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Trio of Rams lands on award watchlists, haunting competition

Trio+of+Rams+lands+on+award+watchlists%2C+haunting+competition
Collegian | Kathryn Pakiz

For Ram fans, basketball season means treats. For Ram opponents, it means tricks.

The Mountain West and all of their opponents will be having nightmares about playing CSU basketball this season.

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With a trio of CSU guards making preseason awards, the front court of Rams basketball will have opponents losing sleep this season.

The number four is the Rams’ lucky number, with McKenna Hofschild and Isaiah Stevens both being named the MW Preseason Player of the Year. This is the first time in program history that two players have simultaneously been named to the award.

Hofschild won the Player of the Year award last season and is in good shape to receive back-to-back awards.

“It’s exciting; it’s cool,” Hofschild said. “I try not to think too much about it. I’m more focused on a championship this year. I’m very honored, it’s just not something that I give too much thought to, not something (where) I let the pressures get (to be) too much.”

Both Hofschild and Stevens have similar styles of play as true point guards, and that has landed both of them on the watch list for several awards. 

For Hofschild, it wasn’t just the preseason MW Player of the Year; she returns as a candidate for the Nancy Lieberman Award, which is given to the best point guard in NCAA Division I women’s play. Being named on a list with a player like Caitlin Clark out of Iowa gives Hofschild rightful recognition as one of the top point guards in the nation. 

“She is special,” Stevens said. “She is the greatest women’s (basketball) player outside of maybe Becky Hammon to come through here. … She is probably the best No. 4 to wear it here, and that says a lot.”

A lot of praise went to Hofschild from her co-MW Player of the Year candidate. Not only is Stevens alongside her on that front, but he was also named to the Bob Cousy Award for best DI men’s point guard in the nation.

“That’s who he is,” CSU men’s head coach Niko Medved said. “The way he plays and when the lights come on, that’s when he’s at his best. He is an unbelievable leader and player, and I know he couldn’t wait to have an opportunity to get back out here in front of the fans.”

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While Hofschild and Stevens headline the list of preseason awards for the Rams, incoming transfer out of Wofford Jackie Carman is already adding to her Rams resume as the MW Preseason Newcomer of the Year.

If Carman wins the award at the end of the season, it would be the second time in a row the Rams have taken home Newcomer of the Year after Destiny Thurman won the award a year ago. 

“Jackie had a great career at Wofford,” CSU women’s basketball head coach Ryun Williams said. “She likes the lights, she scores it, she shoots it. I think in time, she’s going to be a really tough defender for us. She’s just a good basketball player, so I think you’re going to see Jackie really impact our lineup.”

With three people named to award watchlists, Rams basketball has shaped up as a can’t-miss show. 

The women’s team tips off Moby Madness 5:30 p.m. Nov. 6 against Le Moyne College. Later that night, the men will continue the party 8 p.m. in Moby with their first game against Louisiana Tech.

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

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About the Contributor
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.

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