Thursday, April 24, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Stanford’s height presents problem for struggling UCD men

By
From page B1 | December 12, 2013 | Leave Comment

1212ucdmen1

UCD's Georgi Funtarov (12) — shown going to the hoop earlier this year — must play well inside on Saturday when the Aggies go on the road to face Stanford. Wayne Tilcock/Enterprise file photo

It’s a tall order for the UC Davis men as they travel to Stanford on Saturday.

The 5 p.m. game will be televised on Pac-12 Bay Area.

While the Aggie hoopsters are height-challenged by most Division I standards anyway, they’ll be even more so on this occasion as 6-foot-9 Josh Ritchart is likely going to watch the action again.

“It’s undetermined,” UCD coach Jim Les says of his tallest player’s return from rehab of an early-in-the-season lower-leg injury. “It’s one of those things we’re taking day by day. It’s mandatory we’re shutting him down and nobody’s giving us a timetable.”

Ritchart was injured in the first half of a 94-60 loss at Utah on Nov. 15.

The following week he scored 61 points in the three-game Portland State Invitational.

His 35 points against Southern Illinois-Edwardsville in the tournament opener was a career high and helped him earn Big West Player of the Week honors.

But the pain lingered.

Averaging 17.3 points per game, Ritchart was on the sideline — a boot on his injured right leg — during last Saturday’s 87-81 overtime loss to visiting Nevada.

“To his credit, he’s played in discomfort for a while and it got to the point where he came in and said ‘Hey, it’s getting worse. It’s not getting better,’ ” Les reports.

So now what?

The Cardinal (6-2) has a 6-10 center in Dwight Powell (15.1 ppg and seven boards a game) and a 6-6 jumping jack in Anthony Brown at one of the forwards. Brown is averaging 16.5 points and almost seven rebounds a night.

Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins has five other players 6-foot-10 or taller trying to break into his starting lineup.

UCD freshman Georgi Funtarov and junior Clint Bozner — two 6-8 forwards — will be asked to do what they can in the paint until Ritchart returns.

So what will be the Aggies’ inside strategy?

“It’ll be about positioning,” Les explains. “Make sure we’re physical with our checkouts and it’s making sure we gang-rebound.

“We’re telling our 4s and 5s that you have to put a body on someone but the guards have to come back and clean up the rebounds because they’re going to have our (inside) guys occupied. We expect everybody — not just our bigs — to be engaged in blocking out, then pursuing the basketball.”

UCD (3-7) is on a five-game losing streak, but Les thought the OT setback to the Wolfpack was a much-improved effort.

Les says the Aggies must continue to improve on defense (Stanford averages 81.8 ppg) and his team’s perimeter shooting (34 percent) could use some tightening.

“We have good shooters … and I think those shooting percentages will average out.”

Corey Hawkins has been heating up. His 34 points on Saturday were a season high.

Iggy Nujic and Ryan Sypkens — along with the emerging play of freshman guards Brynton Lemar and Darius Graham — give UCD hope in trying to tally over the trees of Stanford.

“But in the meantime we have to find other ways to win a game if we’re not shooting the ball well.

“And that’s what we’ve been harping on. If we do that, and get to where we should be shooting the ball with Corey, Syp and Iggy, then some really good things are going to happen for this team.”

Stanford beat UCD, 75-52, last December in a game that saw the Aggies hit 3-of-16 from 3-point range. In that game, J.T. Adenrele had a career-high 23 points for the locals.

The Cardinal leads the overall series 16-1. That one UCD win — a 64-58 triumph — came at The Pavilion on Dec. 4, 2005.

Notes: There is danger in the Cardinal backcourt. Junior Chasson Randle is putting up 18.5 points an outing and can be a pest on defense. … Speaking of Adenrele: the Oakmont High graduate is ahead of schedule in his rehabilitation of a knee injured in August. The 6-foot-7 forward says he “feels great” and has been attending practices, but not participating. He won’t return until next season. … Stanford’s two losses are to BYU (112-103) and 9-0-but-unranked Pittsburgh (88-67). … UCD played 10 games in 30 days to start the season and Les said it was tough to get quality practice time. However, the past two weeks have afforded some good workouts and a chance “to make adjustments.” … Because of final exams, Les has kept those practices short this week.

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

Bruce Gallaudet

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

News

 
4-H members get ready for Spring Show

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

 
Will city move forward on public power review?

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

 
Obama to Russia: More sanctions are ‘teed up’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2, 3 Comments

 
2 pursuits, 2 arrests keep Woodland officers busy

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

 
 
Youth sports in focus on radio program

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Rummage sale will benefit preschool

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Concert benefits South Korea exchange

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Conference puts focus on Arab studies

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Davis honors ‘green’ citizens

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Water rate assistance bill advances

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Program explores STEM careers for girls

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5, 5 Comments

 
Embroiderers plan a hands-on project

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Central Park Gardens to host Volunteer Orientation Day

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Volkssporting Club plans North Davis walks

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Hotel/conference center info meeting set

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
MOMS Club plans open house

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

 
Cycle de Mayo benefits Center for Families

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A8

Author to read ‘The Cat Who Chose to Dream’

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A12

 
.

Forum

Things are turning sour

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

 
The high cost of employment

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

High-five to Union Bank

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Broken sprinklers waste water

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Three more administrators?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Neustadt has experience for the job

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Here’s a plan to save big on employee costs

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6, 4 Comments

 
Davis is fair, thoughtful

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Ortiz is the right choice for Yolo

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

.

Sports

DHS tracksters sweep another DVC meet

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Another DVC blowout for DHS girls soccer

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1, 2 Comments | Gallery

Young reinvents his game to help Aggies improve on the diamond

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
DHS boys shuffle the deck to beat Cards

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

DHS/Franklin II is a close loss for Devil softballers

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
Baseball roundup: Giants slam Rockies in the 11th

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
UCD roundup: Aggies lose a softball game at Pacific

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

 
Jahn jumps to Sacramento Republic FC

By Evan Ream | From Page: B8

.

Features

.

Arts

Congressional art competition open to high school students

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
Emerson, Da Vinci to present ‘Once Upon a Mattress’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
Winters Plein Air Festival begins Friday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
Bach Soloists wrap up season on April 28

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A11

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Thursday, April 24, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B6