Apr 122006
Authors: Trevor Edy The Rocky Mountain Collegian

After coming off a disappointing 16-15 season, head coach Dale Layer and the rest of the CSU Men’s basketball program will look to fill some voids for next season.

The Rams added four players to a roster that has been shaken up in the past couple of weeks with the departures of guard Sean Morris and the loss of seniors Andrew Patterson and Micheal Morris.

CSU will welcome two high school standouts and one junior college transfer to its roster for the upcoming years.

Alton Robinson, a 6-foot-6-inch forward, hails from Pearl River Community College in Poplarville, Miss. There, Robinson averaged 17.6 points and six rebounds per game during his sophomore year in 2005-2006 as well as being named a pre-season junior college all-American.

“Alton is a mature, explosive player,” Layer said in a press release earlier this year. “He can play three different positions and will bring toughness, rebounding and basketball savvy to the team.”

JuCOnation recognized Robinson as a top 65 junior college player and Lindy’s Magazine rated him as the third-best small forward in the nation.

“(Robinson) can be an offensive force for us,” Layer said.

The Rams will also bring in Colorado native Jake Nielson, coming out of Grandview High School in Aurora. This 6-foot-1-inch guard was a second team all-state selection in Colorado after averaging 16.9 points a game and nearly six assists in his senior campaign. Although Nielson’s arrival is much anticipated, he won’t be joining the Rams until the 2008 season because of a two-year Mormon mission.

“Jake is the second best senior in the state,” Layer said about the 170-pound guard. “He’s smart, skilled and unselfish and will have a great career at the point.”

Even though the departures of Micheal and Sean Morris will be a loss to the Ram program, CSU will open its doors to another brother tandem for the 2006 season. Brothers Jarrel and Jimmy Smith from Encino, Calif. will call Fort Collins home in the fall. Jarrel, an all-region selection in California, averaged 26 points a game (including two 40-plus point games) to go along with 11 rebounds.

“Jarrel is an explosive scorer who can put up points in several different ways,” Layer said about the 6-foot-7 forward. “He can shoot the three or he can drive around you and score. He’s very long and very athletic.”

Smith is the third-leading scorer in the Los Angeles region.

Jarrel’s other half, Jimmy, will not be offered a scholarship, but has decided to try and walk-on to the team in the fall. Jimmy averaged 10 points and five rebounds a game.

Wednesday was the first day of the late signing period, and more announcements may be made at a later date.

Trevor Edy can be reached at sports@collegian.com

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