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Fun Finds a Home in Moby As Rams Open Medved Era With 100-66 Win

November 8, 2018

After the game, I wandered down to the floor to say hello to a few people.

I ran into Athletic Director Joe Parker and while shaking his hand said, “Well that sure was fun.” He agreed. I wasn’t the only person that felt that way. CSU Twitter was alive with fans talking about how much fun it was.

Rewind back a couple of hours.

Little did I know that in his pre-game speech, Coach Niko Medved had talked about the importance of trust, staying together, and having fun.

And had fun they did as the Rams moved the ball quickly and smartly on their way to establishing a 24-3 lead on the overwhelmed Cougars of Colorado Christian University. The Rams were running their sets, finishing solid defensive work with rebounds,and getting out into transition for plenty of open looks. They were shooting freely and the ball was finding the bottom of the net.

Guards Anthony Masinton-Bonner and Kendle Moore spent the first half torturing the Cougars (I’m surprised no one called PETA) with their perimeter shooting and Center Nico Carvacho was doing the same inside. Bonner and Carvacho concluded the first half with a set play that got Bonner into the paint who then dished to an open Carvacho for a thunderous dunk.

The Rams led 53-29 and believe it or not the scoreline flattered the visitors as CCU had shot 9-15 from beyond the arc producing 27 of their 9 points. The Rams held them to 1-17 from 2-point land, outrebounded them 26-14, and played the entire half with committing a foul. And they had shot 54%.

The second half continued with more of the same with a bit more liberal substitution pattern as the Rams extended their lead. There was a point just inside of10 minutes where they got a little sloppy on the offensive end and a little lax on the defensive end and there was Coach Medved taking a timeout reminding them of the importance of playing the game the right way. They listened and did what was asked and finished out the game in style with walk-on Sam Bannec draining the final three-ball to push the Rams over the century mark.

Moore would finish with 26 points and 4 assists in his debutant the point for the Rams as he continued to show quicks in the open floor getting to the rim, an improving perimeter shooting game, and overall court savvy. Masinton-Bonner would finish with 22 points and 4 assists but more importantly is showing quality over the entire 94′. Moore and Masinton-Bonner shot 17-20 combined including 10-12 from beyond the arc.

Carvacho would record a double-double as he finished with 14 and 15. Starters Lorenzo Jenkins and freshman Adam Thistlewood both scored in double figures with 15 and 10 respectively. And Robbie Berwick came off the bench to deliver 6 assists including an amazing blind, over the head pass from the paint to Moore in the corner who then buried the three-ball.

The product on the floor was great, albeit versus an overmatched opponent.

But the product of the product on the floor was FUN for everyone. The Rams had connected the dots from their pre-game talk with Medved. They had played with passion, enthusiasm, and togetherness for 40 minutes and made the game fun for their fans.

Other Stuff

Mea Culpa – First off, I apologized to Anthony Masinton-Bonner after the game. In the off-season he added his mom’s maiden name to his full name. Through habit I had been omitting his mom’s maiden name. It was certainly never my intent to disrespect him that way. Sometimes its hard for old men like me to remember.

Senior guard JD Paige sat out last night’s game but will be back for Saturday’s game vs Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Kris Martin served the first game of a five-game suspension for violating team rules. Hyron Edwards wont be eligible to play until December. All three of these guys are impact players who will make the Rams better than they played last night.

And when they are all available, the Rams will be able to throw some interesting combinations on the floor. They’ll be able to play bigger with guys like Paige and Martin in the backcourt. But even more fun, they’ll be able to play small and fast with guards like Moore, Edwards, and Bonner together. CSU has not had speed like that in the backcourt in recent years.

The challenge throughout this season will be finding suitable backup bigs in support of Nico Carvacho. Make no mistake about it that as good as the guards are playing, Carvacho drives the bus on the floor with his interior defense, his rebounding prowess, and his passing and positioning skills on the offensive end. The team has done a great job to date protecting him on the defensive end but that will get more and more challenging as the quality of the opponents is elevated. Not having Deion James hurts but there will be continued opportunities for Logan Ryan and Zo Tyson off the bench to provide Carvacho with the cover he needs at the Center position.

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