In their final tune-up before the regular season, the CSU men’s basketball team defeated Division-II Adams State 81-55 Saturday night at Moby Arena, finishing the preseason 2-0.
It may have only been a preseason win over a D-II team, but senior guard Marcus Walker will take it.
“Considering where we came from last year, it’s a bonus, period, to get these two wins,” said Walker, referring to CSU going winless in conference last season.
Walker and sophomore forward Andy Ogide led the team with 15 points each, as the team shot .527 from the field. Walker said the chemistry between his teammates was better than last season.
“It felt good. You got a lot of people thinking, ‘share the ball, look for the open man, just play for each other,'” said Walker. “It’s a better atmosphere within the team on the court than last year as far as understanding our teammates and knowing that when we do give up the ball they’re going to do something with it.”
Head coach Tim Miles, in his second year at CSU, used the preseason to set his rotation.
“We have so many new players,” said Miles. “Some guys are used to being on the floor for 38 minutes, being the go-to guy, and now they’re playing 12-15. I think guys need to figure our their roles and understand we’re here to win.”
“The team you start with in November isn’t always what you end up being in January,” he said.
The team still has a long way to go before they are where they should be, Miles said.
“We still have a lot of work to do. Our perimeter defense wasn’t very good. We still didn’t rebound well enough; turned the ball over way too much, fouled too much. We still got work to do,” said Miles.
The Rams turned the ball over 21 times and had only 14 assists on its 35 field goals.
“We should have passed the ball a little more. I think we had more turnovers than assists and that’s not good,” said Ogide.
The win on Saturday was the CSU debut for 6-10 forward Dan Vandervieren, who sat out last year as per NCAA rules after transferring from Purdue. In nine minutes of play he tallied six points and three rebounds.
Are the Rams ready for the regular season to begin?
“Ready enough. I’m excited,” said Miles.
The Rams tip-off the regular season with a home game against Montana this Friday.
Sports reporter Stephen Meyers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.