Instant Reaction: Colorado State's season comes to an end after a sloppy showing in Sin City

LAS VEGAS - Despite being short-handed and playing on little rest, Colorado State men’s basketball hoped to make a little noise in the 2019 Mountain West Basketball Tournament. Slated against the Broncos of Boise State, CSU’s season came to a disappointing end at the Thomas and Mack Center though.

“Give a lot of credit to Boise State—I thought they came out and played really, really physical—really aggressive and we definitely didn’t play our best in a lot of areas, but I thought we fought,” head coach Niko Medved said.

In the 66-57 loss, the Rams struggled immensely on the offensive end as CSU piled up the turnovers (18) and failed to shoot the basketball with any kind of consistency. While not all turnovers are self-inflicted, the Rams’ were particularly sloppy on Wednesday. On multiple occasions, a CSU player dribbled the basketball off his own foot or simply threw the basketball to nobody—and over time, those empty possessions became too much to overcome.

“It was a frustrating game,” Medved said. “We had a lot of opportunities to maybe even take the lead or seize it. We just couldn’t, kind of, get over the hump. But I thought the guys kept battling and fought through some adversity. Boise was just the better team today.”

J.D. Paige drives through the lane and looks to get to the rim.   PHOTO:   Tony Villalobos-May

J.D. Paige drives through the lane and looks to get to the rim. PHOTO: Tony Villalobos-May

Between the costly turnovers and an abysmal performance from beyond the arch (6-of-20), not a lot went well for the Rams on the offensive end. J.D. Paige finished with 25 points on 9-of-17 shooting, but aside from the senior guard, Nico Carvacho was the only other Ram to finish the day in double-digit figures. The “Big Chile” went 6-of-7 from the field, totaling 12 points and five rebounds.

“I’m just proud of the way that I’ve grown this whole season,” Paige said. “I know that we lost and things like that. But I’m just really ecstatic the way I’ve grown as a player.”

With Paige having played his final game for the green and gold, the coaching staff will now turn its attention to the future development of young guys like Kendle Moore and Adam Thistlewood. The freshman hoopsters struggled in the big moment on Wednesday, but the experience they gained this season was invaluable.

“I think often times you learn the most in the most difficult situations,” Medved said. “Adam is in there crying his eyes out. He knows he didn’t play well… But I think they’re going to learn as much from the feeling that you have right now in these situations, moving into the spring and in the offseason…. Trust me, those two guys will be back.”

Justin MichaelComment