Getting back to a little bit of Basketball, here's the preview of the next opponent on our schedule, Colorado State. We will face CSU in the Pre-season NIT or Tip-Off Classic or whatever it's being called these days. We'll have to beat them to get to Gonzaga in the second round.
Top 3 Returning Scorers:
Jason Smith, F - 16.2ppg
Cory Lewis, G - 10.1ppg
Stuart Creason, C - 7.9ppg
Total Scoring Returning - 41.5ppg (lost 32.5 ppg)
Top 3 Returning Rebounders
Jason Smith, F - 7.3rpg
Stuart Creason, C - 3.8rpg
Cory Lewis, G - 3.6rpg
Total Rebounding Returning - 18.1 rpg (lost 10.6 rpg)
Top 3 Returnings Assists
Cory Lewis, G - 136 (4.53/game)
Jason Smith, F - 70 (2.25/game)
Stuart Creason - 28 (1.04/game)
Total Assists Returning - 276 (8.9/game)
Colorado State lost some very important pieces to their team this year, and it will be interesting to see how they put everything together.
They obviously have a very strong core for their team, as the same three players, across three different positions, are the top 3 leading scorers, rebounders and assist(ers?).
Cory Lewis is a 6' guard who led all MWC guards with 4.53 assists per game, is a former JUCO guard who was playing in his first season at the MWC level.
Jason Smith is CSUs best player and standing 7' tall, he's more of a center than the forward position he's listed at. He'll be a junior coming into this year, but was the MWC Freshman of the Year and an All-MWC Honorable Mention his freshman year as well. He was first-team all MWC last year, averaging 16.2 ppg (on 51.7% shooting), 7.3 rebounds per game, and 2.14 blocks per game.
Stuart Creason is the teams center, and he also stands 7' tall. He only started one game last year, but logged 22 minutes per game in the 27 games he played in. He missed 4 games due to injury. Although not much of a scoring threat (7.9ppg), he does have a presence on the defensive end with 1.41 blocks per game. I'd look for him to have a bigger role on the team this coming year.
Colorado State will have a youth movement similar to Baylors, with 8 of their 15 players on roster being sophomores or freshmen.
Only two of their incoming true freshmen were rated by Rivals, one being a 3* and the other a 2*. While we are aware that the star ratings aren't the end all, be all, for measuring freshmen contributions, it's a good way to start, especially when talking basketball. The 3* player is Jarrel Smith, a 6'7" 185lb small forward, who was ranked #14 in California, but did not make the national list. He was also offered by UC-Santa Barbara and San Diego State, and recruited by OU, Georgia Tech and Illinois.
The 2* player was Jarrel's brother, Jimmy. A 6'5" 185lb guard, Jimmy wasn't as highly recruited as Jarrell, but did get interest from OU, Maryland and Illinois, but didn't receive any offers.
It will be interesting to see how the youth affects the play of the veteran players, especially if the young guards are able to effectively distribute the ball when Lewis is not on the court, or when he is being pressured by Jerrells. If Creason and Smith can't get the ball in their hands, it's going to be difficult for CSU to really get its game going.