UC Davis Gets Ready For Long Beach State At Big West Tourney

Josh Ritchart

March 6, 2012

UC Davis Postseason Guide Get Acrobat Reader | Long Beach State game notes Get Acrobat Reader
Live Video | Gametracker | Official Big West Tournament Site

No. 8 UC Davis (5-25, 3-13)
No. 1 Long Beach State (22-8, 15-1)

Mar. 8, 2012 • 6 p.m. • Honda Center (18,336)
TV: None
Radio: KSAC (105.5 FM)
Internet Audio/Video: www.ucdavisaggies.com/BigWestTV
Live Stats: www.ucdavisaggies.com

TV/RADIO/INTERNET: All UC Davis games are aired on KSAC (105.5 FM)... This is the first year the Aggies and KSAC have teamed to air UC Davis men’s basketball... Pregame begins 30 minutes before tipoff... SCOTT MARSH calls the play-by-play for all games and will be joined by BILL HERENDA at the Big West Tournament... Audio for all games is streamed free of charge on www.ucdavisaggies.com... Video for the tournament games is available through Big West TV.

LIVE STATS: Live stats will be available by visiting www.BigWest.org or through www.ucdavisaggies.com.

TICKETS: Tickets are available through Ticketmaster.com or through Honda Center box office by calling 714-704-2500.

OPENING TIPS: UC Davis makes its third appearance in the Big West Tournament in five seasons as a member of the league as the No. 8 Aggies take on top-seeded Long Beach State in a quarterfinal matchup... An upset win by UC Davis will send it into Friday’s semifinal on ESPN3 against the highest remaining seed while a 49ers victory will pit them against the lowest remaining seed... The Aggies are trying to be the first No. 8 seed to topple a No. 1 seed since 1992 when UC Irvine beat UC Santa Barbara 88-67 at the Long Beach Arena... Only two teams since then that entered the tournament as the lowest seed have won opening-round games: No. 6 San Jose State won it all in 1995 while No. 8 UC Davis beat UC Irvine 69-68 in 2009... The Aggies tied Cal State Northridge in the Big West standings but would’ve secured the No. 8 seed by tiebreaker even if the Matadors weren’t ineligible for the postseason... F Adam Malik is the only Aggie in uniform this week that played in UC Davis’ last trip to Anaheim in 2010... F Ryan Howley and G Ryan Sypkens also participated but have been sidelined by injuries this season... UC Davis is 2-2 in Big West Tournament games... G Tyler Les (79) enters the tournament needing just five treys to become the school’s single-season record holder... UC Davis (235) is 10 3-pters shy of the team mark... The Aggies have won four of their past eight games after an 18-game losing streak, their best showing since winning five of eight during the early stages of last season... Thursday marks UC Davis’ second game at Honda Center this season after facing UCLA in December... Freshman J.T. Adenrele enters the week on a high note after posting a career-high 16 points in games last week at Cal Poly and UCSB.

ALL-TIME SERIES VS. 49ERS: Long Beach State leads UC Davis 15-2 in a series that was first played during the 1959-60 season but then went dormant until resuming in 2004-05... The 49ers have won the last six meetings although three of those have been decided by four points or fewer... 
The Aggies’ last win in the series came 82-76 on the road in 2009... LBSU swept both games this season, breaking open a six-point game at halftime to win 86-58 at home on Jan. 12, then taking a 46-24 intermission lead on Hamilton Court before winning 89-69 on Feb. 11... F EUGENE PHELPS, who had 23 points and 11 boards in the first game, led four players in double figures in the road win while F T.J. ROBINSON collected a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds... G/F Josh Ritchart had a career-high seven 3-pters and scored 24 points to lead UC Davis in the latter game.

LBSU SCOUTING REPORT: The 49ers won the Big West regular-season title with a 15-1 record, falling just shy of their bid for a perfect season when Cal State Fullerton upset them 77-73 on Saturday... Still, it’s been an impressive season for LBSU which beat then No. 9 Pittsburgh, No. 14 Xavier and had a narrow losses at No. 13 Kansas and No. 4 North Carolina... All five 49ers starters earned All-Big West recognition this week - the second consecutive year that’s happened - with G CASPAR WARE, G LARRY ANDERSON and F T.J. ROBINSON earning first-team honors, and F EUGENE PHELPS (2nd team) and G JAMES ENNIS (hon. mention) also being honored... Additionally, Ware was named the Big West Player of the Year and USBWA District IX Player of the Year, while Anderson was tabbed the league’s Defensive Player of the Year... Head coach DAN MONSON was voted Coach of the Year...  Anderson, averaging 14.0 ppg and 5.0 rpg, injured his knee in Saturday’s loss and is listed as doubtful to play this week by LBSU... Ware enters the game as the team’s leading scorer (16.9) while Robinson is averaging a double-double (12.3, 10.3)... LBSU is averaging 73.9 ppg, second-best in the Big West, and giving up just 64.4, third-best.

