Preview: Colorado Christian comes to Moby Arena for the first time

The Niko Medved era technically began last Saturday with an exhibition victory over CSU Pueblo, but Colorado State men’s basketball officially opens the regular season Wednesday night against Colorado Christian University.

The visiting Cougars return an experienced squad that includes three starters from last season. The team did lose its leading scorer, Isaiah Hanson, but CCU will benefit from the experience of Jeremiah Hanson (15 points per game) and Stefan Hackethal (13.7 points per game), both of which averaged double digit figures in 2017-18.

Senior guard J.D. Paige works on defense with assistant coach J.R. Blount during practice.   PHOTO:   Justin Michael | Rams Report

Senior guard J.D. Paige works on defense with assistant coach J.R. Blount during practice. PHOTO: Justin Michael | Rams Report


Led by second-year head coach Jeff Hironaka, the Cougars faced a pair of local Division 1 opponents in the preseason. CCU lost to Northern Colorado by 32 on Oct. 30, and then narrowly was defeated by Wyoming on Nov. 1.

In the two exhibition contests, the Cougars were paced by J. Hanson (14 points per game) and Justin Engesser (13.5 points per game). Slowing down these two will be crucial for CSU’s ability to come away with a home victory.

The Wednesday night showdown will be the first-ever meeting between the two in-state programs. It will be a counting game for the Rams, but an exhibition for the Division II Cougars.