During his first two seasons as coach at Colorado State, Tim Miles felt like he had “a knife in a gun fight,” he said Monday.

Miles took over a program in need of a major rebuilding job and, at times during his first season in Fort Collins (2007-08), he had just seven scholarship players available and a pair of walk-ons in his rotation.

But Miles is more heavily armed now.

“We’ve got better options,” Miles said. “We’ve got more talent, and we’ve got more players who I think can play and be contributors in our league and be good players in our league.”

Among them are freshman guard Dorian Green, who leads Colorado State with 12.9 points and 2.4 assists per game; junior forward Andy Ogide (a transfer from Ole Miss), who averages 11.5 points and a team-high 6.0 rebounds; and junior forward Travis Franklin (who played at Colby Community College as a freshman), who averages 11.1 points and 5.4 rebounds.

Heading into Tuesday night’s game against Air Force at Clune Arena, the Rams are 14-9 and tied for fourth place in the MWC at 5-4. Colorado State already has won more regular season conference games than it did in Miles’ first two years combined.

Miles said he didn’t have a schedule for rebuilding the Rams, “but at the same time, I think we just have a goal – we want to make the postseason, we want to make the NCAA Tournament, specifically, and we want to win when we get there.”

Asked how he was able to keep confidence after finishing last and second-to-last in the MWC in his first two seasons, Miles had a quick answer.

“Recruited,” he said. “I was motivated to recruit. Losing is a great motivator.”

One the Rams don't need to rely on as much anymore.