44.7 F
Davis

Davis, California

Sunday, April 14, 2024

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 comeback win at Northern Arizona Malik scored a season high six points and recorded four rebounds. His back-to-back threes early in the second half were instrumental in the Aggie comeback.

Malik has averaged 8.1 minutes per game in his final season with the Aggies and has shot 16-40 from the field this season.

Did you know? After losing their first 21 games of the season against Division I opponents, the Aggies have won three out of their last five contests.
Preview: The final home game of the 2011-12 season will be senior day for Malik and fellow senior Eddie Miller.

Miller transferred to UC Davis after playing for two years at California, and has been a leader for the Aggies since his arrival on campus.

Miller’s game this season was hindered early on by a nagging leg injury, but the second half of the year has him return to his scoring ways. He has posted double digit points in eight of the last ten games.

Both Malik and Miller will be honored before Saturday’s contest.

After the brief festivities, the Aggies will be eager to get a second crack at Cal State Fullerton.

When UC Davis visited Fullerton at the end of December it lost 65-64 after having cut away the Titans’ 13 point second half lead.

Now in the tail end of the season, the Titans have established themselves as one of the premier teams in the conference, while the Aggies have struggled in Big West Conference play.

CSU Fullerton is in second place in the league and averages 77.3 points per game, the most of any team. The Titans also lead the conference in three-point field goal percentage and defensive rebounding.

“They’re a really good team,” Les said. “They shoot the ball very well. [Our success last time] was a combination of us playing good defense and they also missed some shots.

“It’s going to be paramount on Saturday that we’re solid defensively as a unit and we make sure we contest their shooters. They can really be explosive and put up points in a hurry.”

The Aggies will be lifted by the return of freshman guards Tyrell Corbin and Paolo Mancasola.

Corbin missed the last game due to injury and Mancasola went down after playing only 13 minutes. Without the two guards, UC Davis struggled to find any offensive rhythm.

Injuries have been a consistent problem for the Aggies this season. Ryan Sypkens was lost for the season after just four games and Ryan Howley has not played in the last nine contests. Miller also missed six games due to injury.

The Aggies will look for a scoring lift from Harrison DuPont, who has averaged 17 points and 6.6 rebounds in his last three games.

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