Fresno State was no problem for the Dorian Green-less Colorado State Rams in the quarterfinals of the Mountain West Conference Tournament, but UNLV will be an entirely different story.
Following Colorado State’s 67-61 win over the Bulldogs, head coach Larry Eustachy told Sports Illustrated that the Rams would be playing without Green Friday against UNLV.
“We’ll be without Dorian. We’re going to practice and prepare as if we don’t have him, which I think is 99.9 percent chance he won’t (play),” said Eustachy.
As the Rams’ second-leading scorer and starting point guard, Green has been instrumental to getting Colorado State to this point with a fighting chance to win the conference tournament. Barely winning over Fresno State, arguably the worst team in the Mountain West, isn’t a very good sign.
Eustachy’s plan is to keep Green off the floor until he is completely healthy, his main reason being the importance of the NCAA Tournament versus the Mountain West Tournament.
Green was averaging 13.1 points and 3.9 assists before being sidelined by an ankle injury, meaning backup point guard Jon Octeus will have a substantial void to fill. Octeus will be called on to match up with Anthony Marshall, one of the most dynamic and explosive guards in the conference. Standout freshman Anthony Bennett will feast on easy lay ups when Marshall beats the helps defense into the lane against the slower Octeus.
In their first game of conference tournament play against Air Force, Bennett scored 23 points and seven rebounds in 28 minutes of court time.
Colorado State may have survived the first stage of life without Dorian Green, but rest assured, UNLV will be a whole different ball game.
John Engel is a college basketball writer for Rant Sports, covering the Pac-12 and Mountain West conferences. John works for ESPNLA 710 AM radio in addition to Rant Sports. Follow: @engelsportsguy.