The Colorado Rams surprised most everyone with their 5th place finish and 16-16 record. That .500 mark came with a 7-9 mark in conference losing to everyone above them in the standings and splitting the TCU series but sweeps of Utah, Wyoming, and Air Force. It is easy to say the Rams should be happy, and they should, but they did lose a few close games to the top teams and almost took out SDSU in the MWC Tournament. What was a good season could have been a great one, but I am not going to be picky after the last two seasons.
The Rams one goal was postseason play and they got that in the form of the College Basketball Invitational. The CBI appearance ended in a loss at Morehead State 74-60. So once again the Rams should be happy they made the post season but no one dreams of a 1st round exit in the CBI. More after the jump...
Statistically freshman Dorian Green was a huge part of the team leading them in minutes per game (35), points per game (11.8), and assists per game at (2.5). Unfortunately he was last in FG% at 35.7 out of all the regulars and struggled as the only true guard on the floor at times. He was hurt most by the absence of Jesse Carr.
Andy Ogide and Travis Franklin were huge parts of the team and are coming back for what should be stellar senior seasons next year. Ogide averaged 11.7 points and 6.5 rebounds per game and three double doubles on the year. Franklin put in 10.5 per game and could have been a lot more if not for his 54.4 free throw % which adds up to 111 missed on the year.
Of the players that will be missed next year only Travis Busch really stands out. Busch transferred from Minnesota and also had to come back from an ACL tear, when he did come back as conference play was getting started and ended up starting. The hope is that Pierce Hornung can take a few pages out of his book and fill that role next year.
The Rams had some tough losses, most notably a 70-39 loss at UNLV. At home they challenged most teams and were close late against SDSU, UNM, and UNLV. Just like the football team they lacked a closing mentality and let these games slip late. With no true point guard the offense had streaks where the looked lost and had too many empty possessions. This is where these games were lost along with a couple on the road early at Fresno State and UCLA, simply they just couldn't find the bottom of the net enough.
Tim Miles should have gotten mention for coach of the year, hard to win it with a .500 record but the job he has done turning this program around is excellent. He had 3 freshman on the floor at times this year competing with all the other teams in the MWC, this team could be scary in the future if he can keep up the recruiting efforts. His coaching style is fun to watch if you have ever been to a game or caught him on Reaching The Peak. Also realize this team only loses a half time starter in Busch and role player in Harvey Perry. Add the year of experience to the freshman and a healthy Jesse Carr, hopefully, and you can see Miles getting plenty of praise next year.
On a also important side note the Rams good season brought back some of the Moby Maniacs which gave them a home court advantage they have not had since Jason Smith was dunking on everyone. The program made its first big strides with regards to recruiting, winning, and fan fare since Tim Miles took over. The Rams can build off this season and take the program to heights it has never been before.