Colorado State Rams
2012-2013 Overall Rank: #59
Conference Rank: #4 Mountain West
Colorado State Team Page
Colorado State made a great run to the NCAA Tournament, where they lost to Murray State. But getting there was quite an accomplishment and the Rams had a superb season. Coach Tim Miles left to take the Nebraska job, but he did not leave the cupboard bare. The Rams went and made a relatively big splash by picking up Coach Larry Eustachy. A proven winner time and time again, Coach Eustacy was in the NCAA Tournament in 2012 with Southern Mississippi.
2011-12 Record: 20-12, 8-6
2011-12 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Larry Eustachy
Coach Record: First year at Colorado State, 142-113 overall
The Rams ran an eight man rotation much of last season and six of those players return, including the top four scorers. Forward Will Bell, who averaged 8.3 points per game and started 28 contests, is the biggest loss. Bell was the best pure interior scorer on the team, even though a handful of other big men were more dynamic and could step outside and knock down some long balls. But it was Bell who stayed in the paint and created space on the offensive end and took up space on the defensive end. Kaipo Sabas started 18 games on the perimeter when CSU wanted to play small. Sabas rarely put up big numbers, but he did play tough defense and would occasionally get hot from long range. Center Chad Calcaterra and guard Cody Mann have opted to transfer after seeing limited action during the 2011-2012 campaign.
The Rams do not need a whole lot of new faces to play right away, but there are a couple of transfers who are going to make a huge impact right away. Most notable is 6-10, 261 pound center Colton Iverson. The Minnesota transfer had some pretty productive years in the Twin Cities and is ready to take over for Bell in the paint at Colorado State. Iverson has the size and experience to be a key figure on both sides of the court. Iverson can get a double-double on any given night, but more importantly he is a shot blocking threat and that is something this team lacked last season. Gerson Santo, a junior college transfer, will add more depth to the frontcourt. The rest of the newcomers are a bunch of wings. Daniel Bejarano, a transfer from Arizona, highlights the group. The 6-4 sophomore barely saw any playing time with the Wildcats, but is a great athlete who will make an impact at CSU. Joe De Ciman, Jordan Mason and junior college transfer Jonathan Octeus will look to add depth on the perimeter and, with a new coach, they will all get long looks for quality minutes.
Who to Watch:
Yet, minutes will be tough to come by on the perimeter with the return of Dorian Green, Wes Eikmeier, Jesse Carr and Dwight Smith. Green will again run the show after averaging 13.1 points per game last season. Green is not a pure point guard, but he is very difficult to defend due to his outside shooting ability and he has had success running the point. If Coach Eustachy wants another ball handler on the floor he can call on Carr. Carr is a pretty good shooter in his own right, but the 6-2 senior is also a little steadier with the ball in his hands compared to Green. With Eikmeier scoring in bunches, Colorado State has the luxury of using Green at the point. That way they have another scorer on the floor, but still have their go-to-scorer on the perimeter off of the ball. Eikmeier made a name for himself as a shooter, but he does a lot more than that now. The 6-3 senior did a great job of using his size and attacking the basket last season and he should be in for a huge senior season. With a little more talent around, Eikmeier may not average 15.5 points per game again this season, but he will certainly be out there when it matters most. Dwight Smith earned a handful of starts last season and could step into a full-time starting role during his junior campaign. Smith has a lot of talent and can do a little bit of everything. His numbers may not pop out on the stat sheet, but he can do the dirty work on the wing and help out on the glass.
If Iverson replaces Bell in the post, that leaves Greg Smith and Pierce Hornung to again split time at the power forward position. At 6-6 and 6-5, respectively, Smith and Hornung are undersized, but there are not really many other options. Smith is a very productive all-around scorer and will do plenty of work on the glass as well. He should compete with Dwight Smith for a starting spot on the wing, but could be stuck in the frontcourt more often than not. Hornung tends to hang out in the paint a little more than the more multi-dimensional Greg Smith and that has led to Hornung being the best rebounder on the team. Hornung will have some trouble defending taller power forwards, but he is a tough 210 pounder who will bang around in the paint when he needs to do so. Trevor Williams, a seven-footer, will likely see spot minutes as a backup to Iverson. Either way, the frontcourt should be in fine shape with Iverson hanging out in the paint. He brings more to the table than Bell, most notably as a shot blocker, and that should make the Colorado State frontcourt better than they were last year.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NIT
Projected Starting Five:
Dorian Green, Senior, Guard, 13.1 points per game
Wes Eikmeier, Senior, Guard, 15.5 points per game
Greg Smith, Senior, Forward, 9.4 points per game
Pierce Hornung, Senior, Forward, 8.8 points per game
Colton Iverson, Senior, Center, DNP last season