RENO - The Colorado State Rams rebound the way David Carter wishes his Nevada Wolf Pack would rebound.
"When you rebound you want to be consistent," the Wolf Pack head coach said on Tuesday. "They go to the boards with three guys on every shot. They go to the boards every single time. We don't go to the boards every single time."
The Wolf Pack, 11-10 overall and 2-5 in the Mountain West, will face the Mountain West's top rebounding team on Wednesday night (7 p.m.) at Lawlor Events Center. Colorado State (18-4, 5-2) features four of the top 12 rebounders in the conference and leads the Mountain West with a plus 13.7 rebounding margin.
"They are the best rebounding team we've faced so far," said Carter, whose Wolf Pack has lost six of its last eight games.
The Rams' Pierce Hornung, a 6-foot-5 guard, leads the Mountain West with 9.8 rebounds a game and Colton Iverson, a 6-10 center, is third at 9.4. Hornung and Iverson are the best rebounding tandem in the nation with 19.2 rebounds combined a game.
But they are not alone. Daniel Bejarano (6-4) is ninth in the conference with 6.3 rebounds a game and Greg Smith (6-6) is 12th at 5.5.
"They are relentless on the boards," Carter said. "Every time a shot goes up against them, they send their three-four-five (two forwards and their center) to the boards. But they also go a great job of getting their guards back on defense so you can't get easy layups."
The Rams are the best in the Mountain West, allowing opponents to shoot just .379.
"They are a very physical team," Carter said. "The big kid (Iverson) is going to be a big problem for us. He can rebound and he can score inside."
Iverson leads the Rams at 14.0 points a game. Wolf Pack post players Devonte Elliott and Kevin Panzer, Carter said, will have their hands full.
"We're still trying to figure out a way to defend him," Carter said with a smile. "What makes him so difficult is that he is their first or second option on offense most of the time. They kind of go through him a lot. We're going to have to mix it up on defense against him.
"The key is to make him shoot over you. You don't want him to get dunks or spin off you for lay-ups. We have to get him off his spot and make him shoot the ball over us."
The Rams have a very balanced offense. Hornung averages 10.1 points, Wes Eikmeier, a 6-3 senior, averages 11.9 and Dorian Green, a 6-2 senior, is averaging 12.7. Bejarano is at 6.7 points a game.
"They are so balanced," Carter said. "It's almost like you have to pick your poison. But we just need to be real sound defensively."
Hornung, Carter said, is the heart and soul of the rams.
"He's their inspirational guy," Carter said. "They don't run a lot of plays for him on offense. But he works hard and gets a lot of his points off offensive rebounds."