Guest reporter Luke Zahlmann, from The Rocky Mountain Collegian, provides a bit of insight Colorado State men’s basketball team for Bulldog fans going into Saturday’s game at the Save Mart Center.
LZ: The story of Colorado State thus far in its first year under Niko Medved is one of inconsistency.
To open the year, the Rams won four of their first five and
looked to be on their way to a resurgence. After that stint though, the team
has gone 3-11 in their next stretch including a two-game losing streak entering
the Fresno State matchup.
Medved’s system has preached ball movement. Under the Rams’
previous regime, ball movement was a secondary task with several scorers
playing is isolation often. The change has been a slow one for the team as they
are finally beginning to adapt and raise their assist averages as well.
Though it will not be easy, the key for the Rams will once
again be Nico Carvacho, one of the conference’s premier centers. On the year,
Carvacho has averaged career highs in both points (15.7) and rebounds (12.4),
with his rebounding average sitting atop the entire nation.
Alongside the big man is fellow upperclassmen J.D. Paige who
is also having a career year in his redshirt senior season. On the year, the
guard has averaged 15.2 points per game. His efficiency has also risen as his
40.9-percent mark from outside leads all Rams’ starters.
Paige will also be tasked with guarding Bulldogs’ standout
Deshon Taylor. The matchup between the pair of guards will be a premier matchup
in the game and likely fill the highlight reels following its conclusion.
The final piece of the puzzle for the Rams in their pursuit
of an upset will be freshman Kendle Moore. Seen as a sparkplug for the team,
the guard leads the Mountain West in steals (31) and has used his thievery to
set up multiple fast break opportunities for the team throughout the season.
If the trio can find their groove early in the matchup, the
Rams will contend well with their conference foes. If not, they will likely
drop their third-consecutive conference matchup and drop further in the MW