Nov 102004
Authors: Scott Bondy

CSU’s sibling school, CSU-Pueblo, will bring its Division II

men’s basketball team tonight to Moby Arena.

The game marks the second and final exhibition game before

season play begins for the Rams. After sneaking by with an 80-77

victory against Northern State, the Rams look to improve in this


“We’ve just got to get better,” said head coach Dale Layer. “We

need to continue to improve.”

One thing the Rams will benefit from is the presence of three

big men. CSU-Pueblo will most likely see a combination of the three

7-footers, giving the Rams the advantage in the paint.

Brian Vecchio, a 6-foot-9-inch forward, is the Thunderwolves’

tallest player as well as their leading scorer from last year.

Vecchio averaged 12 points and four rebounds per game last


“It feels good to have two other guys to play in the paint,”

said CSU center Matt Nelson. “We’ll have size coming off the bench

and it always helps having more guys swatting at rebounds.”

Against Northern State, nine out of the 13 Rams turnovers came

in the second half as they were outscored 42-37. They also allowed

Northern State to go on a 12-0 run in the second half.

“Defensively we weren’t very sharp,” Layer said. “As a team

we’re not on the same page enough to please me.”

However, this year’s roster brings balance with a variety of

experience levels. With senior leadership from starters Nelson, Jon

Rakiecki and Matt Williams, the Rams also bring in an impressive

freshman class with Sean Morris and Jason Smith.

“I think we have more talent than in the past,” Rakeicski said.

“But it doesn’t amount to anything if we don’t use it. We do know

the experience and talent is there though.”

Along with a new roster, Moby Arena will have a new feel to it

this season. Student seating has now been extended to the east end

of the court in addition to the west end.

‘Hopefully we can draw more students,” Nelson said. “We went

through some tough stretches last year with the fans, but we need

to bring them back and get a better atmosphere in here.”

Tonight’s tip-off is set for 7 p.m.

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