44.9 F

Davis, California

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Aggies basketball heads to Portland State for a three-game stretch

Teams: UC Davis vs. SIUE; vs. Loyola University; at Portland State

Records: Aggies 1-2 (0-0); Cougars 1-2 (0-0); Ramblers 1-2 (0-0); Vikings 1-1 (0-0)

Where: Peter Stott Center — Portland, Ore.

When:  Friday, Nov. 22 at 3 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 23 at 3 p.m.; Sunday, Nov. 24 at 3 p.m.

Who to watch:

Junior guard Corey Hawkins has started the year off poorly, shooting only 32 percent from the field and scoring 13.5 points per game a year after scoring 20.3 points per game while making a scorching 47.4 percent of his attempts. Look for Hawkins to return to last season’s form against the SIUE Cougars who just completed their move to Division I basketball in 2012.

Did you know?

The Aggies lost their two leading rebounders from a season ago, Ryan Howley and redshirt forward J.T. Adenrele, to graduation and injury. The third leading rebounder was Hawkins, who is averaging a team high six rebounds per game this season.


The Aggies shouldn’t have much trouble against their first opponent of the Portland State tournament, the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) Cougars. The Cougars have given up an average of over 91 points per game while allowing opponents to shoot over 50 percent from the field and 44.44 percent from beyond the arc.

SIUE also lacks much of an inside presence, with its leading rebounder pulling in just five boards per game. They have been outrebounded by seven rebounds per game over their past three games.

Still, the Aggies must be wary of a Cougars offense which has scored 74.3 points per game on 44.9 percent shooting from the field. Guard Tim Johnson has been the most effective Cougar, scoring 13.3 points per game. UC Davis has struggled against opposing guards in the past few games, allowing Utah Utes guard Brandon Taylor to score 21 points and Holy Names guard Tyler Fry to score 27.

As long as UC Davis is able to control the Cougars guards while regaining their scoring touch, after a rough 33.8 percent shooting game against the Utes, the Aggies should have no problem finding an early win against the SIUE Cougars.

The second game of the Aggies’ weekend comes against the Loyola University Chicago Ramblers. The Ramblers, who pose a slightly larger threat than SIUE, is coming off of two straight losses against Tennessee Tech and Tulane, both games decided by six points or less. The Ramblers, like the Cougars, have failed to put up much of a fight defensively, allowing opposing offenses to shoot 51.7 percent from the field and 42.5 percent from beyond the arc in their first three games.

Loyola has been led by the guard trio of Milton Doyle (16.7 points per game), guard Jeff White (15.3 points per game) and Christian Thomas (13.7 points and 7.7 rebounds per game). This group should pose problems for UC Davis who, as stated above, have had significant trouble defending opposing guards.

If UC Davis can limit the Ramblers trio to a poor shooting percentage while taking advantage of a porous defense, they should once again come away victorious.

On the final day of the tournament, the UC Davis Aggies will face perhaps their toughest opponent of the weekend in the Portland State Vikings. The Vikings are coming off a route of Pacific Lutheran University. Portland State has been led by guard Tim Douglas who has averaged 17 points over the last two games.

The Vikings have performed admirably on defense, forcing opponents to shoot 33.3 percent from the field while forcing 18 turnovers per game, largely due to an average of 11.5 steals each contest. They have shown weakness against the three, however, as they have allowed opponents to hit 41.2 percent of their attempts from beyond the arc and have only blocked 2.5 shots per game.

Portland State has also struggled immensely on offense, shooting only 40.6 percent from the field and 29.4 percent from beyond the arc. In two games, the Vikings have shot only 17 three-pointers while allowing opposing teams to launch 34 attempts from beyond the arc.

The strategy for a UC Davis victory is pretty clear. They need to limit turnovers and get three-point shooters open while forcing the Vikings to continue to take low percentage shots. If they can do those simple things, the Aggies should leave Portland State with three straight victories.

— Ryan Reed



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here