The common theme at Gary Waters weekly media gathering on Tuesday was that both coach Waters and his players are tired of going to Butler for the Horizon League Tournament every year.
"I have been here four years and every year we have been to Butler (for the Horizon League Tournament)," said Waters. "We got to stop that Butler Invitational."
"I hate losing to Butler," said junior guard Trevon Harmon. "We are trying to host the tournament here - that is one of our team goals. We are differently going down there to make a statement. Even though we are having success and getting all these wins some people still don't respect us."
"They're not the only mid-level elite team now (in the Horizon League) - that's the one statement I want to go down there and make," said junior guard Jeremy Montgomery.
CSU (15-1, 4-0 Horizon League) have a golden opportunity to get a leg up on their archrival Butler (10-5, 2-1) if they can steal a victory at Hinkle Fieldhouse tonight.
Waters says don't expect to see the same Butler team that was blown out at UW-Milwaukee, 76-52, on Monday night.
"This team will be totally different (on Friday)," he said. "They will be committed to doing what they need to do to beat us."
Winning on Butler's home court won't be easy. CSU is 2-16 all-time at historic Hinkle Fieldhouse. CSU's only wins at Hinkle came during the 2008-09 season when CSU won the Horizon League Championship game, and during the 2004-05 season when Mike Garland was the head coach.
The Bulldogs are 5-1 at home this season and 30-2 at Hinkle over the past two seasons. They have also won 12 straight at home against Horizon League foes.
Vikes on ESPNU: ESPNU will televise tonight's CSU-Butler showdown starting at 7 p.m. Jim Barbar and Dave Kaplan will provide the commentary.
Waters keys to victory: Here are Waters three keys to beating the Bulldogs: First, take away either Shelvin Mack or Matt Howard. "They have two main guys (Shelvin Mack and Matt Howard). If you take one of those guys away it really helps (your chances of winning)," he said.
Second, CSU needs to stop Butler from getting into transition and scoring easy buckets and CSU has to make it a half-court game.
Third, CSU needs to be the team to get out into transition and score easy buckets.
Waters also said CSU needs to get a strong performance from the bench today. "The whole bench needs to bring something today for us to have a chance (to win)," he said.
Key match-up: A key match-up to watch is Aaron Pogue vs. Andrew Smith.
"If Aaron Pogue plays like he did against Loyola we will be in good shape," said Waters.
Butler single game tickets: CSU announced on Tuesday that single game tickets for their Feb. 5 home game against Butler will go on sale on Monday, Jan. 24, starting at 10 a.m.
However, fans who attend CSU's Jan. 22 home game against Wright State will have the first crack at purchasing Butler tickets as the ticket office will remain open after the game, but you must be able to produce a ticket for the WSU game.
Currently, the only way to buy tickets for the Butler game is to buy a mini-plan.
Harmon named POTW: Harmon was named the Horizon League's Player of the Week, despite battling the flu last week.
Harmon averaged 19.0 points, 1.5 assists and 4.0 steals in CSU's two victories last week against Loyola-Chicago and Illinois-Chicago. He went 13-for-20 from the field and 5-of-9 on 3-pointers.
"You have to have a discipline mindset and can't let the flu get to you," said Harmon. "I remember when (Michael) Jordan had the flu (and scored 38 points against the Utah Jazz in game five of the 1997 NBA Finals)."
Cole on Mack: During the summer CSU's Norris Cole got a chance to meet Butler's Mack at Nike's Deron Williams Skills Academy in Chicago.
"I didn't know Shelvin Mack really that much except that we played against him. Meeting him as a person wasn't as bad as I thought (it would be). I was going in with the intentions like man he's going to be there and I wasn't sure what it would be like (to meet him) because we are rivals," said Cole. "He's a cool guy. It wasn't anything personal. It wasn't Cleveland State versus Butler. It was us trying to get better."
CSU women update: The CSU women's basketball team defeated UW-Milwaukee, 77-60, Thursday night at the Wolstein Center to improve to 9-5, 2-1 in the Horizon League.
Next up for Kate Peterson Abiad's squad is a match-up against their archrival UW-Green Bay on Saturday at the Wolstein Center. The Phoenix (14-1, 3-0) are ranked No. 20 in the country in the ESPN/USA Today Top 25 (No. 26 in AP poll).
"Green Bay has four potential scorers on any given night that can be very effective," said Peterson Abiad. "We are going to have to play great team defense and we are going to have to find ways to score because they are a very good defensive team as well."
News and Notes: Waters received the Hugh Durham award mid-season coaching honors from CollegeInsider.com on Wednesday.... Freshmen point guard Sebastian Douglas, who is redshirting after tearing his ACL during the summer, is mimicking Butler's Ronald Nored in practice this week.... Former CSU standout Cedric Jackson was traded from the Erie BayHawks of the NBA D-League to the Idaho Stampede on Dec. 30. In two games with the Stampede, Jackson is averaging 11.5 points, 7.5 assists and five rebounds per game. Jackson averaged 12.1 points, 6.6 assists, 4.1 rebounds and 2.1 steals in 14 games with Erie this season.