A lot has been said about the talent on the CSU men’s basketball roster this year. Now fans will have a chance to see for themselves Friday night when the team holds an open practice at Moby Arena.
The Rams went through a bit of a rebuild in 2013-2014 and posted a 16-16 record while finishing ninth in the conference. The team will look to bounce back and the open-practice should give fans a sneak-peek at the upcoming season.
“What [fans] should expect is that the future is bright,” head coach Larry Eustachy. “We’ve got an anchor in this program.”
A lot has changed since the end of the Tim Miles era, and Eustachy emphasized that he is happy with where the team is at after significant changes to the roster over the past two seasons.
“It’s been a quick changing of the guard, if you will,” Eustachy said. “I like the position the program is in with older players, very good younger players, a great recruiting class coming in. I think we’ve finally got it to where we don’t have to dip a lot when we have good teams.”
CSU returns their two best scorers from last season in all-Mountain West selections JJ Avila and Daniel Bejarano. Joe DeCiman, the fourth-highest scorer and a consistent starter from last season is back as well and the Rams will be able to depend on the services of Stanton Kidd and Dantiel Daniels who were both named top-40 Impact Transfers by Sports Illustrated.
Eustachy landed another big-time transfer in Antwan Scott. The senior guard from Grambling State is eligible to play this year and should help fill the void left by Jon Octeus who transferred to Purdue. Newcomers Fred Richardson and Gian Clavell could also see significant action this year though their faces might be unfamiliar to most Ram fans.
“As far as this team, it’s one of the deeper teams I’ve ever had,” Eustachy said. “Some of the best teams I’ve had we only play eight or nine guys anyway. We’ve been eight-deep, nine-deep, but we’re 13-deep.”
With so much depth on this year’s squad, no one is guaranteed minutes. Friday night’s practice will give fans a chance to see for themselves who might be most deserving of the starting spots and big minutes off of the bench.
“That’s going to be interesting to see how it works out, and who plays,” Eustachy said. “We can’t play 13 guys so it’s going to be interesting to see who wins the war of the minutes.”
The team will run practice drills and a live scrimmage Friday night, as well as introduce every member of the 2014-2015 roster. Parking and admission are both free.
“I’m excited for them to play against somebody else,” Eustachy said. “We have four fifth-year seniors that have a lot of experience and the best thing we could do, if we can’t play against somebody else, is at least play against each other in a game-type environment.”
The open-practice takes place Friday from 6-7:15 p.m. at Moby Arena. CSU opens their regular season against the Montana Grizzlies on Friday, November 15.
Collegian Sports Reporter Emmett McCarthy can be reached by email at email@example.com and on Twitter at @emccarthy22.