Colorado State men’s basketball opened the 2017-18 season with a 86-75 exhibition victory over Colorado Mesa University Friday night in Moby Arena.
The preseason contest will not count towards the Rams’ regular season record, but the exhibition did provide head coach Larry Eustachy his first look at this year’s squad against opposing competition.
Suiting up for the first time without last year’s senior duo of Gian Clavell and Emmanuel Omogbo, an inexperienced Rams unit looked like a team that is still discovering itself. CSU led throughout the majority of the game, but inconsistent shooting allowed CMU to hang around until the end.
Playing in his first game since January, senior forward Che Bob led the Rams in scoring with 28 points, finishing 6-of-10 from the field and knocking down 14-of-18 free throw attempts. The former junior college transfer also did his part on the glass, totaling 12 rebounds against the Mavericks.
Along with Bob, Rams starters Nico Carvacho (11), J.D. Paige (12) and Prentiss Nixon (16) finished the night in double-digits as well.
Sophomore guard Raquan Mitchell finished his Ram debut with a modest 10-point performance. The South Plains (JuCo) transfer showed off his athleticism though, finishing up above the rim on multiple occasions, including a powerful one-handed dunk in the first half.
Although it did not play much of a factor into the final outcome, CMU head coach Andy Shantz was ejected from the game early in the second half.
CSU will hit the court again Sunday for a charity exhibition against the University of Northern Colorado. The game will tipoff at 5:00 p.m. and all proceeds will be donated in relief of Puerto Rico.
Collegian sports director Justin Michael can be reached by email at email@example.com or Twitter @JustinTMichael.