Nevada vs. Colorado State: Game Preview, Live Stream, Odds, More
Rams are favored over the Wolf Pack
Nevada really could use a win.
WHO: Nevada Wolf Pack (9-12, 3-7 in the MW) vs. Colorado State Rams (17-3, 7-3 in the MW)
WHEN: Tuesday, February 8, 8:00 PM PST
WHERE: Lawlor Events Center: Reno, NV
TV: CBS Sports
STREAM: FuboTV — Get a free trial
Line: KenPom, Rams 4-point favorites
The Colorado State Rams travel to Reno, Nevada to battle the Wolf Pack Tuesday night in what should be a close contest if Nevada is at full strength. Nevada has been without leading scorer Grant Sherfield and 7’0 starter Warren Washington. The injuries couldn’t have come at a worse time for Nevada, occurring simultaneously with a gruesome losing streak. The Wolf Pack have lost five games in a row and are 3-7 in conference play. The 3-7 record officially marks the worst start in conference play for Nevada since the 2014-15 season, which was David Carter’s final season as the Wolf Pack head coach.
Colorado State, on the other hand, has only three losses in conference play and sits a comfortable 40th in the NET Rankings. At the moment, the Rams sit a 10-seed in ESPN’s Joe Lunardi’s Bracketology. Colorado State will undoubtedly be able to make it to the NCAA Tournament and could possibly even win a couple. When the Rams are hot, they are cooking. This is a team that ranks eighth nationally in field goal percentage (49.2%), 30th in three-point percentage (37.4%), and ranks in the top-25 in turnover to assist ratio. Colorado State usually plays adequate defense as well but will flounder on occasion, letting opposing players have monster nights. In the loss to UNLV, Bryce Hamilton scored a career-high 42-points. When the Rams dropped the heartbreaker in overtime against Wyoming, Hunter Maldonado dropped 35-points. However, when Colorado State is clicking on both ends of the court, the Rams are one of the best teams in the Mountain West.
It’s no secret the Rams are led by their dangerous one-two punch in David Roddy and Isaiah Stevens. Roddy averages nearly 19 points a game, while Stevens adds his own 15 points per game. Roddy, who plays much bigger than his 6’5 frame, also averages nearly eight rebounds per game. Stevens finished the game against San Diego State with a season-low of just four points, look for the skilled point guard to have a big game against Nevada. John Tonje also averages in double digits points with 10 a game and adds a nice scoring threat outside of Colorado State’s big two.
One bright spot for Nevada is the improvement of second and third option scorers. Kenan Blackshear and Will Baker have really stepped it up for the Wolf Pack and almost propelled Nevada to an upset win against San Diego State. The Wolf Pack forced the Aztecs down to the wire in a tough Viejas Arena, without two of Nevada’s three leading scorers. Baker is averaging double-digit points in the last eight games and looked confident against San Diego State, grabbing eight rebounds as well. Blackshear is averaging more than 12 points per game over the past three contests. The 6’6 guard is also a vocal leader on defense, which has helped Nevada get in, and stay in, tight games. Desmond Cambridge Jr. was finally able to find somewhat of a shooting stroke Sunday, finishing the contest with 18 points on 6-16 shooting.
While the Wolf Pack will have to win the Mountain West Conference Tournament to make the NCAA Tournament, there is still plenty to play for in the final weeks of the season. Nevada has been very good at playing physical and getting to the free-throw line. In the loss against Fresno State, Nevada left an easy nine points at the charity stripe. The Wolf Pack needs to keep being aggressive, in hopes that a game will break in their favor.
Keys for Colorado State
The Rams need to find an answer to Will Baker down low. The 7’0 big man will find ways to score if unchecked on the block. Baker is also a big man that can shoot which can stretch defenses, allowing cutting guards like Kenan Blackshear and Cambridge Jr. to hurt you.
Keys for Nevada
At the time of writing it is unclear if Nevada’s leading scorer will suit up for the Wolf Pack, for the sake of the prediction, he will sit out again. If Nevada has any chance of pulling off this upset Tuesday night, Desmond Cambridge Jr. has to outperform what he has been showing as of late. Cambridge Jr. is a player that is capable of going on a scoring outburst of 30 points or higher but has been struggling to shoot the ball. If the Wolf Pack wants to win, Cambridge Jr. will have to excel.
Colorado State is just too good for Nevada to compete with, especially if Sherfield is out yet again. This contest will be over from the jump in what will be an easy win for Colorado State. The Rams win 76-59.