Men's Basketball Travels to Colorado Christian Tuesday
The Northern Colorado men's basketball team returns to action Tuesday evening when it travels to Lakewood to face Colorado Christian University. Tipoff is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. at CCU's Cougar Fieldhouse. Following Tuesday's game, the Bears return to Butler-Hancock Hall Friday for a 6:00 p.m. showdown with Chadron State. That game serves as the first game of a doubleheader with the UNC women, who play Metro State at 8:00 p.m. The following evening (Dec. 4), the men host Colorado Mines at 8:00 p.m. as the second part of a doubleheader with the women playing host to Mesa State at 6:00 p.m.
The Bears are currently 1-2 on the season, following last Monday's 76-60 loss to Southern Colorado in the home opener. UNC opened the season with an impressive 106-76 win over Palm Beach Atlantic at the Colorado Mines Classic November 19. Since then, UNC has dropped two straight contests.
Colorado Christian enters play with an overall record of 1-3. Chadron State is 1-2 and plays Black Hills State Tuesday before arriving in Greeley. Colorado School of Mines currently has a record of 3-1. The Orediggers host Mesa State Wednesday in their only action prior to Saturday's contest at Butler-Hancock Hall.
On the Air
All three men's basketball games this week will be broadcast live on KFKA-AM (1310) with Mike Rice calling all of the play-by-play action. Tune in 15 minutes before tipoff for the Bears' Basketball Pregame Show. KFKA will once again broadcast every conference game and most non-conference games.
On the Internet
Every UNC men's basketball game which is broadcast on KFKA-AM radio can also be heard on-line by logging onto www.uncbears.com, the "Official Web Site of UNC Athletics". Simply click on the "Audio/Video" button on the front page of www.uncbears.com and follow the easy instructions to hear the Bears live!
UNC head coach Craig Rasmuson is in his first season leading the men's basketball program. A 1990 graduate of Ashland University, Rasmuson arrived at UNC after serving as the head coach at Lincoln Memorial University (Harrogate, Tenn.) for five seasons. His overall record currently stands at 67-68 (.496). In 1998, Rasmuson was named Gulf South Conference Coach of the Year for leading the Railsplitters to a 19-8 record.
Colorado Christian is coached by Bill Perkins who is in his second season at the school. Under Perkins' direction, the Cougars posted a 4-22 record last season.
Chadron State head coach Dan Beebe is in his third season at the helm of the Eagle program. A 1992 graduate of Chadron State, Beebe has posted a record of 23-32 (.418), while at his alma mater.
Colorado Mines is coached by Tim Harrison, who is in his third year at the school. A graduate of UC-Santa Barbara, he has a record of 13-38 (.255) at Mines.
Tuesday's meeting with Colorado Christian will be the fifth meeting between the two schools with the Cougars holding a 3-1 edge in previous meetings. The teams' last contest was during the 1996-97 season, which the Cougars won 75-71 in Lakewood.
UNC and Chadron State have met 14 times prior to this Friday's contest. The Bears hold a commanding 11-3 advantage in the all-time series. The teams met twice during the 1994-95 season with UNC taking both games (102-83, 92-78).
Saturday's meeting with Colorado Mines will mark the 129th meeting between the intrastate rivals. UNC has faced Mines more than any single opponent in the school's history, with the rivalry with Western State coming in a close second (127 games). The Bears have a record of 97-31 against the Orediggers, but fell 76-72 earlier this year in Golden. Last season, UNC swept the season series, winning 63-57 in Golden and 70-50 at the Colorado-Colorado Springs Tournament.
Scouting the Cougars
Colorado Christian enters Tuesday's game with an overall record of 1-3. The Cougars are led the inside combination of twin brothers Nikos Topouzis (6-9, junior) and Thanasis Topouzis (6-9, sophomore). Nikos, a junior is averaging 15.3 points and 7.5 rebounds per outing, while brother Thanasis is posting 14.5 points and 8.8 boards.
Junior guard Prentis Baker leads the team in scoring with 16.0 points on 43.4 percent shooting from the field. The 6-6 junior from Chicago also contributes 4.8 rebounds per outing.
Scouting the Eagles
Chadron State enters the week with a record of 1-2. The Eagles dropped the first two games of their season to Minnesota State (90-77) and Winona State (70-66). CSC notched its first win of the season, defeating South Dakota Tech 74-55, behind forward Kweemada King's 32 points.
King, a 6-4 senior, leads the Eagles in scoring with 26.7 points per game. Senior forward Otis Frazier contributes 18.0 points and 8.0 boards per outing. As a team, CSC is shooting 36.2 percent from the field and 30.4 percent from three-point territory. The Eagles average 72.3 points per game, while their opponents tally 71.7.
