Review Category : Men’s Basketball

Sports-in-brief: UC Davis basketball loses three sophomores

UC Davis men’s basketball coach Jim Les announced Friday that sophomores Harrison Dupont, Alex Tiffin and Mike Kurtz would not be returning to the team next season. “We thank the players for their hard work and wish them the best in their future endeavors,” said Les. Dupont transferred to UC Davis in 2010 from the Citadel. After sitting out the 2010-11 season due to transfer restrictions, Dupont started 12 games this season, averaging 9 points per game. Tiffin played in all 30 of UC Davis’ games this season, starting 14 of them. He averaged 3.3 points and 2.7 rebounds per game. After averaging over 10 minutes per game in his freshman season, Kurtz did not make a single appearance for the Aggies in 2011-12. ­— Trevor Cramer ...

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Honorable Mention

Six-foot-nine sophomore Josh Ritchart developed tremendously in his first season under coach Jim Les. Always a great three-point shooter, this season Ritchart learned to get into the paint and find other ways to score; including getting the free throw line, something he rarely did last year. Ritchart averaged a team-high 11.3 points per-game and 27.7 minutes per-game while starting in 26 contests. Ritchart was the only Aggie to score 20 or more points in a game three times this season, with his season high 24 coming against Long Beach State in February. The sophomore recorded two double-doubles this year, the only Aggie to record more than one. As part of a core group of returning players for UC Davis, Ritchart will continue to develop under coach Les and will be a key scorer and defender for the Aggies next season. — Caelum Shove ...

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Guest Opinion

Dear Aggie Basketball Fans, Friends, Administrators and Supporters, As we conclude my first season as Head Basketball Coach, I wanted to take this opportunity to THANK YOU for your unbelievable energy, enthusiasm and support for our program this past season. We endured a lot of adversity in many different forms, but have continued to focus on building a foundation for Aggie Hoops that embodies work ethic, teamwork, character and pride in UC Davis. I am encouraged by the potential of UC Davis Basketball, and my vision of a packed Pavilion. Competing for a Big West Championship, and our first-ever NCAA bid while representing this university in a first-class manner continues to be our goal. There is excellence displayed all across this campus and with your continued help, support and commitment I believe excellence WILL happen for our basketball program also. Jim Les UC Davis men’s basketball coach ...

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Freshman of the Quarter

In his first season as an Aggie, Tyrell Corbin made an immediate impact at the point guard position. The six-foot South Carolina native started 23 of 31 games, averaging 23.5 minutes and 6.3 points-per-game. He had a team high 91 assists on the season. Corbin had a season high 16 points in the hope opener — the Aggies’ first win of the season against UC Santa Cruz. Despite being thrown to the wolves as a freshman point guard in the Big West Conference, Corbin’s game vastly improved as the year progressed. Under the guidance of Head Coach Jim Les, Corbin learned to get others involved in the offense, and by February was consistently finding teammates in the right spots. His defense also improved, and he finished the season with a team high 37 steals. With a core of freshman and sophomores returning for the Aggies next season, it’s likely that Corbin will be having the ball in his hands for the foreseeable future. — Caelum Shove ...

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Honorable Mention

The Aggies established leader on and off the court, senior Eddie Miller, did not have quite the season he was hoping for. But despite the injury problems that hampered the beginning of his season, Miller fought back to become one UC Davis’ most effective players. After missing five of the first seven contests due to a leg injury, Miller finished the season averaging 10.2 points and 4.8 rebounds-per-game. In the second half of the season Miller consistently showed why he was the Aggies’ leader with big hustle defensive plays and an explosive offensive game. In the biggest games of the season, Miller always rose to the occasion. He scored in double digits in seven of the final nine games of the year, including a team-high 17 points in the Aggies’ Big West Tournament game against Long Beach State. It is no surprise that Miller’s best game of the season resulted in the Aggies’ best win of the season. Miller recorded 17 points and 12 rebounds when the Aggies upset Cal... ...

