Roughly two months after declaring for the NBA draft, Colorado State star point guard Isaiah Stevens announced his decision of the future of his basketball career.
Posing in his familiar white and green Rams uniform, the four time All-MW selection confirmed he will be using his last year of eligibility to return to Fort Collins. His 17.9 points and 6.7 assists per game earned him his first selection to the MW 1st team, despite the underwhelming performance of the team (15-18).
With Stevens back in as the showrunner for Niko Medved’s team, there is reason to believe this team is talented enough to make it back to the NCAA Tournament. The transfer portal added much needed size to the roster, including D2 player of the year Joel Scott (6’7”), combo guard from Colorado Nique Clifford (6’6”), and New Mexico guard Javonte Johnson (6’6”). Though John Tonje transferred to Missouri, solid contributors still remain in senior big man Patrick Cartier and junior guard Jalen Lake.
Already considered an all-time great at Colorado State, Stevens can break even more records with one more year on the court. He’s only 207 points away from the school scoring record, already the all-time leader in assists, and within striking distance of several others (games played, field goals, and 3 pointers).
Stevens’ return to school is also in no part a knock on his performance. He showed out at the G League combine, finishing in the top 10 (out of 44 players) in every drill but one. His scrimmage play wasn’t up to his standards, shooting just 3/14 with 6 assists during the two games. He also measured in at under six feet tall, which makes it an uphill battle for him to get drafted.
Expectations for this group are now quite high. If the transfers can mesh well with Stevens and the other players on the roster, and their star balls out every night like he is capable of doing, a Mountain West championship and/or a trip to the Big Dance are within reach. Just one season removed from their highest ever seeding in March Madness, this is the definition of a make or break year for the future of this program.