New CSU Coach Medved Is The Right Hire
Niko Medved might not be a sexy hire, but he’s just what CSU needs.
Niko Medved is what the CSU Basketball program needs right now.
Colorado State had a down 2017-18 men’s basketball season. They got off to a poor start and it spiraled downhill from there. Larry Eustachy was suspended from the team while and climate investigation was conducted. His head assistant, Steve Barnes, was also suspended. Joe Parker then made a decision with Eustachy and his representation on a buyout.
CSU had gone downhill. Now it needed to go on the upswing. First, Becky Hammon was mentioned as a candidate. Then Mark Fox was rumored to be in negotiations for the job. Finally, a report came out a couple days ago that said CSU had its finalists.
While CSU might not have made the sexy hire in Fox, Craig Smith, Chris Crutchfield, or DeMarlo Slocum, Niko Medved is the right hire for the situation Colorado State finds itself in. He’s a former CSU assistant under Tim Miles and he stayed another year under Larry Eustachy.
He then got his first head coaching position at Furman and turned that program around, going from 9 wins his first year to 23 his last season there. He then moved on to Drake, where he led the Bulldogs from seven wins the season before he arrived at 17 this year and a third-place finish in the Missouri Valley Conference after being predicted to finish last.
Medved is a player’s coach. He is the opposite type of coach from Larry Eustachy. Multiple former players have said that he’s a good fit and he’s why they chose CSU.
Daniel Bejarano told the Rocky Mountain Collegian, “I felt I could trust him as a coach but also as a friend. I couldn’t pass that up. I chose CSU over Nevada because of Niko. If I was in college today, I would play for him. The love and care he has for his players is special.”
While at CSU he served as the Rams main recruiter. He brought Andy Ogide, Colton Iverson, Dorian Green, Pierce Hornung, Wes Eikmeier, Jesse Carr, Greg and Dwight Smith, and Daniel Bejarano to Colorado State.
Carr told Justin Michael from Inside The Seams, “He obviously knows how to see talent. He’s a likable guy, likable coach and knows what he’s doing. I don’t think anybody that played for him in the past would be surprised in the least if he was given an opportunity for the job and then was successful on top of it.”
In his five years as a head coach, Niko Medved has compiled a career record of 79-87. While that might look like much, you have to look a little deeper. He has turned around two programs that had multiple losing seasons in a row. Yeah, he only finished .500 at Drake, but he had them finish third in the MVC, when they were predicted to finish last.
Fans might be a little turned off by the fact that Medved left Drake after one year, but that’s the reality of college basketball. The small programs will always lose coaches to bigger programs. If anybody deserves to keep climbing the ladder, it’s Niko. His former players know it.
And his former boss knows it. Tim Miles told Matt Stephens of the Denver Post, “There’s no doubt we don’t have the success we did without any of those guys I had on staff, but Niko in his own right was special. He helped put things in place to make us a viable Mountain West program.
Yeah, Niko Medved is not the sexy hire that Rams fans were looking for. But he’s the right hire for the situation the Rams found themselves in. He’s going to have to recruit the current players on the team. Both Nico Carvacho and Kris Martin have requested permission to contact other programs. If Niko can keep those players around, the Rams have the talent to compete. Plus all the fans can say “Exit Kipling, Exit Ward, Enter Medved.”
Niko Medved was the perfect hire for Joe Parker and he’s exactly what the Rams need right now.