UC Davis Set For Exhibition Men's Basketball Game On Thursday Night

Phil Rasmussen is the team's lone senior.<br> (Wayne Tilcock, Davis Enterprise)
 
Phil Rasmussen is the team's lone senior.
(Wayne Tilcock, Davis Enterprise)
 

Nov. 3, 2005

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DAVIS, Calif. The UC Davis men's basketball team continues preparations for the upcoming 2005-06 season when it hosts William Jessup in an exhibition matchup on Thursday evening at The Pavilion at 7 p.m.

The Aggies return two starters and four letterwinners off last year's team that finished 11-17 overall during their first full NCAA Division I schedule. UC Davis is in its third year of a four-year transition from Division II to Division I and will become a member of the Big West Conference beginning in 2007-08. The Aggies are playing home-and-home series with each Big West team this season as UC Davis continues to ready for its first season in its new league.

UC Davis faces another difficult schedule this season, including a Jan. 9 matchup at Louisville which last year advanced to the NCAA Final Four. The Aggies will also battle Stanford at The Pavilion on Nov. 4 and will play at NCAA Tournament participant Nevada on Dec. 7. Among the other opponents this season are defending Big West Conference champion Pacific and Cal State Fullerton which advanced to the third round of the NIT.

The Aggies, however, will continue to get ready for the season by playing on Thursday in the first of two exhibition games. William Jessup, located in nearby Rocklin, is a member of the NAIA and finished last season with a 7-23 record. The Warriors return two starters and six letterwinners.

Third-year UC Davis coach Gary Stewart said the game will be a good gauge for the Aggies, who officially open the season on Nov. 19 at Northern Arizona.

"It's important that we get a sense of where we are," he said. "This game will afford us the opportunity to work against someone other than ourselves. It'll undoubtedly show us the things we're doing well and the things we need to address."

Point guard Rommel Marentez (8.9 ppg., 2.8 rpg) is one of two returning starters for the Aggies along with forward Thomas Juillerat (8.7 ppg, 4.0 rpg). Forward Phil Rasmussen (7.3 ppg, 4.5 rpg) is the team's lone senior.

The Aggies will play their final preseason tuneup on Nov. 12 at 2 p.m. against Dominican College, also at The Pavilion.