This non-conference contest, one of two against Pac-12 opposition this season, marks the first of UC Davis’ three televised appearances. Jason Knapp and Dan Dickau will provide play-by-play and commentary for the Pac-12 Network (Mountain), tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. (Pacific). Subscribers who are unable to watch the televised feed can still follow the action from Utah online through an internet stream provided by the network.
Series Record: Utah leads, 1-0
LISTEN LIVE TO UC DAVIS MEN’S BASKETBALL
Last UC Davis Win: N/A
Last Utah Win: 106-72 (A); (11/24/90)
Current Streak: UC Davis +2
For the third year, every UC Davis men’s basketball game with the exception of the team’s tournament opener at Portland State next week, will air on KSAC (105.5 FM). Scott Marsh will call the action and begin his broadcast 30 minutes before tip-off with his pregame show. Fans can also listen to Marsh online for every men’s basketball game this season through an internet broadcast available at ucdavisaggies.com.
GIVE ME MY STATS, STAT!
Find out what is happening during every UC Davis men’s basketball game by following the action with live stats. Links for every men’s basketball home and road game are available by clicking “Gametracker” or “Live Stats” respectively on the team’s schedule located on its homepage. Due to the increased use of smartphones and tablet computers, Gametracker was redesigned this past summer and is available for use on any tablet computer of mobile device.
SECURE YOUR SEATS
Season tickets, mini-plans and single-game tickets can be purchased through the “Tickets” link at ucdavisaggies.com, in person at the UC Davis Ticket Office, or by phone at (530) 752 AGS1.
IT’S OK TO BE A FOLLOWER
UC Davis men’s basketball fans can follow their favorite team, and all other Aggie intercollegiate athletics programs on Twitter at the handle @UCDavisAggies. Game Day in-game updates are also available on the department’s secondary Twitter handle, @UCDavisInGame.
WATCH THE AGGIES IN ACTION FOR FREE
Live streaming for all Aggie men’s basketball Big West games are streamed for free at BigWest.TV. Basketball fans can also access the link needed to watch all UC Davis home games on BigWest.TV by accessing the link entitled “Live Stream Provided by BigWest.TV” on the sidebar of the men’s basketball homepage on ucdavisaggies.com.
AGGIES WELCOME ISAIAH WALTON
UC Davis men’s basketball opened the fall signing period in impressive fashion by signing Elyria High prospect Isaiah Walton to a National Letter of Intent as announced by head coach Jim Les on Nov. 13. Walton is the inaugural member of the Aggies’ incoming class of 2014 and is scheduled to attend classes at UC Davis next fall.
Hailing from Oberlin, Ohio, the 6-foot-3 senior, lauded as one of the top guards in Ohio’s Class of 2014 by numerous prep pundits, committed to the UC Davis shortly after his official visit.
As a junior, Walton averaged 17.9 points, 4.9 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 2.2 steals as Elyria’s primary shooting guard. In addition to scoring a career-high 30 points against Parma High School during league competition last season, Walton also guided his Pioneers to an 18-6 record. By helping his team earn a berth in the Division I district semifinals, the Northeast Conference and Lorain County each named Walton to their respective all-league and all-county first teams.
Even though numerous east coast, Mid-American Conference and Horizon League schools also pursued Walton, the Aggies were his top choice since his initial conversations with the staff.
A FAMILIAR FACE IN A FAMILIAR PLACE
UC Davis head coach Jim Les will return to a familiar environment when UC Davis travels to Salt Lake City to face the Utah Utes. Les competed frequently at the Salt Palace, the former home of the Utah Jazz located just a short drive away from the Jon M. Huntsman Center, the site of Friday's contest. Les spent his first year as a professional in Utah before continuing his career with the Los Angeles Clippers, Sacramento Kings and Atlanta Hawks.
In its season opener against Evergreen State, Utah set a number of new records with its 128-44 victory against its NAIA opponent. Besides posting its highest point total inside its home facility, and the largest margin of victory, Utah also fell four points shy of matching its all-time total for the most points scored in a single game. The Utes have been off since last Friday’s game against the Geoducks and will continue their season-opening six-game homestand against the Aggies.
Led by sophomore forward Jordan Loveridge and his 24 points, seven Utes scored 10 or more points in their blowout victory last week. Loveridge was one of three players to pull 10 or more boards against Evergreen State; he completed his double-double with a team-high 13 rebounds. Also earning double-doubles that evening were junior guard Delon Wright (17 pts/10 reb) and freshman guard Ahmad Fields (11 pts/10 reb).
