Exhibition season is a time to work on specific aspects of your game in order to be clicking on all cylinders at the start of the regular season.
And the Colorado State menâ€™s basketball team did just that in an 89-51 win Saturday night over Western State.
After its first exhibition game against Regis on Tuesday, CSU was disappointed with its post presence, specifically the way it used senior Andy Ogide.
But against Western State, the Rams dominated in the post, outscoring the Mountaineers 34-8 in the paint while Ogide put up 15 points and six rebounds in only 17 minutes of action.
â€œHe (Ogide) was a guy that did some dominating things at times,â€ said coach Tim Miles. â€œWe still have to find a way to get the ball into him on a consistent basis in a spot where he can do something with it, but I thought Andy was pretty good.â€
While the numbers showed dominance in the post, Miles will continue to stress the importance of inside play to his team.
â€œIt (post play) was better today, and itâ€™s not like we shoot a whole bunch of threes,â€ Miles said. â€œBut itâ€™s just about throwing to a guy who has his back to the basket. I kind of like to do that, it kind of anchors your offense and we just donâ€™t do that quite enough.â€
As the Rams showed improvement in post play, they also got impressive performances from some of their newcomers, specifically freshman Dwight Smith and sophomore Wes Eikmeier, who sat out last year due to NCAA transfer regulations.
Smith was key in getting CSU going after it got off to a slow start. The freshman scored only four points, but added five rebounds, two assists and three blocks.
â€œI thought Dwight sparked us,â€ Miles said. â€œHe came out and blocked some shots and really set a spark.â€
Eikmeier put up 14 points while hitting 3 of 7 from the three-point line. The production of these newcomers shows the added depth that the Rams have accumulated as Miles enters his fourth year at the helm.
â€œOur versatility and the way we can matchup with teams is really going to help us,â€ Eikmeier said. â€œWeâ€™re pretty deep at every spot and thatâ€™s going to allow us to throw different matchups at different teams. Weâ€™ve got 10 guys that can come out and not lose a step, thatâ€™s a pretty good thing to have.â€
Miles agrees that there are lots of different ways that CSU can attack teams.
â€œWe donâ€™t have one go-to guy over another,â€ Miles said. â€œBut weâ€™ve got plenty of guys that I think are good players.â€
The numbers from Saturdayâ€™s game back up Milesâ€™ statement. The Rams had five players in double figures and 11 different players found the score sheet.
CSU will now put its work from the preseason into action when the season starts this Saturday against Arkansas Pine-Bluff.
â€œItâ€™s time to get going,â€ Miles said. â€œEverything is for real and everything matters.â€
Sports reporter Kevin Lytle can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.