By the numbers:
Colorado 2013-2014 record: 7-1 Injury Report: none
Starters: Spencer Dinwiddie, Junior, 6-foot-6; 13.8 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 3.3 apg, 1.6 spg Askia Booker, Junior, 6-foot-2; 11.4 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.5 apg, 1.4 spg Xavier Johnson, Sophomore, 6-foot-7; 10.7 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 1.5 spg, .605 fg% Wesley Gordon, Redshirt Freshman, 6-foot-9; 8.4 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 1.4 bpg, .537 fg% Josh Scott, Sophomore, 6-foot-10; 13.0 ppg, 8.9 rpg, .552 fg%, .833 ft%
Colorado State 2013-2014 record: 6-2 Injury Report: none
Starters: Jon Octeus, Junior, 6-foot-4; 13.9 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 3.4 apg Carlton Hurst, Freshman, 6-foot-3; 4.4 ppg, 3.1 rpg Daniel Bejarano, Redshirt Junior, 6-foot-4; 13.6 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 2.6 apg, 1.6 spg J.J. Avila, Redshirt Junior, 6-foot-7; 19.0 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 3.1 apg, .505 fg%, .885 ft% Gerson Santo, Senior, 6-foot-9; 8.5 ppg, 2.8 rpg, .578 fg%
Colorado goes into hostile territory at Fort Collins when they face Colorado State on Tuesday. The Buffaloes are currently on a seven-game winning streak (7-1) after an opening night loss to Baylor. CSU is replacing five starters from last year's NCAA Tournament team, but have momentum and home-court advantage against the Buffaloes. CSU defeated New Mexico State on Saturday night thanks to a buzzer-beating layup by junior J.J. Avila.
Here are Colorado's three keys to a victory over Colorado:
Contain J.J. Avila
Redshirt junior J.J. Avila is taking full advantage of his surroundings, carrying CSU through his excellent all-around play. Avila, a Navy transfer, leads CSU in scoring at 19 points per game and is second on the team in assists and rebounds. He's had three games with at least 28 points scored. Avila is going to put up his numbers. But if Colorado can contain him, make him really work offensively, they'll be well on their way to a victory. Wesley Gordon will draw the matchup, it will be interesting to see how Avila reacts.
Force Daniel Bejarano To Be A Jump Shooter
Bejarano is having a strong season thus far, but his shooting percentages have been dismal. He's is shooting .348 fg%, and even worse .237 3fg%. Because CSU plays three guards, Bejarano gets matched up with wings. Expect Spencer Dinwiddie and Xavier Johnson to defend Bejarano, and they need to make him beat them with the jump shot.
Attack Their Bigs, Get Them In Foul Trouble
Colorado State Head Coach Larry Eustachy employs an eight-man rotation, but only three players in that rotation are 6-foot-7 or taller. Colorado needs to constantly attack the basket in hopes of drawing a foul, particularly from a big man. Dinwiddie has a knack for getting to the line, and it will need to be his focus against CSU. If Colorado can get CSU's bigs in foul trouble, Josh Scott can have a big night in the scoring column.