HIS GRAND FINALE
Radio analyst Bill Herenda will call his final UC Davis men’s basketball games next weekend when the Aggies return to Portland, Ore., to face SIUE, Loyola and event host Portland State in its lone tournament of the season. Also found at UC Davis home football games as a sideline reporter, Herenda will conclude his nine-year tenure with UC Davis on Sunday, Nov. 24, before returning to his current position as KFBK’s (92.5FM/AM1530) morning sports reporter.
TICKLING THE TWINE
Fueled by its second-half shooting against Holy Names (11/11), UC Davis ended its evening with a .609 field goal percentage. That percentage is the team’s highest since its 26-for-43 (.605) effort against Cal Poly, also earned inside The Pavilion, on Jan. 10, 2013.
HOME SWEET HOME
With its 80-54 win against Holy Names, UC Davis has earned victories in six of its home openers since beginning its transition to Division I competition in 2004.
BLAST FROM THE PAST
Former UC Davis student-athlete and current assistant coach Kevin Nosek enjoyed his best collegiate game during his senior year when the Aggies faced Holy Names. On Nov. 25, 1998, Nosek hit 4 of 5 from three-point range to finish with 12 points.
ONE SHOT SHY
In addition to holding Holy Names scoreless for 6:49, a block of time that also saw the Aggies score 19 unanswered points, Ryan Sypkens’ near-record performance helped UC Davis cruise to victory in its first home game of the year. Responsible for seven of his team’s 10 three-point field goals, Sypkens fell one basket shy of tying the program’s single-game record from distance. Sypkens, one of six players who sank eight baskets from three — including current teammates Tyler Les (12/20/11 at SJSU) and Corey Hawkins (1/19/13 at Hawai’i), nearly matched his record-tying effort that took place at Nevada (11/28) last season.
Redshirt freshman guard Darius Graham turned in his most successful performance as an Aggie on Nov. 8 when UC Davis traveled to Portland to face the Pilots in its season opener. Before the game even approached the midpoint of the first half, Graham had already surpassed his previous career high of seven points. Originally set in last season’s opener at Oklahoma State, Graham’s 12 points against Portland is a new personal best. Graham also set additional career highs by finishing with five field goals and two three-point baskets.
THE SETUP MAN
Also taking place at Portland on Nov. 8 was a career-high effort from Corey Hawkins. His game-high seven assists also doubled as a new personal best.
REUNITED AND IT FEELS SO GOOD
A meeting of familiar faces took place when UC Davis hosted Menlo College on Nov. 4, in the Aggies’ lone exhibition game of the season. Current Menlo men’s basketball head coach once competed for the men’s basketball team alongside current Aggie assistant coach Kevin Nosek; both helped UC Davis capture a Division II National Championship in 1998.
Before joining the Aggies’ staff, Nosek earned his first collegiate head coaching role when he took over the helm at Menlo. In three seasons with the Oaks, he turned around a program that had gone 4-22 his first season to one that posted a 17-11 mark and its best record in seven years. The Oaks advanced to the Cal Pac Conference Tournament semifinal game in 2004-05 and reached the title game the following year.
Assistant coach Chris Davis was placed in a unique situation that same night when the Aggies faced his son, Xavier, and his Oaks teammates. A transfer from Providence College, X. Davis competed against his father for the first time since joining Menlo men’s basketball prior to the start of the 2011-12 season.
HELLO AGAIN AMERICA
The Big West released its schedule of televised men’s basketball games this week, one that features a variety of UC Davis men’s basketball games throughout the 2013-14 season. Of these events airing on either the Pac-12, Prime Ticket or the ESPN family of networks, The Pavilion may host as many as two games based on a “Wild Card” format.
UC Davis will make its first televised appearance at Utah, on Nov. 15, in the first of two non-conference games that will air on the Pac-12 Network. The Aggies will return to the network nearly one month later when the team returns to Palo Alto for the second time in as many years to face Stanford on Dec. 14. UC Davis will appear on Fox Sports Prime Ticket when the network airs its season finale on March 8, at UC Irvine.
