Nov. 21, 2012
By Gary Ozzello
FORT COLLINS, Colo. – Three games. Six days. Two road games.
That’s the challenge facing Colorado State’s men’s basketball team as first-year coach Larry Eustachy and the Rams begin play this week.
The first challenge takes place just more than 60 miles from the CSU campus, when the Rams face the Denver Pioneers Wednesday night at 7 p.m. in Magness Arena.
Winning on the road, Eustachy has told his team and the public, is critical for Colorado State to reach its lofty goals this season of returning to the NCAA Tournament for the second year in a row.
Colorado State opened the season with home wins over Montana and Chadron State, and now plays its next two games on the road.
Besides the Wednesday night contest in Denver, the Rams play at the University of Washington on Saturday night.
Colorado State figures to return to the starting lineup Eustachy has used to date. Guards Dorian Green and Wes Eikmeier will be joined by center Colton Iverson and forwards Greg Smith and Pierce Hornung.
Green, who suffered a minor concussion in the opening game win over Montana, played only the opening tip against Chadron State. Once Colorado State controlled the tap, Eustachy called time out and Green returned to the bench, thus keeping intact his string of starting every game in his Rams’ career – currently 98 in a row.
Iverson, the former transfer from Minnesota, enters the game averaging a team-most 18 points per game, while Hornung leads the Rams with 12.5 rebounds per game and tops all players in the Mountain West in that category. Hornung also leads the MW in steals (3.5) per game.
Smith is second on the team, averaging 12.5 points per game. Daniel Bejarano, a 6-foot, 4-inch sophomore guard, comes off the bench to average 10.5 points per game.
Colorado State enters the game averaging 82.5 points per game, while allowing just 62.3. Eustachy has preached rebounding and defense to his team. CSU is outrebounding opponents 44.0-27.7 through the first two regular-season games of the year.
Denver enters the game with a 1-2 record. The Pioneers are in their first year of membership in the Western Athletic Conference. DU lost its last outing, 72-61 vs. Cal, four days ago.
Following Wednesday night’s game, the Rams have little time to recover before travelling to Seattle to face the Huskies Saturday night.
Then it’s back home for another in-state clash. Colorado State plays host to Northern Colorado Monday, Nov. 26, then faces Evansville Dec. 1.
Wednesday night’s game will be telecast live by ROOT Sports. Marc Stout calls the play-by-play and Greg Lackey is the analyst. CSU alum Jenny Cavnar, whose father played baseball for the Rams in the 1970’s, is the sideline reporter.
The game will also be broadcast on the Colorado State Sports Network. Brian Roth calls the play-by-play. Affiliates include KLZ 5760 (Denver), KCOL 600 (Fort Collins), KSIR 1010 (Fort Morgan), and KNZZ 1100 (Grand Junction).
Tickets to all home events are available in one of the following convenient manners:
• In person: Tickets can be purchased at the McGraw Athletic Center ticket window, which is open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
• On the phone: Fans can call toll free at 1-800-491-RAMS (7267) to purchase tickets to any Rams sporting event.
• Online: Tickets can be purchased 24 hours a day, seven days a week at CSURams.com, the official Web site of Rams Athletics.
Note: Prices do not include fees for processing ($1 per ticket) or delivery - $2 print-at-home, $7 mail and $10 will call.