Dec 27, 2012 7:09 PM by Andrew Masuda

Mustangs hit the road for Big West opener

The Cal Poly men's basketball team hit the road Thursday for UC Riverside, where the Mustangs will open Big West Conference play on Saturday. The Mustangs finished the preseason with a 4-6 record after losing their last two at Santa Clara by 8 and at Washington by 13 points.

UC Riverside enters 3-9 and lost its last time out by 8 to the Air Force Academy.

The Mustangs feel their challenging preseason schedule helped to prepare them for conference.

"It's huge. I mean we were all excited because we know this is what we're training for. The preseason is kind of like the Olympic Trials for the sprinters, you know you train through it like Usain Bolt. And then you come into the Olympics, which is our conference season, and you hope to strive for the best," said junior forward Chris Eversley, who leads the team with 16 points and almost 8 rebounds per game.

"We know that conference is where we want to succeed the most, and that's what matters in the end, the Conference Tournament. We want to make the NCAA Tournament and to set us up for that we need to do well every game in conference," added senior guard Dylan Royer, who ranks third on the team at 10 points per game. The Morro Bay High graduate is hitting 39 percent of his shots from three-point range.

Tip off on Saturday is at 1pm.

Cal Poly was picked to finish seventh in the Preseason Coaches Poll.

The Mutangs are 5-11 in sixteen previous Big West openers and 3-4 in league openers on the road.

The Mustangs return home to host Long Beach State next Thursday and UC Irvine next Saturday, January 5.



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