Dec 142009
 
Authors: Matt L. Stephens

Dear men’s and women’s basketball teams,

Please don’t toy with my heart. As a student here at CSU, the Ram football team teased me this fall, treating me with a bowl victory a year ago and a promise of a new direction this season. It all started so great but cruelly was ripped away like a free trial for World of Warcraft.

Please treat my peers and me better than that this season. While volleyball is having a season to remember right now, that’s all going to end no later than Dec. 19 should these young women somehow win a national championship (never say never).

With no volleyball being played, I need to be able to watch quality teams play at Moby Arena this winter to hold me over until softball starts in the spring. Can you deliver this to me, men’s and women’s basketball?

While the gold and green nation has suffered some tough seasons on the hardwood over the past few years with the like of teams that Jen Warden and Dale Layer put on the court, Kristen Holt and Tim Miles are showing the promise of change (hopefully it will be more than President Obama has delivered) through their actions, and it is starting to show.

For the first time in five years, the CSU women’s basketball team won its host tournament, the Coors Rocky Mountain Invitational, and that’s saying something, as the Rams were only 2-5 in the event since that victory in 2004.

Coach Holt, in your first season last year, CSU went 10-21 overall with four wins in MWC Play. This is incredible considering that the team, just one season prior, was the worst team in school history, winning only four games all year. This 4-2 start to the current season is the best in four years, and I strongly hope you can keep it up.

Bonnie Barbee has really taken on a leadership role for this team and it shows. Not enough can be said of the job Kim Mestdagh is doing, especially on the defensive side of things and from behind the arc. Meghan Heimstra is also doing well defensively blocking shots.

And Coach Miles, the king of Twitter. You, too, have taken this program in a positive direction. It’s hard to find anyone who will say something negative about you. Your fiery spirit on the sidelines is contagious as the crowds at Moby always gets infected.

I really think that this is the year for CSU men’s basketball to start showing that it’s back on the right track. The team had statement wins against UNLV and TCU a season ago, and it’s time to build from there.

I like what you’ve done with these latest two recruiting classes, going away from the junior college players in order to really build a long-term program with young guys. It’s amazing how well Dorian Green has stepped up in a leadership role as point guard. He had to mature earlier than one would have hoped with the injury of the Ambassador of Ainsworth Jesse Carr, but he has been great.

And in all of my years (yes, all 22), I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a freshman with such a nose for the basketball as Pierce Hornung. Seriously.

Pierce, you’re averaging 3.4 rebounds a minute. A minute! You’re a true freshman for God’s sake. Share the wealth, why don’t you? Seventeen boards in the win versus San Francisco last weekend – wow. Even if you never become the best scorer, no one is going to complain with those numbers. Well, except for me, obviously, in a satirical matter.

Both of the men’s and women’s basketball teams seem like they’re starting to look up, but one issue still remains: winning on the road. Combined, both the men and the women are 0-4 in official road games. We need to fix that.

I want to see teams that opponents are scared to play on their home courts. Mean, green, basketball machines. And some of that comes from my peers and I. We should support you by making the drives to Laramie, Boulder, Greeley and Colorado Springs just like we do for the football team. That would definitely help.

But before we do that, I think my fellow students should start going to Moby to watch basketball games. The student turn-out for these contests is pathetic. I mean, it really embarrasses me, and I apologize. So I’ll make you a deal, men’s and women’s basketball teams. You keep working hard and winning games, and I’ll do what I can to get butts in those green seats.

Let’s bring back that Moby magic.

Sincerely yours,

Matt L. Stephens

Sports Editor Matt L. Stephens can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 9:47 am

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