Nov. 3, 2013
Exhibition Game 1
Menlo College Oaks
UC Davis Aggies
Monday, Nov. 4 - 7 p.m.
The Pavilion (5,931) - Davis, Calif.
DAVIS, Calif. - The final tune-up before opening the 2013 season on Nov. 8, at Portland, UC Davis will host Menlo College in its only exhibition contest of the year. As part of Community Appreciation Night, admission to Monday's event is free; tipoff against the Oaks will take place at 7 p.m.
After battling against one another in practice for the last few weeks, Monday's game will give UC Davis an opportunity to compete in an organized environment, in front of its fans, for the first time this season. In addition to providing both teams with an opportunity to engage in real-time action prior to the start of their respective schedules, Monday night's matchup also provides the first chance for juniors Avery Johnson, Iggy Nujic and freshmen Georgi Funtarov, Brynton Lemar, Carlos Mancasola and Ivan Nikolic to don a UC Davis uniform.
For Johnson and Nujic, Monday's exhibition will provide the first taste of on-court, game day activity action since transferring from San Francisco and UTSA respectively. Both were redshirts for head coach Jim Les throughout their first year on campus, an opportunity that helped the duo gain immeasurable experience competing against their teammates at practice. Now, both possess a deep understanding of the Aggies' offensive system and defensive schemes.
Even though Funtarov and Lemar possess extensive experience competing against top-tier talent, Monday's exhibition versus Menlo College will help expedite their transition from high school, to Div. 1 competition.
Before arriving to Davis, Funtarov represented his country and competed for Bulgaria's U16 and U18 national teams at the European Championships. Lemar's last organized game took place just a handful of miles from campus at Sleep Train Arena; that was the location of last year's CIF Division III State Championships-a game that saw Lemar cap his senior season at St. Augustine (San Diego) with a hat trick of titles.
Before St. Augustine captured a state, Lemar and his teammate also collected Division III San Diego CIF and Southern California Sectional championships.
As is the case with the Aggies, Monday's matchup is the last game before the start of the 2013-14 season for Menlo College. After falling to Sacramento State last Friday, the Oaks will complete their doubleheader against Causeway opposition in their fourth visit in as many years to The Pavilion.
In last Friday's exhibition against the Hornet, junior guard Colin Wan led all Oaks with 17 points on 6 of 9 shooting, an effort that includes four three-point baskets in six attempts. Sophomore forward Dylan Severson led his team with eight rebounds and was one of two players to record three assists.
Besides its last three exhibitions, UC Davis will face a familiar opponent in Menlo College as two members of the coaching staff possess direct ties to the Oaks' men's basketball program.
Before returning to his alma mater, UC Davis assistant coach Kevin Nosek led the Oaks in his inaugural role as a college head coach. In just three seasons, Nosek turned a team that recorded a 4-22 record in his first season at the helm of the program, to one that experienced a +9 win improvement at the conclusion of the 2004-05 season, to one that finished 17-11–the Oaks best record in seven seasons.
During Nosek's three-year tenure, Menlo College advanced to the semifinal round of the 2004-05 Cal Pac Conference Tournament before advancing to the championship game the following year.
Another member of UC Davis' coaching staff will compete against a familiar face when these teams take the floor Monday evening as assistant coach Chris Davis will have an opportunity to watch his son, Xavier, compete for the Oaks. Currently in his second season as a member of the men's basketball program, X. Davis' career originally commenced at Providence College during the 2009-10 season he decided to transfer to Menlo College.
UC Davis grabs nation's attention during March Madness
Team effort leads to Big West Tournament title
Aggies build momentum throughout Big West play
Brynton Lemar signs with
SLUC Nancy Basket