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Lion’s leap

LHS grad Green enjoying breakout freshman season

Colorado state guard Dorian Green, right, races past University of San Francisco defender Dontae Bryant in this Nov. 29, 2009, photo taken at Moby Arena in Fort Collins, Colo.

Colorado state guard Dorian Green, right, races past University of San Francisco defender Dontae Bryant in this Nov. 29, 2009, photo taken at Moby Arena in Fort Collins, Colo.

January 2, 2010

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Ready for the next level

Dorian Green may be just a freshman, but through 14 games, he already leads Colorado State (9-5) in the following categories:

• Points per game: 13.7

• Assists: 34

• Minutes per game: 34.1

• Three-pointers made: 27

Former Lawrence High standout Dorian Green has spent most of his life around basketball.

The days in the driveway, high school stardom and an AAU education all led him to Colorado State University, where he currently starts for the 9-5 Rams as a true freshman.

Until August, basketball had always been easy for Green. He was ahead of the curve as a youngster and became a bona fide weapon at LHS, where he led the Lions to the 2008 state title game. Every step of the way, Green seemed to be at his best when the lights were bright and the stage was enormous.

Conference peek

Green and Colorado State find themselves in the middle of the pack in the Mountain West:

School Conf. Overall

BYU 0-0 13-1

New Mexico (19) 0-0 13-1

UNLV 0-0 12-2

San Diego St. 0-0 11-3

Colorado St. 0-0 9-5

Air Force 0-0 7-5

Wyoming 0-0 6-7

TCU 0-0 6-7

Utah 0-0 6-7

Jumpers rolled off of his fingers softly, defenders that checked him looked like infants and every obstacle that stood in front of him became a reason to reach higher.

But then he arrived at Colorado State and, for the first time in his life, basketball actually seemed different.

“I don’t think it was necessarily difficult,” Green said. “There were things I needed to learn and things I needed to get used to. It wasn’t necessarily hard, there were just a bunch of little things I had to pick up. Now that I know them, I think to myself all the time, ‘Man, I wish I would’ve known that last year.’”

Included on that list were things like adjusting to the more physical game, finding ways to play with — and against — bigger and better athletes and learning a new system.

As the summer workouts turned into winter practices and the grueling offseason became game-time, Green found his comfort zone again. It’s not something that everyone can understand. Sometimes, players just have to play.

And so he did. A lot.

First came the 17-point performance in his first college game against Regis. Granted, it was an exhibition game against an irrelevant opponent, but that was the night Green first proved to himself that he could play.

“It was a good way to start out,” he said. “It was good for me because I hit some shots early and that built my confidence. It was fun just going out there playing for the first time.”

The Regis game didn’t just prove something to Green. Others saw it, too. That was the night CSU coach Tim Miles first believed what he’d been saying all along.

“I (think) Dorian Green looks like a player,” Miles said after the game.

Longtime Regis coach Lonnie Porter agreed: “The kid shoots the lights out of it. He’s going to be a player. He’s a gritty, hard-nosed kid, and he doesn’t back down.”

Maybe not. But how much can one really learn from an exhibition game against a Div. II opponent? Green faced better competition during his AAU days with the K.C. Pump N Run.

Once the regular season began, Green picked up where he left off. First was a 16-point outing in a win against UC-Davis. He followed that up with 12 points against Oregon, 18 against Indiana State and 17 more in a rout of Mayville. Five games into his college career, Green — who averaged 26.2 points per game as a senior at LHS — was leading the Rams in scoring and minutes. If nothing else, the freshman guard, who measured 6-foot-1, 160 pounds in high school and currently is listed at 6-2, 170, had proven that he could handle Div. I basketball.

The Oregon game — a 68-55 loss in the championship game of the Basketball Travelers Tip-Off Tournament — holds a special place in Green’s mind.

“That was cool because we were playing our first Pac 10 program and playing a more high-profile program,” he said.

After their 3-2 start came a double-overtime game against the University of San Francisco in which CSU basically played just seven guys (two others played a combined seven minutes) during a thrilling 91-75 victory at Colorado State’s Moby Arena. In addition to leading the Rams in assists (8), steals (2) and shots (19) while scoring 17 points, Green played all 50 minutes. It was then that Green truly believed he was there to stay.

“I don’t know if that was the point where I really felt like I belonged,” he said. “That kind of came through practicing and just getting used to the guys. But coach Miles told me that he needs me to play and we’re short on guards this year and I need to make as much of an impact as I can. So that’s what I try to do.”

So far so good.

Through 12 games — including a home win against Colorado, which he called “definitely the best moment of the year so far” — Green has started every game and played nearly all of his minutes as the team’s point guard. He leads the Rams in points (13.7), assists (34) and minutes (34.1) per game, and is tied for second in steals (17) and sixth in rebounds (3.1) per contest.

