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CSU men’s basketball to take on tough nonconference play

Colorado+State+guard+Joe+Palmer+%2820%29+grabs+a+rebound+in+the+Thomas+%26+Mack+Center+in+Las+Vegas+March+9.+The+Rams+lost+64-61+to+San+Diego+State+in+the+quarterfinals+of+the+2023+Mountain+West+Mens+Basketball+Championship.
Collegian | Serena Bettis
Colorado State guard Joe Palmer (20) grabs a rebound in the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas March 9. The Rams lost 64-61 to San Diego State in the quarterfinals of the 2023 Mountain West Men’s Basketball Championship.

While football season has barely just started, basketball is in the minds of Colorado State fans after the team’s nonconference schedule was released Sept. 15. 

It will be a tough schedule, but tough opponents build character, and a couple of wins over some of the better teams on the schedule could benefit the team come March. The Rams missed the tournament last season after somewhat of a disappointing season. However, after adding some transfers, they will look to get back to the NCAA tournament. 

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The schedule is as follows:

Nov. 6 Louisiana Tech: The Bulldogs went 15-18 last season, including getting rolled over by Wyoming 92-65. Their leading scorer Cobe Williams is no longer on the team. This is a game the Rams should be competitive in and one that could jump-start their hope to get into the tournament.

Nov. 10 Wright State: The Raiders went 18-15 last season. They made it into the second round of the Horizon League tournament before losing to Milwaukee. The Raiders’ leading scorer Trey Calvin will return this season. This is another matchup the Rams should look to be competitive in.

Nov. 14 Northern Colorado: This will be the Rams’ first game on the road of their nonconference schedule. The Bears went 12-20 last season, including what may still be a stinging victory over the Rams. This year the Rams will get the chance to go into Greeley and enact their revenge. The Bears’ leading scorer Dalton Knecht isn’t on the team anymore. This will be a competitive game, especially on the road.

Nov. 17 Kansas City: The Rams will return home to play the Roos, who went 11-21 last season. Kansas City lost both of their leading scorers, who combined for 34 points per game. This is a team the Rams should be able to take care of, especially with the game being played at home.

Nov. 22 Boston College: The Rams will travel to Kansas City, Missouri, to play in the Hall of Fame Classic. The Eagles will be the toughest of the Rams’ opponents up to this point. They went 16-17 last season, including beating Wyoming. The Eagles’ leading scorer Quinten Post will return to the team. On a neutral court, this will be a hard-fought game for the Rams.

Nov. 23 Creighton or Loyola Chicago: The Rams’ second game of the Hall of Fame Classic will come against one of two teams. The Ramblers didn’t fare as well as the Blue Jays last season. The Ramblers went 10-21 but have been a tournament favorite a couple of times in previous years. If the Rams play them, they will be in a competitive game. However, it may be a different story if they play Creighton. The Blue Jays made it all the way to the Elite 8 before losing to San Diego State. With Ryan Kalkbrenner returning for Creighton, it would be a major upset for the Rams to pull out the win.

Nov. 29 Colorado: The Rocky Mountain Showdown will come to Moby Arena this year. The Rams played CU in Boulder, Colorado, last year and got blown out 93-65. Both of the Buffs’ leading scorers are returning to the team. The Buffs also added five-star recruit Cody Williams, who is a projected lottery pick in the 2024 NBA draft. You never know what can happen on any given night, especially at home, but for now, the Rams will head into this game as underdogs.

Dec. 2 Washington: The Huskies went 16-16 last season and will make for a fourth tough opponent for the Rams in a row. Two of their wins came against Colorado last season. The Huskies will return with their leading scorer, Keion Brooks Jr. The Rams will play Washington on a neutral court for the Legends of Basketball Las Vegas Invitational. This could be a good match and one the Rams may be able to use to bounce back if they lose to CU.

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Dec. 6 Denver: The Rams will return home from Vegas to play the Pioneers. DU went 15-17 last season and will return with their leading scorer, Tommy Bruner. This will be a game the Rams should be able to take, especially with it being at home.

Dec. 9 St Mary’s: This will be another tough matchup for the Rams but one they won last season in a narrow 62-60 victory. The Gaels went 27-8 on their way to a fifth seed in the NCAA tournament. They will also return with their leading scorer, Logan Johnson. The Rams would once again need a big upset to come out victorious against the Gaels.

Dec. 17 Adams State: This will be the one and only Division II opponent on the Rams’ schedule during the 2023-24 season. The Grizzlies are coming off an abysmal 5-23 season last year. This is a game the Rams should win by double digits, especially with the Grizzlies losing their leading scorer last season.

Dec. 19 Loyola Marymount University: The Lions had a good season last year, going 19-12. However, one of their losses came in a 16-point defeat to the Rams. The Rams should take this game again this season, as the Lions lost their leading scorer Cam Shelton. Shelton averaged 21 points per game and is a big loss for the Lions.

If the Rams see improvements to the team from last year, they will be well poised to take on a tough nonconference schedule. The Rams have a real possibility to come into conference play with a 10-2 record if all goes well.

Reach Damon Cook at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @dwcook2001.

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About the Contributors
Damon Cook
Damon Cook, Sports Editor
Damon Cook is the 2023-24 sports editor for the The Collegian and has been at the paper since August 2022. He started doing coverage on volleyball and club sports before moving onto the women's basketball beat. He is in his third year and is completing his degree with a major in journalism and media communication and a minor in sports management. As The Collegian's sports editor, Cook reports on CSU sports and helps manage the sports desk and content throughout the week. After having a year to learn and improve, Cook will now get to be part of a new age under the sports desk. The desk moved on from all but one other person and will now enter into a new era. Damon started school as a construction management major looking to go in a completely different direction than journalism. After taking the year off during the COVID-19 pandemic, he quickly realized that construction wasn't for him. With sports and writing as passions, he finally decided to chase his dreams, with The Collegian helping him achieve that. He is most excited to bring the best and most in-depth sports coverage that The Collegian can provide.
Serena Bettis
Serena Bettis, Editor in Chief
Serena Bettis is your 2022-23 editor in chief and is in her final year studying journalism and political science. In her three years at The Collegian, Bettis has also been a news reporter, copy editor, news editor and content managing editor, and she occasionally takes photos, too. When Bettis was 5, her family moved from Iowa to a tiny town northwest of Fort Collins called Livermore, Colorado, before eventually moving to Fort Collins proper. When she was 8 years old, her dad enrolled at Colorado State University as a nontraditional student veteran, where he found his life's passion in photojournalism. Although Bettis' own passion for journalism did not stem directly from her dad, his time at CSU and with The Collegian gave her the motivation to bite down on her fear of talking to strangers and find The Collegian newsroom on the second day of classes in 2019. She's never looked back since. Considering that aforementioned fear, Bettis is constantly surprised to be where she is today. However, thanks to the supportive learning environment at The Collegian and inspiring peers, Bettis has not stopped chasing her teenage dream of being a professional journalist. Between working with her section editors, coordinating news stories between Rocky Mountain Student Media departments and coaching new reporters, Bettis gets to live that dream every day. When she's not in the newsroom or almost falling asleep in class, you can find Bettis working in the Durrell Marketplace and Café or outside gazing at the beauty that is our campus (and running inside when bees are nearby). This year, Bettis' goals for The Collegian include continuing its trajectory as a unique alt-weekly newspaper, documenting the institutional memory of the paper to benefit students in years to come and fostering a sense of community and growth both inside the newsroom and through The Collegian's published work. Bettis would like to encourage anyone with story ideas, suggestions, questions, concerns or comments to reach out to her at editor@collegian.com.

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