This is why they play exhibitions.
Colorado State invited Metro State to come up north from Denver to Fort Collins and it was evident the two teams needed this practice contest to tune up their respective games before the regular season tips off November 9 for the Rams.
Execution was sloppy for both teams; they combined for 27 turnovers, 17 by CSU alone. The Rams were confused by the Roadrunners’ full court press defense, and both head coach Larry Eustachy and players confessed they just put their “press breaker” in Saturday. CSU also missed three dunks and what seemed like double-digit layups, signs of rust that should be shaken off soon.
Still, there were positives for Colorado State in the contest.
They got out and ran relentlessly, off of every defensive rebound and steal, scoring many easy buckets in transition. Size was certainly a factor and a positive in the Rams’ favor as they out-rebounded Metro State 53-29. And offensively, CSU shot 49 percent from the field while only allowing the Roadrunners to make 34 percent of their shots.
Pierce Hornung was as huge recording a double-double of 13 points and 13 rebounds. Greg Smith put up a double-double of his own, with 13 and 10, while newcomer Daniel Bejarano had 10 and nine of his own. Colorado State led throughout and eventually put away the 87067 win.
Following the game Eustachy said, “I love the potential of this team. Do you think that’s the best Colton’s (Iverson) is going to play? Do you think that’s the best these young guys will play? We’re just going to get…we’re just not a physical, tough team right now. We showed it by the turnovers, just losing it. We showed it by the lack of getting loose balls. I just love the potential because I think you saw the young guys, even all the way down to Jordan (Mason) who had to baskets at the end of the game.”
Eustachy said the team is deep, as you could see with the 11 capable young men than played Sunday afternoon, they’re athletic and they have enough size to dominate smaller teams, as they did Sunday.
The team is far from complete—senior Wes Eikmeier admitted the team only has one offensive play in place at this point—and they’ll only get better as the regular season gets underway and as the year goes on.
More CSU Basketball:
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Rich Kurtzman is a freelance journalist. You can follow Rich on twitter or facebook for all your CSU Rams news and notes.