Team preview: Colorado State

Blue Ribbon Illustrated previews the 2005-06 college basketball season, exclusively on Insider.

Updated: November 5, 2005, 1:45 PM ET
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(Information in this team report is as of October 1.)

COACH AND PROGRAM

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.

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