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Monday Morning Cup of Coffee – Christmas Edition

December 20, 2021

So grab your favorite brew as we go around the latest in CSU and MWC Hoops. For me it will not be a Starbuck’s Holiday Blend. My wife received a small box of K-Cups as a gift, made a cup of coffee, and pronounced it the absolute worst cup of coffee she has ever had. So bad she returned the box to the source. So I think I’ll stick with a simple Green Mountain Breakfast Blend this morning.

PJ Byrd

And before we go any further, let’s take the time to celebrate former CSU guard PJ Byrd as we’re drinking our coffee. PJ is the only player to leave via the transfer portal last summer and he wound up at Southern University. Yesterday, PJ completed a second half comeback from a 17-point deficit at Kent State by scoring a game-winning layup in the last seconds. It was his second, last-second game-winner for the Jaguars.

A “coffee is for closers” toast to you young man!

Covid Pauses Stink

I cannot tell you how disappointed I was to see the CSU Men’s Basketball team go on COVID pause. I was so looking forward to the next two neutral court match-ups against a tricky Tulsa side and a Top 10 Alabama. Both would have been very good tests for this currently undefeated Rams’ squad.

Would the Rams’ have remained undefeated had they played those two games? Thats a question we’ll never know the answer to.

But would we have been entertained by this extremely spectator friendly team? You bet!

I can only hope the players and coaches get through this latest round unscathed. COVID is not a joke. Regardless of where you are on the political spectrum, the disease itself is insidious.

Speaking of Undefeated…

I offer you this map for your viewing pleasure.

I love that Alaska is green!

A Quick Look at the Latest NET Rankings

First of all, it is still awfully early to worry about NET rankings as with only 1/3 of the season played, there is a ton of volatility in the table. That doesn’t stop me from downloading the NCAA Ranking every morning just to see where teams currently are.

Amazingly, the Mountain West Conference has had a very strong non-conference season. he highest of the non ”Power” conferences. Higher than the AAC, the WCC, the A-10. Higher than the Pac-12 until the weekend, when a few losses pushed them barely behind the conference of champions. Higher conference ranking are important because they aid in determining the number of bids in the NCAA Tournament. As of now, I’d call the MWC a 2-3 bid league.

Conference NET Rankings

As for current MWC team rankings, six of the eleven teams are ranked in the Top 76. They are led by Wyoming (18), Colorado State (27), and Utah State (44). Fresno State (61), San Diego State (64), and Boise state (76) are the other three.

I’ve been seeing a lot of silly smack talk between CSU and Wyoming fans on Twitter regarding the quality of the team’s schedules vis a vis their current NET ranking. I wish fans would understand that WE WANT OUR RIVALS TO HAVE HIGH NET RANKINGS! That makes for quality wins and a better resume come tournament time. CSU and Wyoming will get a chance to prove who the better side is when they meet twice during the MWC schedule and have an opportunity to enhance their resumes.

Kendle Moore and Adam Thistlewood

I would strongly recommend reading an article on the two seniors written by The Coloradoan’s Kevin Lytle.

https://www.coloradoan.com/story/sports/csu/mens-basketball/2021/12/18/csu-basketball-players-kendle-moore-adam-thistlewood-go-way-back/8938978002/

There has been lots of joking about Steve Addazio’s ”brick by brick” project that was his version of CSU Football.

But make no mistake about it, Kendle Moore and Adam Thistlewood were the first two bricks laid in the foundation of what has become a Top 25 program. Inserted into the lineup as freshmen in 2018-19, Coach Medved’s first year(more like thrown to the wolves), they adjusted to the rigors of college basketball quickly and have grown to become much more complete players over the years.

Moore and Thistlewood as Freshmen

And as Kevin, pointed out, they have made sacrifices in terms of playing time this season to make room for a talented group of underclassmen to get on the floor and make CSU an even better program.

I’ve had the David Roddy and Isaiah Stevens 1000-point watch going on. Roddy hit it in his last game against Mississippi State.Stevens will get there in his next game.

But both Moore and Thistlewood have an opportunity to reach that plateau as well. Moore currently stands at 895 career points. Thistlewood at 873. If all goes well, we’ll see both of them cross that 1000-point threshold late in the season.

Kudos to the University of Colorado

On Saturday, the Mighty Buffs hosted the Cal-State Bakersfield Roadrunners. They partnered with UCHealth in a Bigger Than Basketball initiative, where they recognize Cancer Warriors by wearing jerseys with their names during the game.

It is something that CSU has done for the past two seasons and it is my understanding that the Rams will once again do it on January 28th when they play UNLV in Moby Arena. I hope all CSU fans make the time that evening, whether by showing up at Moby or by watching the FS1 broadcast, to support not just the cancer warriors, but two fantastic organizations in CSU Men’s Basketball and UCHealth.

And Finally…

Even with their wonderful event on Saturday, I have to bring the Mighty Buffs back to earth after something Tad Boyle said following the game on Saturday.

What did he say you ask?

When talking about the upcoming Kansas game, he was bemoaning the smallish crowd on Saturday. The Buffs drew 5888 fans. About 50% of capacity.

He said:

“Hopefully this is a college basketball game that the state of Colorado can get excited about. I wish they got excited about every game. I’m watching Duke play Appalachian State the other night. The place was packed. The student section was packed. I wonder why (that isn’t the case) here.”

Well I know a team you could have scheduled that would have filled your student section and filled your entire arena to capacity. 11,064, not 5,888. Their name is Colorado State University, not Cal State – Bacon Bits.

You had your chance and you said no.

Coward.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Rich Feller permalink
    December 20, 2021 2:04 pm

    From K Cups to bacon bits…and free throws in between…let’s play CU soon again and get rid of this insidious disease with more of CSU’s good science. Thanks Steve, you know what Folger’s says…”the best part of waking up is finding…some CSU basketball news to read” with your cup

    • December 20, 2021 2:06 pm

      Thanks Rich. Hope you have a Merry Christmas and I hope our Rams are back on the court sooner rather than later.

  2. Tad Boyle permalink
    December 20, 2021 5:01 pm

    Why would we lower ourselves to playing CSU. What a waist of time. I read your blog and love your stuff.

    And you are right I’m a coward

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