The NCAA basketball regular season is now underway. Tonight the Rams will embark on their 102nd season in school history when they travel to Greeley to take on neighbor school, the University of Northern Colorado.
CSU cruised to an undefeated pre-season against Regis University and CSU-Pueblo. The Rams were led by 7-foot sophomore Jason Smith, who averaged 18 points, 6.5 rebounds and tallied a total of 13 blocks in the two contests. The Rams will also sport a roster that has eight players who have yet to see Division I action.
Junior transfer Michael Harrison posted 16 points per game, including a 25-point performance versus Regis. The 6-foot-9 forward will start alongside Jason Smith and junior Freddy Robinson at the forward positions. Redshirt freshman Ryan Brown will start at guard next to junior transfer Cory Lewis, who will run the point.
The Bears come into Friday's game at 0-2 after competing in the Guardians Classic in Kentucky. The Bears suffered a 72-69 loss to Lipscomb and had a 61-59 heartbreaking loss against South Dakota State.
UNC is led by Colorado natives and sophomore stand-outs Kirk Archibeque, who is averaging 16.5 points along with 12 rebounds per contest, as well as Sean Taibi, who is tallying 14.5 points a game for the Bears.
History is on the Rams' side in their '05 season opener. CSU is 5-0 under Dale Layer in regular season openers and 74-27 overall, winning their last 24 in a row.
CSU will also look to end a dreaded 20-game road losing streak dating all the way back to 2003.
The Rams will try and get their new fast break offense up and running at the beginning of the game. They had a total 19 fast break points in the preseason.
The Bears of Greeley will be competing against CSU's new full-court trap that neither Regis nor CSU-Pueblo could handle. It forced multiple turnovers that led to several Ram points on the other end.
This will be the 20th season opener against Northern Colorado, with the Rams holding a 13-6 advantage.
Here's a look at what's coming up for the Rams:
Tonight at University of Northern Colorado 7 p.m.
11/21 vs. Colorado 8 p.m.
11/23 vs. North Dakota State 7 p.m.
11/26 at Denver (Pepsi Center) 6 p.m.
11/28 vs. Auburn 7 p.m.