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Return to the 2006-07 Top 144 Preview

July 11th, 2006

By Joel Welser

Broadcast Basketball

 

Colorado State Rams

Overall Rank: #123

Conference Rank: #6 MWC

 

2005-06: 16-15, 4-12, 8th

2005-06 postseason: none

 

Colorado State always seems to produce a decent squad, but fail to meet expectations.  Most have expectations quite low this season, and maybe that is a good thing for the Rams and Coach Dale Layer.  The talent is there to compete with the best of the conference.  However, the talent has been there for a while and CSU never seems to come out on top.

 

Who’s Out: The Morris brothers brought talent to Fort Collins, but had disappointing numbers a year ago.  Sean is transferring after averaging 8.6 points per game and Michael added on 3.9 points during his senior campaign.  The backcourt also loses Andrew Patterson, who earned two starts on the season.  C.J. Clark is transferring after his freshmen campaign where he played in just 12 contests.

 

Who’s In: The Rams will depend on four junior college transfers to supply some much needed depth.  Point guard Tim Denson joins Colorado State after two successful seasons at Fullerton College.  Tyler Smith is a great shooter and can play either guard spot.  The former DePaul Blue Demon will battle for a starting job after averaging 20.1 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.1 assists at Northeastern Junior College in Colorado.  Versatile small forward Alton Robinson is another player who has the talent to start right away.  The transfer from Pearl River Community College is explosive on the offensive end and tough on the defensive end.  Asrangue Souleymane, who played at Cincinnati before transferring to Panola College in Texas, is a beast on the defensive end.  His offense will be a liability, but the blocks and rebounding will keep him on the floor.  Incoming freshmen Jake Nielson, Jarrel Smith and Ryan Vermeulen will have trouble finding minutes this year.  Nielson, a 6-1 point guard, is the future show runner for the Rams.  Redshirt freshman, and coaches son, Tim Layer will see his first action after redshirting last year and add some depth to the backcourt.  The frontcourt could use redshirt freshmen Ronnie Aguilar and Preston Peterson.  Aguilar, another 7-footer, has high expectations to become a force under the basket.

 

Who to Watch: The frontcourt has experience with Jason Smith, Michael Harrison and Stuart Creason.  Smith led the squad with 16.2 points and 7.3 rebounds.  Harrison was right behind him in both categories with 12.4 points and 5.1 boards.  Creason continues to improve and averaged 7.9 points and 3.8 rebounds off the bench.  With another year of experience under their belt, the trio will be a formidable force in the paint in the MWC.

 

Final Projection: With the experience in the frontcourt and the backcourt of Cory Lewis and Stephan Gilling coming off of successful season debuts, the Rams should have higher expectation than they do.  The key to it all may be Freddy Robinson.  The senior averaged just 5.7 points and 2.4 boards last year after being sidelined the previous season with an injury.  The ability to create off the dribble has been lacking at CSU over the last two years and Robinson needs to regain that capability for the Rams to have postseason dreams.

 

Projected Post-season Tournament: none

 

Projected Starting Five:

Cory Lewis, Senior, Guard, 10.1 points per game

Stephan Gilling, Sophomore, Guard, 7.0 points per game

Freddy Robinson, Senior, Forward, 5.7 points per game

Michael Harrison, Senior, Forward, 12.4 points per game

Jason Smith, Junior, Forward, 16.2 points per game

#124 Temple » Complete List » 122 Charleston

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