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Rams finish strong in Isaiah Stevens’ final home game with win over Wyoming

A+man+in+a+green+uniform+shoots+a+basketball+into+the+air.+Another+man+in+white+is+behind+him.+Theres+a+crowd+in+the+stands.
Collegian | Samantha Nordstrom
Colorado State University senior Isaiah Stevens shoots the ball to score a basket during the CSU men’s basketball game against Wyoming University at Moby Arena March 2. CSU won 70-62.

A legend destined for immortality in green and gold.

The emotions on senior day always run high, especially for the Rams who bid farewell to five of the most impactful players that have made this season seem so magical: Joel Scott, Isaiah Stevens, Josiah Strong, Patrick Cartier and Joe Palmer.

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Colorado State sent off their five seniors with one last hurrah in their 70-62 victory over Wyoming

“I’ve been lucky — I’ve coached so many unbelievable young men throughout the years,” coach Niko Medved said. “And I’ve been really really blessed, but I can’t think of a group I’ve enjoyed more than this one, and it starts with these seniors.”

Throughout a large portion of the game, the energy of the crowd ebbed and flowed between uneasiness and exhilaration. 

As Wyoming would start to storm back and the whispers of unease started to grow, someone on CSU would make a play, igniting the excitement that was so desperate to escape the belly of Moby Arena. 

That at least was the case until Stevens went “Zay Mode.”

While doubts hadn’t quite crept into Moby, the uncertainty stood strong. After Wyoming got themselves within one with four minutes left on the clock, Stevens went on a five-point run by himself, including an and-one basket. 

“When it’s time for him to get going, play calls get a little more aggressive for him, and it’s kind of fun because everyone knows what he’s about to do, and no one can stop it,” Scott said. 

For five years, Stevens has put in hours upon hours of work, all leading to his final moments as the curtains closed in Moby. 

Stevens has made an impact on the CSU community from his time on the court to his contributions off of it — an impact so great it’s easily recognized but one that can’t be put into words, not even by Stevens himself.

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“I’m definitely aware of a little bit of the impact,” Stevens said. “I still like to think I’m not that important, but at the same time, just doing right by people, they’ve embraced me since day one, and I’ve just tried to be a good ambassador for the university both on and off the floor.”

Stevens has undoubtedly accomplished his goals. While Medved only got choked up once while talking about how much Stevens means to him, it’s clear that the gravity of Stevens leaving hasn’t quite hit the team yet. 

The No. 4 jersey, whether it eventually soars into the rafters or not, will continue to be reminiscent of what it means to be a CSU Ram. 

“If No. 4 is not retired in men’s basketball, I don’t know what else you have to do,” Medved said. “It’s not just being a hall-of-fame player, it’s being above and beyond that. A once-in-a-lifetime kind of player, and that’s what he is.”

For Stevens, the thought of a jersey retirement still remains ever so slightly incomprehensible. 

“Couldn’t even really grasp it,” Stevens said. “Kind of getting chills just talking about it right now, especially when you think of the fact that there’s only one number up there, and there has been a long long line of great players that have played here. … If that happens, that’s just a blessing.”

While the backcourt for the Rams reigns supreme so often, that switch was flipped Saturday afternoon as Scott and Cartier asserted their dominance over the game. 

Scott has been solid all year long but has taken a step up in terms of dominance. Scott might have been the most crucial piece in the Rams’ final win at home of the season. His 20 points on 8-of-15 shooting led the way. 

“He just keeps going after it and shows no fear and plays with a tenacity and aggressiveness that I think just permeates around our team,” Medved said. “But I think he’s even kicked it into another gear here down the stretch.”

While Scott has only been in green and gold for a single season, he has found a way to make a great impact.

An impact that has created a lifetime worth of memories. 

“I’ve been here one year, but it seems like I’ve been here for four,” Scott said. “It came really natural, and it’s just super special to be a part of it and especially to play along a guy like (Stevens).”

As the buzz of voices started to flood out of the Moby doors and the arena eventually sat eerily still, one thing was certain to remain. 

Stevens’ legacy.

“So many things out of my control, I’m just one blessed individual,” Stevens said. “None of this is on my own doing. So I’m just truly thankful that I’ve had coaches and family and teammates that have believed in me.”

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

Interested in more sports content? Sign up for Ram Report here for weekly CSU sports updates!

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About the Contributor
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.

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    Georgia CookMar 10, 2024 at 10:36 am

    Worth tribute to the CSU Rams – especially all the seniors. Stevens has been remarkable and deserves note; but congratulations to all – wishing all those moving on the best. Impactfully written article. I could feel the emotion of the Arena.

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