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Aggies falls to 49ers to close season

The UC Davis men’s basketball 2011-12 season came to a close on Thursday when the Aggies were eliminated from the Big West Conference Tournament by would-be champion Long Beach State. The 80-46 loss brought the Aggies’ final season record to 5-26; which is the most losses in a season in school history. After the game on Thursday, Long Beach State won two more games in the tournament, defeating UC Santa Barbara on Saturday night in the championship to seal its spot in the NCAA Tournament. The final game for UC Davis, which was truly a mismatch between the eighth and first seeded teams, showed Head Coach Jim Les what he wants to see from his program in upcoming seasons. “I have a lot of respect for coach Monson and the program that he’s built,” Les said. “[He had] the patience to build a program and do it the right way, so I’m encouraged by that. [Long Beach State] is certainly one of the models we want to look at and... ...

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Men’s Basketball Preview

Teams: UC Davis vs. Long Beach State Records: Aggies 5-25 (3-13); 49ers 22-8 (15-1) Where: Honda Center — Anaheim, Calif. When: Tonight at 6 p.m.; TBD Who to watch: While defense will be paramount for the Aggies tonight against Long Beach State, the team must also find a way to score above its season-average 62.6 points per game. Whether or not UC Davis can do so could depend on its success from behind the three-point line, and no Aggie shoots it better or more often from long range than sophomore guard Tyler Les. Having made 79 three-pointers so far this season, Les needs just five more to eclipse the single-season UC Davis record for three-pointers made. The sophomore has made five or more three-pointers in a game twice this season, including a season-high eight threes on nine attempts at San Jose State in December. Did you know? The Aggies finished the regular season with a 5-25 overall record. It was the first 25-loss season in school history. Preview: The UC... ...

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Road woes continue

The UC Davis men’s basketball team was handed two tough losses in the final weekend of the regular season, putting the Aggies on the back foot as they prepare for their first postseason contest in two years. The Aggies could not dig out of an early hole on Thursday night at Cal Poly and lost 69-56. It was a similar story, though to a greater extent, in Saturday’s season finale 90-43 loss at UC Santa Barbara. The two contests were the 10th and 11th in Southern California for UC Davis this season; and the Aggies have lost all 11. UC Davis had a single road victory this regular season, Feb. 18 at Northern Arizona. The Aggies finish the 2011-12 regular season with a 5-25 record, 3-13 in Big West Conference play. The men’s basketball program last finished a season with five or fewer wins in 2006-07 when under previous Head Coach Gary Stewart. The Aggies have never previously lost 25 games in a season. Despite the season’s struggles, UC Davis... ...

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Men’s Basketball Preview

Teams: UC Davis at Cal Poly; at UC Santa Barbara Records: Aggies, 5-23 (3-11); Mustangs, 15-14  (6-8); Gauchos, 15-9 (9-4) Where: Mott Gym — Cal Poly, Calif.; The Thunderdome — Santa Barbara, Calif. When: Tonight at 7 p.m.; Saturday at 7 p.m. Who to watch: Sophomore Josh Ritchart is averaging 12.5 points and 5.4 rebounds per game in his second year as an Aggie. He is second on the team in three-pointers made with 67 on the season and shoots just under 40 percent from behind the arc. Despite Ritchart’s shooting ability, head coach Jim Les has challenged his 6-9 forward to become a more versatile player this season. The challenge has paid off. Ritchart averaged 18 points and 12 rebounds in two games last week. He also picked up two steals in each of the contests and had a potential game-saving block in the closing seconds against Cal State Fullerton. Ritchart was named the Big West Player of the Week for his efforts, the first such award an Aggie... ...

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Seniors go out with a win

UC Davis never trailed in Saturday night’s home finale en route to a 78-75 victory over the favored Cal State Fullerton Titans. The win was the Aggies’ fourth in their last six games and their second home win in a row. For seniors Adam Malik and Eddie Miller, a win over the second place Titans was the perfect way to close out a career in the Pavilion. “It was pretty emotional,” Malik said. “I didn’t get the opportunity to play last year but came back this year and there’s no better way to go out than with a W. I’m glad I had that opportunity.” Fellow senior Miller shared similar sentiments about his final game in the Pavilion. “It’s a great way to go out,” he said. “Not many people get to win their last home game and it’s a great opportunity and great experience here tonight and I can’t say enough about the support I’ve gotten over the years.” In front of one of their biggest crowds of the... ...

