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Another Pre-season Hoops Practice Adventure

October 18, 2019

With a bad hip and unable to take advantage of beautiful golf weather this October, I find myself with a good deal of spare time. So I wandered over to Moby and a Kidfest broke out

It was a special day for the Jr. Ram Club as they were able to spend an hour on the court with CSU coaches and players.

Prior to the event, the Rams practiced for a couple of hours. Lots of defensive and offensive team drills. Some halfcourt, some fullcourt. Some shooting drills as well.

There were lots of coaching moments but none bigger than the one that took place in a drill that was oriented around playing defense for 40 seconds. I cant remember if it was the Gold Team or the Green Team but the team defending did a fantastic job, holding the other group off the board for the entire clock. A late shot went up right at the end of the shot clock. And the defensive team failed to garner the rebound to finish off the possession.

Whistle and time for a talk with Coach Medved. He was ecstatic with the defensive effort of the group but pointed to not finishing the play with a defensive rebound as an absolute killer, especially during crunch time. He talked about games won and lost in the final two minutes and how that one singular failure to grab a defensive rebound would be the difference between winning and losing.

And then he showed what he wanted in terms of a box out with senior Kris Martin. Medved told Kris to go after a rebound and tried to hammer Kris. Martin wanted no part and gave as good as he got. Point made and a good playful exchange between coach and senior leader.

Other Stuff

I love watching shooting drills. Some of these guys can really shoot it from the perimeter. Adam Thistlewood led the MWC in 3-point shooting during conference games last season. And whenever I watch Kris Martin he makes everything.

One particular 2-minute drill required two consecutive makes from the perimeter before moving on to the next spot. Coach Faroukhmanesh introduced the drill and said that last time they did it Kris Martin led the team by being successful from 13 spots. Thats a lot of shots and a lot of makes. So of course my eyes were on Kris who matched his record of 13, missing a shot at the buzzer that would have given him 14.

Nico Carvacho, Adam Thistlewood, and Kris Martin look to be definite starters. The rest of the mix is still way up in the air with all positions being contested heavily. The guard mix will probably be cut from 4 down to 3 in the rotation and Hyron Edwards looks to be the leader; Kendle Moore is rounding into shape after off-season knee surgery and freshman Isaiah Stevens could be the next Dorian Green. I look for David Roddy to either push his way into the starting lineup or be the first forward off the bench; he has size, strength, skill, and effort. And I look for freshman big Dischon Thomas to serve as Carvacho’s backup at the Center position; he looks to be ahead of fellow freshman big James Moors who is a strong redshirt candidate.

Those are my Top 8 but there’s still some time for players like sophomore PJ Byrd and freshman John Tonje to make a dent in the rotation. Both are hard-nosed physical players that can help. Its always a difficult balance between getting a player enough playing time to help them improve vs. saving a full season with a redshirt. Thats why they pay the coaches big bucks and why I am glad I don’t have to make those kinds of decisions.

Secret Scrimmages

The NCAA allows team to hold scrimmages with other schools behind closed doors. Hence the term “secret scrimmages”. Of course they are not secret. One of the national writers whose name escapes me published a list of them on Twitter. CSU is scheduled to play Northern Colorado in Greeley on Friday October 25th. It will be a good road experience for a young team against a solid Big Sky program that returns 4 starters.

Two Weeks from the start of the season

The Rams open with an exhibition against Western Colorado on Friday November 1st. They follow it quickly with their first regular season game against Denver University on Tuesday November 5th. And then an airplane to Durham, NC the next day as they ready themselves to meet Duke on Friday, November 8th.

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