RECAP: UCSB 90, UC DAVIS 43: F J.T. Adenrele tied his career-high with 16 points and had a career-best seven rebounds to lead UC Davis but UC Santa Barbara, keyed by four first-half three-pointers from G James Nunnally, used a 29-2 run to break open the game early en route to a Big West Conference win at The Thunderdome on Saturday night... Senior G Eddie Miller added 15 points for the Aggies including 11 in the second half... The Gauchos led 47-21 at halftime despite the game being close in the opening minutes... Adenrele, coming off a career-high 16 points at Cal Poly on Thursday, scored the Aggies’ first six points and eight of their first 11 as UC Davis countered two early three-pointers from G ORLANDO JOHNSON to only trail 14-11 afer six minutes... But UCSB then turned on the offense, putting together a 29-2 run over the next eight minutes to break open the game and lead 43-13... The Aggies committed 20 turnovers in the game, resulting in 32 Gauchos points, while UCSB had just nine miscues. The Gauchos also held a 42-29 rebounding advantage.

ALL-TIME BIG WEST TOURNEY: UC Davis is playing in its third Big West Tourney since joining the league in 2007-08... The Aggies debuted in 2009 as the No. 8 seed, upsetting No. 5 UC Irvine 69-68 in the first round before losing 67-60 to No. 3 Pacific in the quarterfinals... UC Davis earned a first-round bye in 2010 and was the No. 4 seed when it edged No. 5 Cal State Fullerton 68-65 in the quarterfinals... No. 1 UCSB then downed the Aggies 76-62 in the semis... UC Davis did not qualify for the tournament in 2008 or 2010.

ALL-TIME POSTSEASON: The Aggies have an all-time record of 15-13 in conference tournaments, dating back to 1983 and their Div. II days... All but the last four games came as members of the former Northern California Athletic Conference... UC Davis highlighted its Div. II era by capturing the 1998 NCAA Div. II title as a non-scholarship program... The Aggies have made 12 NCAA Tournament appearances (all as Div. II)... Their last was in 2000.

THREE-POINT STRUGGLES: The Aggies had just seven total 3-pters in losses at Cal Poly and UCSB last weekend (7-32, .218) after averaging  8.7 over their previous seven games... Their three treys against the Gauchos marked a season low, two days after they tied their previous low... UC Davis’ 4-of-20 (.200) performance at Cal Poly was its second-lowest behind 4 of 22 (.182) against UCLA. 

REBOUNDING TAKES ABOUT FACE: UC Davis outrebounded Cal State Fullerton 45-33 during its big 78-75 win on Feb. 25... It was the Aggies’ largest rebounding margin of the season and came against the Big West’s leader in rebounding margin... However, UC Davis averaged just 25.5 rpg in last week’s road losses and was outrebounded by 13 both nights.

FROM DOWNTOWN: G Tyler Les tied a school record by making eight three-pointers at San Jose State on Dec. 20... G/F Josh Ritchart nearly tied that same mark when he drained seven against LBSU on Feb. 11... Both were career-highs and both resulted in career-high 24-point efforts.

STARTING LINEUP VARIETY: The Aggies have used 15 different starting lineups, including different quintets in 10 consecutive games earlier this season... G/F JOSH RITCHART’s 25 starts lead the team while G Tyrell Corbin has 23... G Ryan Howley started the first 19 before succumbing to injury.

WEEKLY ACCOLADES: G/F Josh Ritchart was named the Big West Player of the Week on Feb. 27 after averaging 18.0 ppg and 10 rpg in a split of games against Seattle and Cal State Fullerton... He’s the Aggies’ first winner of the award since G Joe Harden shared the award with Long Beach State’s F LARRY ANDERSEN in 2009... Ritchart was named on Mar. 2 as the Big West Player of the Week by NetScouts Basketball as well... F Harrison Dupont was instrumental in the Aggies’ modest two-game winning streak two weeks ago and was recognized by College Sports Madness website for his efforts as its BWC Player of the Week... He averaged 18.0 ppg. and 6.5 rpg. while shooting 56.5 pct against Pacific and Northern Arizona.

