Jan 192012
 
Authors: Kevin Lytle

Teamness.

It’s not a real word. But it’s the concept that has helped carry the CSU men’s basketball team to a 13-4 record (2-0 in Mountain West play) and eight-straight wins.

The Rams vowed at the beginning of the season that they would run a team-oriented offense that relied on everyone to score, rather than needing one player, namely Andy Ogide a year ago, to do all the scoring.

And that has happened.

CSU has an undeniable leader and go-to guy in junior Wes Eikmeier who is the co-leader in scoring in the MW. But when he has struggled, the Rams haven’t missed a beat.

“We don’t have to solely rely on one person, that’s a good thing about this team,” senior Will Bell said. “Anybody can catch fire on one night. And we’re not a selfish bunch; we don’t care who’s going off as long as we get the win.”

When CSU beat Texas–San Antonio in late November, it was walk-on Kaipo Sabas who sparked the Rams, hitting five three-pointers. Dwight Smith had 17 points when CSU narrowly lost to Northern Iowa. Bell had a massive 23-point, eight-rebound, four-block performance to lead CSU to win over TCU in its MW opener.

And Dorian Green had the best individual performance of the season when he scored 36 points on eight made three-pointers. Meanwhile, Pierce Hornung has been a steadying force throughout the year, averaging seven points and seven rebounds while shooting 73 percent from the field, and Greg Smith is third on the team in scoring.

All that combined with Eikmeier’s play has given CSU one of the most potent offenses in the nation.

The Rams average just under 75 points per game, are tied for eighth in the nation in field goal percentage and are fourth in the nation in three-point percentage.

“We have three handlers, three guys that can dribble,” CSU coach Tim Miles said. “Guys that can handle, create, shoot — it really makes your offense look a lot better, sometimes better than it really is.”

That diversity in attack makes it difficult for teams to game-plan how to stop them, and Miles knows it.

“When you just can’t key on one specific area, you’re in trouble.”

When teams try to lock in on Eikmeier, like Boise State did on Tuesday night, someone else takes the lead: on Tuesday it was Green with 20 points.

While the Rams may not be deep in terms of numbers, everyone who plays significant minutes is capable of taking over a game.

“That’s the best part,” Sabas said. “You don’t know when somebody’s going to step up. It’s somebody different every time.”

Assistant Sports Editor Kevin Lytle can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

Rams top scorers
Wes Eikmeier: 16.7 ppg
Dorian Green: 14.2 ppg
Greg Smith: 10.5 ppg
Will Bell: 8.8 ppg
Pierce Hornung: 7.3 ppg

 Posted by at 3:18 pm

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.