Oct. 22, 2012
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The Mountain West preseason men’s basketball media poll was released Monday afternoon. The Colorado State men’s basketball team was predicted to finish fourth by the league’s media members.
“I don’t put too much stock into the polls. We were picked by the media sixth one year and fourth the other year in the Big 12 (at Iowa State) and we won back-to-back conference championships,” said first-year head coach Larry Eustachy, a two-time national coach of the year during his stint with the Cyclones. “Obviously the writers think there are three teams better than us, so we’ve got a lot to prove.”
And the Rams do feel they have a team that will prove to be among the MW’s elite this season.
Colorado State enters the 2012-13 season looking for a fourth consecutive postseason appearance, including a return trip to the NCAA tournament. The Rams return nearly all of their production from a season ago, including 2012 all-conference selections Wes Eikmeier (first team), Dorian Green (third team) and Pierce Hornung (third team).
Eikmeier and Green each ranked in the top-10 in the league in scoring in 2011-12, averaging 15.5 (fourth) and 13.1 (eighth) points per game, respectively. The backcourt duo also ranked 1-2 in the MW in free-throw percentage, and both players were among the league’s top-10 in three-pointers per game.
Hornung finished the season as the No. 3 rebounder in the league at 8.7 boards per contest, including a conference-best 3.58 offensive rebounds per game. Hornung also ranked second in the MW with 1.88 steals per game to earn a spot on the all-MW defensive team.
Overall, the Rams bring back 81.2 percent of the team’s scoring and 79.6 percent of total rebounds, while adding a talented Division I transfers Colton Iverson (Minnesota) and Daniel Bejarano (Arizona) who sat out the 2011-12 season per NCAA transfer rules.
The Rams have also added a crop of athletic newcomers in sophomore guard Jonathan Octeus, junior forward Gerson Santo, and freshman guards Jordan Mason and Joe De Ciman, giving the 2012-13 team a unique blend of experience, skill, athleticism, youth and depth that Moby Arena faithful have not seen in a number of years.
San Diego State was predicted to win the conference title, just ahead of UNLV. The Rams came in just behind New Mexico to round out the top four. Nevada was predicted fifth, while Wyoming, Fresno State, Boise State and Air Force finished sixth-ninth in the voting.
The Rams open the 2012-13 season on Sunday, hosting the Metro State Roadrunners in an exhibition matchup beginning at 2 p.m. MT at Moby Arena. CSU’s regular-season opener is slated for a 7 p.m. tip on Friday, Nov. 9 against Big Sky power Montana. The team opens its conference schedule Jan. 12 on the road against preseason favorite San Diego State.
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