DAVIS, Calif. - By ending the 2015-16 season with an 8.5 total rebounds average and 6.3 defensive rebounds per game, the highest among all conference players, Neal Monson became the first UC Davis player to collect individual Big West statistical championships in each category.
Monson’s total rebound figure is exactly one more per game compared to the league’s No. 2 ranked player; his other average is 0.7 defensive rebounds per game higher compared to the runner-up’s mark.
The junior center also finished No. 3 in offensive rebounds at 2.2 per game — one-tenth of a board shy of recording a hat trick of top figures.
UC Davis basketball’s inaugural Big West Scholar-Athlete of the Year recorded double-figure rebound totals on 11 occasions throughout the season. After collecting 10 rebounds in the Aggies’ season opener vs. North Dakota State — a 2015 NCAA Tournament participant — Monson became the first UC Davis player in more than two years to post 15 rebounds in a single game when Portland visited the Pavilion the following game.
In addition to setting a new season, and career record at home against the Pilots, Monson ended the regular season by turning in another 15-rebound effort in UC Davis’ triple-overtime, come-from-behind victory at CSUN.
Monson is the fourth Aggie, in as many seasons, to lead the Big West Conference in one of its major statistical categories.
Sypkens led the league in three-point field goals in 2013-14 (3.06 per gm.); Hawkins collected his second scoring crown (20.9 ppg) and recorded the highest individual three-point percentage (.488) last year.
Including Monson’s two rebounding averages, Aggies have earned 12 individual statistical championships since UC Davis joined the Big West Conference before the start of the 2007-08 season.
Besides the eight collected by players who competed for men’s basketball during the Jim Les era, Dominic Calegari and Mark Payne posted the highest free throw percentage (.911) and steals per game figure (1.84) during the Aggies’ inaugural season as a Div. I program.
Payne collected his second individual Big West title in as many seasons when he ended the 2008-09 season with a league-high 5.10 assists per game.
Sypkens collected the first of his four career statistical championships as a sophomore when he posted the highest individual three-point percentage (.420) in 2009-10.
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