Photo by: Jimmy Gekas/Sideline Studios
Hunter Walker returns for his sophomore year and is poised for a strong 2013-14 season.
UCSD Begins Season at Home Against Daemen College
Release: Wednesday 11/13/2013 

Game One
vs. Daemen College (2-0)
Friday, Nov. 15 • 7:00 p.m.
RIMAC Arena • La Jolla
Live Video/Audio
Live Stats
Radio: ESPN 1700 AM

UCSD students and children under seven are admitted free to all regular season home games. Tickets for all games at RIMAC Arena are available at the main entrance on game day. General admission prices are $10 for adults (ages seven and up) and $5 for seniors (ages 65 and up), visiting students and UCSD Alumni Association members. For info on group tickets or other questions, please call 858.534.2508.

UCSD opens the 2013-14 campaign at home against Daemen College. Since the 2005-06 season, the Tritons are 2-6 in their season openers but have tallied a mark of 5-3 in home openers. Last season, UCSD suffered a setback against Grand Canyon in the first game at RIMAC Arena, 65-52. Friday's game marks the first home and regular season contest for head coach Eric Olen.

For the third consecutive season, a majority of UCSD's men's basketball games will be broadcast by ESPN Radio 1700 AM. A total of 17 non-conference and California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) games will be on air, beginning Friday as UCSD opens its season by hosting Daemen College at RIMAC Arena. Following that, all home CCAA games, four conference road contests and the Nov. 30 (1 p.m.) game against Academy of Art, will be broadcast. Craig Elsten, entering his fifth season as the voice of Triton men's and women's basketball during the team's online broadcasts, will serve as the play-by-play announcer. Color commentary will be handled by several individuals, including former UCSD players. A full list of games being aired can be found by clicking here.

All UCSD home games will feature a live online video stream that will be coupled with the audio from the ESPN Radio 1700 AM broadcast. You can access the video/audio feed by clicking here. In addition, all home games will be covered by live stats, which can be viewed by clicking here.

In exhibition play on Oct. 25 at Pitt, UCSD had the game tied with 7:46 remaining and trailed by just two points at 4:26, but the Panthers turned up the heat late and came away with a 72-59 win at Petersen Events Center. James McCann and MacKenzie McCullough each totaled 13 points for the Tritons, with McCann tacking on five rebounds and five assists. Drew Dyer had a team-high seven boards as UCSD was out-rebounded by just four, 33-29. The Tritons hit 10 three-pointers in the game, three of those coming from Aleks Lipovic. Pitt's Talib Zanna recorded a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds, both game-highs. Lamar Patterson totaled 16 points, while James Robinson had 10 points, four boards and six assists. The Panthers, heading into their first season playing in the Atlantic Coast Conference, were picked to finish sixth in the 15-team league, behind Duke, Syracuse, North Carolina, Virginia and Notre Dame.

UCSD traveled to Phoenix last Friday to face Grand Canyon in its final exhibition tune-up at GCU Arena, and returned to La Jolla with a 71-63 victory. McCullough led the Tritons in scoring with a game-high 22 points, nailing five of six shots behind the arc, and shot 8-12 from the field overall. He added a team-high seven boards in the win. Three other Tritons finished with 10 or more points, including McCann (17), Lipovic (14) and Hunter Walker (11). Walker dished out five assists while Lipovic drained four three-pointers. UCSD netted 12 treys in the game and shot 24 of 54 overall from the field, 44.4%. GCU, in its first season as a member of NCAA Division I, was led by Jerome Garrison's 17 points.

UCSD opened its 2012-13 slate with an exhibition game at San Diego State, ranked 20th in NCAA Division I. The Tritons fell, 80-56, as the Aztecs made over 49 percent of their shots and scored 23 points off 15 UCSD turnovers. Dyer led the Tritons with 13 points on 4-for-6 shooting. McCann totaled 10 points, also making four of six shots. Brandon Blanchard and Justin Brue each totaled a game-high seven rebounds. For SDSU, Chase Tapley had 15 points and Jamaal Franklin dropped 13.

In the California Collegiate Athletic Association's (CCAA) annual preseason coaches poll, UC San Diego was picked to finish 11th in the regular season standings. Cal State San Bernardino garnered 115 points and six first-place votes to take the top spot. Cal Poly Pomona, last season's CCAA regular season champion, was just behind in second place with 112 points and the remaining six first-place votes. San Francisco State amassed 92 points to round out the league's top three. Chico State (91 points) was fourth, Cal State Dominguez Hills (86 points) fifth, Cal State L.A. (75 points) sixth, Sonoma State (60 points) seventh, Humboldt State (48 points) eighth, Cal State Stanislaus (40 points) ninth and Cal State East Bay (32 points) 10th. The Tritons, who finished seventh in the CCAA last year, totaled 24 points for 11th place. Cal State Monterey Bay (17 points) was 12th.

