This will be a quick season preview. I got a lot going on in my life and with the Rams football falling apart and not being able to tune out professors by reading the Collegian sports section I am sadly behind on the state of Rams basketball. I have seen Tim Miles in public a few times and became a giddy little school girl if that tells you how much I like Coach Miles and the basketball program turnaround he has accomplished. Let's answer a few questions I am assuming you readers have...
Well Franklin will be easy to replace as he checked out mid-season and it killed the Rams tournament hopes.(Editors Note, Franklin got drafted into the D-League despite checking out on Rams, no one knows why.) Ogide will be the hard man to replace. Ogide really blossomed as a senior, and besides the awkward 3 point attempts was the Rams best player. His inside presence was great. The Rams finally had a player that could dominate both ends of the court, the best since Jason Smith.
The Rams will try with redshirt freshman Chad Calcaterra. At 6-10 228 he should bring some athleticism down low. If his frame starts getting beat up I expect Miles to go with Colton Iverson, the transfer. At 6-10 261 he has the weight to throw around down low against bigger men. Trevor Williams at 7-0 282 would seem the option but has gotten little time from Miles in his two years in the program. Williams needs to man up and use his body to get playing time. Will Bell will help out, he got good minutes down the stretch last year and played bigger then his size.
2. How will the guards develop?
I think Jesse Carr, Wes Eikmeier, and Dorian Green will be the three guards that make the biggest impact. They should at least. Carr needs to stay healthy and find his shooting stroke that make him a Nebraska high school record holder. Eikmeier needs to pick and choose his shoot selection, last year it was a lot of good judgement bad decision. He needs to play better in key moments. My bet is he leads the Rams in a few categories. Green is Eikmeier a few years younger. Shoot selection and creating an easier shot should be his goals. Carr and Green will be the main distributors.
3. Will the Rams win 20 games?
Ehhh, no. But they won't be bad. The Rams have the toughest schedule they have maybe ever had. The conference hasn't gotten worse either. This will be Tim Miles biggest test. Is he capable of reloading the cabinet with recruiting and can he get wins out of his players. He is getting good CSU recruits, but not like he is stealing from Duke or UNC. His legacy at CSU will be built in the next couple years once his freshman start graduating.
4. Is Tim Miles awesome?
Yes, yes he is... and Pierce Hornung deserves a shout out somewhere on this preview. He was a surprise to some and not to others. He plays hard but the MWC refs seem to hate him and he gets petty fouls. He will be a big part of the Rams success if they do have success.