Team preview: Colorado State
Blue Ribbon Illustrated previews the 2005-06 college basketball season, exclusively on Insider.
Updated: November 5, 2005, 1:45 PM ETBlue Ribbon Yearbook
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Now appearing on several 2007 NBA mock draft websites is Colorado State 7-0 sophomore Jason Smith (10.5 ppg, 5.8 rpg), the Mountain West Freshman of the Year. It's a deserved recognition for the youngster who found himself on an 11-17 team taking the last seeding in the conference tournament for the second straight year.
His predecessor for the MWC's rookie award went No. 1 in last spring's NBA draft. That was Utah's Andrew Bogut, who first established his game at the elite Australia Institute for Sport and then played in the Olympics between a decent freshman year and a national award near-sweep a year later.
Smith spent his summer in Fort Collins adding much needed bulk, after playing at barely 215 pounds a year ago. The goal is playing at between 235 and 240 pounds. Unlike Bogut's elite international background, Smith played his high school ball in a small farming community school less than an hour east of the CSU campus. There had been some expectation he would red-shirt as a freshman with CSU lining up two other 7-footers, but it was readily apparent he had the best raw skills.
Smith is unusually agile for his size and owns a feathery soft shooting touch. His scoring average is likely to increase. He's not an inside banger, but led the team in blocked shots with 36.
(Information in this team report is as of October 1.)
COACH AND PROGRAM