3 takeaways from CSU’s 2-game homestand

Tyler Meguire

Coming off two exciting victories, the Colorado State men’s basketball team has found themselves in a place that seemed unlikely: currently second in the Mountain West standings with a 7-4 conference record and 168 overall.

Coming into the season, the Rams were tabbed as a bottom feeder in the conference after losing three of their top players. Since the turn of the new year, the Rams have exploded for a 7-2 record in their last nine games. 


1. If you were not aware of CSU’s freshmen phenoms before last week, you are now

Isaiah Stevens, the freshman guard, is leading the Rams in scoring with 13.4 points per game and is also the lead distributor with 4.3 assists per game. Stevens was instrumental in the two games at home this past week. Against Nevada, Stevens had a quiet performance for the first 39 minutes, only scoring 10 points on 3-7 shooting.

However, Niko Medved trusted Stevens when they were down by one with only seconds left. Stevens brought the ball up, crossed his defender and hit the game-winner as time expired. 

Stevens has 24 college games under his belt, and he has two game winning buzzer-beaters. The first one was in his eighth game at CSU, against Loyola Chicago in the Cayman Islands Classic. Stevens hit a floater with one second left to put the Rams ahead 61-60.

On Saturday, Stevens had 21 points on 7-8 shooting (5-5 from 3-point land). He also managed to notch five rebounds and five assists in the Rams’ easy win against the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (95-77).

One freshmen phenom is a luxury. Luckily for CSU, they have two. David Roddy has bullied his way into one of the top positions for the Rams. Roddy is averaging 12.3 points per game, 5.7 rebounds per game (second to the Mountain West leader, Nico Carvacho) and 0.7 blocks per game. 

You may be wondering why these two freshmen are important. The biggest thing is it takes some weight off Carvacho’s shoulders. Carvacho is used to being the guy who has to take the last shot, has to put up 20 rebound double-doubles and has to completely dominate or else his team will lose. Not anymore. With the quick rise of Stevens and Roddy, Carvacho can do what he does best: get rebounds, defend the paint, dominate in the post and get second point chances. 

2. Moby Madness is the real deal, but the Rams need to bring the same energy with them on the road

The Rams have a dominant 10-3 record at home. The only games they have dropped this season were against Arkansas State (when they blew a 17-point lead); the still undefeated San Diego State (23-0), who is the No. 4 team in the nation; and the then-ranked No. 23 University of Colorado Boulder. 

The best teams always win at home, but the great teams find a way to win on the road as well. CSU does not have a terrible record on the road (4-4), but it could be better. 

The Rams have lost to Duke, Boise State, Nevada and Utah State. The Duke loss is understandable; it is Duke. We do not need to talk about it. The other three teams are very beatable for the Rams. CSU lost to Nevada by six the first time and then came back and beat them.


Boise State is right behind CSU in standings (7-4 in the conference and 15-8 overall). If the Rams had another chance to play them, it would not be an 11-point game.

The Utah State Aggies are a good team, but they are also three spots below the Rams in the standings. The Rams are not locked to beat these teams on any given night, but if the Rams played these teams at home, they probably would have pulled out some close wins.

Colorado State fan watches while wearing green and gold face paint and green mohawk
A Colorado State fan decked out in green and gold attire at the Colorado State women’s basketball game vs. Utah State on Jan. 25. The Rams won 56-55. (Gregory James | The Collegian)

3. Big test coming up for the Rams as they get another crack at a top-ranked school

On Feb. 25, the Rams will travel to sunny San Diego State to face off against SDSU for the second time this season. SDSU is currently ranked No. 4 in the AP and USA Today Coaches poll. But this time, the Rams have more confidence, better chemistry and nothing to lose.

When SDSU came to Fort Collins in December, the Rams were still trying to figure who they were as a team and how everybody fit into the scheme. Now in early February, they have an identity. SDSU will likely be 27-0 when CSU comes to town (they play Air Force, New Mexico, Boise State and UNLV before). 

If the Rams could get an upset in San Diego, it would be one of the greatest wins in school history. They have the tools for it. They have two fearless freshmen who will take SDSU on by themselves (Roddy and Stevens). Kris Martin and Carvacho are the veterans of the squad and can take over when they need to and help the young guys out.

Most importantly, the Rams know their roles, and everyone plays into their roles. No one tries to do something outside of their capabilities, and that is huge.

Tyler Meguire can be reached at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @TMeguire