UC Davis Hosts Causeway Classic - Hoops Style

Alex Tiffin has started all five games for UC Davis this season.

Nov. 21, 2011

Sacramento State Hornets (2-1)
UC Davis Aggies (1-4)

Nov. 22, 2011 • 7 p.m. • The Pavilion (5,931)
TV: None
Radio: KSAC (105.5 FM)
Internet Audio: www.ucdavisaggies.com
TV/RADIO/INTERNET: All UC Davis games will be aired on KSAC (105.5 FM)... This is the first year the Aggies and KSAC have teamed to air UC Davis men’s basketball... Pregame begins 30 minutes before tipoff... SCOTT MARSH will call the play-by-play for all games and BILL HERENDA will provide analysis for most contests... All games will also be streamed free of charge on www.ucdavisaggies.com.

LIVE STATS: Live stats are available for all home and most UC Davis games by visiting www.ucdavisaggies.com... Media are advised to select “Media View” on Gametracker for stats updated the quickest while covering home games.

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 finishes the first of two three-game homestands this season by hosting rival Sacramento State in men’s basketball’s version of the Causeway Classic... This is the eighth consecutive season the teams have met since resuming their longtime series in 2004... The Hornets own a 4-3 advantage in the recent resumption... The visiting team has won the last two games in the series... This is also the last matchup before UC Davis embarks on six road games in their next seven including five straight beginning Dec. 11 at Hawai’i... The Aggies have made just nine three-pointers their last two games after making 14 each in back-to-back games against Bryant and San Diego State... Still, they lead the Big West in three-pointers per game (9.0) and rank second in percentage (.357)... G Ryan Sypkens (3.5) and G/F Josh Ritchart (2.6) are first and third, respectively, among conference players... UC Davis is also fourth in overall field goal pct. (.442) and in scoring (69.0)... The Aggies have also been hot from the charity stripe the past two home games, combining to shoot 78.6 percent (44 of 56)... Ritchart (16.0 ppg.), the team’s leading scorer, is the only Aggie to reach double figures in each of their five games... F Ryan Howley (6.6 rpg) has led the team in rebounding in four of the five matchups... The Hornets are the first of two straight Big Sky Conference opponents for UC Davis which travels to Eastern Washington for a game on Sunday... F Alex Tiffin, Howley and Ritchart are the only Aggies to start every game... G Ryan Sypkens missed Friday’s game due to injury.

ALL-TIME SERIES VS. HORNETS: Sacramento State leads 64-44 in the all-time series between the programs... The Hornets have captured three of the past four at The Pavilion, including a 59-57 victory the last time the teams met on Hamilton Court in 2009... Sacramento State rattled off 10 straight wins between 1955-59 - its longest winning streak in the series - while UC Davis won five in a row from 1967-70... The Aggies are 13-8 against the Hornets at The Pavilion.

HORNETS SCOUTING REPORT: Sacramento State got off to its first 2-0 start since 2000-01 with wins over Menlo (70-56) and Central Arkansas (75-54) before dropping a close 79-68 game at Washington State last Thursday in its most recent matchup... JOHN DICKSON (15.0) and JOE EBERHARD (13.0) are both scoring in double figures with Dickson is shooting 56.3 percent from the field... The Hornets are allowing just 63.0 ppg, are shooting 50.0 percent and are outrebounding opponents 35.3-29.7 rpg... Eberhard (8.7) and Dickson (6.0) are the top two Sacramento State players in that department... The Hornets have just 14 three-pointers so far but are holding the opposition to just 28.6 percent from beyond the arc and only 12 treys overall.. Dickson had 21 points at Washington State while Eberhard had a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds... The Hornets led 39-36 at halftime before being outscored by 14 points in the second half.   

STANFORD 70, UC DAVIS 49: Stanford used a decisive 18-2 run after UC Davis opened the second half with nine straight points to close to within eight, as the Cardinal went on to beat the Aggies 70-49 in a nonconference men’s basketball game played before 4,427 fans at The Pavilion on Friday night... Sophomore G/F Josh Ritchart made a trio of three-pointers and scored a game-high 19 points for UC Davis which fell to 1-4 on the young season. Sophomore G Harrison Dupont added 10 points... The Cardinal shot 51.6 percent in the first half opening a 19-point lead before going into halftime with a 36-19 advantage... However, DuPont scored the first four points after intermission, Ritchart’s three-pointer with 17 minutes, 40 seconds left capped five straight points for him and UC Davis got to within 36-28... ANTHONY BROWN had seven points during the 18-2 Cardinal run while Dwight Powell and Josh Huestis each had four.

