On Saturday evening an electrified Moby Arena cheered on CSU’s best ever basketball team one final time on bittersweet senior night.
Basketball is not over for the CSU Rams. It’s tournament time. The Mountain West contests begins next week in Las Vegas. The Rams will be the #2 seed. And soon the NCAA tournament will be underway. CSU is a lock to be included in the field of 64. March madness is just around the corner and the Rams stand to climb further than they ever have before.
Sadly, Moby Arena on the CSU campus has hosted its final game of 2013. For the past several seasons the festive field house has witnessed the rebirth of Rams basketball in large thanks to five young men who will never dribble down its oddly inlaid floor again.
Seniors Pierce Hornung, Wes Eikmeier, Dorian Green, Greg Smith and Colt Iverson are moving on. Perhaps toward pro basketball careers, perhaps not. Saturday’s 77-66 victory against Nevada, a school record 24th win on the season, took place on senior night, marking the last home game of their college careers.
It was bittersweet.
The five were thanked and celebrated by the student body. Some players shared tears. Others just hugged and high-fived each other as they soaked in what they had accomplished together over the past four years.
Coach Larry Eustachy has now lead five programs – more than any other coach in history – to twenty or more wins. He calls these Rams the finest team he’s ever coached. He inherited most of them from Tim Miles who could not pass up a job offer from Nebraska U.
Eustachy will have his hands full trying to replace the departing seniors. Dorian Green alone holds school records in more stat categories than anybody who’s ever laced up a pair of sneakers for the university once known as the Agricultural College of Colorado.
It’s likely that a couple of years will pass before CSU is as good again as they have been over the past two seasons. But, thanks to five departing seniors, it’s a basketball school now. The increased commitment to athletics at CSU means that the school is likely to attract players who might have looked elsewhere only a few years ago.
These are heady times for college basketball in Colorado. The CSU Rams are currently the pride of the state. It’s a legacy that the departing seniors can take pride in.