Larry Eustachy

Colorado State head coach Larry Eustachy dances late in Saturday’s win at Air Force

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Throughout the season we’ve seen college basketball teams put together some interesting dance steps, whether it’s the new phenomenon that is the “Harlem Shake” or celebrating a big win in the locker room to the sounds of Ke$ha.

Colorado State head coach Larry Eustachy decided to show off some of his dance moves late in the Rams’ 89-86 win at Air Force, much to the chagrin of the Air Force student section.

According to Kelly Lyell of the Fort Collins Coloradoan Eustachy began dancing with about 18 seconds remaining and the Rams holding a seemingly safe 88-80 lead. But the Falcons hit two three-pointers to add some suspense to the contest, and with a red-hot Michael Lyons (45 points) on the floor Air Force very well could have stolen the game.

One can definitely argue that Eustachy should not have done this, especially when there was still time on the clock. But after nearly 40 minutes of taunts from the student section he obviously felt the need to respond in his own way.

So what taunts did the students lob at Eustachy and the CSU bench that would ultimately lead to him dancing?

On game days, though, his emotions come pouring out. He heard the Air Force cadets just above and to the left of his team’s bench taunting his players, so much so that CSU athletic director Jack Graham came out of the bleachers to stand between them during the first half.

Eustachy heard the cadets taunting him, too.

“Where’s the party, Larry?” they were chanting in the final minute.

So, given a chance to throw it back at them in the final seconds, he couldn’t resist.

If you follow college basketball you likely know what the students were referring to with the chant. But if you’re going to dish it out you’d better be willing to take it as well. To the victor go the spoils…and an opportunity to dance, apparently.

More important than the celebration is the fact that Colorado State is ranked 24th in the AP poll and has a 21-4 record (8-2 Mountain West), with their win at Air Force allowing the Rams to keep pace with New Mexico (9-2) in the loss column atop the conference standings.

With games against UNLV (Wednesday in Las Vegas) and the Lobos (Saturday in Fort Collins) up next CSU’s win in Colorado Springs is one that should not be overlooked.

With experience throughout their rotation and the big man in Colton Iverson that last year’s NCAA tournament team lacked, Colorado State will have more opportunities to celebrate in the coming weeks.

Video credit: News Sports 10/The Coloradoan

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

POSTERIZED: Wyoming’s Josh Adams takes flight

Josh Adams
Associated Press
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Not only is Wyoming senior guard Josh Adams the lone returning starter from a team that won the Mountain West tournament last season, but he’s also one of college basketball’s best dunkers. And if anyone may have forgotten about his jumping ability, Adams put it on display Saturday during the Cowboys’ win over Montana State.

After splitting two Montana State players at the top of the key Adams attacked the basket, dunking with two hands over a late-arriving help-side defender. If you’re going to rotate over, have to do it quicker than that.

Video credit: Wyoming Athletics

Defensive progress will determine No. 4 Iowa State’s ceiling

Monte Morris
Associated Press
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Even with the coaching change from Fred Hoiberg to Steve Prohm, No. 4 Iowa State remains one of the nation’s best offensive teams. Given their skills on that end of the floor many teams find it tough to go score for score with the Cyclones, and that’s what happened to Illinois in Iowa State’s 84-73 win in the Emerald Coast Classic title game.

Georges Niang scored 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds, with Monté Morris adding 20, nine rebounds and six assists and Abdel Nader 18 points as the Cyclones moved to 5-0 on the season. The three-pointers weren’t falling in the second half, as Iowa State shot 0-f0r-12, but they shot 19-for-24 inside of the arc to pull away from a team that lost big man Mike Thorne Jr. late in the first half to a left knee injury.

Illinois’ loss of size in the paint opened things up offensively for Iowa State, and the Cyclones took advantage. But where this group grabbed control of the game was on the defensive end of the floor, and that will be the key for a team with Big 12 and national title aspirations.

Nader took on the responsibility of defending Illinois’ Malcolm Hill (20 points) in the second half and did a solid job of keeping the junior wing in check, with that serving as the spark to a 12-2 run that put the game away. There’s no denying that the Cyclones can put points on the board; most of the talent from last season is back and the productivity on that end of the floor hasn’t changed as a result. Niang’s one of the nation’s best forwards, and both Morris (who now ranks among the country’s best point guards) and Nader have taken significant strides in their respective games.

Iowa State will add Deonte Burton in December, giving them another option to call upon. Front court depth is a bit of a concern, as Iowa State can ill afford to lose a Niang or Jameel McKay, but there’s enough on the roster to compensate for that and force mismatches in other areas.

But the biggest question for this group is how effective they can become at stringing together stops. Illinois certainly had its moments in both halves Saturday night, but Iowa State also showed during the game’s decisive stretch that they can step up defensively. The key now is to do so consistently, and if that occurs the Cyclones can be a threat both within the Big 12 and nationally.