Once again, road trip to Fort Collins CO for an important game

This past August, most here scoffed when I picked our trip to Colorado State as the key game to the 2018 Football season. The majority chose the Ole Miss game.

My reasoning was that while I thought we could and probably would beat CSU, there were some “warning signs” that indicated it might be a more difficult game than expected. And if we lost the game, the floor would fall out and the season would be lost.

The “warning signs” I pointed to included the fact that this was just the second overall game for a new coach, new offensive and defensive coordinators, and a new starting QB. And it was the first road trip for the young team - that was being retooled on the fly. Add that to the fact that CSU would be hosting an SEC team - a rare and exciting thing thereabouts - and the situation could get difficult if we didn’t put them away early. I worried about how a young, fragile team with no real leader under center would react, if that happened. Unfortunately, we all got the answer and it wasn’t pretty.

Now, basketball is a different situation. Clearly, this team is much more talented - relatively speaking - than our 2018 football team was. And, they’ve had some success. Plus, this isn’t just their second game of the season.

But, it is their first true road trip of the season. The Texas game in El Paso was, obviously, not in Bud Walton. And I’m sure (having lived in El Paso during my youth) that the sparse crowd was pro-Texas. But that’s still a lot different than playing a true road game in the arena on campus, in front of the other team’s regular fans and students. So, in that regard, it will be a “new” experience for our young team.

We are significantly better, I believe, than CSU (Sagarin has us favored by 11 even on their home court), and I think we will win. Where this is somewhat similar to the Football game is that it is a game we truly must win. This is an Arkansas team that might make it to the NCAA Tournament, but there probably won’t be much margin for error. A bad loss to a team like CSU wouldn’t cause a season collapse, but it would give us a huge black eye if we’re on the bubble when March rolls around. So, we’ve got to take care of business, and I think we will. The “X factor” is that you just never know how a young team will react if things don’t go well early on the road.

If we can win - by any margin - I think the experience (road win) will add to the growing confidence that you can see in this group game to game. We ought to then cruise until our next major test - a home game against a pretty good Georgia Tech team - and build momentum for the start of SEC play.

Yep. I hate to say a must win game, but it kind of is. If we are to dance in March, we can not afford a bad loss to a light weight team in our NCS. Fortunately we have a seasoned coach guiding us in this one. I don’t think he will do the basketball equivalent of punting on 4th and inches with the game on the line and momentum slipping away. If we can contain the Doobster and maybe hold him under 25, I think we win.

You mentioned our next test after this game. ESPN’s predictor actually has WKU as the favorites. That’s the next game. I’m curious as to why.

As for this game, yes it’s a road game, but I don’t think CSU will be much of a threat (hope I’m right). Watching the Hogs so far, I’m just like hmmmmm…is the game over, did that kid just do that, WOW (Mason Jones with a double-double the other night, and Harris one point shy, everyone was watching Joe and Big Dan). I don’t feel we’ve seen the best game from our guys, honestly I don’t think we’ve really seen a good game from them yet, and that has me Very, Very excited.

The way we have strugggled on the road even with our best most experinced teams I will not be surprised to see us really struggle,this CSU is very young too so we will see.

Define “struggled” please.

This team breaks the mold a little bit from most of Mike’s previous teams. Even though very young, they have bought into Mike’s “defense first” theme. Look at the Texas and Cal Davis games. Their shots were not falling, but unlike most of his other teams, they didn’t let their defense suffer. They got to see early in their careers that Mike was right, you can win games playing great defense.

You can bet Mike’s been preaching each day this week, that “defense has to travel”. I believe this team has bought into that, evidenced by the Texas game. I know, neutral, but still in the state of Texas. Past teams, shooting that poorly, would have lost to Texas by double digits. I look for a relatively easy double digit win tomorrow night.

struggled means we don’t win much…I don’t have the numbers but CMA has not had good #'s on the road.although we have gotten better so we will see how it goes

The key to tonight is to attack the basket. We rely on the 3 ball a lot and it’s been good to us. BUT, on the road, in an unfamiliar gym, 3’s don’t always go down that would normally go down at BWA. So we must attack the basket and draw fouls. Even if we don’t shoot well from the line, it will force CSU on their heels when put in foul trouble. And of course the bench has to be effective tonight.

Somebody should check the records, have Hogs ever won a basketball game televised by CBS Sports Network? This is CBS Sports Network and not the main CBS Network.

There are very few teams that win much on the road. As far as the Hogs, I think they were like 7-10 in games played outside of AR last year and 10-7 the year before. The past three or four years should have put an end to the “not good on the road” narrative.

This! I read a piece after last season (can’t find it now), that said the Hogs were either 2nd or 3rd in the SEC in road wins over the previous 4 or 5 season. Yes, Mike struggled on the road his first 3 seasons here. He has turned that around. It’s definitely time to put the “Mike can’t win outside of BWA” to rest.

They were 2nd.

I’m expecting the altitude to affect our shooting and energy. I agree, we should try to pound inside…so, my key is Gafford staying out of foul trouble.

Our non conference schedule is not strong. Can not afford a hiccup to a 4-4 weak team. If we lose this, plus the football game we gave away to this powerhouse then our big 2 sports will have sank to all time lows. One program is already there. I think we will win

Altitude may actually be a factor in this game. I know NBA teams hated playing the Nuggets in Denver.

I don’t compare our football and basketball teams in the same breathe. CMA has earned that. CCM is traveling the same now that once Mike once had to waddle through.
Our your Hogs won’t fear any opponent. The bench will be key. Keep rotating and moving. The free throw line needs to be a factor and we need to continue to improve on the line. I think our defense travels and the hogs will be able to sustain a lead and score at will.
Joe, Jones, Gafford and Bailey will double figures in scoring and Harris has over 10 assists.

Gonna guess that as a freshmen and sophomore dominated team, we are gonna struggle in our first true road test in an unfriendly environment.

Dummy

Makes two of us, thought they’d win, but struggle. Man, these guys are better than anyone thinks.

They are pretty good and have the length to play defense we’ve been missing in years past. They did give Colorado State a run in the second half but had an answer.

These young hogs can shot the rock and make the 3’. Their free throw stats still stink. We had 5 or 6 players in double figures scoring. Saturday will be a test against Western Kentucky.