While it’s not usually fashion that is on the minds of UC Davis men’s basketball fans come game time, there are a couple of apparel decisions Aggie Nation will notice on Thursday when the locals host Hawaii at 7 p.m. at The Pavilion.
While those in attendance definitely will see UCD coach Jim Les wearing sneakers instead of dress shoes — in support of the NCAA’s annual Coaches vs. Cancer Suits and Sneakers Awareness Weekend — fans also shouldn’t be surprised to see senior Josh Ritchart wearing red.
That’s because Les announced Wednesday that Ritchart will miss the rest of the 2013-14 campaign due to a season-ending lower leg injury. He is expected to redshirt and be back to play for the Aggies next year.
“Josh has worked countless hours with our medical staff to get back on the basketball floor,” Les said. “Unfortunately, his injury has not responded as we have hoped; we look forward to Josh getting completely healthy for the 2014-15 season.”
A fixture in the team’s starting lineup throughout his nine appearances this season, Ritchart averaged 17.3 points and 6.6 rebounds before missing the Aggies’ past 10 games.
Before he was forced to the sideline, Ritchart was UCD’s top scorer, leading rebounder and No. 1 shot blocker (1.3 blocks per game). By shooting 50 percent or higher from the field in every game he played, Ritchart led all Big West Conference players with a .563 percentage from 3-point range and was No. 2 with a .632 field-goal percentage.
The Big West Conference recognized Ritchart as its Player of the Week on Nov. 25 after posting career highs in points (35), rebounds (13), field goals (12) and free throws (8) in the Aggies’ game against SIU-Edwardsville at the Portland State Tournament. Despite suffering his injury a week earlier, Ritchart played through pain at that tourney, averaging 20.3 points and 9.7 rebounds, and shooting .676 from the floor and .444 from long distance in the three-day event.