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 games will be on air, including all home league games and select road conference games. Both of this week's road games will broadcast live. Craig Elsten will be calling the play-by-play at Cal State L.A., while Jack Cronin will handle the duties at Cal State Dominguez Hills.
COACH AND COACH
First-year UCSD head coach Eric Olen will be a weekly guest on The Mighty 1090's "Coach" Kentera Show all season long. Olen will join host John Kentera live this Thursday, Feb. 27, at 8:30 p.m.
PROBABLE TRITON STARTERS
G - #10 James McCann (Sr., 5-11/165): 15.9 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 6.1 APG, .793 FT%, 1.0 SPG, 34.4 MPG
G - #15 Aleks Lipovic (RFr., 6-4/185): 8.9 PPG, 2.1 RPG, .436 FG%, .427 3FG%, 28.2 MPG
G - #12 Adam Klie (Fr., 6-4/190): 9.9 PPG, 3.8 RPG, .470 FG%, .378 3FG%, 27.4 MPG
F - #23 Hunter Walker (So., 6-4/205): 9.0 PPG, 4.9 RPG, .788 FT%, 28.2 MPG
F - #14 Drew Dyer (So., 6-6/210): 12.4 PPG, 5.5 RPG, .432 FG%, 31.4 MPG
THE TOURNEY PICTURE
Cal State San Bernardino, Cal Poly Pomona, Chico State and Cal State Stanislaus have already clinched berths in the six-team CCAA Tournament. Cal State L.A., UC San Diego and San Francisco State are battling for the remaining two slots. Any combination of one UCSD win and one SFSU loss would give a berth to the Tritons, plus UCSD owns the tiebreaker over the Gators.
CCAA STANDINGS (through 2/27)
T-1. Cal State San Bernardino: 18-2, 21-3
T-1. Cal Poly Pomona: 18-2, 20-4
3. Chico State: 15-5, 19-5
4. Cal State Stanislaus: 12-8, 16-8
5. Cal State L.A.: 11-9, 14-10
T-6. UC San Diego: 10-10, 14-10
T-6. San Francisco State: 10-10, 12-11
8. Cal State Monterey Bay: 7-13, 9-14
9. Humboldt State: 6-14, 11-15
10. Sonoma State: 5-15, 6-18
T-11. Cal State East Bay: 4-16, 7-19
T-11. Cal State Dominguez Hills: 4-16, 7-20
FINAL WEEK MATCH-UPS
Friday, Feb. 28
Cal State San Bernardino at Cal State Dominguez Hills
Cal State Monterey Bay at Sonoma State
UC San Diego at Cal State L.A.
Cal State East Bay at San Francisco State
Humboldt State at Chico State
Cal Poly Pomona at Cal State Stanislaus
Saturday, March 1
UC San Diego at Cal State Dominguez Hills
Cal State Monterey Bay at San Francisco State
Cal State San Bernardino at Cal State L.A.
Cal Poly Pomona at Chico State
Humboldt State at Cal State Stanislaus
Cal State East Bay at Sonoma State
Among all CCAA teams, UCSD ranks:
1. Three-Pointers Made (211)
1. Fewest Turnovers/Game (11.1)
2. Free Throw Percentage (.736)
4. Three-Point Percentage (.353)
T-5. Assists/Game (12.7)
7. Points/Game (71.2)
7. Blocks/Game (2.4)
T-7. Rebounds/Game (34.7)
8. Field Goals Made (580)
8. Field Goal Percentage (.430)
10. Free Throws Made (337)
10. Steals/Game (4.9)
Tritons ranked among the top 10 players in the CCAA include:
• Drew Dyer
T-4. Three-Pointers/Game (2.2)
8. Minutes/Game (31.4)
• Aleks Lipovic
3. Three-Pointers/Game (2.3)
3. Three-Point Percentage (.427)
2. Minutes/Game (34.4)
UCSD ranks among the top 100 teams in the nation in scoring defense (25th, 66.9), fewest turnovers (28th, 267), three-pointers/game (33rd, 8.8), three-point attempts (37th, 598), fewest turnovers/game (40th, 11.1), three-pointers (55th, 211), free throw percentage (58th, .736), field goal percentage defense (74th, .426) and assist/turnover ratio (90th, 1.1).
Individually, James McCann ranks 15th in assists/game (6.1), 20th in assists (147), 31st in assist/turnover ratio (2.8) and 98th in minutes (2063). Drew Dyer ranks 100th in three-point attempts (152).
