Courtesy CSU Rams Communications
Colorado State men’s basketball continued to receive recognition for its efforts this season, as the league’s coaches voted redshirt-senior Nico Carvacho to Second Team All-Mountain West and freshman Isaiah Stevens was named the conference’s Freshman of the Year and to the third team. This comes on the heels of both earning honors from the league’s media yesterday.
The conference’s all-time leader in rebounds and double-doubles, Carvacho led the Mountain West in overall rebounding and conference-only boards for the second and third years in a row, respectively, as the center averaged 10.65 per game overall and 10.78 in MW action. He joins Kawhi Leonard of San Diego State (2009-10, 2010-11) as the only players to lead the league in overall rebounds two times, both doing it in consecutive seasons and is the first player in MW history to lead in league games three times. A first-team selection in 2018-19, the Frisco, Texas native had 13 double-doubles on the year and 17 games with 10 or more rebounds while also averaging 12.6 points per game on 56.3 percent shooting from the field. His top game of the years was a 21-point, 19-rebound effort in the home win over Omaha on Nov. 16. He also had 17 points and 16 rebounds in the win at Fresno State Feb. 4. For his career, he has 1,394 points and 1,280 rebounds entering the Mountain West tournament, the first player in MW history to record 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in their career, and has played in more games (131) than any player in CSU history.
The second-ever league Freshman of the Year for the Rams, joining former NBA player Jason Smith (2004-05), Stevens made an immediate impact on the program, starting all 31 games so far and leading the team in scoring at 13.0 points per game, which ranks 13th in the league. He also is third in the Mountain West at 4.58 assists per game and assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.18. He has played more minutes than any other Ram and has scored in double figures in 23 games this season. He has hit a pair of game winners in the final seconds this year in wins over Loyola Chicago and Nevada. The Allen, Texas product also led the Rams with 26 points and a school record-tying 12 assists in the triple-overtime win at Tulsa Dec. 21. He was the first CSU freshman ever to earn Mountain West Player of the Week on Feb. 3 after leading CSU to a pair of wins over Nevada and UNLV when he averaged 16.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists in those contests. He set a new CSU freshman assists record, a total that currently stands at 142, which is fifth on the CSU single-season chart and is a Mountain West record for a freshman. He also broke the record for Mountain West only games with 84 this year, surpassing Sam Merrill (Utah State) with 71 in 2016-17.
The Rams are the sixth seed and will open the 2020 Air Force Reserve Mountain West Championship on Wed., March 4 at 6 p.m. MT, taking on rival and No. 11 seed Wyoming at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.