Wednesday, April 23, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

UC Davis men begin basketball workouts

By
From page B1 | October 03, 2013 | 1 Comment

The UC Davis men’s basketball team — markedly improved last season — has started practicing in earnest, hoping to take its entertaining run-and-shoot, three-guard offense to the next level.

As spirited workouts began this week, The Enterprise checked in with third-year coach Jim Les for an update on the Aggies.

“This was a good, productive summer,” says the former Bradley coach and player and one-time Sacramento King. “We have a lot of returning guys who have a good understanding of what we have to do to be successful.”

Coming off a season that saw UCD improve 10 games in the win column (14-17, 9-9 in Big West Conference), Les welcomed back All-Everything Corey Hawkins and his dead-eye perimeter-mates Ryan Sypkens and Tyler Les.

Back, too, are sophomore Olivier-Paul Betu, redshirt freshman Darius Graham, senior swingman Josh Ritchart, USF transfer Avery Johnson, forwards Izzy Nujic and Clint Bozner (both juniors) and sophomore forward Justin Dueck.

“We want to continue on this path (increasing wins by the handful),” Les says. “We’ve gone from four (wins) to 14. Now the challenge that I’m putting on this group of guys is that next jump. … From 14 into that 20-whatever range is the biggest, toughest, most challenging jump.

“That’s where we want to go. There’s no question we’re going to be an entertaining team to watch; a team that plays extremely hard, but now the results have to be there.

“Come March, we want to be competing for a championship.”

With Hawkins comes a sure-fire crowd-pleaser.

The son of former NBA standout Hersey Hawkins, the 6-foot-3 swingman earned the 2012-13 Big West scoring title with 20.3 ppg. The junior ranked 13th among scorers nationwide and earned All-Big West honors and Mid-Major All-American recognition and was named conference Newcomer of the Year (he transferred from Arizona State).

Together with now-seniors Sypkens and Tyler Les, the trio put up more than 450 3-point shots, converting 43 percent while leading the Aggies to lofty national rankings in five categories: at 8.3 treys a night, UCD ranked third in D-I; its 40 percent shooting beyond the arc was ranked 17th; field goal percentage (.473) saw the Aggies ranked No. 18; their 14.8 assists per game were the nation’s 44th-best; and scoring 71 ppg placed UCD 80th.

But gone — at least for this season — is the inside presence of J.T. Adenrele, who went down with a season-ending knee injury during an August conditioning exercise.

The 6-foot-7 junior from Oakmont High will sit out 2013-14. With him go 182 rebounds and 12.6 ppg.

“I am really disappointed for J.T.,” Les says. “But after the initial disappointment, we talked. He’ll be back. He’ll be another year older, he’ll have another year of continued growth, maturity …”

Les’ smile returned as he continued:

“Actually, I’m excited now to have another two years with that young man after this year.”

Quickly, Les refocused …

“We wanted to feel sorry for J.T., but we didn’t want to feel sorry for ourselves,” the coach adds. “The coaching staff went back to the drawing board and said ‘OK, we’re going to be different.’ What I like about our team … is now we have a chance to be better different.”

Sure, Adenrele is missed, but Les says there is a chance for others to step up , involve themselves and take ownership of the new, improved Aggies.

“Early indications? I like what we’re doing,” Les continues. “But there will be nights where we really will miss J.T.”

To help move forward, a trio of new faces also are on board.

Guard Carlos Mancasola (Central Valley High of Redding) and Brynton Lemar (St. Augustine of San Diego) have become Aggies, as has post player Georgi Funtarov (Vermont Academy by way of Bulgaria).

UCD will play an exhibition game with Menlo College on Nov. 4 (7 p.m.) at The Pavilion.

The nonconference season begins at Portland on Nov. 8. Holy Names (Oakland) comes to town Nov. 11 before the Aggies head off to Utah (Nov. 15) and back to Oregon for the three-game Portland State Tournament.

Big West play opens on the road at Cal State Northridge (Jan. 9) and Long Beach (Nov. 11) before UC Riverside and Cal State Fullerton hit The Pavilion (Jan. 16 and 18).

Notes: Les was asked if he and his son Tyler had talked about this being their final season together as coach and kid. “Not really. I told him I think our guys are truly fortunate and truly blessed to be able to go to this university and play basketball in the Big West … be treated the way they are here. I don’t know if it gets much better than this for the rest of your life — so enjoy it, make the most of the opportunity.” Specifically about father/son time: “I’ve been able to see him every day and continue the really good relationship we’ve had. I don’t know if he will say that,” the coach adds with a laugh. “But I certainly feel that way. I’m really fortunate.” … Once they were all on campus, the Aggie basketballers abandoned normal routine in what Jim Les called “Heck Week, to be politically correct.” The players went wall climbing, took on each other in paint ball competition, swam at midnight, ran early in the morning and were “physically and mentally challenged in different ways.” Les said the unusual week built team chemistry and “the camaraderie and teamwork that developed … will pay dividends for us.”

— Reach Bruce Gallaudet at bgallaudet@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8047.

Bruce Gallaudet

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

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

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    UC Davis biodigester hungers for food scraps

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
     
    New mosaic mural reflects Peña family history

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

     
    Penalty decision looms in Winters homicide case

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

    Hay bales burn east of Davis

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

     
    Woman killed by train ID’d

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

     
    Pro-Russian insurgents hold journalist captive

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Bible fun featured at Parents’ Night Out

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Davis businesswoman presides over conference

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Birch Lane sells garden plants, veggies

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Team Blend hosts fundraiser for Nicaragua project

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A3

    Davis Arts Center: See ceramics, join the Big Day of Giving

    By Erie Vitiello | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Fire damages Woodland home

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A3

    Register to vote by May 19

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Sign up for enviro organizations during Earth Week

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Sunder hosts campaign event for kids

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Church hosts discussion of mental health needs, services

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    UCD to host premiere of autism documentary

    By Cory Golden | From Page: A4

     
    UFC hears from two local historians

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Fundraiser benefits Oakley campaign

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Fire crews gather for joint training

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Odd Fellows host culinary benefit for nonprofit

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    400 bikes go up for bids at UCD auction

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    UCD professor to talk about new book

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Fly Fishers talk to focus on healthy streams, rivers

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

     
    Train to become a weather spotter

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Learn survival skills at Cache Creek Preserve

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Veterans, internees may receive overdue diplomas

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    UC Davis conference showcases undergraduate research

    By Julia Ann Easley | From Page: A5 | Gallery

     
    Conservation District celebrates its stewardship efforts

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

    Slow Food tour showcases area’s young farmers

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10

     
    .

    Forum

    Even a safe house needs boundaries

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

     
    My votes reflect city values

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

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

     
    A plea on the Bard’s birthday

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    I support Sunder for board

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Will anyone notice?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    .

    Sports

    Davis gets to Grant ace and rolls in DVC crucial

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Walchli is under par in another Devil victory

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Seniors send Blue Devil girls past Broncos in a lacrosse rout

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    DHS thunders back to win an epic DVC volleyball match

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    DHS/Franklin I goes to the Blue Devil softballers

    By Chris Saur | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
     
    Baseball roundup: Rangers rally to beat A’s in the ninth

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

    Sharks go up 3-0 with OT win

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

     
    .

    Features

     
    .

    Arts

    Five Three Oh! featured at April Performers’ Circle

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    Celebrate spring at I-House on Sunday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    Music, wine flow at Fourth Friday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    Biscuits ‘n Honey will play at winery

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
     
    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    Catharine ‘Kay’ Lathrop

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Wednesday, April 23, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B6