Michael: Senior hoopers deserve proper sendoff with sellout crowds

Justin Michael

Colorado State basketball fans have been fortunate to watch a pair of first-place teams at Moby Arena this season and with one home game remaining each, the Ram faithful now have an opportunity to send off the men’s and women’s hoops teams and their senior duos with the farewell they deserve.

Now, these teams deserve sellout crowds for a multitude of reasons, but more than anything it is a chance to honor players that have given their all to these programs over the last few seasons, and have made an impact that will be remembered long after they are gone.

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The men’s team will honor their senior leaders Emmanuel Omogbo and Gian Clavell this Tuesday night when they host Wyoming for the second matchup between these teams in as many weeks. Coming off a thrilling victory over San Diego State, the Rams’ ninth win in the last 10 games and with first place within their grasp, fans of the green and gold will have have one last chance to support the duo that has carried this team throughout the majority of the season.

The women’s team will celebrate their remarkable run of four consecutive regular season Mountain West Championships, along with the prestigious careers of Elin Gustavsson and Ellen Nystrom this Friday against Nevada.

Nystrom and Gustavsson have been apart of a legitimate Mountain West dynasty and arguably are the most dominant one-two punch in program history. Winners of 100-plus games, multiple conference honors to their name and over 1,000 points scored each, the Swedish tandem has undoubtedly left their mark on a program that has a rich history of accomplished players.

After transferring in from junior colleges, Clavell and Omogbo have developed into two of the most dominant players in the league, each playing their way into the conversation for Mountain West’s Player of the Year in their senior campaigns.

Currently sitting with 17 double-double’s on the year, play, Omogbo needs one more to break both Jason Smith’s school record (17) and to surpass Kawhi Leonard (SDSU) and Ryan Watkins (Boise State) for the conference record in a single season (12). Along with being one one of the most productive players on the floor, Omogbo has been the emotional leader of the team, especially since tragically losing his family last spring.

Clavell has been the spark that kept this team going all year and as been one of the league’s most productive scorers.  If the media does not punish him for missing nine games, the fifth-year guard will likely be one of the top-two candidates for conference player of the year this season. The other being Nevada’s Marcus Marshall.

After everything that these players have done for CSU athletics and the University as a whole, without a doubt, they deserve to feel the warmth and support of the entire community as their historic careers on the hardwood are celebrated one last time.

Collegian sports reporter Justin Michael can be reached by email at sports@collegian.com or Twitter @JustinTMichael.