Gear up for gameday: CSU
LARAMIE -- You think Niko Medved has forgotten about the last time these two teams met?
Well, if he did, a local reporter was there to quickly jog his memory.
"I thought we might get like three questions in before we just went there," Medved joked during his weekly press conference.
Of course, he is referring to Colorado State's Border War rival Wyoming abruptly sending the Rams packing in the first round of last season's Mountain West Tournament in Las Vegas after an 80-74 upset.
"They obviously did beat us last year, and to be honest, they outplayed us in two of the three meetings," Medved said, though the Rams did sweep the season series.
On the Cowboys side of the rivalry, not many returning players were a part of that stunner in Sin City.
Kwane Marble was. He sank a team-high 20 points. So was Hunter Maldonado. The redshirt sophomore finished with 13 and dished out six assists. Hunter Thompson and Kenny Foster witnessed the victory first hand, too. They chipped in with three points in a limited role.
There's a new head coach now. Jeff Linder is from Denver. He is very familiar with this bitter rivalry.
There are plenty of fresh faces who are just now hearing about what this one means to not only the university, but the state as a whole.
"Honestly, I didn't know much about it," said Graham Ike, an Aurora, Colo., native. "One of my uncle's went to CSU and told me a little bit about it. I can't wait. It's going to be so thrilling, especially with fans there."
Linder was coy about his first taste of the Border War Tuesday during his weekly press conference, saying his team needs to focus on themselves and that the "bitterness and hatred" isn't really there because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the youth on his roster.
Marble said Linder stuck to his guns in his practice sessions. He added that this team already knows the magnitude of this game.
"He tells us every day it's not about the other team, it's about us and how we play," the sophomore said. "We need to come out and compete to give us a chance to win the game. We are doing a lot of stuff to get us better as a team."
There's no doubt those preparations include attempting to limit David Roddy and Isaiah Stevens. Roddy leads the way offensively for CSU, averaging nearly 17 points per outing. Stevens is right on his tail with nearly 16 per game.
On the flipside, Medved knows his team has to pay very close attention to true freshman Marcus Williams, who leads the Pokes offensive attack with 16 points per game. He also mentioned Ike, Marble and Maldonado, all Colorado products.
"... I mean, we know this, we're going to have to go out there and play as well as we've played all season to win Thursday," he said. "Then after that, we'll focus on Saturday."
More Wyoming basketball news:
CSU hoops coach likes Marcus Williams -- a lot
The 'Graceful bully' who almost came to Wyoming
DuSell gets green light for CSU series
UW busting out new 'One Wyoming' uniforms for Border War
Linder: COVID-19 has dampened 'bitterness, hatred' in Border War
Mountain West standings:
Boise State (14-2, 10-1)
Utah State (13-5, 10-2)
Colorado State (12-4, 9-3)
San Diego State (13-4, 7-3)
Nevada (12-7, 7-5)
Fresno State (7-6, 5-6)
Wyoming (10-7, 4-6)
UNLV (6-9, 3-5)
San Jose State (5-11, 3-9)
Air Force (4-12, 2-10)
New Mexico (5-11, 1-11)
Here's all you need to know about tonight's Border War tilt in Laramie:
Who: Colorado State (12-4, 9-3) at Wyoming (10-7, 4-6)
When: Thursday, Feb. 4 at 7 p.m.
Where: Arena-Auditorium, Laramie, Wyo.
Radio: Cowboy Sports Network
Streaming: Mountain West Digital Network
Tickets: UW ticket office
Road conditions: WYDOT
Vegas odds: CSU -8, O/U 153
Rosters: CSU/ Wyoming
History: This is the 234th meeting in the series. UW leads 136-98
Last meeting: Wyoming knocked off the Rams 80-74 last March in the Mountain West Tournament in Las Vegas.
Coaches: Niko Medved/ Jeff Linder
POKES: The Seven Best Games In The History Of The Wyoming-CSU Border War Rivalry (Naturally, they were all Wyoming wins)