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Colorado State's J.J. Avila named to NABC All-District team

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March 27, 2015

It was certainly a spectacular year for Colorado State Rams senior forward J.J. Avila.

On Friday, Avila was named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches Division I All-District 17 team. His teammates were Derrick Marks (Boise State Broncos), Larry Nance Jr. (Wyoming Cowboys), J.J. O’Brien (San Diego State Aztecs) and Marvell Harris (Fresno State Bulldogs); talk about an all-star Mountain West squad!

Avila was one of the best all-around players in the country, the only one in Division I to average more than 16.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.0 steals per game, while shooting better than 55 percent from the floor per the release. Anyone who watched CSU compete this year can say the same, witnessing his versatility on the court was clear in every game.

There’s no doubt the 6’8” senior was Colorado State’s best scorer, able to do it in a variety of ways. He loved to drive in and toss up floaters, spin in the lane for lay-ups and even pull-up for 3-pointers. As one of the Rams’ biggest players, he had to rebound and was tough on the glass, but what went underrated were his passing skills. Avila’s unselfishness and his deft ability to dime teammates helped the entire group flourish.

Of course, it can’t be missed that Avila’s injury in the second round of the Mountain West Tournament sank the Rams’ hopes of making the NCAA Tournament for the third time in four years. When a first-team all-conference player goes down, though, it’s difficult to pick up the slack. CSU lost to San Diego State in the MW Tourney’s semis and then were snubbed on Selection Sunday, which “took a lot out of us,” head coach Larry Eustachy explained following his team’s first-round NIT loss.

And when the senior sat there, head hung low with tears falling to the floor last Wednesday night, you couldn’t help but feel for the young man. Still, Avila has nothing to be sad about, he has every reason to hold his head high for the sensational season he put together in Fort Collins.


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