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Davis, California

Friday, May 24, 2024

Comeback Team of the Year: Men’s Basketball

In just his second year with the Aggies, coach Jim Les has made a remarkable turnaround with the program. The season highlights include a nationally televised game that was decided in the final few seconds and Big West recognition. The 2012-13 season has been one of the most successful campaigns for UC Davis since their transition to Division I competition.

The Aggies saw a nine-win improvement in their overall record compared to last season. UC Davis won more games due to its disciplined defense and precise offense.

The high level of play by the Aggies caught the attention of ESPN, as they chose to broadcast UC Davis’ home game against Long Beach State. This game was the first-ever nationally televised game at the Pavilion.

In a packed house, the Aggies fought valiantly, but lost to Long Beach State by a point. Although the final result did not end with a victory, both conference and network officials were impressed with the way UC Davis competed. The Aggies may have earned additional television appearances in the near future.

“The energy from the crowd and atmosphere was amazing,” said coach Jim Les. “I’ve been to a lot of arenas and a lot of places; this building took a backseat to nobody tonight.”

The Aggies will continue to take the next step as 84 percent of the offense will return next season. These include All-Big West First Team Honoree sophomore Corey Hawkins, Davis career three-point record holder junior Ryan Sypkens and the shot-blocking big man sophomore J.T. Adenrele.

Although the program will be losing seniors Ryan Howley and Paolo Mancasola, joining the Aggies next season will be Brynton Lemar. Lemar, who played at St. Augustine High School, averaged 21.0 points per game, 8.2 rebounds and 7.0 assists. He will be an asset for UC Davis next year.

“His skills, along with his work ethic and character, will make him a big contributor to the future success of UC Davis basketball,” Les said, describing the combo-guard.
UC Davis hopes to build on its success from this season and make a serious postseason run in the future.

— Shaun Moncada


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