Building a successful college basketball program is a lot like putting together a jigsaw puzzle.
Some pieces fit perfectly; others donâ€™t.
In the past few weeks the CSU basketball team has seen parts of both the coaching staff and current recruiting class leave to try and find their place elsewhere.
Assistant coach DeMarlo Slocum and Director of Basketball Operations Randy Baruth left the Rams to be a part of incoming Utah coach Larry Krystkowiakâ€™s staff.
And CSUâ€™s first signee of the year, 6-7 forward Javon Dawson out of Gulf Coast Community College, followed his chief recruiter in Slocum to Utah after CSU coach Tim Miles released him from his letter of intent.
One piece entering the program is point guard Cody Mann out of Miami, Florida.
â€œCodyâ€™s a really quick guard,â€ Miles said. â€œTrue point guard, heâ€™s fast. He gives us a speed element we havenâ€™t had in our program. Iâ€™m excited about him. I expect him to get on board and compete.â€
Mann averaged 15 points and four assists as a senior at Dr. Krop High School.
Additionally, the Rams added Colton Iverson, a transfer out of the University of Minnesota. Iverson will sit out the 2011-12 season due to NCAA transfer regulations. After sitting out, Iverson will have one year of eligibility remaining. He will join a potentially dominant senior class that will include Dorian Green, Wes Eikmeier, Jesse Carr, Greg Smith and Pierce Hornung for the 2012-13 season.
Iverson will provide the type of size that the Rams currently lack.
â€œHeâ€™ll be a real force in the paint for us,â€ Miles said. â€œHeâ€™ll be a bona fide, good big man in our league.â€
On Tuesday, Miles was hosting two recruits that he was hopeful of adding to the roster. Due to NCAA regulations he couldnâ€™t comment on un-signed prospects, but he did say that the Rams are looking to add some size in this recruiting class.
The last day to sign a National Letter of Intent is May 15, but players can still be signed up until the first day of school.
The exit of a couple of assistants and the loss of a recruit has kept Miles busy as he tries to find the right pieces to the puzzle.
â€œIâ€™m looking at replacements right now (for Slocum and Baruth),â€ Miles said. â€œIâ€™m trying to sign two players, hire two coaches, schedule some games. There is no offseason.â€
Menâ€™s Basketball Beat Reporter Kevin Lytle can be reached at email@example.com.