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Colorado 88 – Colorado State 77

December 7, 2015

On the scoreboard it was a tale of two halves.

In front of a sellout home crowd in their own arena, the Rams overcame an early 9-2 deficit with solid defense and hot shooting to go into the locker room leading 52-39.

The visiting Buffaloes came out in the second half and had their way in the paint, tossing the Rams aside on their way to countless layups, dunks, and putbacks. It was a comeback to top all comebacks as the Buffs outscored the Rams 49-25 to win going away.

And as a fan it was discouraging. I could point to a play here or a play there, a coaching decision here or a coaching decision there.

But that’s way too easy.

The issues with the Colorado State team run much deeper than a play here or there.

The bottom line issue is that this team has no collective will to win. They will not do what it takes to win big games.

I harken back to a game in Moby in 2012.  A red hot and ranked New Mexico team came to Fort Collins. They had three future NBA players on their roster and countless other talented players. And CSU was down a big man.  That required a 6’5″ player to defend a much more skilled and bigger player for nearly 40 minutes.

Here’s how that CSU player described the match-up:

“Defense, it always has to be a personal challenge.  You have to look across at the guy you’re guarding and say, ‘I’m not going to let you beat me.’ It is the same every game.”

 You have to be active and physical and match his physicality and his tenacity.”
That CSU player was Pierce Hornung.  The UNM player was Drew Gordon, who was named MWC Player of the Year.  Hornung finished that game with 13 points, 15 rebounds, 4 steals, and countless bumps, bruises, and floorburns.

That CSU team in 2012 was flawed and had some pretty bad losses, especially on the road.  But they somehow found a way to out-determine teams that visited Moby with a tenacious will to win.

That 2012 team spilled their guts on the floor.

This 2015-16 squad doesnt have it now.  Both players and coaches.

And the question to ask now is will they figure it out?

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