The headline demonstrates the proper level of enthusiasm we should all have of this tournament or, at least, the fact that the rest of the games of this tournament are, in-fact, on television. Also, the headline could've been "Andy Ogide's Swan Song," but I decided against it because:
1.) Maybe 34 people know who Andy Ogide is. The former Ole Miss forward transferred to CSU and now leads the Ramszors in scoring and rebounding. We've got plenty of depth at bigs, though, Andy, no big deal.
2.) The term "swan song" is too often used by sports blogs, right?
3.) Typing like a 14-year old girl on Facebook is kind of my M.O. when I'm hungover and blogging (guilty).
While the Rebels notched a win in their opening round match against Texas State Wednesday, CSU will offer more of a challenge in the Thursday night ESPNU broadcast. (In case you didn't get that, the game is on 8:30 CT on ESPNU. Once again, the game is on television tonight. Watch it.)
CSU offers two 15+ point per game players: the aforementioned Ogide and Travis Franklin. These two combine for about 33 of the team's 77 point per game average and roughly one third of the team's rebounds per game.
To be perfectly frank, Reginald Buckner, Terrance Henry, Demarco Cox and Steadman Short better bring their A game.
One good strategy to consider would be driving to the basket early and often to get Ogide and Franklin in foul trouble and limit their impact in the game. Ogide has 29 personal fouls for the year or more than 3 per game while Franklin only has 25.
It stands to reason, however, that CSU will have a similar strategy. Reggie Buckner has had foul issues all year including fouling out against Texas State most recently. Our bigs have to play smart and within themselves to log more than 25 minutes and get this win.
CSU has not played an impressive slate of teams this year - recording losses to Kansas (obviously great), Colorado (didn't know they had a team still) and Sam Houston State (pretty good BASEball program). The best win to date is most likely over Appalachian State in Cancun yesterday.
This game could very well be a potential loss if our bigs notch two or three fouls quickly,forcing us to rely on our long range guard game to pull away. I believe that a drive and dish offensive strategy would break any kind of zone defense CSU can throw at us.
Trevor Gaskins had a solid shooting night Wednesday to lead the Rebels in scoring, and though he is sometimes streaky, he will be a crucial piece to a win Thursday alongside Zach "Showcase" Graham who had limited action Wednesday due to early fouls.
- Buckner records more blocks than fouls.
- Gaskins hits 60 percent from three point range.
- Steadman Short and Demarco Cox combine for 40 minutes on the floor and 14 rebounds but only 6 points.
Ole Miss 79
Colorado State 72