Coaches often preach about the importance of consistency in sports.
Unfortunately, consistency is something the CSU men’s basketball team has been short on so far this season, and its record shows it.
The Rams (9-10 overall, 1-4 Mountain West Conference) have been crippled by injuries and suspensions this season, and therefore have had a tough time learning how to play together.
The result has been a streaky shooting offense and a shaky defense, which was never more evident than in the Rams’ disappointing 70-64 loss to New Mexico last Monday, when CSU shot a paltry 38 percent from the field.
One thing is for sure: they might want to figure it out fast, or it could get worse before it gets better. The Rams hit the road Friday to play league-leading Utah (15-3, 5-0) on Saturday night, then swing over to Provo to take on Brigham Young (12-6, 2-3) on Monday night.
The Rams will look to last week’s MWC player of the week junior Brian Greene and junior guard Andy Birely to lead them against the two conference powers.
The Rams are going to have their work cut out for them in Utah.
The Utes are led by explosive sophomore forward Nick Jacobson, who is averaging more than 15 points a game, but will be without senior center Chris Burgess, Utah’s best rebounder. Even without Burgess, the Utes are one of the best teams in the Mountain West and will almost certainly have a wild crowd to cheer them on.
This has proven to be tough on the young Rams so far this season.
It won’t get much easier in Provo, where the Rams will have to face the sharp-shooting Cougars and a tough BYU crowd.
In order to come away from this road trip satisfied, the Rams are going have to find some sort of offensive consistency.
Greene said it has been hard to be consistent with as many players as they’ve had in the lineup.
“We’ve had so many guys coming in and out that it’s been tough,” Greene said. “We have to get everybody used to playing with each other. We have to get back in the flow.”
This weekend will give the Rams two big chances to do such.n