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Sports / Recreation

Miles, Rams looking for consistency

January 13, 2009

With the Rams now into their conference schedule, Head Coach Tim Miles took a minute to answer questions about the season so far.

Ram's basketball Head Coach Tim MilesWhat positives can you take out of the season thus far?
As I look back at the beginning of the year, I thought it was promising. Then we got beat up with some injuries and now since then we have the chance to be on the rise again. We made it to the championship of the Rainbow Classic tournament and just fell short. I think we're starting to get a better feel of our rotation and I think we're starting to figure things out.

What do you see as the team's biggest improvement from last season?
We have more depth. We're a better rebounding team. At the same time, we need to be a better defensive team. If we could become a good defensive team, and a good rebounding team, now you have the chance to be a real good team. We've struggled to find consistency on offense. We've had a lot of guys show up and play excellent, but on different nights. We need guys to play well all on the same night, and do it consistently. When we do that, we can be a good offensive team, too.

What player have you seen the biggest improvement in since the start of the season?
I think Travis Franklin has gained a lot of ground. I think he came in not knowing a lot of what was going on but has done a lot of real positive things. I think Travis is a young guy that can be a good player in our league. I would say that Adam Nigon has continued to impress me. Also, Andy Ogide before he got hurt. Now that he's feeling better, he has to adapt his game to understand that he's the No. 1 guy in an opponent's scouting report. I think Andy can make some big plays inside for us.

How key is it to have players like Adam Nigon and Travis Franklin contribute off of the bench?
We need every player in our program, one through 13, to be contributors in our program. When it comes game time, we need consistency. We need four or five guys scoring in double figures each night, and right now we only have one player averaging that. At the same time, I believe that these guys can do that, and I believe that they can take that next step.

The Mountain West Conference has some teams that are starting to contend with some big schools and gain a little national recognition. Where do you see the Mountain West Conference compared to other conferences?
By all accounts, the Mountain West Conference is as strong as it has ever been. If you look at the top four teams that I think really set the conference, they are Utah, BYU, UNLV and San Diego State. That's not to say that Wyoming, New Mexico and the rest of us aren't there, but those teams really seem to have set themselves apart on a national scale, and that's good for the conference as a whole.

How big is it for the conference to have Mountain West teams getting wins against teams like Louisville and Gonzaga?
I was in the airport in another state and a guy walked up to me and noticed I was from Colorado State and the Mountain West. He looked at me and said, "Utah just beat LSU by 30." People pay attention all across the country and that's good for our league.

Now that conference play has begun and you've seen where your team is at after the non-conference schedule, where do you see the Rams at the end of the year heading into the conference tournament in Las Vegas?
I see Colorado State in a fight to get to that upper echelon. We're not there, and that's not where we want to be. What we have to do is keep developing our program, keep developing our players and keep recruiting so that we can become the first tier of our league. 

With freshman Jesse Carr and a solid sophomore class, what type of future do you see for Colorado State?
Our strength is in those two classes. We've had to rebuild this program and that seems to be where we can put our most talented guys. As they get better and they understand what's expected out of them and as they learn how to win, I expect our program to improve tremendously.

In addition to the younger classes, you signed four new recruits earlier this season. What do you see in them that they can bring to CSU?
The four guys that we signed are three high-school players and one junior-college player. Devin McDonald from San Jacinto Community College is a dynamic, quick, player. He's an explosive player from a world-class junior college. Trevor Williams is a guy that everyone in the country saw potential in. He's a 7-foot player with an NBA body. He has a big upside. Pierce Hornung's dad played football here. Pierce is a tough kid who epitomizes everything I look for in a player. He's very smart, plays hard and is very focused on winning. He plays for his teammates and knows how to win. Lastly, Greg Smith is from Ralston High School in Omaha, Neb. Greg is a 6-6, 6-7 wing player that can play multiple positions. He is very versatile and very athletic. He has a swagger and an aura about him that I love and that I think will make him successful in the conference.

Contact: Nic Hallisey
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