They Just Keep Winning: Introducing the Colorado State Men’s Basketball Team


Feb 10, 2015; Fort Collins, CO, USA; Colorado State Rams forward J.J. Avila (31) and guard Daniel Bejarano (2) and guard Gian Clavell (3) and guard John Gillon (4) celebrate late the lead in the second half against the New Mexico Lobos at Moby Arena. The Rams defeated the Lobos 70-59. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Just in case you haven’t been paying attention, the Colorado State Rams Men’s Basketball Team continues to win. The Rams knocked off the New Mexico Lobos on Tuesday night to move to 21-4 overall, and 8-4 in the Mountain West Conference.

The sports landscape in Colorado right now is just awful. The Denver Broncos are well into their offseason, the Denver Nuggets are terrible, the Colorado Avalanche can’t score, the Colorado Rockies are, well, the Rockies and the Colorado Buffaloes Men’s Basketball team has been a disappointment.

The Rams are the only team on the Front Range doing anything that is worth paying attention to, and it’s time for people to take notice. If the season ended today, the Rams would most likely be an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.

The Rams number one strength is on the offensive side of the floor. They lead the Mountain West Conference in scoring and are a very good outside shooting team. When they are hitting three-pointers, the Rams are very difficult to beat. That trait bodes well if the Rams were to make the dance, teams that can shoot the three ball generally have success in the tournament.

The Rams are led on the outside by Daniel Bejarano who is a floor leader and a tremendous outside shooter. Bejarano is in range the minute he steps into the gym, but he can also beat defenders off the dribble.

In addition to Bejarano the Rams have others who can shoot the three ball including: Glan Clavell, Joe De Ciman and John Gillon. All of those players can score from anywhere on the floor, and all can handle the ball as well.

The Rams also have an inside presence in J.J. Avila. Avila has a wide variety of post moves and can score with either hand. His work on the inside gives the Rams an inside-out game that often leads to wide-open shots for the players mentioned above.

If the Rams have a weakness, it’s on the defensive side of the court. They can play good defense when it is needed, but often have lapses when they get out to big leads. If the Rams are going to get into the tournament and do some damage once they get there, then they are going to have to tighten things up.

The Rams are led by Head Coach, Larry Eustachy. Eustachy is a great basketball coach who is an anomaly in college basketball where coaches are often the dominant figures in their programs. Eustachy has no interest in being the story and puts the focus on the players. He was a highly respected coach who was on the rise when he was at Iowa State, but some poor decisions cost him that status. Eustachy now has his life in order and is extremely happy in Fort Collins. In short, the Rams have a big time coach who has no interest in leaving for a better job.

When you combine a group of talented players and an experienced coach who knows how to get them to play as one, you end up with a 21-4 basketball team.

The Rams have six regular season games remaining, with four of them being on the road. While it appears that they are on their way into March Madness, the Rams probably need to win at least three of those remaining six and four would be preferable. The Rams also remain in the race for the conference title but would probably have to win five of their last six to get that done.

They must win their two remaining home games versus The Air Force Academy and San Jose State, and then find a way to win one or two games on the road. The road games include: San Diego State, Fresno State, Nevada and Utah State. The San Diego State game will be tough but the remaining three are very winnable.

Following the regular season is the conference tournament and if the Rams could tack on a couple of additional wins there, then an invite to the NCAA Tournament would be wrapped up.

So while every other team in Colorado is stumbling over themselves, the Rams just keep winning and they might be winning all the way into March.