Five regular season Big West contests will be aired nationally on ESPN2 and ESPNU. All matchups will be determined utilizing a “Wild Card” format in which ESPN will make its selections 3-4 weeks prior to the event. Four ESPNU games are slated for Jan. 16, Feb. 1, March 1 and 6, while ESPN2 will also host a March 1 game. Road matchups at UC Santa Barbara (2/1) and UC Riverside (3/6) are two of four UC Davis games that are on ESPN’s docket, also included are home games against UC Riverside (1/16) and UC Santa Barbara (3/1).
THE BIG WEST’S ELITE
Junior guard Corey Hawkins was one of six players to earn a spot in the 2013-14 Big West Preseason Media All-Conference Team as released by the conference office on Oct. 24 Comprised of two seniors and four juniors from six different institutions, Hawkins, UC Davis’ inaugural, and defending conference scoring champion, is joined by Mike Caffey (Long Beach State), Will Davis II (UC Irvine), Chris Eversley (Cal Poly), Christian Stanhardinger (Hawai’i) and Alan Williams (UC Santa Barbara).
Every player, with the exception of Davis II, earned All-Big West first team honors last season.
ONE OF BULGARIA’S BEST
The only player to possess experience against international competition, freshman forward Georgi Funtarov competed for Bulgaria’s national team on two occasions. A member of Bulgaria’s U16 and U18 national team, Funtarov was a member of the U16 squad that captured an European Championship in 2009.
Prior to his arrival in Davis, Funtarov was invited to train with Bulgaria’s U20 team.
WHAT ELSE IS LEFT?
Throughout his four years as a member of the boys’ basketball team at St. Augustine (San Diego), Brynton Lemar compiled an 88-34 record. A California All-State first team recipient as a senior, Lemar helped the Saints capture a Division III San Diego CIF, Southern California Sectional titles prior to winning to CIF Division III State Championship. On an individual level, Lemar received Sectional Most Valuable Player, San Diego CIF Player of the Year, Postseason Player of the Year and All-CIF first team accolades.
A TRUE (ALL) AMERICAN
Junior guard Corey Hawkins received preseason all-American recognition by NBC Sports when the network added the reigning Big West scoring champion to its third team. NBC Sports was the second of two organizations to bestow all-American distinction on Hawkins as CollegeInsider.com included him on its Lute Olson Preseason All-American Team.
Joining Hawkins on College Insider’s list from other mid-major teams are: Billy Baron (Canisius), Tyler Haws (BYU), Cleanthony Early (Wichita State), Jake Odum (Indiana State) and Kevin Pangos (Gonzaga).
HIS NAME IS ON THE LIST
In early October, CBSSports.com’s Garry Parrish and his panel of college basketball pundits ranked Corey Hawkins as one of the top 100 players in college basketball for the 2013-14 season. Ranked No. 80 by Parrish and his colleagues, Hawkins is the only player from the Big West Conference to earn a ranking as one of the country’s top talents.
In his article, Parrish and his colleagues Jeff Borzello and Matt Norlander collaborated to create a list of college basketball’s top 100 players entering this season. Hawkins, one of the few mid-major players from across the nation that earned praised from the panel, was ranked higher than his peers who compete for various ACC, American Athletic (former Big East members), Big East, Big Ten, SEC and Pac-12 programs.
ESPN EYES HAWKINS...
Nationally renowned ESPN college basketball analyst Jeff Goodman is the latest pundit to add Corey Hawkins to his exclusive list of the country’s top mid-major talents.
Goodman recently released a list of 20-plus players from mid-major programs containing players college basketball fans should keep an eye on throughout the 2013-14 season because each possesses the potential to become an NBA prospect. On this list were two Les recruits, one of which helped UC Davis record one of the biggest turnarounds in the nation last season.
In his first season as an Aggie, Hawkins earned UC Davis’ inaugural Big West scoring title by finishing with a 20.3 points per game average, one of the top figures in the country, shot over 84 percent from the line and 40 percent from three.
... AND TABS LEMAR AS ONE TO WATCH
Freshman point guard Brynton Lemar has been selected as one of five freshmen to watch by ESPN’s Myron Medcalf. The No. 41 point guard in the 2013 class per RecruitingNation, Lemar is joined by Saint Mary’s Calvin Hermanson, BYU’s Eric Kika, UC Irvine’s Mamadou Ndiaye and Loyola Marymount’s Patsone Siame.
