While it’s commonly thought that guard play is the key to playing good tournament basketball, Colorado State coach Tim Miles says that’s not necessarily the case.
“I think good defensive teams win in tournaments,” Miles said after the Rams’ practice on Wednesday in preparation for today’s quarterfinal game against TCU (17-13). “I mean you can get hot and hit outside shots. But at the end of the day if you don’t defend — everybody talks about Butler and VCU last year — but both those teams were really good defensively late in the year.”
Nothing will be more important today for the Rams (19-10) than to better defend the Horned Frogs‘ 3-point attack. TCU made 12 3s in both of the teams’ two matchups this season, each won by the home team.
“We out-shot them, we out-rebounded them, we got to the foul line more than they did, but they made 3s,” Miles said. “They made 24 3s in two games, so I think that will tell you we need to continue to do the same only play better 3-point defense.”
However, junior guard Dorian Green said there isn’t just one specific area the team is focusing on at the defensive end.
“I think it’s just overall team defense,” Green said. “Flying around and making plays, taking charges, loose balls. Just grinding for 40 minutes throughout the whole game. And on the defensive end, just being high-energy and high-intensity.”
The Rams certainly have their work cut out for them on the defensive end. According to sports-reference.com, CSU ranks 268th out of 344 teams nationally in defensive rating at 104.6, a measure of how many points it gives up per 100 possessions.