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WINS/LOSSES: Yes, teams play better when they win... That much is obvious... For UC Davis, it’s much more pronounced... In its 25 losses, the Aggies averaged just 59.8 ppg, 30.0 rpg and shot 64.3 pct. from the line... Just one player - G/F Josh Ritchart - who has played in most of them is averaging double figures (11.6)... In their five wins, five different players are in double figures, the Aggies are scoring 76.8 ppg and they’re 79.1 percent from the line... UC Davis is also averaging 36.8 rpg. and outrebounding opponents by 1.8 pg.

AGGIE AGGIE DOUBLE-DOUBLES: UC Davis has three double-doubles this season, two of them by G/F Josh Ritchart and one by G Eddie Miller... Ritchart went for 16 and 13 at Cal State Northridge and then 16 and 12 at Seattle... Miller finished with 17 points, 12 rebounds in the win over Cal State Fullerton... G Joe Harden (3) and G Mark Payne (2) led UC Davis in that department last season.

SEASON-HIGH BLOCKS: UC Davis had a season-high seven blocked shots against Cal Poly last Thursday night, just one game after its previous season-best of six against Cal State Fullerton... F J.T. Adenrele led the Aggies with  a career-high four, doubling his previous best done three other times.

AMAZING COMEBACK: The Aggies trailed Northern Arizona on the road by 21 points in the first half on Feb. 18 and were down 45-26 at halftime... However, they shot 63.6 pct. in the second half, erased the deficit in barely more than eight minutes and eventually went up by eight points before winning, 70-65...The comeback was the Aggies’ largest in a victory since moving to NCAA Division I in 2007-08 and their biggest since rallying from 17 down to beat UC Irvine 108-107 in overtime last year.

NCAA RANKINGS: UC Davis continues to be among the top three-point shooting teams in the country, ranking 43rd in 3-pters per game (7.8) and 52nd among Div. I teams in percentage (.372)... G Tyler Les is 28th for accuracy (.411) while he (45th, 2.6) and G/F Josh Ritchart (88th, 2.4) are both in the top 100 for treys made.

LOSSES SET SEASON MARK: The Aggies’ 25 losses are the most in season... UC Davis had 23 in 2006-07 finishing 5-23 for its previous mark... Its 47-point loss at UCSB on Saturday was its largest margin of defeat during its Div. I era.

INJURIES TAKE THEIR TOLL: Five different Aggies have suffered injuries this season which have caused them to be in street clothes for games... G Harrison Dupont (head) missed four games due to injury, including three to start the year; G Eddie Miller (leg) missed five due to injury but was limited to just a few minutes in several others; G Ryan Sypkens (knee) played in the first four but is sidelined for the remainder of the year; G/F Josh Ritchart (flu) missed the UCSB game on Jan. 26; and G Ryan Howley (knee) has sat out the last 12 games after leaving the game at Pacific after just two minutes... UC Davis players that have seen action on the court this year have missed a total of 41 games... G Paolo Mancasola (shoulder) dressed against Cal State Fullerton but did not play.

ENDING THE STREAKS: The Aggies’ victory against Cal State Northridge on Feb. 9 halted an 18-game losing streak... It was the program’s longest since dropping 22 in a row during the 1952-53 (13 gms) and 1953-54 (7 gms) seasons... The longest losing streak in program history was 24 straight covering parts of two seasons from 1950-51... UC Davis lost 16 straight games away from The Pavilion (14 road, 2 neutral) before its comeback win at Northern Arizona.

NBA PEDIGREES: UC Davis features three players whose fathers have played in the NBA... G Tyler Les is the son of head coach Jim Les who spent seven seasons in the NBA, including four with the Sacramento Kings; G Tyrell Corbin is the son of current Utah Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin who played 13 years professionally; and G Corey Hawkins is the son of former NBA sharpshooter Hersey Hawkins, currently an executive with the Portland Trailblazers... Hawkins, who transferred from Arizona State this fall, will not play this season due to NCAA transfer rules... He’ll have three years remaining.