Rest can do wonders for a basketball team â€“ or it can be a hitch in the road of the teamâ€™s recent hot streak.
The Rams havenâ€™t played a game in nearly a week, which has provided key players nursing tired bodies a break to recover their legs, but may have also taken the players out of their competitive mental state.
â€œThe lay-off has its advantages and disadvantages,â€ said head coach Tim Miles. â€œItâ€™s good to freshen up some guys and give them some rest, but at the same time they lose that competitive edge from not playing a live, competitive game for so long.â€
The Rams (15-9, 6-4 MWC) last played Tuesday with a win over Air Force at the Academy. The team returns to the court Wednesday against BYU.
In between, the team has practiced, trying to keep the players in competition mode. Miles said every drill has been competitive in nature with players battling one another in various games.
Miles returns to the team today after a four-day recruiting trip. He coached the team last Wednesday and the assistant coaches ran practice Friday and Saturday.
The players received off-days Thursday and Sunday. Rest is a welcome sight for point guard Dorian Green.
Miles has relied heavily on the freshman in Mountain West Conference play, where he is averaging 35 minutes per game â€“ second in the league.
â€œHeâ€™s played some heavy minutes recently and this has been a good chance for him to rest up because weâ€™re going to need him full-go the remainder of the season,â€ Miles said.
Senior Travis Busch and Andre McFarland are two other players Miles said will benefit from the eight-day gap between games.
Busch has vigorously rehabbed his knee coming off ACL surgery, while McFarland has been in and out of the lineup battling lower back pain.
McFarland played his best game of the season against Wyoming Feb. 6, scoring 13 points in 11 minutes.
â€œWe hope that Andre will be able to continue to play for us down the stretch,â€ Miles said.
The Rams begin a critical three-game stretch in MWC play beginning with BYU Wednesday night. CSU sits fifth in the conference at 6-4.
â€œWeâ€™re earning confidence and earning respect from the rest of the conference,â€ Miles said. â€œWe just have to continue to be successful and get the fans coming out and be proud of the way we play. We still have a lot of work to do.â€
Menâ€™s Basketball Beat Reporter Stephen Meyers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.