Why Did Seven Players Leave the CSU Basketball Team?

CSU basketball
Niko Medved, CSU Men's Basketball Coach

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CSU basketball has been going through a lot of turmoil lately.

Early in 2018, Larry Eustachy, the coach, was dispatched after an investigation into his conduct towards players.  “It was split when the coach got fired,” said Anthony Masinton-Bonner, a now former-guard for the team. “There was three or four of us who had his back and the rest of the guys didn’t really have his back. They did interviews with us, each -like- individually and asked us about our experiences with him and how we feel about him and stuff.”

The Denver Post, who had the story from the beginning, said that there were, “Incidents of verbal abuse by Eustachy, including times that he singled out players and berated them with profanities, particularly behind closed doors during halftime of and after games.”

But Masinton-Bonner saw it differently. “People were classifying it as verbal abuse but I mean it was just hard coaching. Growing up I’ve had worse things said to me than he said to us like in club ball. It wasn’t abuse in my opinion.”

Eustachy was replaced by Niko Medved. Medved was an assistant under the coach before Eustachy (Tim Miles). Masinton-Bonner was originally recruited by Medved, actually. After the 11-21 season that was marred by Eustachy’s investigation, one probably would have thought that the 2018-19 season would have gone better. Unfortunately, it didn’t. The Rams finished 12-20 this season.

Now there’s seven players transferring. Included in those are three of the best scorers on the team, Masinton-Bonner (12 efficient points per game- 51% from the field, 41% from three and 86% from free throw), Deion James (10 points during the 2017-18 season- he was injured for this season), and Prentiss Nixon (16 points a game).

Masinton-Bonner was originally excited about Medved. “When he originally got hired, I was like ‘okay, I’ve known him for a little bit, he’ll be cool.” But it didn’t stay that way. “It changed and I’m not going to go too much into detail because I’m over it now and I’m past it and I’ve moved on to another school,” said Masinton-Bonner. He seemed disappointed in the missed opportunity, “When coaching changes happen in college basketball, a lot of times it doesn’t go how you think it’ll go, and that was just the case.”

Hyron Edwards, who transferred to CSU at the start of the season has already transferred out. He sat out the start of this season because of NCAA transfer rules. He will likely miss time wherever he goes (he hasn’t announced yet where he will go).

Jack Schoemann, one of the two players in the 2018 recruiting class is also leaving after only one season at CSU.

Medved is going to start anew next season. Four players have signed letters of intent to attend CSU next fall. There are only seven players on the roster right now for the 2019-20 season.