FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4)– It hasn’t taken Isaiah Stevens long to adjust to division one college basketball. The freshman point guard for the CSU Rams has started all 21 games this year so he really didn’t have much of a choice.
“Initially me and Coach Medved had a meeting and he told me that I’d be the starting point guard, said Stevens. “He also told me he’d like me to keep it that way for the duration of my career.”
“That became clear quickly for us,” added CSU head coach Niko Medved. “Isaiah has taken the bull by the horns and continued to play with a maturity beyond his years.”
But one game particular gave Stevens, the Rams leading scorer this year, the belief that even as a freshman, the role as the team’s starting point guard wasn’t too much.
“The game winner against Loyola-Chicago in the Cayman Islands tournament, when I hit that it seemed like I was taking a step forward in my career,” said the 6-0 guard. “From that point on, I’ve had a sense of confidence and swagger about myself that I can compete with anybody.”
“We put the ball in his hands in a crucial situation and again with a ton of poise he went down there and knocked down that shot,” said Medved. “Maybe that was that lightning bolt that went through him and he already had a lot of confidence but maybe that took it to another level.”
Stevens showed that same confidence at Allen High School in Texas where he led his team to a big school state title as a junior. This despite being in a football crazed town where the high school stadium cost $60 million dollars to build, seats 19,000 fans and looks like it belongs on a college campus.
“Football was king for sure but at the same time our whole basketball program had a chip on our shoulder because we knew that and we knew it was a football town so we wanted to prove everybody wrong,” said the Texas native. “We actually won a state championship my junior year which was first one in school history. When we were able to do that, it changed the narrative and we’ve been rolling ever since.”
And now that the Rams are on a 5-game winning streak and tied for 3rd place in the Mountain West Conference, CSU fans are hoping Stevens can make a similar impact in Fort Collins. So far, so good.