UC Davis Opens Season At Basketball Traveler's Classic

Eddie Miller was third on the team in scoring last year.
(Wayne Tilcock, Davis Enterprise)

Nov. 10, 2011

UC Davis game notes Get Acrobat ReaderSouthern Utah game notes Get Acrobat ReaderSan Diego State game notes Get Acrobat ReaderBryant game notes Get Acrobat Reader  2011-12 UC Davis media guide | Live Audio

Game 1
Aggies vs. Southern Utah Thunderbirds
Basketball Traveler's Classic • Nov. 11, 2011 • 4:30 p.m.  

Game 2
UC Davis vs. Bryant Bulldogs
Basketball Traveler's Classic • Nov. 12, 2011 • 4:30 p.m.  

Game 3
UC Davis at San Diego State Aztecs
Basketball Traveler's Classic • Nov. 12, 2011 • 4:30 p.m


TV/RADIO/INTERNET: Audio for this weekend's games will be streamed live on the Aggies' official athletics website - www.ucdavisaggies.com... Saturday's game against Bryant and Sunday's against San Diego State will air on KSAC (105.5 FM), as will all the remaining games in the 2011-12 season... Mike Robles (play-by-play) and Bill Herenda (analyst) will cover the first two games while regular broadcaster Scott Marsh will take over play-by-play duties on Sunday... None of the games will be televised. 

LIVE STATS: Live stats are available for all UC Davis games by visiting www.ucdavisaggies.com.

TICKETS: Season and single-game tickets for Aggie home games can be purchased through the "Tickets" link at www.ucdavisaggies.com, in person at the UC Davis Ticket Office, or by calling the ticket office at (530) 752-1915.

OPENING TIPS: UC Davis begins its 100th season of basketball at the Basketball Traveler's Classic by facing a first-time opponent in Bryant, and also Southern Utah and San Diego State which it has only played a combined three times... The game also marks the debut of HEAD COACH Jim Les who is the 23rd coach in the history of the program... Les comes to UC Davis after amassing 154 wins in nine seasons at his alma mater Bradley which included a trip to the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16 in 2006... Les is also a former NBA veteran who spent four seasons with the Sacramento Kings... UC Davis returns two primary starters (G Ryan Howley, G Eddie Miller) and another part-time starter (F Mike Kurtz) off last season's 10-20 team while welcoming seven newcomers to the roster...  The Aggies welcome nine returning letterwinners overall... UC Davis is coming off a season in which it led the Big West in both three-pointers made (241) and in percentage (.378)... It paced the league in overall field goal percentage (.460) and in assists (15.0)... This season marks the fifth official season for UC Davis at the NCAA Division I level and its fifth as a member of the Big West Conference... The Aggies are 1-3 in season openers since moving to Div. I which includes a 1-0 mark at home, an 0-1 record on the road, and an 0-2 ledger at neutral sites... UC Davis is starting the season with three games away from The Pavilion for the third consecutive year... Thanks to a late afternoon tipoff, UC Davis' game on Friday against Southern Utah is the first official game involving a Big West team.

ALL-TIME SERIES VS. THE FIELD: The Aggies beat Southern Utah 74-65 on Dec. 21, 2010 at The Pavilion in their only previous matchup... UC Davis and Bryant are meeting for the first time... San Diego State owns a 2-0 lead in their series with the Aggies with both its wins coming at home and the last coming 79-72 in 1968 during the NCAA College Division Tournament.

REPLACING SCORING PUNCH: UC Davis lost its top two scorers to graduation in G Mark Payne (15.5 ppg) and G Joe Harden (14.9), both now playing professionally... The duo represented 42.7 percent of the Aggies' scoring last season... However, UC Davis returns the next eight scorers on the list, led by G Eddie Miller (12.5) who was third overall. 

SYPKENS FROM DOWNTOWN: G Ryan Sypkens led the Big West last season in three-point percentage, making 42 percent of his attempts... He was 66 of 157 overall, ranking sixth in the league for treys per game with 2.2... Two times last year he made five in a game (at Northridge, vs. Fullerton)... He made at least one three-pointer in 29 of the team's 30 games... He's also the team's leading returner from the charity stripe after making 78.6 percent last year.

