CSU men's basketball has new identity

The 2018-19 college basketball season is officially here. Colorado State men’s basketball held its first practice of the year Thursday afternoon under first-year head coach Niko Medved.

In an open setting, Medved allowed members of the media to attend the entire practice and will be opening practices throughout the season. One of many changes around the program this year, Medved and his staff are attempting to completely shift the culture around CSU men’s basketball. And although the season is young, the players appear to have already bought in.

Veteran leaders like Nico Carvacho and Anthony Masinton-Bonner spoke enthusiastically about the state of the program following Thursday’s practice, explaining how essentially everything will be different this season. From a basketball standpoint to the general culture in the locker room, the players are loving how the new staff handles business.

“I think this was the best first day we have had since I have been here,” Masington-Bonner said. “The energy was really great, things were positive. You see us out there helping each other out with smiles on our faces. That’s all you can ask for on a first day is getting out there and going hard.”

“As a team, we are more together this year,” Carvacho added.

Carvacho explained how the coaches did a great job of getting to know the players this season. On multiple occasions, different coaches took him out to lunch or just sat down to get to know Carvacho and his teammates.

“I feel like our confidence is pretty good right now,” Carvacho said.

Along with establishing a new culture based around positive reinforcement and hard work, Medved’s staff is tasked with reshaping the way CSU basketball operates on both ends of the floor.

The Rams will be running an up-tempo offense that is designed to stretch the floor and take advantage of an athletic roster. No longer will guys be allowed to consistently play isolation basketball. Instead, CSU will try to move the basketball and design looks to specifically get the ball into the hands of the best playmakers.

Medved explained that transition offense and defense will be paramount to CSU’s success this season. The first-year CSU coach wants his team to play fast, but in control. But more than anything, Medved wants the team to get away from the isolation style of basketball that they used in the past and create opportunities with quality passing.

CSU will holds its next practice Friday afternoon.