Colorado State has started their season 4-1, and they’ve gone 1-1 in the Gulf Coast Showcase, setting up for their showdown against South Dakota State on Wednesday morning.
On Monday, the Rams lost their first game of the season, playing uncharacteristically in their 91-73 defeat to Louisiana. In that game, Niko Medved’s team only had 14 assists compared to a whopping 20 turnovers, and shot a season-low 44.6 percent from the field.
But, they bounced back on Tuesday, knocking off Florida Gulf Coast 82-74 with a gritty second half. In that victory, the Rams got back to their hot shooting — making 59.6 percent from the floor — and freshman Kendle Moore avenged his six-turnover game Monday by leading the green and gold with 17 points. Anthony Masinton-Bonner also scored 17 while J.D. Paige was clutch late, scoring four of the Rams last eight points.
And that came while Nico Carvacho was fouled out, which happened with 2:02 left in regulation.
Speaking of Carvacho, he enjoyed double-doubles in CSU’s first three games but hasn’t had one in the first two games of the Gulf Coast Showcase.
With the win Tuesday, Colorado State now faces a tough test in the South Dakota State Jackrabbits.
The Jackrabbits knocked of UTSA 99-79 on Tuesday, also advancing to the fifth-place game, and their superstar Mike Daum led the team with 41 points on the day. Daum made 14-25 shots and also grabbed 10 rebounds in the win.
On the season, Daum is averaging 23.0 points and 11.3 rebounds per contest; the senior forward is a phenomenal player and will be a very difficult matchup for Carvacho on Wednesday.
If Carvacho can stay out of foul trouble, it could be one of the best battles down low for the Rams star all season long. Both teams are solid on the boards, with the Jackrabbits holding a slight 39.4-38.8 rebounding edge. The Rams hold the scoring edge, averaging 86.5 compared to 80.4 for SDSU.
Luckily for Colorado State, they finally get the services of Kris Martin for the fifth-place game. Martin, an Oral Roberts transfer who sat out last season due to transfer rules and then missed the first five games due to suspension, is back on Wednesday.
Martin is a phenomenal shooter, both in the mid-range and beyond the arc, and the 6’6″ guard is one of the most athletic players on Colorado State’s roster.
CSU (4-1) and South Dakota State (3-2) tip off at 11:30 a.m. MST and the game can be seen for $10 on GulfCoastShowcase.com.