A BIT MORE ON SYPKENS: He also ended the year on a strong note, scoring a career-high 22 points in the last two games against both Cal State Northridge and Cal State Fullerton... Sypken was 9 of 19 from beyond the arc and made all 11 of his tries from the line.

MILLER'S A FILLER: G Eddie Miller enjoyed a breakout game at UC Riverside (2/26) last season, scoring a career-high 35 poionts while making 13 of 21 shots from the field... It was the second of two great games on the road after he filled the basket for 26 points at UC Irvine two days earlier... Overall, he was 24 of 42 from the field and made 12 of 17 three-point tries.

DUPONT TO MAKE DEBUT: G Harrison Dupont has been patiently wait to play in his first Aggie game after transferring last year from The Citadel and not being eligible to compete due to NCAA transfer rules... Dupont started 19 games as a true freshman at The Citadel, earning All-Freshman honors from the Southern Conference... He has three years of eligibility remaining.

SUPER SENIOR SILVA: G Ryan Silva returns for his fifth year on the court after receiving a medical hardship waiver for the 2009-10 season when injury limited him to just eight games... Silva is a career 41.5-percent shooter from three-point territory who made 55 over his first two seasons, including 34 in 2008-09.

GOING OVERTIME: The Aggies played three overtime games last year including a pair of double-OT games against UC Irvine which the teams split... UC Davis also played extra time in a loss at UC Santa Barbara... It was the most OT games since playing four in 2005-06.

NBA PEDIGREES: UC Davis features three players whose fathers have played in the NBA... G Tyler Les is the son of head coach Jim Les who spent seven seasons in the NBA, including four with the Sacramento Kings; G Tyrell Corbin is the son of current Utah Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin who played 13 years professionally; and G Corey Hawkins is the son of former NBA sharpshooter Hersey Hawkins, currently an executive with the Portland Trailblazers... Hawkins, who transferred from Arizona State this fall, will not play this season due to NCAA transfer rules... He'll have three years remaining.

EXHIBITION GAME RECAP: The Aggies beat visiting Menlo College 108-63 on Nov. 4 in their only exhibition game, taking a 55-30 halftime lead behind 65.5-percent shooting from the field... UC Davis shot 61 percent for the game, made 12 three-pointers and had 24 assists on 37 baskets... G Ryan Sypkens poured in 30 points, canning a half-dozen treys, while F Josh Ritchart had 13 points and F Alex Tiffin and G Tyler Les each had 12... The Aggies never trailed in the game. 

LES ASSEMBLES STRONG STAFF: HEAD COACH Jim Les went near and far when putting together his assistant coaches... Kevin Nosek, a member of the Aggies' 1998 NCAA Division II Championship team, returns for his ninth year with the program while fellow alum Gus Argenal, who graduated in 2004, is back for his second stint with UC Davis... He was most recently at Chico State... Veteran Chris Davis, who Les faced in the Missouri Valley while he was at Bradley and Davis at Drake, joins the Aggies after three seasons in the Big East at Providence where he was the Friars' recruiting coordinator.

CHALLENGING SCHEDULE: UC Davis will face 2010 NCAA Tournament teams San Diego State, UCLA and UC Santa Barbara (twice) during the 2011-12 season while facing Pac-12 member Stanford at home on Nov. 18... The matchup at UCLA will be played at Honda Center in Anaheim, site of the Big West Tournament... SDSU earned a spot in the Sweet 16 last season...  The Aggies will face teams from The Summit League and Northeast, Big Sky, Western Athletic and Pac-12 conferences.

UC DAVIS SIGNS TWO: The Aggies announced G DARIUS GRAHAM (Sacramento HS, Sacramento, Calif.) and F TYLER OTT (Desert Hills HS, St. George, Utah) signed National Letters of Intent during the first day of the signing period on Wednesday... Graham averaged 10.6 ppg and was an All-Metro Conference first-team pick last year while helping the Dragons to the NorCal Regional semifinal final... Ott averaged 14.6 ppg last year and is an all-state honoree at Desert Hills.