rams have only lost one game all season and rose as high as 20 in the NCAA AP poll, before losing to Mountain West foe, San Diego State. Nevada, on the other hand, has fans scratching their heads as to what to expect come tip-off.
The Nevada Wolf Pack come into this contest fresh off a win after beating Fresno State in Reno Friday night. This was a huge win for the Wolf Pack who were struggling, losing to Wyoming and Boise State in conference play. However, Nevada showed why fans should be hopeful for a strong close of the season by the Wolf Pack.
Nevada desperately needed some productivity outside of Desmond Cambridge Jr and Grant Sherfield, and FAU transfer Kenan Blackshear is starting to answer the call. Blackshear has finished the last three contests with double-digit point totals, including 16 on Friday against a very good Fresno State team. If Nevada can get consistent play from Cambridge Jr and Sherfield and get a boost from players like Blackshear and Will Baker, then this can be a different Wolf Pack basketball team than we saw early in the season.
Colorado State has looked as if they have completely shrugged off their opening conference game loss to San Diego State, winning four in a row. Most notably, the Rams beat Utah State by five and then went on to blow out lesser opponents in San Jose State and Air Force.
What stands out from watching Colorado State is the efficiency with which they can score the basketball. The Rams shoot an astonishing 50% from the field, ranking third in college basketball. Colorado State also ranks in the top 10 in free throw percentage and effective field goal percentage. To put it bluntly, this team can score. The Rams also know how to protect the ball, only turning the ball over 10 times a game, ranking 10th in college basketball. This is a team that will not make mistakes and will force you to play your best basketball to beat them.
The Rams are led by David Roddy and Isiah Stevens, both returning from great seasons last year. Roddy is averaging 18 points, eight rebounds a game, and can score from all over the court. The 6’5 big man shots 57% from the field and has made over 20 threes on the season, ranking third on the team. 6’0 junior Isaiah Stevens is averaging 15 points and over five assists per game. This one-two punch has been incredibly productive so far this season and doesn’t look like slowing down any time soon.
Keys for Nevada
The Wolf Pack needs to make the Rams uncomfortable. If Nevada doesn’t pressure Colorado State and let the Rams get what they want offensively, then the Wolf Pack will be in for a long game. Colorado State is extremely good at finding weak spots in a team’s defense and exploiting them. Nevada will be up for the difficult task of forcing turnovers on a team that is one of the best in the country in taking care of the ball.
Keys for Colorado State
The Rams need to continue to play their game on offense. While Colorado State might play big, the Rams are grossly undersized coming into this contest. While Nevada has two seven-footers on their team, it would be unwise to play both, due to how David Roddy can hurt you from beyond the arc. If the Rams stretch out Nevada’s defense, Colorado State should be able to pick the Wolf Pack apart with their efficient offense.
Nevada faces an uphill battle when traveling to Colorado. The Rams will look to continue their hot play as of late and will prove to be too much for the Wolf Pack. Colorado State wins at home, 74-66.