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Colorado State 85 – Fort Lewis 54

November 11, 2014

Sure the opponent was a D-2 squad. Sure the opponent is a lower level RMAC team that won’t contend for a conference championship like a Metro State.

But anything can happen the first time a team takes the floor together in the view of the public against an opponent other than themselves.

And while the Rams rolled to an easy victory, it was how they got there that was impressive.

The he thing I love about Larry Eustachy is how simple he can make a game.  You could almost see what he had written on the blackboard pre-game as his keys.  Stay in front of your man on defense, provide weak side help when the other team feeds the ball to the low post, get every rebound.

After a disappointing 16-16 campaign where his Rams defended poorly, Eustachy knows he’s got plenty of weapons on the offensive end that will go nowhere if they don’t establish themselves defensively and on the glass.

And so the Rams came out and did what they were told as they rolled to a 37-19 halftime lead.  The Rams had held the visiting Skyhawks to 27% shooting.   The usual suspects like JJ Avila, Daniel Bejarano, and Joe DeCiman led the way.  Newcomer Dantiel Daniels, an undersized beast in the paint, was relentless.  The halftime buzzer sounded, the teams went into the locker rooms, they talked, they came out for the second half.

An early hoop put the Rams up by 20.  And then it happened…

Fort Lewis scored a pair of easy baskets as JJ Avila first allowed his man to drive by him, then didn’t provide any help on another Fort Lewis drive.  Two possessions, two easy buckets.

And Larry Eustachy took a timeout and sent an immediate message to both Avila and the team.  A message of “I don’t care how good your offense is, you will sit if you don’t defend”.

JJ is a tremendously skilled offensive player who can score from all over and set others up for easy buckets.  Avila was on his way to a triple-double and he sat for a good six minutes.

The message was heard loud and clear by the team and even though Fort Lewis cut the deficit to 12, the Rams ratcheted up their level of play on both ends.  Newcomers Gian Clavell, Stanton Kidd, and John Gillon all started to look more comfortable and the Rams blew the game wide open, allowing Eustachy to clear the bench for the final four minutes.

And it wasn’t four minutes of garbage time as freshman Toby Van Ry, a slender 6’10” big from Fort Collins, nailed three in a row from beyond the arc, the last of which was punctuated with a fist pump.

As the final buzzer sounded, the Rams had their victory, Eustachy had talking points for his team, and the Moby faithful headed to the exits with a hopeful feeling of what 2014-15 could be.

For the game, the Rams doubled up the visitors on the glass with a 54-27 margin, the held their opponents to 37% shhoting including only 22% from behind the arc.

Gian Clavell led the way with 15 points, which included a three point play the hard way on a reverse layup and a beautiful step-back three pointer.  Stanton Kidd and Avila both had 14 points and Kidd added 11 rebounds for his first of hopefully many double doubles.  Daniels finished with 12 and 9 and Bejarano had a quiet  7 and 7.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Bill Walton permalink
    November 12, 2014 12:01 am

    If you only knew anything about basketball. I pity anyone who reads this. May God have mercy on your sole.

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