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Davis, California

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Men’s basketball Preview

Teams: UC Davis vs. Northern Arizona
Records: Aggies 0-1, Lumberjacks 0-2
Where: ARC Pavilion — Davis, Calif.
When: Sunday at 2 p.m.
Who to watch: Sunday’s game will provide Aggie fans their first chance to watch sophomore Corey Hawkins in action. The Goodyear, Ariz. native will also get a chance to showcase his talents against a team from his home state.
Hawkins emphasized the team above personal glory.

“It doesn’t matter as long as the team walks away with a win,” he said.

He played his first game in Aggie Blue against Oklahoma State last week and has already started to establish himself as a dominant talent on the court. He led the Aggies in scoring with 13 points and pulled in three rebounds to boot.
Did you know? Northern Arizona lost their last game against No. 18 University of Nevada, Las Vegas. The Rebels held the Lumberjacks to a dismal 25.8 shot percentage in the first half.
This will be a perfect opportunity for UC Davis to try out their new defensive schemes and see if they can match the results of one of the best teams in the nation.
Preview: Northern Arizona started its season much like UC Davis. They earned two wins over weaker teams in exhibition games and since then, they lost to Oregon and have been blown out by UNLV.
UC Davis started with two wins in exhibition games and a close loss against Oklahoma State last week.
However, both teams are hungry for their first official win this season, and UC Davis may have the competitive edge.
The Lumberjacks have a strong offense, but they have been unable to perform defensively. Opponents have averaged 78.25 points per game against Northern Arizona and the Aggies’ explosive offensive should be able to exploit their weaknesses for an easy win.
The real challenge for UC Davis will be maintaining control and momentum on the defensive end of the paint. The Lumberjacks have some amazing freshman talent as well, and the Aggies will need to be mindful of DeWayne Russell this Sunday.
Russell led the Lumberjacks in scoring against UNLV, posting 16 points against the Rebels’ top-twenty defense. The freshman has consistently scored double digits for Northern Arizona ,and he is a threat from all areas of the paint.
The task of guarding Russell will fall to the big men in the middle. Sophomore J.T. Adenrele and junior Josh Ritchart will share the job of guarding against drivers up the middle and grabbing any rebounds they can.
Sunday’s game promises to be a return to the physical fundamentals of basketball. This new roster has plenty of chemistry and they have the talent to take UC Davis far this year.

—Kim Carr


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