UC Davis men’s basketball coach Jim Les will have a lot more options up front next season, as the Aggies — who will get big men Josh Ritchart and J.T. Adenrele back from injury — announced that versatile 6-foot-11 forward/center Neal Monson has signed a National Letter of Intent.
“Neal’s size, skill, maturity and basketball IQ will make an immediate impact on our program,” Les said. “He can score in a variety of ways, is an accomplished rebounder, and is an excellent interior defender.
“Neal is also a first-class student and person, and will be a great ambassador of our program.”
Before embarking on a two-year Mormon mission in Oaxaca, Mexico, Monson was slated to compete for the men’s basketball team at Utah. Instead, he chose community service over athletics and traveled south to begin his brief respite from academics and basketball.
Monson then enrolled at Salt Lake Community College, and quickly earned a spot as the Bruins’ starting center. The only SLCC player to start in every game, Monson averaged 14.4 points and led his team in rebounding at 8.4 per game. He added a team-high 36 blocks on his way to earning All-American recognition.
Monson joins all-Ohio guard Isaiah Walton, who signed during the fall period, and City College of San Francisco standout Josh Fox, a forward who committed to UCD last week, in the Aggies’ 2014 recruiting class.
UCD men’s tennis
Freshmen Alec Adamson and James Wade lead a list of six Aggies who earned All-Big West Conference honors this week.
Adamson and Wade were each named to the all-conference first team in singles, becoming only the third and fourth players to earn the honor since UCD joined the league in 2008. Adamson added to his award haul by joining teammate Adam Levie on the All-Big West doubles first team.
In addition, senior captain Kyle Miller capped his Aggie career with his third all-league selection — a second-team honor — while the duo of Brett Bacharach and Adam Luba earned a spot on the All-Big West doubles second team.
UCD women’s tennis
Megan Heneghan a earned spot on the All-Big West singles first team and doubles honorable mention with partner Melissa Kobayakawa to pace four Aggies recognized by the conference this week.
UCD’s Nicole Koehly and Layla Sanders were picked for the all-league doubles first team.
Heneghan capped an outstanding Aggie career with her fourth All-Big West singles nod and her third on the first team. The former prep star from Tustin also pulled off the singles/doubles combo in her freshman season.
UCD women’s water polo
Senior center Hannah Curran garnered second-team honors while sophomore center Allyson Hansen picked up honorable mention when the Big West announced its all-conference teams this week.
It’s the first all-league nod for each player
Curran, from Martinez, scored 36 goals with 13 assists, 11 steals and 24 drawn exclusions. She finished with 103 career goals.
Hansen, who returned to action after sitting out 2013 due to injury, led the Aggies in goals (43), total points (64), 6-on-5 goals (18) and drawn exclusions (63 majors, nine five-meter). From Concord, Hansen also had 21 assists, a .453 shooting percentage, 25 steals and seven field blocks.
UCD field hockey
Junior midfielder Elizabeth Landry, a former Newcomer of the Year and first-team honoree, was named to the All-Mountain Pacific Sports Federation second team this week.
Landry, a former prep standout at Acalanes, finished the 2014 season with team highs of 48 goals, 18 assists, 66 total points, 113 shots, 15-for-34 shooting on eight-meter chances and 59 draw controls. She also had 16 ground balls and 11 caused turnovers.
Landry captured MPSF Offensive Player of the Week honors in the final week of the regular season, having scored a career-high seven goals against St. Mary’s on April 25.
Watney at Wells Fargo
Playing in the first round of the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Thursday, Davis High graduate Nick Watney played solidly early, before a bogey on No. 9 got him off track.
The former Blue Devil struggled though a back nine that included a double-bogey on the par-4 11th, and finished at 3-over for the day.
He was nine strokes back of leader Angel Cabrera, who shot a 6-under 66.
Cats offense explodes in win
First baseman Nate Freiman went 3-for-5 with a run scored and four RBIs as the Sacramento River Cats put up 14 hits in the club’s 11-7 win over the Tacoma Rainiers on Thursday night at Raley Field.
Tacoma took an early lead when second baseman Ty Kelly, a former UCD standout, doubled and scored to start a 3-0 second inning.
However, home runs by Kent Matthes and Michael Taylor helped the Cats open up an 11-4 lead through six innings.