Thursday, October 23, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Johnson helps get Aggie men pointed in ‘right direction’

By
From page B1 | December 27, 2013 |

1227johnsonW

UCD's Avery Johnson gets in position to make a play in a game earlier this season at The Pavilion. Johnson has excelled for the Aggies this season by filling a variety of different roles. Wayne Tilcock/Enterprise file photo

UC Davis men’s basketball swingman Avery Johnson thinks last week’s 80-74 victory over visiting Air Force is good news for Aggie Nation.

“I feel like we’re definitely going in the right direction,” the junior transfer from the University of San Francisco recently told The Enterprise. “Our practices have been a lot better. Our intensity and focus on defense has improved and it’s resulting in baskets on the court and, hopefully, wins.

The Falcons came to town on Dec. 21 with a 6-4 record while the Aggies (4-9) were on a seven-game losing streak — although coming off a much-improved performance in an 87-81 overtime loss to Nevada.

Against Air Force, it was Johnson’s energy off the bench that kept the locals in the game early, then helped fuel a solid, second-half comeback.

“Avery is our utility guy,” says UCD coach Jim Les. “Whatever position he plays, I’m just grateful because he’s like ‘Hey, whatever position you want me to play …’ ”

In that win over the Falcons, Johnson played 19 minutes. On his watch, the Aggies outscored their guests 40-29. When Johnson came out of the game for good, the locals had a 74-67 lead with 47 seconds remaining.

In a game that saw UCD’s Corey Hawkins score 20 points and Ryan Sypkens get 17, Johnson set up 14 Aggie points with three assists, three steals and three deflections that became fast-break points. Johnson went 2-for-2 from the field himself.

“He’s active defensively,” Les says. “He gets his hands on a lot of balls. He’s a good, solid-IQ basketball player.

“He brings some length and athleticism to that IQ, which is really disruptive defensively.”

Johnson spent two years in the West Coast Conference, buried on the bench at USF.

He sat out last season (NCAA transfer rules) but is making his presence felt this year, especially at the defensive end.

“With Josh (Ritchart) out, I’m getting a little more work at forward,” explains the 6-foot-3 Long Beach native. “With Josh out, everybody has to do a little bit more … set up and rebound more. But we’re capable of it.”

In topping Air Force, UCD used a deliberate offense to shoot 50.9 percent from the field and stay close with the Falcons on the boards, although being outrebounded, 35-28.

If Ritchart (leg) doesn’t return soon, Les says Johnson’s role could get larger.

But for now, Johnson and his teammates just want to get better, regardless of where the credit lies.

“We’re putting in the work,” says Johnson, who was named the CIF Southern Section D-IV Player of the Year as a junior at Ocean View High. “I feel our team chemistry is definitely getting better.

“We’re on the same page as coach, things are getting to flow better and we’ve been more fluid in games.”

Johnson adds that his team isn’t going to wait around for Ritchart (16 points per game) to get healthy. There’s a sense of urgency with these Aggies. Big West Conference play starts Jan. 9 at Cal State Northridge and only nonleague games with Furman (Dec. 30) and Simpson (Jan. 2) allow for further tune-ups.

“We have to work with what we have now,” Johnson continues. “The more we focus on defense, the better we’re going to be because our offense will always be there.

“We’ve just got to get the stops. If we do that, everything else will take care of itself.”

A sociology major, Johnson says if he doesn’t play pro ball upon graduation, he’d like to be a sports psychologist.

Not a bad idea. He’s already in the head of most players he defends.

Notes: Ritchart is listed as “day-to-day” by Les and is expected to be re-examined after the holidays. His walking boot has been off but a brace still helps support his lower right leg. … Johnson is averaging 1.5 ppg in limited playing time. … Speaking of “stops:” Johnson held Southern Illinois-Edwardsville leading scorer Donivine Stewart to 9 points in the Aggies’ 80-75 victory on Nov. 22. In that game, Johnson played 32 minutes and scored a season-high eight points. … Annette and Sherman Johnson are Avery’s parents. … Furman (5-6) has spent some serious time on ESPN stations this season — with losses to 2012 NCAA tournament darling Florida Gulf Coast, Virginia Tech and Clemson all airing on the network. Game time at The Pavilion is 7 p.m. Monday.

— Reach Bruce Gallaudet at bgallaudet@davisenterprise.net or 530-320-4456.

Comments

comments

Bruce Gallaudet

.

News

 
Pioneer students meet K-9 Officer Dexter

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Versatile cycling contributor Casale Jr. heads to Hall of Fame

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Mercer Clinic benefits from pooch costume pics

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Military Families seek help to send Hugs from Home

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

High-flying fun at University Airport

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Day of the Dead observance focuses on refugee children

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

DPNS has play group, preschool openings

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Parents’ Night Out on Friday at Pole Line Baptist

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

UCD Vet Med hosts animal ‘adoptathon’

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

 
Arboretum plant sale is Saturday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Flea Market planned Sunday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Carlton invites community to its Haunted Harvest

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A4

Day of the Dead folk art class set

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Check out classic cars once again

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

A nose for mysteries: ‘Cadaver dog’ work more accepted by cops, courts

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Fly-casting champion will speak to fishing enthusiasts

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

‘Bak2Sac’ free train ride program launched

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Cooperatives meet community needs

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

Co-op trivia

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

 
Author visits Woodland for community book project

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

.

Forum

Knowledgeable, experienced

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

 
A leader our schools deserve

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

We need Sunder on board

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

 
Our view: Two more years for Garamendi

By Our View | From Page: B4

We support Archer, Adams

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: B4

A force for good on board

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

 
Two are especially qualified

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

We have confidence in Madhavi

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

 
I support John Garamendi

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

.

Sports

Blue Devils look for first home victory

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1

 
Picture perfect: DHS field hockey finishes 14-0

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Davis tennis team takes title

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Devil soccer loss sets up important final week

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

Youth roundup: Hurricanes handle American River twice in one day

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
JV/frosh roundup: DHS underclassmen shine in water polo events

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
.

Features

What’s happening

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A8

 
Hand sanitizer versus soap and water

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A8

Girl Scouts join effort to keep kids healthy

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A8 | Gallery

 
Name Droppers: Foster parent heads to First 5

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A12

.

Arts

 
San Francisco Symphony visits with conductor/pianist Zacharias

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
If it can go wrong it will go wrong

By Michael Lewis | From Page: A10

DMTC plans Halloween karaoke fundraiser

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
The Rhythm Future Quartet plays at Village Homes Community Center

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11 | Gallery

Jam with folk musicians on Friday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
DHS Madrigals plan traditional English winter celebration

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
‘Under the Covers’ concert benefits KDRT

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
All are welcome at Fun Time Follies

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

DHS Madrigals host singing workshop

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

Dorothy Foytik

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Mariana Brumbaugh Henwood

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Comics: Thursday, October 23, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B10