Former transfers having a more rewarding experience under Medved and Co.

Colorado State men’s basketball has begun a new era under first-year head coach Niko Medved. With that new era, comes a complete culture change and an emphasis on positivity.

Following a disappointing season that was full of distractions, according to Medved, the guys in the locker room have been extremely open to the new philosophies. And according to the players, buying in has been an easy process, especially for the former transfers that came to CSU in search of a safe haven after previous stops at other programs.

“Instead of getting yelled at and yanked off the practice floor for not doing something well, he claps his hands and says next play,” Robbie Berwick said. “He talks to the team and tries to get us motivated for the next couple of plays, instead of getting down on us and making us feel like we are failures.”

Roughly two weeks into the Rams’ preseason practice schedule, guys like Berwick and Lorenzo Jenkins are praising their new leader for his attention to detail, both on and off the court. And in general, the former transfers feel that this year has already been a more rewarding experience.

“It’s a complete 360 and I love it,” Jenkins said. “This coaching staff, they really care about you and everything you do. Not only on the floor, but off the floor too. That’s huge. It shows how much they care.”

Lorenzo Jenkins attempts to drive past Deion James (No.20) at the team’s first practice of the season.   PHOTO:   Justin Michael | Rams Report

Lorenzo Jenkins attempts to drive past Deion James (No.20) at the team’s first practice of the season. PHOTO: Justin Michael | Rams Report

Berwick’s comments mirrored Jenkins’ as well. “I’m doing better individually, mentally and physically,” Robbie Berwick said. “And off the court, I’m doing a lot better than I was a year ago. Just to have this coaching staff, they make you feel like you have a chance.”

Jenkins played his freshman season at Arkansas (2015-16), before transferring to CSU for the 2016-17 season. After sitting out one year due to NCAA transfer rules, Jenkins was eligible as a redshirt-sophomore last season, but did not get much of an opportunity to see the floor. The 6-foot-7 guard/forward technically played in 31 games and averaged 14 minutes per contest, but Jenkins had 12 games where he saw less than 10 minutes of action.

Berwick played in 33 games during his freshman season at Florida State (2014-15), but missed the entire 2015-16 season due to injury. Now a redshirt junior, Berwick is thankful for the opportunity to play under the new coaching staff, after averaging less than 10 minutes per game in 21 appearances last season.

“He just always brings that positivity,” Berwick said. “It makes me happy because it’s been a long ride. So, just to have a positive coach is something else.”