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Men’s Basketball Preview

Teams: UC Davis vs. Cal State Fullerton Records: Aggies, 4-23 (2-11); Titans, 18-7 (9-3) Where: The Pavilion When: Saturday at 7 p.m. Who to watch: At this time last year Adam Malik was just another UC Davis student, not a member of the NCAA Division I Aggie men’s basketball team. After playing in 32 games in 2009-10 season — he started in 10 of them, averaging 17.2 minutes and 4.6 points per game — Malik did not compete in the 2010-11 season. Having rejoined the team at the beginning of this season, the 6’8” senior from La Canada, Calif. is preparing to play in his final game in the Pavilion. “It’s really good to have Adam in the program,” first-year Head Coach Jim Les said. “He wanted to come back and we’ve been very fortunate to have him. He’s an outstanding young man … and he’s done a great job all year in practice working hard and competing and we’re certainly appreciative of him and his efforts.” In last weekend’s... ...

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Tales of two halves

The UC Davis men’s basketball team overcame a 19-point halftime deficit at Northern Arizona on Saturday night to earn its first road win of the year, beating the Lumberjacks 70-65. The team carried the momentum into Monday’s contest at Seattle University and led the Redhawks by 5 points at halftime. The Aggies couldn’t maintain the lead, though, as a first half shoulder injury to Paolo Mancasola left the team without a point guard. Regular starting point guard Tyrell Corbin was also unavailable for Monday’s contest, which the Aggies ultimately lost 59-73. Neither of the President’s day weekend games were a part of the Big West Conference schedule, and UC Davis now has an overall record of 4-23. Saturday — UC Davis 70, Northern Arizona 60 Still in search of their first road win of the year, the Aggies traveled to Northern Arizona over the weekend to play in an ESPN Sears BracketBuster game. After a listless first half that saw UC Davis trail by 21 points with only a few... ...

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Les-sanity in The Pavilion

In 2010, the UC Davis men’s basketball team defeated Pacific for the first time in 70 years. It didn’t take quite that long for the Aggies to repeat their victorious efforts over their Big West Conference rival this time. Five players scored in double figures for UC Davis, led by Harrison Dupont’s career-high 17 points and eight rebounds, as the Aggies sent the fans home happy after a 73-64 win over the Tigers on Valentine’s Day. With the victory, UC Davis improved to 3-22 overall and 2-11 in conference play, and is riding its first winning streak of the season. The Aggies came out shooting well, hitting 5-11 from three-point range and shooting over 45 percent from the floor in the first half. Tyler Les and Eddie Miller each had two shots from long distance in the opening frame, while Josh Ritchart contributed one of his own. Back-to-back three-pointers from Les and Ritchart gave UC Davis its first lead of the game, 17-14, 10 minutes into the contest, prompting Pacific... ...

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“Finally”

The UC Davis men’s basketball team won its first game since Nov. 15 this past Thursday in the Pavilion, beating Cal State Northridge 79-71. The win stopped an 18-game losing streak and was the team’s first against a Big West Conference opponent this year. “Finally,” said senior guard Eddie Miller, slumping into his chair in relief. “[It’s] long awaited and it feels great. That was quite a team effort; everybody stepped up and made plays.” Head coach Jim Les agreed that it was the team’s effort that led them to victory. “I couldn’t be more proud of this group,” Les said. “They’ve been resilient through some unbelievable adversity and continued to fight and progress and get better. “We had a group that played a ton of minutes, they were tired and they just battled and gutted out an unbelievable win so I’m really proud of them. [We had] so many contributions from so many different places.” The biggest contribution for UC Davis in its win over Cal State Northridge came... ...

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Men’s Basketball Preview

Teams: UC Davis vs. Cal State Northridge; vs. Long Beach State Records: Aggies, 1-21 (0-10); Matadors, 6-15 (2-8); 49ers, 17-6 (10-0) Where: The Pavilion When: Tonight at 8 p.m.; Saturday at 4 p.m. Who to watch: Since the beginning of the preseason head coach Jim Les has preached that the Aggies play with a defense first mentality. Despite his consistent message, Les has had trouble at times this season getting his players to commit to the defensive end of the floor. He may have found an answer in 6’7” freshman forward J.T. Adenrele. Though Adenrele has played sparingly this season, averaging just over 14 minutes per game, he has started in the last three games for UC Davis. “I’ve been working hard on the defensive end and getting rebounds which is what Coach wants me to do,” the broad-shouldered 18-year-old said. “Rebound and play defense hard and let the rest come to me.” “I’ve been doing a pretty good job of that in practice and it’s showed so [Coach has]... ...

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