If CSU were to charge students for each basketball ticket at Moby Arena, I would only pay to see the women’s team.
I know many people who are reading this see women’s basketball and begin to close the paper or flip to nearest horoscope, but I am here to tell you to keep the paper open and hear me out.
The question asked by students, colleagues and myself until this year is “Why should I care about the women’s basketball team? Simply that they are not as physical, fast-paced or never dunk the ball?” I can say with a heavy heart that the CSU women’s basketball team is the hottest team on campus.
Thinking back a year, Moby Arena was all about sold-out crowds, storming the court and watching the CSU men’s basketball compete in its second NCAA tournament in a row. The men’s team was on fire, the best team on campus and of course a ticket students fought for.
Though the flame of the men’s game continues to diminish after every conference loss, the flame shines brighter at each passing game for the CSU women’s basketball team. Students should be in line waiting for women’s tickets at four in the morning — they are that good.
This is not intended to bash the men’s team in the slightest, it is an rebuilding year for them after all. This piece is targeted to open the eyes of CSU students, the Fort Collins community and those who follow college basketball because the Rams have earned our respect with results and statistics they have had thus far.
At the start of the 2013-14 season, CSU placed seventh in the preseason poll after winning only 11 of 30 games through the entire 2012-13 season. While readers opened the Collegian after each game only to see the headline, “CSU women’s basketball loses again,” this season the headline reads, “CSU women’s basketball trumps two-time Mountain West Champion” or “CSU posts first triple-double in school history.”
From the first game in Moby Arena of the regular season, the men’s team averages attendance numbers around 4,500, a number that women’s turnouts never come close to and has never had a packed student section. While the crows for the men was exponentially larger, the women’s team set the standard with the a season above .500.
The Rams have climbed to a 16-4 record and a first-place spot in the MW. A complete transition from an 11-19 season last year, CSU has a 10-point deficit to battle back from against Fresno State, its only conference loss this season.
The accomplishments do not stop at a turnaround record for the women’s team, it has wins of 101-60 over San Jose State and 95-48 over San Diego State. This season, the men’s team has yet to score that much, though it did have a 99-70 game over the University of Colorado Springs, but UCCS is a Divsion II school.
CSU has a new team and a new drive. With transfers Gritt Ryder, AJ Newton, Emilie Hesseldal, Ellen Nystrom and Elin Gustavsson, the Rams have set a pace for the successful season and a winning season for years to come.
While the women’s team is not ranked nationally, it has a slowly increasing RPI of 71. The Rams are in line to take win the MW championship and earn a bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Your chance to watch a team that is winning games, moving the ball fast and a great competitor for the NCAA Tournament is on Saturday Feb. 8 at 12p.m. The Rams will take on Air Force (1-18, 0-9 MW) in which CSU has a chance to post big numbers. It is going to be green and gold on the court.
Collegian Assistant Sports Editor Haleigh Hamblin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @haleighhamblin.