November 11, 2010
By Tony Phifer
The CSU men's and women's basketball teams, both looking to build up last year's progress, open their seasons at home this weekend.
Senior forward Andy Ogidge will lead the Rams on Saturday night when they host Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
Optimism will be in the air this weekend as the Colorado State men’s and women’s basketball teams open their 2010-11 seasons with home games.
The women’s team tips off the season at 7 tonight, hosting Northern Iowa at Moby Arena, while the men’s team hosts Arkansas-Pine Bluff at 7 p.m. Saturday.
Both teams enter the season with high expectations after solid finishes last season. The women’s team was 13-17, a four-win improvement over the previous year, while the men’s team finished 16-16 and played in the College Basketball Invitational – CSU’s first postseason appearance since 2003.
Forward Kim Mestdagh will lead the women’s team this season. The junior from Belgium was a second-team all-Mountain West Conference selection last year after averaging 16.3 points and 5.4 rebounds. She is the MWC’s top returning scorer.
Fourth-year coach Kristen Holt returns all but one letter winner from last year’s team, including forward Chatilla van Grinsven, a junior forward from The Netherlands who averaged 12 points and 6.1 rebounds. The Rams should also get a boost from four incoming freshmen.
Northern Iowa should provide a significant opening-night test for the Rams. The Panthers won the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament last year and qualified for the NCAA Tournament. Seniors Lizzie Boeck and junior Jacqui Kalin are UNI’s top returning players.
Men’s coach Tim Miles also has a veteran roster, led by senior forwards Andy Ogide and Travis Franklin, who averaged 11.7 and 10.5 points last year, respectively. The Rams return all five starters and will be bolstered by the addition of several freshmen and transfers.
Like the women’s team, the Rams will be facing a 2010 NCAA Tournament team in Arkansas-Pine Bluff. The Golden Lions provided one of the more unique stories in college basketball last season, losing their first 11 games before winning 14 of 18 and capturing the Southwestern Athletic Conference Tournament title.
Tickets for all men’s and women’s home games are available online or by calling (970) 491-RAMS. Fans can exchange a ticket stub from Saturday's CSU-BYU football game for a $5 ticket to the men's game that night.