PROBABLE TRITON STARTERS (2012-13 stats listed)
G - #10 James McCann (Sr., 5-11/165): 26 GP, 30.8 MPG, 13.6 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 4.8 APG, 0.8 SPG
G - #15 Aleks Lipovic (RFr., 6-4/185): Redshirt
F - #23 Hunter Walker (So., 6-4/205): 23 GP, 14.7 MPG, 4.7 PPG, 1.1 RPG
F - #11 MacKenzie McCullough (Sr., 6-4/195): 24 GP, 16.0 MPG, 3.1 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 0.5 BPG
F - #14 Drew Dyer (So., 6-6/210): 26 GP, 25.8 MPG, 9.3 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 1.0 APG

UCSD returns a pair of starters from last season's team that advanced to the CCAA Tournament for the first time since 2009. Senior James McCann, a 2012-13 All-CCAA Second Team pick, returns at the point guard position. McCann was second in the league in assists (4.8/game) and eighth in scoring (13.6 points/game). Sophomore forward Drew Dyer is also back after averaging 9.3 points and 5.2 rebounds a game as a freshman. UCSD's leading scorer and All-CCAA Second Team guard Tyler McGrath was lost to graduation. Among all league players, he was first in free throw percentage (.888), fourth in scoring (14.7 points/game) and fifth in three-pointers made (52). Forward Justin Brue also graduated after averaging a team-best 7.0 rebounds a game. He ranked sixth in the CCAA in boards and seventh in blocks (1.0/game). Guard Ryan Peters, who started all 26 games, graduated as well. For a complete breakdown of who's back and who isn't, click here.

Long-time UCSD assistant coach Eric Olen was named the program's 12th head coach on Oct. 1, 2013. Olen joined the Tritons as a second assistant for the 2004-05 season and was promoted to first assistant the next season. He was on the bench during the 2007-08 campaign when UCSD won its first CCAA Tournament title and earned its first berth in the NCAA Tournament. As a player at Spring Hill College in Mobile, Ala., Olen helped the Badgers to three straight appearances in the NAIA National Tournament, including trips to the NAIA Elite Eight in 2000 and 2001.

First-year UCSD head coach Eric Olen will have a weekly segment on XX Sports 1090's "Coach" Kentera Show. The first show will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 13, at 8:30 p.m. Each week thereafter, Olen will join Coach Kentera on Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. You can listen to the show on the radio or live online.

Daemen College enters 2013-14 playing in its first season as a member of the East Coast Conference (ECC) as the school enters the second year of the transition into NCAA Division II. The Wildcats return 10 players and four starters from a team that set a school record of 27 wins in 2012-13. Since Daemen is not eligible for postseason play as part of the transition process into DII, the school competes in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA). The Wildcats earned a runner-up finish in the USCAA Division I National Championship a year ago and has renewed its affiliation with the organization in the coming year with hopes to take care of unfinished business. Daemen returns senior guard Casey Sheehan and junior forward Gerald Beverly as the core of the Wildcat attack. Sheehan scored a team-best 16 points per game while shooting 48-perecent from the floor last season. Beverly, at 6-foot-7 and 225 pounds, averaged 14.3 points and 8 rebounds per game last season and added 59 blocks in the middle. The Wildcats also return senior point guard Mark Coppola, who tied a school record with 203 assists in ’12-13, and senior small forward Kadeem Johnson, who averaged 10.1 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. Another weapon for the Wildcats is junior forward Jordan Greene, who hit 43-percent from long range and totaled 69 triples last season. Daemen is currently 2-0 in its 2013-14 campaign after picking up wins against Ohio Valley, 111-90, and Goldey-Beacom College, 59-56, at the Knee Center of WNY Tip-Off Classic in Amherst, N.Y. Beverly powered the Wildcats to the pair of victories after averaging 19 points and 14.5 rebounds per game. He produced 20 points, 15 rebounds and eight blocks in the win over Ohio Valley before adding 18 points and 14 rebounds in the victory over Goldey-Beacom. He was named the Most Valuable Player of the classic and earned ECC Player of the Week for his efforts. The Wildcats are led by head coach Don Silveri, who returns for his 25th season at the helm.

Friday’s meeting marks the first-ever game between Daemen and UCSD.

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The Tritons kick off their CCAA campaign at league favorite Cal State San Bernardino on Thursday, Nov. 21, at 7 p.m.


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