At long last, CSU men’s and women’s basketball tip off their 2023-24 seasons tonight at Moby Arena.

And for Rams fans, this is an exciting start for what could be two of the best teams in Colorado State history in the sport.

If things go well for both CSU men’s and women’s basketball this year, each of them will be in postseason tournaments. Could that be in the NCAA Tournament? The NIT? Or CBI?

Only time will tell and that’s why they play the games.

Rams women’s hoops tips off tonight vs. Le Moyne College

For the first time in history, Colorado State basketball is home to the Mountain West Preseason Player of the Year in both women’s and men’s hoops in McKenna Hofschild and Isaiah Stevens.

Hofschild was last season’s Mountain West Player of the Year and is in line to win that award for a second straight time. She led the conference in points per game (20.6) and assists (222) and her 7.2 assists per game were fifth-most in the country. She also moved up to No. 2 all-time at Colorado State in assists behind Ellen Nystrom, and should be able to take that spot before Mountain West play begins.

Hofschild is the unquestioned leader of the Rams team. She’s the ball-handling floor general who sees the court excellently and always works to get her teammates an easy bucket, when she’s not busy filling up the cup.

She’s also one of eight seniors on this year’s team which is full of experience and chemistry.

Cailyn Crocker returns after her solid 2022-23 campaign averaging 10.6 points and 3.6 boards per game. In fact, the Rams return 74.5% of their scoring from last year, and Wofford transfer Jackie Carman should help fill the loss of Destiny Turner.

At Mountain West media days, Colorado State women’s hoops was picked to finish second in the conference behind UNLV.

Tonight, Hofschild and Co. face Le Moyne College at 5:30 pm MT at Moby Arena.

CSU men’s basketball starts season vs. Louisiana Tech

Following the women’s game, Colorado State made it a double header to tip off the season:

Just like Hofschild on the women’s side, Isaiah Stevens is the unquestioned leader from the point guard position on the men’s side for Colorado State.

Stevens passed the aforementioned Nystrom and became the all-time Colorado State assists leader last year. But, beyond individual rewards, the senior would like to go out a winner with the Rams.

The men’s team benefits from Patrick Cartier staying around, giving the Rams not only a superb point guard in Stevens, but a great, versatile big man in the 6’8″ Cartier. He enjoyed career-highs with 12.3 points and 3.1 rebounds per game last year, and looks to build on that this season.

Those two are joined by a bevy of transfers including Javonte Johnson, Nique Clifford, and Joel Scott. Plus, the CSU men’s team will get a boost from Josiah Strong, who earned a medical redshirt after being injured eight games into last season.

Clifford transferred from the rival Colorado Buffaloes, while Johnson transferred from Mountain West foe New Mexico. Both of them played together growing up in Colorado Springs, and that already formed chemistry should help the Rams get out to a hot start this year. Both of them are talented shooting guards who can do a lot on the court, including shoot from range. Strong and sophomore Jalen Lake will be key backup guards, filling in where and when needed.

And Scott is another big body, coming in at 6’7″ and 225 pounds, who has a chance to help transform the Colorado State front court.

The Mountain West is a tough conference, with San Diego State making the NCAA Tournament’s National Championship Game last year, along with Boise State, New Mexico, and Nevada, who are all ahead of CSU in fifth.

Still, fifth is a respectable ranking for the Rams, and no one knows for sure just how well they’ll play given their new group of talent.

For Stevens, he’d likely enjoy reaching the NCAA Tournament for the second time in his career, with the Rams reaching the Big Dance in 2021-22 with David Roddy as the star.

CSU men’s basketball tips off the season tonight at 8 p.m. MT against Louisiana Tech. For around $20, fans could see both games tonight as women’s tickets range from $6-12, and men’s tickets are $10-35.