Game notes: Eustachy, Rams host Montana in regular-season opener
Nov. 8, 2012
Colorado State vs. Montana | Game 1
|COLORADO STATE RAMS||MONTANA GRIZZLIES|
|CSU RETURNING STATISTICAL LEADERS||MONTANA RETURNING STATISTICAL LEADERS|
One of the most anticipated seasons in the history of Colorado State men's basketball tips off, officially, on Friday when the Rams host Big Sky Conference powerhouse Montana.
Tipoff between the Rams and the Grizzlies is set for 7 p.m. MT at Moby Arena.
Brian Roth will have the call on the Colorado State Sports Network, 560 AM KLZ (Denver), 600 AM KCOL (Fort Collins), 1010 AM KSIR (Fort Morgan) and 1100 AM KNZZ (Grand Junction).
Streaming audio and video are available via Rams All-Access and live statistics can be viewed on GameTracker at CSURams.com.
Rams quick hits
Colorado State enters the 2012-13 men's basketball season under the direction of new head coach Larry Eustachy, who begins his 22nd season as a head coach at the NCAA Division I level.
The Colorado State basketball program is looking for its fourth-consecutive postseason appearance, and its second straight NCAA Tournament berth, in 2012-13.
The Rams return an experienced roster in 2012-13, as seven letterwinners from the Rams' 2011-12 squad are back in the Green and Gold this season.
The Rams will welcome a host of talented newcomers to the court this season, including Division I transfers Colton Iverson (Minnesota) and Daniel Bejarano (Arizona) who sat out 2011-12 per NCAA transfer rules.
Other Rams' newcomers are: Junior F Gerson Santo, sophomore guards Jon Octeus and Josh Morgan, and freshman guards Jordan Mason and Joe De Ciman.
Colorado State posted a 14-1 mark at Moby Arena in 2012-13, the program's best home win percentage (.933) since the Arena opened in 1966.
Entering Friday's season opener against Montana, the Rams are receiving one vote in the Associated Press Media Poll, and four votes in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Top-25 rankings.
Colorado State has been selected to finish fourth in the Mountain West preseason media poll for the fourth consecutive season. In 2011-12, CSU finished in fourth place, but notched victories over each of the programs - San Diego State, UNLV and New Mexico - that finished ahead of them in the league standings.
In early August, the CSU basketball program spent five days together at the Atlantis Paradise Island Resort in Nassau, Bahamas. Per NCAA rules, the team was allotted 10 days of practice leading up to the trip, and then played an exhibition contest against the Bahamas All-Stars, winning 95-80 behind a double-double effort (18 points, 14 rebounds) from Colton Iverson.
The Rams closed the 2011-12 season riding a 13-game winning streak at Moby Arena. The streak ties for the ninth-longest active streak in NCAA Division I entering the 2012-13 campaign.
Colorado State closed the 2011-12 season ranking as one of the most efficient offensive teams in the country. The Rams led the Mountain in field-goal percentage (.471), three-point percentage (.400) and free-throw percentage (.768).
The 2011-12 season marks the 109th in the history of the Colorado State men's basketball program. The Rams are 1,129-1,170 (.491) in 2,299 games all-time.
Head Coach Wayne Tinkle enters his seventh season at his alma mater, where he is the fourth-winningest coach in program history (80-74).
Tinkle was named the NABC Division 1 District 6 Coach of the Year by The National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) at the end of the 2011-12 season.
The Grizzlies are coming off their third most successful season in school history, after recording 25 victories and advancing to the NCAA tournament where they lost to Wisconsin, 49-73, in the second round.
The Grizzlies enter the game having won 12 consecutive regular-season games dating back to a 76-58 win over Northern Colorado on Jan. 19, 2012.
Montana returns three starters from last season; senior guard Will Cherry, junior guard Kareem Jamar and senior forward Mathias Ward. Cherry and Jamar were first-team all-Big Sky selections last season.
As a team Montana returns eight letter winners from its 2011-12 squad.
Last season the Grizzlies ranked in the top 50 in the nation in five categories; win-loss percentage (24th, 78.1 percent), field goal percentage defense (40th, 40.5 percent), turnover margin (42nd, +2.4), scoring margin (44th, +7.9 ppg). And scoring defense (49th, 62.0 ppg).
Series vs. Montana
Friday's meeting marks the 33rd matchup in the series between Colorado State and Montana.
CSU holds a 19-13 all-time advantage over the Grizzlies
The Rams are 13-3 against the Grizzlies in games played in Fort Collins.
The first matchup in the series came during the 1950-51 season, when the Rams left Missoula with a 65-54 victory.
The Rams and Grizzlies competed as Mountain States Conference rivals from 1951-1962.
CSU is 3-1 against Montana since the formation of the Mountain West in 1999-2000.
A win over Montana will...
Give first-year Head Coach Larry Eustachy his first win at Colorado State and the 403rd of his career.
Mark the fifth straight year the Rams have won their season opener, with three of those wins coming against the Grizzlies (2011-12, 64-58 and 2008-09, 85-55). The last team to defeat CSU in the Rams' premier game was Montana during the 2007-08 season (39-75).
Move the Rams to 84-25 all-time in regular-season home openers, and push the Rams' winning streak in such contests to 32 games, dating back to a 79-64 setback vs. Oklahoma State on Dec. 8, 1980.
Will extend CSU's home court win streak to 14 games. Currently the Rams are tied for the ninth longest home win streak in the nation with Savannah State. Kentucky holds the longest current home-court winning streak in the nation at 52 games.
Give the Rams a 20-13 all-time advantage over the Grizzlies.
Rams in home openers
Colorado State is 83-25 (.769) all-time in regular-season home openers dating back to the program's first game, a 64-15 victory over Northern Colorado, in 1901-02.
Colorado State enters Friday's contest vs. Montana riding a 31-game winning streak in home openers. The
Rams' last home-opening loss was a 79-64 setback vs. Oklahoma State on Dec. 8, 1980. That game marked the home coaching debut of Tony McAndrews, and was the first home game in Fort Collins after the retirement of legendary head coach Jim "J.J." Williams at the end of the 1979-80 season.
Colorado State hosts Game 2 of the 2012-13 season, welcoming Chadron State to Fort Collins.
The matchup between the Rams and the Eagles marks the first in the series between the programs.
Chadron State finished 13-14 in 2011-12, recording a fifth-place finish in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference with a 13-9 league mark.