Countdown to College Basketball: #22 Colorado State Rams

While last season, Colorado State ended up having an at-large bid slip through their fingers late in the season, this Colorado State roster returns every key rotation piece and is looking to get to the NCAA Tournament. Included in that are two likely first-team All-Mountain West players in David Roddy and Isaiah Stevens, who make up one of the best inside-out duos in mid-major basketball. Now with a loaded, experienced roster, this team now looks to win the Mountain West this season while a deep NCAA Tournament run is certainly within the realm of possibilities. 

While David Roddy may not be the tallest power forward in College Basketball, his impact is among the greatest as he is one of the most skilled forwards in the sport. Roddy is a 6’5 forward that can do everything, he’s quick for his size and has good enough ball-handling skills that he can lead a break and get the offense rolling. He’s a terrific inside scorer, who thrives around the basket and is efficient at that. Add in that he is one of the top rebounders in College Basketball and a double-double machine and he’s easily one of the most fun basketball players to watch. 

While Roddy is maybe the most fun player on the roster, Isaiah Stevens and Kendle Moore will primarily run the offense for this team. Stevens is the player to watch, he’s a good scorer, great passer, and good shooter, making him the ideal College Basketball point guard. Stevens really sets everything up for this team and is excellent at finding the open man and giving them the ball, while his shot-making can be key late in games. Kendle Moore is an undersized guard, who primarily plays off the ball, what he lacks in size, he makes up for in defensive toughness. Moore acts as like a third or fourth option offensively but his pluckiness on defense, mixed with his floor-spacing ability makes him valuable to have on the court. 

The Rams add in one of the top players from Division II, Chandler Jacobs who looks to have a major impact as either a starter or sixth man for this team. Jacobs is a high-level shooter, scorer, and is a pure bucket-getter, he should play plenty of minutes for this team. While Jacobs probably won’t be asked to fill it up at Colorado State as he did in D2, adding a bullseye shooter will help create spacing on the perimeter. Adam Thistlewood started primarily at the three, but could be in danger of being the odd man out if Jacobs starts, Thistlewood is a 6’6 wing, that is a good shooter and scorer, which makes him a valuable commodity to have on the court. John Tonje will also push for minutes on the wing, Tonje is an athletic wing who can provide some scoring pop off the bench, while he’s a solid defender as well. 

At the five, James Moors will continue to be the starter this season. Moors is a good rebounder, shot-blocker, and defender, although he is definitely limited in what he can do on the offensive end. Moors should continue to thrive in a role as a tough shot-blocking and rebounding big man, while offensive development could be on the way. Dischon Thomas will provide some minutes playing at the five next to Roddy, Thomas is a good rebounder and shooter, although he’s not a great shot-blocker on defense, his floor-spacing is something that will help this roster play a more five-out approach. 

This Colorado State team will be fascinating to watch this season as they hope to get to the NCAA Tournament once again. The lineups will be fun to see which players Niko Medvev goes with and how does he plan to use David Roddy. With Roddy, you could play him as a small-ball five and run a death lineup with him, Stevens, Moore, Thistlewood, and Jacobs, and that lineup might be able to score at an extremely high clip, but it might also give those points up on the other end. James Moors will be fascinating to watch because if he develops as a better scorer, it makes Roddy’s life much easier as he won’t be doubled in the post quite as much. Add to that, the role of Chandler Jacobs, who could theoretically be the best pure scorer on the team, but also might be limited to a sixth-man role. 

Medved has a lot of things to figure out, but all of those are on the positive end of the spectrum because of the talent on this roster. Look for this Rams team to thrive once again this season, likely rolling to a Mountain West regular-season title, and an NCAA Tournament appearance along with it. The question becomes how far can this team go? If the shot-making is at an all-time high, this is a team that could make a deep run in March but they could face a bad matchup and lose early. Any way you put it, this Colorado State program is in a great place this season, and so long as Niko Medvev remains the coach, greatness appears to be on the horizon. 

Projected Rotation 

PG: Isaiah Stevens

SG: Kendle Moore

SF: Chandler Jacobs

PF: David Roddy

C: James Moors

B1: Adam Thistlewood

B2: John Tonje

B3: Dischon Thomas

B4: Jalen Lake

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