The Colorado Buffaloes take a break from their Pac-12 Conference schedule to get reacquainted with an in-state rival.
The Colorado State Rams visit Boulder, Colo., on Thursday for the first meeting between the programs in three years.
They were scheduled to meet in 2020-21 but COVID-19 issues canceled the contest, so they are squaring off for the first time since Dec. 13, 2019.
The Buffaloes (4-5) are looking forward to the reunion, which marks the first time any of them have participated in the rivalry.
“We’re pumped up. We know the history of the rivalry,” junior forward Tristan da Silva said. “We’re going to be excited for it. We’ve just got to get in the gym and get better, and get our best selves out there on the court on Thursday.”
Colorado fell to Arizona State and Washington in its first two Pac-12 contests. KJ Simpson leads the team with 16.2 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game while da Silva averages 12.0 points and 4.2 rebounds.
The Rams (6-3) are coming off a disappointing loss to Northern Colorado but the mood is good with the return of three-time All-Mountain West guard Isaiah Stevens last week. Stevens suffered a foot injury that was initially expected to keep him out until January, but he returned in the win over Loyola Marymount on Nov. 30.
Stevens is one of two Rams — along with fellow senior John Tonje — to play in this rivalry, which both did as freshmen in 2019.
“You just wish that you could play those games every year,” Stevens said Tuesday. “It’s just such a cool basketball environment on their end and our end, so I think it’s going to be a cool experience for the guys that haven’t gotten to play in it.”
Thursday will be the first of two contests against Pac-12 opponents for Colorado State, which will face Southern California on Dec. 21 at the Jerry Colangelo Classic in Phoenix.
–Field Level Media