Aggies host Bethesda in Tuesday's exhibition

Nov. 5, 2017


2017-18 Schedule

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Exhibition Gm. 1

Bethesda Flames
UC Davis Aggies

Tuesday, Nov. 7 - 7 p.m.
The Pavilion - Davis, Calif.

Live Stats

- Season ticket holders can pick up their tickets by visiting the Special Events Room.
- UC Davis Athletics will host a $25 Gift Card Drive throughout this event, benefitting local Red Cross agencies and their respective fire relief efforts.

DAVIS, Calif. -
UC Davis, last year’s NCAA Tournament participant and Big West Conference tournament champions, will conduct its final tune-up before the start of the 2017-18 season when Bethesda visits the Pavilion on Tuesday. This exhibition will give Aggie basketball fans their first opportunity to watch this year’s squad in action, and double as the fourth of a five-game Northern California road trip for the Flames.

Since four of last year’s starters graduated last spring, competition for these open spots has been fierce since UC Davis began its preseason workouts last month. For the Aggies’ eight returning players and eight newcomers, each practice was another opportunity to strengthen their case for one of five positions in head coach Jim Les’ lineup.

With the team’s season opener taking place at Northern Colorado on Nov. 13, Tuesday’s exhibition will provide everyone with one final shot to solidify their respective position in the team’s rotation.

Thanks to last year’s historic season, UC Davis rightfully garnered the attention of basketball fans and pundits from across the nation. In a season that included another undefeated record on Bob Hamilton Court, the Aggies spent most of the season atop the Big West standings, battled their way through the league’s playoffs to earn the program’s first Big West Tournament title, collected its first NCAA Tournament victory with an impressive performance, in front of a national audience, against North Carolina Central in the First Four and advanced to the Midwest Regional First Round.

By doing so, this program also proved that student-athletes could receive a world-class education, compete and succeed at the highest level of intercollegiate athletics.

Throughout the last few years, UC Davis basketball has evolved into one of the top mid-major programs in the nation, a process this year’s roster is keen on continuing. Led by Chima Moneke, last year’s Big West Newcomer of the Year, league rebound champion and top Division I transfer in the nation, the 2017-18 team possesses an unrivaled work ethic and a formidable combination of experience, potential and talent.

As has been the case with the Aggies throughout Les’ tenure, the team’s defense will play a key role in the level of success earned this year. Through a combination of talented junior transfers, like TJ Shorts II, Colin Russell and Jonah Underwood, combined with a diverse skill set possessed by Gio Nelson, Delveion Jackson and Logan Strom — all true freshmen — UC Davis has the ability to win games in a variety of ways.

Forced to sit last season due to NCAA transfer rules, AJ John is part of a deep group of post players that will look to make an immediate impact. By forging a strong presence in the paint, returner Garrison Goode, Moneke, John, Russell and Underwood force opponents to play them honestly, providing shooting space and open driving lanes for their teammates.

Reigning Sixth Man of the Year Siler Schneider has terrorized opponents throughout his first two years at UC Davis thanks to his ability to can shots from three, hit mid-range jumpers and ability to score off the dribble. Even though Schneider possesses a knack for nailing shots from anywhere on the court throughout crunch time, he is not the only Aggie guard whose talents, skills and experience will frustrate opponents this year.

As was the case throughout the Aggies’ playoff run, Arell Hennings possesses the ability to not only create scoring opportunities for himself, thanks to his speed and athleticism, but opportunities for his teammates as well. Looking to take advantage of those chances are sharpshooters Joe Mooney and Rogers Printup, who, like Schneider, can score from distance in case other teams are keen on turning games into three-point shooting contests.

Defense has been the key to UC Davis’ success in recent years, and nobody personifies this better than Michael Onyebalu. Whether it is on game day or during practice, his energy on that end of the court is infectious. His willingness to play whatever role is needed to help the team succeed shows firsthand the type of winning culture, and strong team chemistry, this program is able to create, and sustain on a yearly basis, which leads to positive results.

Even though Stefan Gonzalez and Matt Neufeld must sit the upcoming year after transferring from Saint Mary’s and Saint Louis respectively, both will play key roles in the Aggies’ success this season. In addition to strengthening their understanding and execution of the team’s schemes throughout the year, the hard work and dedication of this talented duo will help their teammates strengthen their individual skill set and challenge them to reach their on-court potential.

With three road games in a six-day timespan, as part of its season-opening five-game road swing, Tuesday’s game marks the start of another season and another opportunity for UC Davis basketball to strengthen its position on college basketball’s national landscape.

After this exhibition, UC Davis basketball will not compete on Bob Hamilton Court until Nov. 29 when it concludes a home-and-home series against Northern Colorado.

With two undefeated home records in the last three seasons, fans have another opportunity to create a home advantage like no other by purchasing season tickets. Included with this year’s package is a free ticket to the Aggies’ Causeway rivalry game vs. Sacramento State, taking place on Nov. 21 at the Golden 1 Center — the state-of-the-art downtown home of the Sacramento Kings.

Visit to secure your seats for another exciting men’s basketball season.

Directly impact the lives of potential, and current UC Davis basketball student-athletes, by joining the Aggie Round Table.

With support from this select group of insiders, the men’s basketball program can expand its recruiting efforts to find prospects who will thrive at the sixth-ranked public school in the nation, compete at a championship level and represent the University in a first-class manner as one of its ambassadors. 

Contact Liz Martin (Director of Development) at (530) 574-8623 or to find out how you can join this exclusive club!

UC Davis basketball fans have watched the Aggies win two championships and enjoy two undefeated seasons inside the Pavilion in the last three years. Don’t miss out on another historic season, click here to purchase your season tickets today!

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