Rams Open Men's Hoops Season, Hosting BCA Tourney

Colorado State University's men's basketball team raises the curtain on the 2002-03 regular season Saturday, Nov. 19, when the Rams play Indiana-Purdue-Fort Wayne University at 3:30 p.m. in Moby Arena. The game is the first for third-year coach Dale Layer's team as part of the four-team, three-game Dell BCA Invitational being hosted by Colorado State.

Following a day off on Sunday, the Rams are back on the court Monday night, Nov. 18, facing Florida Atlantic at 7:30 p.m. The Rams conclude the invitational against Cleveland State at 8 p.m. on Tuesday night, Nov. 19.

When the Rams open the 2002-03 season, they will have in tow a 21-game home opening game win streak intact. Colorado State has not lost a home opener since the 1980-81 season, 69-64 to Oklahoma State. Head coach Layer is 2-0 in home openers. Tournament organizers of the Dell BCA Invitational have announced plans in conjunction with Fox Sports Net to televise the final game of the tournament on Tuesday night, Nov. 19. The game pits host Colorado State against Cleveland State. The game will begin at 8 p.m. MST. Other telecast plans including play-by-play and color analyst duties are pending. Colorado State and the other competing teams in the Dell BCA Invitational will use experimental college rules as proposed by the NCAA. The rules include:
----The 3-point shooting line will be moved back 9 inches, from its current distance (19'9") to 20'6".

----The free throw lane will be widened by 2" on each side, similar to the distance used in the NBA;

----The first free throw lane block in each side will be relocated toward the free throw line, 8' from the baseline (the one-foot block), then three feet between blocks.

One other permanent rule change will be in affect this season: all free throw lane spaces must be occupied and no space can be skipped.

Following the Rams' three games in the Dell BCA Invitational, Colorado State returns to the floor on Monday night, Nov. 25, playing host to Texas A&M-Kingsville. Tipoff time is 7 p.m. Colorado State then faces its first road games of the year following four home dates to open the season. The Rams play at Southern Illinois on Wednesday, Nov. 27, and three days later, Saturday, Nov. 30, Colorado State concludes the two-game trip with a 1 p.m. game at Arkansas-Little Rock. Injury Update: G Derrick Stevens is shelved for two to three weeks after breaking his right thumb and undergoing surgery Oct. 30. G Jon Rakiecki underwent surgery Nov. 7 to repair an ankle injury and is scheduled to return sometime after the first of the year.

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