Why Colorado State Can Win The Mountain West Tournament
The Rams have the fight and confidence to make a run
Can the Rams show up and make a statement?
Colorado State had a chance to sort of seal their place in the NCAA Tournament against Nevada, but Grant Sherfield had other ideas. Now the Rams have little room for error and can’t avoid a costly first round exit.
This Rams team is young and most thought they were a year away from contending. Then the Rams caught everyone off guard. They split the series with the other three top teams in the conference and have been the talk of the conference for a couple weeks.
A conference that had hopes of getting four teams in the tournament, now looks to be getting just two. Boise State had a bad loss to Fresno State and Utah State has struggled down the stretch. Colorado State has to step up as a team and control what they can to prove they belong in the Big Dance.
The Rams have a chance to prove they’re top dogs of the conference and here’s why they can win the Mountain West Tournament.
Roddy is a Mountain West Player of the Year candidate. He’s averaging close to a double-double with 16.3 points per game and 9.6 rebounds per game. He shoots an incredible 53% from the floor, which is even more impressive when you think about the fact that he’s only shooting 31% from behind the arc.
Roddy’s physical play creates mismatches for the Rams to exploit. He’s only 6’5″, but he weighs 250 lbs. He’s too strong for guards and he’s too explosive to put a big man on him. Roddy will have to play a big part if the Rams are to win the tournament.
Effective and Efficient Shooting
The Rams have been one of the most effective and efficient scoring teams in the nation this year. CSU ranks 13th in Adjusted Field Goal Percentage (56.4%) and 28th in True Field Goal Percentage (48.2) while only attempting 54 field goals a game (which is good for 318th out 347 teams)
They’re average in getting the free throw line at 18.8 attempts for per game, but they’re 6th in the nation in free throw percentage at 79.7%. The Rams are also one of the best teams in nation from behind the arc at 36.8%.
This efficient scoring for the Rams has kept them in games and brought them back from deficits. It’s also a big part in why they can win the tournament.
The reigning Mountain West Freshman of the Year is the Rams other star player. Stevens is the Rams sharpshooter from behind the arc, knocking them down at a 42.2% clip. He’s averaging 15 points per game, 4.5 rebounds per game, and 5.7 assists per game.
His all around game and court vision has been key for the Rams this year. When he’s hot, he’s hot. When he’s having an off night, he’s finding ways to get his teammates involved.
Stevens and Roddy combine for a potent combination. Either can go off, but if they both do, the other Mountain West teams should watch out.
This Rams team is young, one of the least experienced in the nation. There are no seniors on this team. This fact alone is going to cause sleepless nights for the next couple of years for the other Mountain West coaches.
Colorado State is also one of the least selfish teams. They’re always there for each other and always willing to help out. This can sometimes be a detriment, but for the most part it’s helped get to this point where they can win earlier then expected.
This Rams team has the talent and ability to win it all. It’s going to come down to putting it all together. If they can get firing on all cylinders three games in a row, the title is there for the taking.