Oct. 26, 2012
FORT COLLINS, Colo. – Since last March, Rams basketball fans have been eagerly awaiting the 2012-13 basketball season.
The wait is nearly over.
Eight months later, the curtain is about to be raised on the Larry Eustachy era in CSU basketball history. Eustachy, the successful veteran coach, has a team that boasts six seniors and a host of talented newcomers chasing a second straight NCAA Tournament berth.
A year ago, the Rams were 20-12 and received an at-large invitation to March Madness. Now, Eustachy’s team is seeking just an invite to the “Big Dance,” but a lengthy stay in the tournament.
Colorado State opens the season Sunday afternoon with an exhibition game against Division II Metro State. Tipoff time is 2 p.m. in Moby Arena.
Included among the returnees is Wes Eikmier, a first-team All-Mountain West choice last year and the team’s leading scorer, 15.6 points per game.
Top rebounder Pierce Hornung, as well as dependable guard Dorian Green played prominent roles in CSU’s march to madness a year ago, as did forward Greg Smith. They form a core of this year’s team and will be bolstered by newcomers either on hand or who joined the program upon Eustachy’s arrival.
Green was second behind Eikmier, averaging 13.5 points per game and had 78 assists, second on the team behind Jesse Carr. Hornung grabbed 8.4 rebounds last year, and also scored nearly nine points per contest. Smith averaged just under 10 points per game, and chipped in 5.3 rebounds. Carr, another senior, will miss the year after suffering a knee injury.
Leading the list of newcomers is 6-10 center Colton Iverson, another senior, who transferred from the University of Minnesota. Guard Daniel Bejerano was one of the nation’s most sought-after high school guards before he enrolled at the University of Arizona and gives the Rams another backcourt threat.
Eustachy figures his starting five will come from that group of six players. Throughout preseason practices, he’s emphasized an up-tempo offensive style and smother defense. With that in mind, he has said, he’ll utilize his bench frequently to keep the intensity high.
Following Sunday’s exhibition game, Eustachy and the Rams open the regular season Nov. 9, playing host to the University of Montana at 7 p.m. in Moby Arena.
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