Men’s basketball preview

Teams: UC Davis at Sacramento State
Records: Aggies 0-2, Hornets 3-0
Where: The Nest — Sacramento, Calif.
When: Tuesday night 7:35 p.m.
Who to watch: The Aggies have placed a huge emphasis on the importance of rebounding this season. Senior Ryan Howley has taken the message to heart, earning 22 rebounds through the first two games. Sixteen of his grabs have come on the defensive end of the paint, which is exactly what the UC Davis defense needs to do this year.
The Flagstaff, Ariz. native was bested by his hometown Northern Arizona team in a 85-82 contest. The senior almost completed his second double-double of the season, managing 9 rebounds and 10 points.
Did you know? Sophomore Corey Hawkins earned 30 points in his second ever collegiate game. He is the first Aggie to break the 30-point mark in a game since Eddie Miller scored 35 against UC Riverside last February.
Preview: UC Davis is an incredibly dynamic team and while they are currently 0-2, that record should start to turn around soon.
This is a new roster that is reliant on the talents and poise of younger players. This will be Hawkins’ third ever game for UC Davis and yet the expectations surrounding his performance harken back to the days of former Aggie Mark Payne.
The loss to Northern Arizona was a disappointment, but it was far from a blow out. The Aggies had some defensive struggles early but they were able to turn it around and go on a run at the end that almost toppled the Lumberjacks’ lead.
Sacramento State is another talented rival with an electric roster. UC Davis is headed to hostile territory, but they cannot afford to repeat the same first half mistakes they made on Sunday.
This is not a team that can play from behind. Indeed, this is a team with enough offensive skill that it should not have to come from behind. Connecting that incredible offense with a strong defense has been their goal for the year and the Aggies have made improvements even though they have yet to walk away with a win.
Coach Les has complimented his team’s work ethic to date.
“They’re here and they’re putting the hours in. It will come together soon,” he said.
This is the second Causeway Classic in two weeks, since football matched up with Sac State last Saturday.
It is now a matter of when for the Aggies. This group wants a win badly and they may be able to pull it off against the Hornets. In fact, a victory in Sacramento would give them the confidence they will need as they head on a road trip to Nevada and Idaho.

— Kim Carr

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