Even with all of those numbers in his corner and his mind packed with new information, Green has not lost touch with who he truly is on the court. Green is still a shooter. Always has been and always will be. He leads the Rams in three-pointers made (27) and three-pointers attempted (75), is shooting 36 percent from behind the arc and also has knocked down 82 percent of his free throws.

“A big goal of mine is to hit open shots,” Green said. “Every good look I get I want to make it. There’s going to be good times and bad times but I just have to keep going. Coach told me I just have to keep shooting.”

Thursday’s 93-71 victory against Yale closed out the Rams’ non-conference portion of the schedule. CSU, which is 7-0 at home this season, will jump into Mountain West Conference play Jan. 6 at Wyoming.

“We’re off to a good start,” Green said. “The guys around the team say they finally see the change. Just the way the team kind of carries itself and the mental aspect, it’s a different team. Coach Miles always says that we want to get to the (NCAA) Tournament and then win when we get there. That’s our goal.”

Comments

Matthew Herbert 4 years, 11 months ago

as a side note, Dorian Green is a great baseball player too. I remember watching him as a freshman on the "C" team throw a one-hitter versus the Free State High "C" team.

Lawrence05 4 years, 11 months ago

Renaissance, one comment. If i remember right, Travis "tbag" Spurling also hurled a one hitter in the second game of the double header. He is also having similar success to dorian these days.

Dorian, I would have liked you to keep wearing the undershirt because you have not gotten any bigger. Also, this success should have been expected. The competition is the same as he had at lhs so far. I would give free state and their star Connor "Z-Factor" Monarez a good chance to beat yale or any of these poor basketball teams. Come to KU and prove you can play with the big boyzz lmao.

MIke Mallory 4 years, 11 months ago

hey 05, WTF, get a life you loser. dorian is a great kid and is having great success at a division 1 program. and to reiterate, he is a better person than he is a basketball player. much success dorian, we will be watching.

bizzybee 4 years, 11 months ago

Colorado State's schedule has included the following teams:

Oregon - Pac 10 UCLA - Pac 10 Indiana State - Mo. Valley Colorado - Big 12

Not sure how that's the same kind of competition he faced at LHS... Those are big-time programs.

Hop2It 4 years, 11 months ago

Fantastic! Keep up the coverage of Dorian.

alamohawk 4 years, 11 months ago

Dorian is a great young man and a person that should make all people in Lawrence proud reguardless of the High School you attended. 05 I guess that must be your IQ. LMAO in San Antonio...

Raiderlover1111 4 years, 11 months ago

Lawrence05, you seem to make poor thought out judgements. While I do agree with your comparison a little. Dorian's carried LHS basketball all years he participated, just as Travis Spurling caried the FSHS JV team, and the Raiders when he participated on those respected squads. So that does make sense, but obviously the talent level was challenging considering Free State's bball record last year...

As we would all love to see him come home, he is enjoying great success in Colorado as a Division 1 athlete. Good job Dorian.

runningscooter 4 years, 11 months ago

Great job Dorian! He's a great kid. We're all proud of him from LHS.

maxcrabb 4 years, 11 months ago

Green is a beast! Will we ever get to see him at the field house? I can't remember if we play Colorado State at all.

Lawrenceguy05, you are a moron. I say this both for your comment on this article, and your belief that Brady Morningstar should not have been suspended for getting a DUI.

http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2009/oct/03/ku-guard-morningstar-arrested-suspicion-dwi/#c1009676

Nice. Real nice.

Lawrence05 4 years, 11 months ago

Lionbacker, you don't even know dorian in person so don't say he is a good human being. I personally have drank many a brews with him as well as witnessed his foreplay with "teen lions". Not once has he been willing to go to toys for tots on his own. Next, since when have colorado, Indiana state, and Oregon been big time basketball programs???? DUI's are overrated, period...let the kid "b rabbit" play

jeffds01 4 years, 11 months ago

dorian is a good kid....

lawrence 05, your a loser, many people have done the same with you rboy brady, who's dad happened to play for ku, and donates a lot of money to as well, who had to go to prep school as well as red shirt, before seeing any d-1 minutes, but thats besides the point. Dorian is doing his own thing, making his own name for himself, give the kid a break he has worked hard for what he has, and is making the most of it.

keep up the work dorian, i know that step back jumper is getting wetter and wetter.hope to see you in the tourney

MIke Mallory 4 years, 11 months ago

actually i do know him.... and i consistently use him as an example for my own kids as the right way to play the game. Dorian IS a stand-up kid on and off the court and all of Lawrence should be proud of him and what he has accomplished. He doesn't show boat, he doesn't complain to officials, he handles himself respectfully and is a good role model because he is also a good STUDENT. Comparing Dorian and Brady is like comparing apples to oranges. One doesn't have to be bad so the other can be good... just enjoy both!!

lhs_lover_5 4 years, 11 months ago

keep up the good work dorian...we all miss you at lhs.

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