ADDITIONAL ACCOLADES BESTOWED ON HAWKINS
In his annual list of the top 50 players in college basketball, junior guard Corey Hawkins received national recognition from Big Lead Sports/USA Today’s Jason McIntyre as one of college basketball’s best talents entering the 2013-14 season.
When compiling his list, McIntyre took a player’s level of talent, defensive prowess, unselfishness, leadership skills and potential into consideration before he ranked student-athletes. Even though Hawkins was one of 13 players that narrowly missed the top 50 threshold, McIntyre still felt he deserved recognition for his individual success and influence in helping the Aggies record one of the biggest turnarounds in the country last season.
In a Bleacher Report column by Doug Brodess, the junior is heralded as one of the 10 most underrated guards in the nation entering the 2013-14 season. Brodess also encourages college basketball fans to keep an eye on Hawkins throughout his two remaining years as an Aggie due to his successful sophomore campaign. Last season, Hawkins averaged 20.3 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.5 steals per game. On 15 occasions, he scored 20 or more points; in five games he scored 30 or more.
SEARCH GLOBALLY, COMPETE LOCALLY
UC Davis will field one of its most internationally diverse rosters this year as four players from outside the United States will don a UC Davis uniform this season. Returning to action for head coach Jim Les is Olivier-Paul Betu, a native of Montreal, Canada. Hailing from Perth, Australis, and forced to redshirt the 2012-13 year due to NCAA transfer regulations, Iggy Nujic’s first opportunity to compete for the Aggies will take place this year.
Joining the program as incoming freshmen are two players with European backgrounds. Arriving to Davis from Sofia, Bulgaria, and London, England, respectively are Georgi Funtarov and Ivan Nikolic.
DISSECTING UC DAVIS’ ROSTER
In addition to four newcomers and three players who redshirted the 2012-13 season, six letterwinners complete UC Davis men’s basketball’s 2013-14 roster.
Olivier-Paul Betu, Darius Graham, Corey Hawkins, Avery Johnson, Brynton Lemar, Tyler Les, Carlos Mancasola, Ryan Sypkens
J.T. Adenrele, Clint Bozner, Justin Dueck, Georgi Funtarov, Ivan Nikolic, Iggy Nujic, Josh Ritchart
Tyler Les, Josh Ritchart, Ryan Sypkens
J.T. Adenrele, Clint Bozner, Corey Hawkins, Avery Johnson, Iggy Nujic
Olivier-Paul Betu, Justin Dueck
Redshirt Freshmen (1)
Georgi Funtarov, Brynton Lemar, Carlos Mancasola, Ivan Nikolic
FROM THE PAST TO THE PRESENT
The 2012-13 season is the sixth for UC Davis athletics as a member of the Big West Conference. Previous conference affiliations include:
Far West Conference
Northern California Athletic Conference
California Collegiate Athletic Conference
Division I Independent
Big West Conference
NOTE: The Far West changed its name to the Northern California Athletic Conference in 1982
ONE FINAL LOOK AT THE 2012-13 SEASON
Broken records, a remarkable turnaround and a memorable evening in front of a nationally televised audience are just a few of numerous highlights that took place throughout the 2012-13 season, the most successful one for UC Davis since its transition to Division I competition.
In addition to its +10 Division I win differential, one of the top turnarounds in the nation, last year’s team captured 14 overall, nine conference and six road victories — all program highs. That roster also posted the program’s highest field goal (.473) and three-point shooting percentages (.405) in the Div. I era and ended the 2012-13 season with national distinction in five categories:
No. 3 in three-point field goals made per game (8.3)
No. 17 in three-point field goal percentage (.405)
No. 18 in field goal percentage (.473)
No. 44 in assists per game (14.8)
No. 80 in scoring (71.3)
In his first season at UC Davis, guard Corey Hawkins captured the program’s first Big West scoring title, was named to the Lou Henson Mid-Major All-America team, ended his season ranked No. 13 in the country and No. 1 in the Big West Conference in scoring (20.3), received Big West Newcomer of the Year and All-Big West first team honors, broke a 34-year-old school record by scoring 40 points and set a new program record by scoring 569 points, the highest single-season total ever recorded by a sophomore.
Hawkins was not the only player with a record-setting season as guard Ryan Sypkens set two new school records - most three point field goals made in a single season (106) and career (220) — ended his season ranked No. 2 in the nation in three-point field goal percentage (.461) and No. 4 in three-point field goals made per game (3.66) en route to earning all-conference honorable mention for the first time as an Aggie.