#121 UC Davis Men's Basketball 2018-2019 Preview

UC Davis Aggies
2018-2019 Overall Rank: #121
Conference Rank: #2 Big West
 UC Davis Logo
After a few rough seasons, UC Davis has emerged as a very dangerous team in the Big West under Coach Jim Les. Three times in the last four years the Aggies have reached either the NIT or the NCAA Tournament. In 2017-2018, UC Davis won the regular season title, but were upset by Cal State Fullerton in the semifinals of the conference tournament and had to settle for a trip to the NIT. Once again the Aggies have the talent to get to the postseason and this time they will hope for another trip to the NCAA Tournament instead of the NIT.
2017-18 Record: 22-11, 12-4
2017-18 Postseason: NIT
Coach: Jim Les
Coach Record: 109-115 at UC Davis, 263-255 overall
Key Departed Players:
Chima Moneke, Forward, 18.4 ppg
Michael Onyebalu, Guard, 5.8 ppg
Arell Hennings, Guard, 3.2 ppg
Key Returning Players:
TJ Shorts II, Senior, Guard, 14.8 ppg
Siler Schneider, Senior, Guard, 13.9 ppg
Garrison Goode, Senior, Forward, 4.8 ppg
AJ John, Senior, Forward, 7.9 ppg
Joe Mooney, Junior, Guard, 6.5 ppg
Rogers Printup, Junior, Guard, 3.8 ppg
Colin Russell, Senior, Forward, 1.7 ppg
Delveion Jackson, Sophomore, Guard, 1.3 ppg
Key New Players:
Stefan Gonzalez, Junior Guard, Transfer from St. Mary’s
Gio Nelson, RS Freshman, Guard
Matt Neufeld, Junior, Center, Transfer from Saint Louis
Jonah Underwood, Junior, Forward, Transfer from San Jose City
Cameron Ba, Freshman, Guard
Caleb Fuller, Freshman, Guard
B.J. Shaw, Freshman, Guard
Damion Squire, Freshman, Guard
TJ Shorts II came to UC Davis last season after a couple years at the junior college level and immediately became the conference’s best player. The 5-9 senior averaged 14.8 points, 4.4 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 1.9 steals. He won the Big West Newcomer and Player of the Year Awards and will look to add the latter to his resume once again. Siler Schneider adds another quality scoring threat to the backcourt. With Joe Mooney and Rogers Printup back, the backcourt has plenty of options. The potential concern is in the frontcourt where Chima Moneke needs to be replaced after averaging 18.4 points, 9.6 rebounds and 1.1 blocks. AJ John and Garrison Goode are the most productive frontcourt players returning, but the Aggies also bring in Matt Neufeld, a transfer from Saint Louis, and junior college transfer Jonah Underwood to help bolster the unit. As long as the frontcourt can at least be serviceable without Moneke, the backcourt will be able to carry UC Davis back towards the top of the Big West.
Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 72.3 (217th in nation, 4th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 67.9 (61, 2)
Field-Goal Percentage: 46.4 (78, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.5 (86, 4)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.5 (283, 4)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 37.2 (74, 2)
Free-Throw Percentage: 71.6 (159, 4)
Rebound Margin: -2.1 (273, 6)
Assists Per Game: 12.2 (281, 8)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.0 (183, 4)