#73 Colorado St: 2010-11 Basketball Preview
Overall Rank: #73
Conference Rank: #5 Mountain West Conference
2009-10: 16-16, 7-9
2009-10 postseason: CBI
Coach: Tim Miles (32-63 at Colorado State, 248-193 overall)
When Coach Tim Miles took over Colorado State, the Rams went 0-16 in conference play. Two years later the team went 16-16 overall and made it to the postseason. The small steps it was supposed to take to rebuild turned out to be relatively large and moving from the CBI in 2010 to the NIT in 2011 is the next step for the Rams.
Key Losses: F Mame Bocar Ba, F Travis Busch, G Harvey Perry
The Rams could use some depth across the board and this class covers it pretty well. On the perimeter Wes Eikmeier, a transfer from Iowa State, has a year of experience under his belt and should immediately be a great long range shooter off the bench. Dwight Smith is a 6-4 wing with plenty of potential and Maruice Wiltz, a 6-2 shooting guard, may be asked to spend a little time backing up the point guard spot. The most heralded recruit is power forward Chad Calcaterra. The 6-10, 250 pound freshman may not play too much this year, but he should be a productive player pretty soon. Seven-foot center Trevor Williams spent last season adding strength from the sidelines and is up to a hefty 270 pounds. At the least he should give the Rams another big body to eat up some fouls and play some defense from the center position.
Dorian Green practically came out of nowhere to led CSU to the postseason. The 6-2 Lawrence, Kansas native was pretty much forced into the point guard role due to lack of other options, but he did so much more for this team than just run the show. On top of his team high 2.5 assists per game, Green led the team with 11.8 points and knocked down 38.8 percent of his attempts from long range. Green has that ability to hit jump shots when the defender is worried about him driving the lane and the quickness to attack the basket when the defender guards him too close on the perimeter. Having an experienced mate in the backcourt like Adam Nigon certainly helped Green turn into a more dangerous player. Nigon will not attack the basket as often as Green, but he is a fine outside shooter and a solid defender.
Travis Franklin and Andy Ogide dominated many frontcourts in the Mountain West Conference and both are poised to have great senior seasons. Franklin really stepped up his game as an upperclassman and averaged 10.5 points and 5.0 rebounds during the 2009-2010 season. The 6-7, 215 pound power forward does a great job creating shots for himself in the paint and getting fouled, but if he could improve on his dismal 54.5 percent free-throw shooting, he would add a point or two a game to his season average. Ogide is the big man under the basket at 6-9 and 245 pounds. Ogide is the player who can step outside and hit the mid-range jumper with some consistency and stretch out the defense, but he spends most of his time in the paint and he should lead the team in rebounding yet again and be among the Rams best scorers.
Who to Watch:
The biggest issue may be at small forward. Green, Nigon, Franklin and Ogide all started at least 30 games last year. Nobody else started more than 14. Finding a consistent small forward is important heading into the 2010-2011 campaign. The most logical answer may be Pierce Hornung. The 6-5 sophomore is not a scorer, but he is a tough rebounder. Andre McFarland adds an outside shooting dimension and some seniority to the position and Greg Smith is the best all-around scorer of the bunch. No matter who starts, those three will play quite a few minutes, and not just at the small forward spot.
This team simply lacks the pure talent to compete with the four big boys in the Mountain West Conference. They have the talent to win a couple big games in conference play, but this team is still young at spots and probably will lack the consistency to beat who they should beat on a daily basis. A few big upsets here and a few bad losses there will probably put CSU in the NIT, but that is yet another step in the right direction.
Projected Post-season Tournament: NIT
Projected Starting Five:
Dorian Green, Sophomore, Guard, 11.8 ppg
Adam Nigon, Senior, Guard, 8.7 ppg
Pierce Hornung, Sophomore, Forward, 2.6 ppg
Travis Franklin, Senior, Forward, 10.5 ppg
Andy Ogide, Senior, Forward, 11.7 ppg
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