July 30, 2013
DAVIS, Calif. – Fifteen regular season home games, including visits to The Pavilion by Nevada, Air Force and Sacramento State, non-conference road games at Stanford, Utah, San Jose State, Portland and a three-game tournament at Portland State highlight UC Davis’ 2013-14 schedule.
"We are very excited to have 15 home games in the Pavilion in front of our growing fan base,” said head coach Jim Les. “We have challenged our team with the competitiveness of our non-conference schedule; playing teams from the Pac-12 and Mountain West will help prepare us to compete for a Big West championship."
Released by the program on Tuesday, year three of the Les era of Aggie basketball will officially begin with its season-opener on Nov. 8, at Portland.
Once the Aggies return to Davis, the team will have a brief window of time to prepare for its first home game of the year, against Holy Names, on Nov. 11. The only home event out of the Aggies’ first six games played, that matchup against the Hawks precedes the longest road trip of the season — a four game swing that begins at Utah (one of two Pac-12 teams UC Davis will face this year) and ends in a tournament hosted by Portland State.
UC Davis will end November’s schedule with consecutive home games beginning with its annual Causeway Cup meeting against Sacramento State on Nov. 26. The brief homestand will conclude with a 2 p.m. tip against Idaho, one of two matinée games that will take place at The Pavilion this season.
Nevada, the first of three Mountain West opponents the Aggies will face within a 14-day timespan, will visit The Pavilion on Dec. 7. UC Davis will then travel to Palo Alto to face Stanford the following week on Dec. 14.
Mountain West action will continue on Dec. 18 against San Jose State, the newest member of the conference, before concluding on Dec. 21 when the Aggies host Air Force in their final afternoon contest of the year at 2:30 p.m.
UC Davis’ conference schedule will start on Jan. 9 in a Southern California swing that will first take the Aggies to Cal State Northridge, before ending that weekend against the defending Big West regular season champions in Long Beach State.
Besides comprising the Aggies’ longest conference homestand, games against UC Riverside (Jan. 16), Cal State Fullerton (Jan. 18) and Hawai’i serve as the inaugural contests of a conference home schedule that will conclude on March 1 against UC Santa Barbara.
For the fourth straight season, the Big West Men’s Basketball Tournament will take place at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. Quarterfinal games will begin on March 13, the semifinals and championship game will continue into the weekend on March 14 and 15 respectively.
Last season, UC Davis tied a school record for the most victories in the Division I era with its 14, and matched another record with nine Big West wins. Ending with a +10 D-I win differential compared to the 2011-12 season, last year’s Aggies posted one of the top 10 improvements in the nation.
Having lost only two players due to graduation from last year’s roster, one that also set the program’s highest field goal and three-point shooting percentages since the Aggies transitioned to D-I competition, this year’s team will return 84 percent of its offense.
In his first season as an Aggie, Hawkins captured the program’s first-ever Big West scoring title, earned Lou Henson Mid-Major All-America accolades, received Big West Newcomer of the Year and All-Big West first team honors and set a slew of new records including a school-high 40 points (on 14 shots) that previously stood untouched for 34 years.
Sypkens ended his junior year ranked No. 2 in the nation in three-point field goal percentage (.461) and No. 4 in three-point field goals made per game (3.66). In addition to setting two new records — most three-point field goals made in a single season (106) and career (220) — on the same shot when the Aggies hosted Hawai’i last season, Sypkens was one of two players to receive all-league honorable mention shortly after the 2012-13 season concluded.
Adenrele, the other Aggie to earn All-Big West honorable mention, possessed one of the top Big West field goal percentages and blocked shot averages for the entire season. As a sophomore, he also tied a school record with 46 blocks and more than doubled his scoring average from his inaugural season at UC Davis from 5.6 to 12.6 points per game.
In addition to junior transfers Avery Johnson and Iggy Nujic, Darius Graham will return to the court after redshirting last season. Also donning a UC Davis uniform for the first time this fall are freshmen Georgi Funtarov and Brynton Lemar.
No stranger to the area, Lemar helped St. Augustine High School capture the CIF State Division III boys’ basketball championship at Sleep Train Arena last March. That game capped a senior season that saw Lemar average 21.0 points, 8.2 rebounds and 7.0 assists per game.
A member of Bulgaria's under-16 national team, one that captured the European Championship in 2009, Funtarov also represented his country the following year at the under-18 Championships. A native of Sofia, Bulgaria, he attended prep school last year at Vermont Academy in Saxtons River, Va., where he averaged 13 points and seven rebounds per game, shot 47 pct. from the floor and 40 pct. from three.
Six-game ticket packages starts as low as $60; season tickets for all 15 home games cost just $135 for the general public, $90 for UC Davis faculty, staff, retirees, CAAA members and only $75 for children 17 and under. To secure your seats for the upcoming men’s basketball season, click here, call Melissa Tinsley at (530) 752-1047 or contact her by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.