Three games and two victories. Although it’s not a perfect beginning, CSU Rams basketball said it’s a start they can build on.
The Rams exited this weekend’s Travelers Tip-Off Tournament in Eugene, Ore., with a 2-1 record, which makes head coach Tim Miles optimistic.
“I saw progress, and I’m proud of the guys,” the third-year head coach said. “It was a tough battle against Oregon, and we were only a few mistakes away from making it a close game. We are disappointed, but we are showing progress.”
The Rams’ only loss during the tournament came against host school Oregon, losing 68-55 Sunday night in the tournament championship.
Forward Andy Ogide put forth a commendable effort in the loss, posting 17 points and six rebounds.
The junior said although he’s not pleased with the one loss, he felt good about the team’s overall performance.
“Oregon is a good team, and we played them pretty tough,” Ogide said. “We’ll keep getting better. We played three different types of teams this weekend, and that will benefit us as the season goes on.”
Ogide had an impressive weekend for the Rams, totaling 49 points and 19 rebounds in three games — good enough for a spot on the all-tournament team alongside CSU point guard Dorian Green. Green, a true freshman, posted 36 points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists during the weekend.
CSU started the tournament off in style by picking up their first win of the season, defeating the UC-Davis Aggies 91-73 Friday night.
Ogide was big once again for the Rams, pouring in 24 points and seven rebounds. Green was solid in his first college game, earning 16 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals in his team-high 34 minutes of play. Junior Andre McFarland added 20 points for the Rams, including six three-pointer buckets.
CSU kept to their winning ways Saturday night with an impressive defensive performance propelling them to a 57-40 win over Winston-Salem State. McFarland led the Rams’ offensive effort, adding 13 points, nine coming from behind the arc.
Even though CSU currently has a winning record, Miles said he still sees a lot of things the team needs to improve on quickly.
The Rams have had strong starts in Miles two previous seasons with the team, only to fall apart going into conference play.
“We need to handle the ball better,” Miles said. “We need to play better defense, and we need to be more consistent on offense.”
The Rams will have a few days to work on these areas before heading east to face Indiana State on Friday.
Ogide said that what the Rams need to do most right now is practice.
“We see what we are doing in practice is working,” he said. “We feel we can keep building and get better.”
Assistant Sports Editor Adam Bohlmeyer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.