Men Open Basketball Season Friday Night
BOULDER - The Colorado men's basketball team officially tips-off the 2002-03 season this Friday, Nov. 22 against California Polytechnic State University at the Coors Events Center. The game follows the CU women's team, who also open the 2002-03 season against Rice University at 5:45 p.m.
The Buffs will turn to an experienced upperclassmen group this season in senior 6'8"forward Stephane Pelle (12.8 ppg., 10.8 rpg.) and 7'0" sophomore David Harrison (13.9 ppg., 7.0 rpg.) that features 15 home games and 29 games on its 2002-03 slate. After Friday's game with Cal Poly, CU returns to the court on Sunday, Nov. 24 to take on Stetson University (Fla.) at 7 p.m.
The frontcourt presence of Pelle and Harrison make Colorado a dominant force on the frontline that was featured among national preseason publications as one of the 10 best frontcourts in the country. Pelle returns as the lone Big 12 player to average a double-double (points, rebounds), while Harrison ranked third nationally in field goal percentage (.638), in addition to leading the Buffaloes in scoring.
Junior guard Michel Morandais (6'5", 10.9 ppg., 4.5 rpg.) and junior-transfer Lamar Harris (6'7", 12.4 ppg., 8.4 rpg. at Compton CC) provide additional size and strength at their respective roles at the guard and forwards spots. The Buffs also feature junior 6'6" guard Blair Wilson, who last year not only averaged 12.3 points a game, but provided the CU long-shooting threat beyond the three-point line that generated 76 treys last season.
Freshman 5'10" point-guard Antoine McGee will get the nod as the floor general during his initial season. McGee will be the second point-guard in the Patton tenure to be named the starter since Jose Winston earned the roll during the 1998-99 season. McGee takes over indefinitely for senior James Wright, who is suspended from game competition after his alleged legal problems off the court. Wright is allowed to practice with the team and his status with the University of Colorado will be determined.
Cal Poly represents the Big West Conference and returns 10 starters and four senior starters from a team that went 15-12 last season (9-9 in conference play/sixth place). The Mustangs began Division I competition in 1994-95 and lost seven games last season by an average of 5.7 points, however are coming off its first winning season in six years. Junior center Varnie Dennis is the only Mustangs player averaging double-digit points (14.7) from last season.