I'm excited about getting my first look at both of the ISU basketball teams Friday night. (I stayed over in San Luis on Monday to visit family, so I missed the first men's exhibition.) There are lots of new faces on both teams, starting at the top with new women's coach Seton Sobolewski (heretofore to be known as "Coach S."), who will unveil his new motion offense in this, the post-Doma-Lightfoot era.
I don't know if Felix Caspari or Kal Bay, two of the more intriguing newcomers to the men's team, will play Friday night, but I hope so. I'm also looking forward to seeing big Davidas Busma (pictured above) and little Sherrod Baldwin for the first time. As I noted in a previous blog, we're all a little smitten with the possibilities of new players, but I know that guys like Amorrow Morgan and Matt Stucki are going to have to carry this team, at least for the first few months of the season.
The Bengals will probably be tested a bit more against Rocky Mountain College than they were in their opener. The Battlin' Bears are coming off a 22-9 season last year, and are 3-0 against an admittedly soft early schedule this season. I know this much: Bengal Coach Joe O'Brien will not be happy if Rocky Mountain matches the 69 points they put up against ISU in last season's exhibition game. The Bengals were outscored 43-37 in the second half of that contest (which ISU won, 84-69), and that kind of defensive effort is likely to spark that famous O'Brien Irish temper.
Rocky Mountain again features a familiar name to Bengal fans -- Chase Sukut, whose brother Chad played under former ISU Coach Doug Oliver several years ago. Sukut, who began his college career at Wisconsin-Green Bay, dropped 22 points on the Bengals last year, and was the leading scorer for the Bears with a 17-point a game average on the season. Also back for RMC is forward Devin Uskoski, who had 9 points and 8 boards against the Bengals last year.
I hope to see you all at Reed for the men's/women's doubleheader, beginning at 5:45 p.m. Friday. Drop by the broadcast table and say hello. Jerry and I will be on the air with our pre-game show about 30 minutes before the men's game, which will begin about 7:45 p.m. or so.
And thanks for being a Bengal fan. It ain't always easy, but it's always fun.