Scouting the Orediggers
Colorado School of Mines has opened the season with three victories in their first four games. The Orediggers have notched wins over Dakota State (81-73), UNC (76-72) and Sterling College (83-58), while their lone loss was to Lewis-Clark State College (101-78).
Sophomore guard Justin Kaliszewski averaged 22.0 points in the Orediggers' first two games of the season, but he did not see action last weekend due to injury. His status for this week's games is unknown. Junior forward Ben Esplin (6-6, 210) has tallied 15.0 points and 4.0 rebounds per game, while freshman center Mike McNish (6-8, 200) has contributed 10.0 points and 8.0 rebounds.
Deadly from "Downtown"
Through three games, the Bears have connected on 42 percent of their three-point field goal attempts, hitting 26-of-62 from behind the arc. Senior forward Pierre Elize has led the charge hitting an incredible of 11-of-15 (.733) treys. Against Palm Beach Atlantic, the Los Angeles native was six-of-six from three-point range setting a UNC record for made three-pointers in a game without a miss. Incidentally, the Bears have held their opponents to a dismal 11-for-41 (.268) from long range.
Double Your Pleasure
Junior power forward Maseo Grant (6-7, 212) has begun his UNC career in impressive fashion. Through three games, the Waldorf (Iowa) College transfer has notched two double-doubles and fell one rebound short in the Bears' other game. Grant opened the season with a 10-point, 12-rebound performance in the Bears' 106-76 win over Palm Beach Atlantic November 19. The following evening, the Houston native tallied 15 points and nine boards against Colorado Mines. Grant had his best day in a UNC uniform against Southern Colorado, when he notched a team-high 18 points and 11 rebounds. In that game, he connected on 10-of-11 from the free throw line.
Bears Get (Wooden) Floored
For the first time since Butler-Hancock Hall opened during the 1974-75 season, UNC will play its home games on a wooden floor. Last Tuesday (Nov. 23), a portable wooden floor was installed in the arena. Prior to arriving in Greeley, the floor was used by the Denver Nuggets at McNichols Arena last season.
Martinez Continues to Climb All-Time Career Lists
Senior guard Carlos Martinez is certainly leaving his mark in the UNC recordbook The Denver native currently ranks sixth on the UNC all-time career assist list with 245. He also ranks fifth in steals (89), fourth in three-point field goals made (106) and fifth in three-point field goals attempted (294).
Blue & Gold Luncheon
Head coach Craig Rasmuson, as well as all in-season coaches, will speak at the weekly Blue & Gold Luncheon every Monday at the Eighth Street Grill (701 8th Street). The luncheon begins at noon and costs $7, which includes a choice of entree and beverage. The Blue & Gold Luncheons are open to the public.
Following this week's action, the Bears have 11 days off before returning to action Wednesday, December 15 when they travel to Nebraska to face Chadron State. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Northern Colorado Probable Starters
No. Pos. Name PPG RPG 44 G Dean Grable (6-0, 220, Sr.) 10.0 1.7 21 G Carlos Martinez (5-8, 162, Sr.) 11.0 2.3 45 C Mike Sehringer (6-7, 220, Jr.) 10.3 6.0 24 F Pierre Elize (6-3, 205, Sr.) 16.3 4.7 42 F Maseo Grant (6-7, 212, Jr.) 14.3 10.7
Colorado Christian Probable Starters
No. Pos. Name PPG RPG 3 G Prentis Baker (6-6, Jr.) 16.0 4.8 5 G Jermaine Anderson (6-3, Sr.) 8.3 3.3 22 G Matt Chambless (6-5, So.) 7.8 1.8 53 F Nikos Topouzis (6-9, Jr.) 15.3 7.5 55 F Thanasis Topouzis (6-9, So.) 14.5 8.8
Chadron State Probable Starters
No. Pos. Name PPG RPG 3 G Tim Kamerzell (6-3, So.) 8.3 1.7 20 G Bret Bondegard (5-11, Sr.) 6.0 4.0 23 F Otis Frazier (6-3, Sr.) 18.0 8.0 32 F Kweemada King (6-4, Sr.) 26.7 5.3 42 F Zak Kennedy (6-5, Jr.) 8.0 7.0
Colorado Mines Probable Starters
No. Pos. Name PPG RPG 32 G Kez Kennedy (6-5, 190, Jr.) 10.3 4.8 33 G Sam Handsborough (5-11, 170, Jr.) 9.5 2.5 55 C Mike McNish (6-8, 200, Fr.) 10.0 8.0 30 F Justin Buckmaster (6-6, 195, Fr.) 6.0 3.3 52 F Ben Esplin (6-6, 210, Jr.) 15.0 4.0