Sept. 5, 2008
2008 UC Davis Foreign Tour Archive
The UC Davis men's basketball team is enjoying is last full day in France on Friday as the squad caps off its European Tour with a stay in Nice. The Aggies arrived in the French city on Wednesday and will depart Saturday for the long journey home. In addition to plenty of sightseeing, the trip has given the Aggies a wealth of success on the court to take into the upcoming 2008-09 season.
UC Davis played four games against various European national teams. The game schedule started Aug. 29 in Paris against Vanves and concluded Thursday night in Monaco against AS Monaco. In between, the Aggies also faced teams in Lyon, France, as well as Montreux, Switzerland. In all, the Aggies posted a 3-1 record.
For the past two seasons, the Aggies have been led in scoring by Vince Oliver. Not surprisingly, he led the team with 21.0 points per game in their four games. Fives times over the past week an Aggie scored more than 20 points, and three of those performances were turned in by Oliver.
Joe Harden also had a strong performance in his Aggie debut by averaging 17.0 ppg. He poured in 26 points in the opener against Vanves and posted 18 points in each of the last two games. More good news for the Aggies is the fact that although Harden left Thursday's game with an injury, it is not believed to be serious.
Two more Aggies averaged in double-figures. Dominic Calegari
averaged 14.8 ppg, which included a team-best 27 points in the final game at AS Monaco. In addition, Mark Payne
turned in an efficient 10.3 ppg.
As a team, UC Davis won its last two games by overcoming fourth quarter deficits. None was more dramatic than Tuesday's come-from-behind victory at Monthey. With the Aggies trailing by as many as 20 points, they stormed back with a 20-0 run in the final quarter on their way to an 86-81 victory. UC Davis also trailed late in Monaco before prevailing with a 113-109 victory.
"This is by far the best team I have been on at UC Davis," said Oliver, who enters his senior season. "The 10 days of practice (before the trip) and the tour have helped so much."
UC Davis was able to take 12 student-athletes from its 16-man roster on the European Tour. That number includes nine returning players from the 2007-08 squad as well as three redshirts from last year.
The tour began Aug. 27 as the team flew to Paris and arrived early the next morning. The squad stayed in Paris until Aug. 31 when it moved on to Lyon, France. From there, a stay in Montreux, Switzerland, was followed by its final stop in Nice. While in Nice, the team spent Tuesday touring Monaco prior to playing its final game.
"I am very pleased with were we are. The European Tour has been an incredible
experience," said UC Davis head coach Gary Stewart. "Obviously, we have a lot of work to do prior to playing Iowa State, but we are in a much better position going forward than in years past. We are much deeper, more versatile and have better team chemistry."
UC Davis opens its 2008-09 season Nov. 13 when it faces Iowa State in the first round of the World Vision Basketball Classic in Ames, Iowa.