Game notes: CSU hosts Evansville in Mountain West/Missour Valley Challenge
Nov. 30, 2012
Colorado State vs. Evansville | Game 6
|COLORADO STATE RAMS||EVANSVILLE PURPLE ACES|
|CSU STATISTICAL LEADERS||UE STATISTICAL LEADERS|
Colorado State hosts the Evansville Purple Aces on Saturday afternoon as part of the fourth season of the Mountain West/Missouri Valley Challenge.
Tipoff between the Rams and the Purple Aces is set for 2:30 p.m. MT at Moby Arena.
The game marks the first in the series between Colorado State and Evansville.
Voice of the Rams 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 (free) and video (subscription required) 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, in 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 Saturday's contest against Evansville, the Rams are receiving two votes in both the AP and ESPN/USA Today 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.
Following the Rams' Nov. 15 victory over Chadron State, Colorado State men's basketball has won a school-record 15 straight home games at Moby Arena, the team's home since 1966. The streak is now at 16 games entering Saturday's matchup against Evansville.
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 2012-13 season marks the 110th in the history of the Colorado State men's basketball program. The Rams are 1,134-1,170 (.492) in 2,303 games all-time.
The Purple Aces enter Saturday's contest with a 4-2 record, having won four in a row over Yale (66-56), Western Illinois (49-44), Tennessee Tech (62-50) and Western Illinois (72-46), after opening the season with a pair of close losses at Notre Dame (58-49) and vs. Buffalo (56-50).
Evansville is 1-1 on the road this season, including the Aces' 9-point loss at then No. 22 Notre Dame Nov. 10.
Head Coach Marty Simmons owns a 71-90 record during his sixth season at the school.
The Purple Aces have held their last three opponents (Western Illinois, Tennessee Tech and Alabama A&M) under 47 points per game, while holding each to under 22 points in a half.
Evansville ranks in the top 10 in the nation in scoring defense, allowing just 51. 7 points per contest.
Senior guard Ned Cox is the only player to average double digit scoring (10.2) in addition to his 2.83 assists per game.
Missouri Valley preseason all-conference selection Colt Ryan has been limited to four games this season. In those contests he averages 7.5 points, 3.25 assists and 1.00 steals, including a 13-point outting UE's last game against Alabama A&M.
Series vs. Evansville
Saturday's contest marks the first in the series between the Rams and the Purple Aces.
Rams vs. Missouri Valley
Colorado State is 10-19 all-time against current members of the Missouri Valley Conference.
However, when hosting MVC foes, the Rams are an impressive 8-3.
Saturday's contest is the first of two potential regular-season matchups against the MVC for the Rams. As part of the Continential Tire Las Vegas Classic, the Rams will face either the ACC's Virginia Tech or the MVC's Bradley in the final round on Dec. 23.
A win over Evansville will...
Tie the school record for best start to a season (6-0), matching the starts posted by the 2005-06 and 1970-71 squads.
Extend the Rams' home-court win streak to 17 straight games, extending the team's Moby Arena record and moving within five home wins of the program's all-time home win streak of 22.
Be the first over the Purple Aces for the Rams.
Snap UE's four-game win streak.
Leave Colorado State with an unblemished mark heading into next week's rivalry matchup against No. 19/19 Colorado.
Mountain West/Missouri Valley Challenge
Saturday's matchup between Colorado State and Evansville marks the Rams' annual contest in the Mountain West/Missouri Valley Challenge.
The challenge is in the fourth year of a four-year agreement between the two contests.
Through the first three years of the agreement, the MW held a 16-10 advantage.
Colorado State is 1-2 in MW/MVC Challenge games, having lost road games at Indiana State (2009) and UNI (2011), but captureing a home win over Drake in 2010.
A winning era
CSU's fourth-year seniors - Dorian Green, Pierce Hornung and Greg Smith - have been a part of 60 wins during their careers at Colorado State (entering Saturday's game vs. Evansville).
That total, five games into their senior season, ranks two wins outside the top-20 in program history for wins in a four-year period (61 wins; 1968-69 to 1971-72 and 1990-91 to 1993-94).
The school record for wins in a four-year period is 81 victories from 1987-88 to 1990-91. The team would need 26 wins in 2012-13 to tie that record, and entered this year 20 wins away from the top-5 on that list of most successful four-year periods in program history.
Newcomers making impact
Although returning a veteran squad in 2012-13, the CSU men's basketball team has already seen significant impact from several newcomers through three games this season.
Senior C Colton Iverson is averaging a team-leading 16.6 points per game, while pulling down 11.0 rebounds per game, and has led the Rams in scoring in three of his first five games, while notching three straight double-doubles at DU, at Washington and vs. Northern Colorado.
Sophomore G Daniel Bejarano earned his first career start for the Rams in CSU's victory over Northern Colorado, pulling down six rebounds and notching five assists despite a tough-shooting night (2-for-10).
Sophomore G Jon Octeus saw a bulk of the minutes at point guard for the Rams vs. Chadron State, and bounced back from a slow debut vs. Montana, with 13 points and a game-high five assists against the Eagles. Octeus also tallied 10 points in the Rams win over Northern Colorado.
Junior F Gerson Santo also had a breakout performance in the Rams' second game of the season, vs. Chadron State, posting 12 points, seven rebounds, two blocks and an assist in 21 minutes off the bench. At Washington, Santo tallied four points and three rebounds in 16 minutes off the bench for the Rams.
Iverson MW Player of the Week...again
Senior C Colton Iverson had earned two Mountain West Player of the Week honors early in the season for Colorado State.
Iverson was named the Mountain West Player of the Week for the first time on Nov. 12 after leading the Rams with 18 points and eight rebounds in the Rams' season-opening victory over Montana (72-65).
The game marked Iverson's first in nearly 20 months after transferring to Colorado State from Minnesota and sitting out the 2011-12 campaign per NCAA transfer rules.
Iverson's second weekly honor came after Week 3 of the season, when he posted back-to-back double-doubles to lead the Rams to a pair of road victories at in-state rival Denver (16 points, 13 rebounds) and reigning Pac-12 regular-season champion Washington (13 points and 12 rebounds).
Streaking at home
Colorado State's current 16-game home-court win streak ranks seventh nationally entering Saturday's game vs. Evansville.
The Rams' Nov. 15 victory over Chadron State (93-50), the team's 15th straight at home, established a new Moby Arena record for the program, which the team extended with a Nov. 26 win over in-state rival Northern Colorado (85-69).
The Ram's current home streak is the second-longest all-time in school history behind a 22-game run between 1960-62 when Colorado State played still called South College Gym home.
The Rams make the short drive to Boulder, Colo., for the annual rivalry matchup against the No. 19/19-ranked Colorado Buffaloes.
Tipoff between the Rams and the Buffs is set for 8:30 p.m. MT on Wednesday evening as part of a double-header with the CSU-CU women's basketball showdown, which tips at 5:50 p.m. at the Coors Events Center.
The contest will mark the 121st in the series.
Colorado State has won two of the last three contests against CU, but dropped the last showdown in Boulder (2010-11) in overtime.