For former Lawrence High standout Dorian Green, the dream run continues.
After leaving Lawrence to play basketball at Colorado State University three years ago, Green found himself starting immediately for the rising Rams and coach Tim Miles. Now in his third season as a starter, Green and the Rams are headed to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2003.
On Sunday, the Rams (20-11) were picked as an at-large selection and an 11 seed in the West regional. They will take on No. 6 seed Murray State (30-1) on Thursday in Louisville.
CSU has reached the postseason in each of Green’s three seasons, first playing in the College Basketball Invitational following the 2009-10 season and, last year, qualifying for the NIT. Though the Rams returned a handful of talented players from last year’s team, many people were looking toward next season as the one in which CSU would break into the Big Dance.
“Yeah, that’s what a lot of people were saying,” Green said. “But we knew we had a chance to get better sooner than that. We learned a lot from last year. We were kind of in the same position we’re in this year, but we tanked it at the end of the season. And this year we won some big games down the stretch, and that experience and the togetherness of the team has really helped us.”
Green’s 13.5 points-per-game average ranks second on the team, and he played a team-best 34 minutes per game. A big reason the Rams were able to qualify for the NCAA Tournament this season was their overall scrappiness. Six players averaged seven or more points for the CSU offense, and the defense, which limited opponents to 68 points per game, was led by relentless effort and attention to detail.
“I feel very fortunate about the position we’re in,” he said. “But we’re not satisfied with just getting there. We want to get there and play well.”