2022 Record: 15-18 (6-12)
Head Coach: Niko Medved (Career Record 171-151) (Colorado State Record 92-64)
PG: Isaiah Stevens (17.9 Pts, 3.4 Reb, 6.7 Ast)
SG: Jalen Lake (7.5 Pts, 2.6 Reb, 2.5 Ast)
SF: Nique Clifford (Colorado 5.9 Pts, 3.9 Reb, 1.5 Ast)
PF: Joel Scott (Black Hills State 23.0 Pts, 9.6 Reb, 1.5 Ast)
C: Patrick Cartier (12.3 Pts, 3.1 Reb, 1.1 Ast)
6: SG Javonte Johnson (New Mexico 5.8 Pts, 3.6 Reb, 0.8 Ast)
7: PG Taviontae Jackson (4.5 Pts, 3.5 Reb, 2.4 Ast)
8: SG Josiah Strong (4.4 Pts, 2.4 Reb, 1.6 Ast)
9: SG Joe Palmer (3.2 Pts, 2.4 Reb, 0.5 Ast)
10: PG Kyan Evans
11: SG Jack Payne (RS)
12: PF Kyle Evans (2.0 Pts, 2.2 Reb, 0.7 Ast)
13: SF Rashaan Mbemba
Despite an underwhelming season last year, Colorado State has a lot to look forward to this upcoming season. Colorado State returns their star point guard Isaiah Stevens who will bring a lot to the team next season while taking on more of a leadership role. Stevens started every game in his career during his time at Colorado State and has continued to grow as a player over time. He’s a career 39% three point shooter and 46% shooter from the field overall. He also takes care of the ball really well averaging 6.7APG last year which was good for 4th in the country. He’s a complete team player that every coach looks for and could even win conference player of the year this season.
Other returners expected to be in the starting lineup are guard Jalen Lake and big man Patrick Cartier. Lake showed a lot of growth from his freshman to his sophomore season. He was making the right decisions this past season and looked a lot more confident on the floor. He’s one of the better three point shooters on the team at 38% and he also shot 92% from the free throw line last season. Cartier transferred up from the D2 level last season and he did not disappoint. He averaged double figures and was a great interior offensive player with the ability to stretch the floor. If he could improve in one aspect of his game it would be his defense mainly defending around the rim.
Colorado State also returns guards Josiah Strong, Taviontae Jackson, and Joe Palmer along with big man Kyle Evans. Jackson showed promise as a freshman last season. In 20 minutes of action on average he put up 4.5PPG and 3.5RPG showing that he can develop under somone like Isaiah Stevens and be a very productive player in the future. Joe Palmer is a D3 transfer who transferred up to the D1 level this past season. As expected, his production wasn’t close to what he did at the D3 level, however he did prove that he can chip in some solid minutes off the bench and does have a ton of experience as he’s going into his 5th season.
Josiah Strong got hurt early last season and only played in 7 games but the former Illinois State and Navy guard has the potential to make a big impact this season if he can stay healthy. He’s a very good outside shooter that shot 41% from 3 in his final season at Illinois State. He can be a useful scorer off the bench this season for the Rams. Colorado State also has Jack Payne returning from a redshirt year. They also received commitments in the 2023 class from forward Rashaan Mbemba from Austria and 3 star guard Kyan Evans from Kansas City.
Colorado State completed their roster in the transfer portal where they got Nique Clifford from Colorado, Joel Scott from Black Hills State, and Javontae Johnson in interconference transfer from New Mexico. Johnson is a solid addition for the Rams because he already has experience in the conference and he started every game for the Lobos last season. At Colorado State, Johnson could fit into a sixth man role being a productive player off the bench. Nique Clifford is staying in state transferring from Colorado to Colorado State. The rising senior had a decent career with the Buffs constantly improving each season. Clifford and Johnson will battle it out for a starting spot, but Clifford’s edge on defense should get him the starting edge. Joel Scott out of Black Hills State should be the most productive of all the transfers Colorado State landed this offseason. Scott is an immensely talented forward and D2 All-American who shot 62% from the floor overall and 40% from three. He averaged 23PPG and 9RPG on one of the better D2 teams in the country. He is going to surprise a lot of people in the CBB world being one of the better D2 to D1 transfer ups of this offseason.
Colorado State should be much improved from their 15-18 mark this past season. They added some very talented players in the transfer portal and most importantly they returned their leader in guard Isaiah Stevens. The Mountain West is very deep next season, but Colorado State should still find themselves towards the top half of the league. Postseason play should be within reach for the Rams. Earning a bid to the NCAA Tournament could be a stretch, but the Rams could easily find themselves in the NIT or CBI next season.