FREE THROWS HEATING UP: The Aggies made 15 of 25 (.600) free throws against Southern Utah in the opener and went a combined 5 for 12  (.417) over their next two games before finding their rhythm with efforts of 29 of 35 (.829) and 15 of 21 (.714) against UC Santa Cruz and Stanford, respectively... Those performances helped bump them to 68.8 percent overall, fourth in the Big West... UC Davis shot 72.8 percent from the charity stripe last season... Opponents are shooting just 60.6 percent.

BATTLE OF THE BOARDS: Opponents have outrebounded UC Davis in four of five games so far but only two of those have been by at least 10 boards... Take away Southern Utah (20) and Stanford (13), the Aggies have only been beaten on the boards by a total of five rebounds in the other three games combined... The only team they’ve outrebounded was UC Santa Cruz (36-35).

SHOOTING STRONG: Except for being held to just 38.5 percent (15 of 39) by Stanford, UC Davis has shot at least 40 percent from the field in the other four games including high-water marks of 49.1 percent against Southern Utah and 47.6 percent at San Diego State... The Aggies are currently fourth in the Big West at 44.2 percent.

COMFORTABLE FROM THREE: G Ryan Sypkens and G Tyler Les are both comfortable from beyond the arc.. Of Sypken’s 54 shots, 37 of them (.685) have come from three-point territory while 17 of Les’ 25 shots (.680) have been from that distance... Overall, 47.2 percent of the Aggies’ shots have been three-pointers.

SYPKENS FROM LONG RANGE: G Ryan Sypkens made 66 three-pointers during his sophomore season last year and got off to a strong start as a junior, canning 14 (3.5 avg.) over his first four games... He currently leads the Big West for treys made (3.5)... He had 19 points against both Southern Utah and San Diego State at the season-opening Basketball Traveler’s Classic hosted by the Aztecs... While it doesn’t officially count, Sypkens had a monster game against Menlo in an exhibition on Nov. 4, making a half-dozen three-pointers and scoring 30 points.

CORBIN DISHING IT EARLY: Freshman G Tyrell Corbin made his Aggie debut with a strong effort against Southern Utah, scoring 15 points and picking up five assists in the opener... He also had seven dishes in the Nov. 13 game against San Diego State... He is currently averaging 4.0 apg, tied for fourth in the Big West.

RITCHART RETURNS: G/F Josh Ritchart, made his true freshman season with the Aggies last year a memorable one, earning Big West Co-Freshman of the Year and Freshman Mid-Major All-America (CollegeInsider.com) honors after averaging 7.9 ppg and 2.5 rpg... He ranked second in the Big West in three-point pct. (.409) and had a breakout game at UCLA when he scored 23 points (9 of 12 FG)... He had five treys against the Bruins... He also had 20 points in an early Big West game at Cal State Fullerton.

DUPONT IS DUPER IN DEBUT: After transferring from The Citadel after his freshman season, F Harrison Dupont had to wait a year to get on the floor with UC Davis because of NCAA transfer rules... Injury prevented him from making his debut until last Tuesday but he did so in strong fashion, scoring 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting against UC Santa Cruz... He scored 11 points in the second half... DuPont also added a couple of steals before fouling out with 3:53 left... He added 10 points agaisnt Stanford... DuPont came to the Aggies after starting 19 games at The Citadel in 2009-10, averaging 8.3 ppg. and earning Southern Conference All-Freshman Team accolades from both the coaches and media.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

ROSTER MAKEUP: Ten of UC Davis’ 16 players are underclassmen... Broken down, the Aggies’ roster is comprised of four freshman, six sophomores, three juniors and three seniors.

COMING VIA TRANSFER: Four players have made their way to UC Davis from other schools, three of them from Div. I programs... G Eddie Miller (Cal), F Harrison Dupont (The Citadel) and G Corey Hawkins (Arizona State) are four-year transfers while G Paolo Mancasola is a JC transfer from Shasta College, although he did redshirt a season at the University of San Diego.

FIFTH YEAR IN BIG WEST: The Aggies enter their fifth season in the Big West Conference after officially joining the league in 2007... UC Davis is 21-43 (.328) in its previous four seasons, earning trips to the conference tournament in 2009 and 2010, the latter when it advanced to the semifinals... The Aggies are 46-80 (.365) at the Div. I level overall... They had a program-best 14 wins in 2009-10, finishing 14-18 overall.

CHALLENGING SCHEDULE: UC Davis’ schedule has it facing 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 (L,70-49, 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 THREE: 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 Nov. 9 and then added G OLIVIER-PAUL BETU (Worcester Academy; Worcester, Mass.) this past 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... Betu, originally from Montreal, is the fourth-rated guard in Canada’s prep class of 2012 and the 18th-rated player overall... He averaged 15.1 ppg. and 5.1 assists last year.

LOOKING AHEAD: UC Davis hits the road for the first of six games in their next seven away from The Pavilion... The Aggies will face Eastern Washington on Sunday in the first-ever meeting between the teams.