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Davis

Davis, California

Friday, February 23, 2024

Let the Season Commence

Teams: UC Davis at Portland Pilots

Records: Aggies, 0-0 (0-0); Pilots, 0-0 (0-0)

Where: Chiles Center – Portland, Ore.

When: Friday, Nov. 8 at 7:30 p.m.

Who to Watch:

All eyes will be on junior guard Corey Hawkins, as he enters his second season as an Aggie. Finishing last season ranked 13th in the nation in scoring with 20.3 points per game, Hawkins has already received national acclaim, including being named mid-major All American, and earning a spot in this year’s Big West Preseason Media All-Conference Team. Hawkins was also an honorable mention as one of the top 50 best talents to watch for during the 2013-2014 season, based on USA Today’s Jason McIntyre.

Did you know?

Last season, UC Davis hosted Long Beach State in its first nationally televised men’s basketball game from The Pavillion. Based on last year’s nationally televised appearance, UC Davis will make its first televised appearance at Utah on Nov. 15 and at Stanford Dec. 14, both on the Pac-12 Network. The Aggies may also have the chance to be aired on ESPN U or ESPN 2 later in the year.

Preview:

Men’s hoops has finally arrived as the Aggies head onto the road in their season opener against the Portland Pilots.

UC Davis will not only be led by junior guard Corey Hawkins, but also senior guard Ryan Sypkens. By the end of the 2012-13 season, Sypkens was an All Big West Honorable Mention, and set four new three-point shooting records.

Along with a veteran cast of players, UC Davis also brings in a slew of new recruits including freshman point guard Brynton Lemar, who has been tabbed as ESPN’s “Freshman to watch.”

Men’s basketball, however, will be without the talents of junior J.T. Adenrele, as he suffered a season ending left knee injury while performing non-contact drills over the summer. The 6’7’’ forward who averaged 12.6 points, 5.9 rebounds and close to 2 block per game his sophomore season would have been a major contributor on both the offense and defensive end.

“I feel bad for J.T., but based on his work ethic and personality, I have no doubt that he will turn the adversity of this injury into a positive experience,” said coach Jim Les. “J.T.’s absence will also provide an opportunity for his teammates to show their true character.”

The Aggies start season play coming off a dominant exhibition win against Menlo State. Leading the UC Davis charge was senior Josh Ritchart, who recorded a double-double in the game.

As the Aggies square off against the Pilots for the first time in three seasons, UC Davis’ defense will be tested early by forward Ryan Nicholas who led the Pilots in scoring and was All-WCC Honorable Mention in 2013.

The Pilots come off a 92-77 exhibition victory against Concordia Irvine. The Pilots were led by guard Kevin Bailey who scored 19 points on 7 of 11 shooting.

This tough season opener on the road will be a test of the Aggies’ preparation. But this is definitely a roadblock that the Aggies can overcome.

— Shaun Moncada

 

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