SECOND NCAA REGIONAL RANKINGS RELEASED
The NCAA put out its second regional rankings of the season Wednesday. Cal State San Bernardino is first and is followed by Cal Poly Pomona, California Baptist, Seattle Pacific, Chico State, Dixie State, Western Washington, Dominican, Cal State Stanislaus and San Francisco State.
HITTING THE BOOKS
James McCann can be found all over UCSD's Division II career record book. He currently owns the program's top spots in assists (455), free throws made (421), free throws attempted (520) and games started (104). He is second in points (1,316), field goals made (389), field goals attempted (963), steals (91) and minutes (3,276). McCann also ranks fifth in three-pointers attempted (338), sixth in three-pointers made (117), sixth in games played (105) and eighth in rebounds (309). He also recently took over the No. 1 spot on UCSD's Division II single season assists list, checking in with 147 so far this year. In the program's all-time career record book, McCann is second in assists (record is 498) and ninth in points.
AND THE LIST GOES ON
Several other Tritons pepper the school's Division II career lists. Drew Dyer ranks eighth in three-pointers (95) and 10th in three-pointers attempted (254). Matt Bailey is seventh in assists (146), while MacKenzie McCullough is second in blocks (33), seventh in blocks/game (0.4) and eighth in free throw percentage (.798).
McCANN NAMED CCAA PLAYER OF THE WEEK...AGAIN
James McCann was named the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Player of the Week on Feb. 10. In a 66-64 win at Chico State, he recorded a game-high 23 points and four assists. His biggest assist came in the final second of the game. With the score tied at 64-64, McCann inbounded the ball to Drew Dyer, who hit a jumper at the buzzer to give the victory to UCSD. The next night, McCann had a game-high six assists and a team-high 16 points to help lift the Tritons to a 67-65 win at Cal State Stanislaus. McCann earned the award on Jan. 28 as well.
McMORE ON McCANN
Earlier this season, James McCann scored his 1,000th career point. He entered the year with 934 and his 11-point performance at Humboldt State on Dec. 5 put him over the mark. He is just the third Triton to accumulate 1,000 points during the team's NCAA Division II era (since the 2000-01 season). Overall, he is the 12th player in program history to join the club. McCann currently has 1,316 career points, second on UCSD's Division II list. Jordan Lawley (2006-10) holds the mark with 1,398 points.
UCSD is 10-5 at home and 4-5 in road games...The Tritons are out-scoring opponents 935-832 in the second half...UCSD's 17 three-pointers made against San Francisco State (2/21) were the most since March 2, 2007, when it went 18-for-22 at home against Cal State Monterey Bay...Aleks Lipovic made seven threes in the game against SFSU, the second time he has drained that many this season (Cal State Dominguez Hills on 1/24)...The last Triton to hit seven treys was Mike Meza at Cal State East Bay on Feb. 18, 2012...Adam Klie set several career-highs against San Francisco State (2/21) including points (24), field goals (9), field goals attempted (15), threes (4) and threes attempted (6)...Coming back from a concussion, Zach McMillan played last week for the first time since Jan. 17 at Sonoma State...UCSD is the only team in the league to have swept the Chico State/Cal State Stanislaus road trip this season...The Spirit Night attendance of 3,902 vs. Cal State Dominguez Hills (1/24) was the second-largest crowd ever for a men's basketball game at RIMAC Arena...McMillan's 16 rebounds against UC Merced (12/21) were a career-best and the most since Casey Ryan pulled down 20 against San Francisco State on Feb. 3, 2011...Three Tritons have posted a total of five double-doubles this season: James McCann (3), Drew Dyer (1) and MacKenzie McCullough (1)...Head coach Eric Olen earned his first career win on Nov. 15 with a 66-56 victory against Daemen College at RIMAC Arena…Olen's inaugural win came in his first career regular season contest...The Tritons’ 95 points against St. Katherine (11/27) were the most the team had scored in regulation since Nov. 4, 2011, when it poured in 102 against Chestnut Hill...UCSD has scored 90-plus points three times this season, the most since the 2007-08 season (twice)...Duke Doulphus, Klie, Lipovic, Michael Robinson and Darryl Wong have all seen their first career action as a Triton this season.
McCANN EARNS SAN DIEGO HALL OF CHAMPIONS STAR OF THE MONTH HONOR
For the month of January, James McCann led UCSD in total points (156), scoring average (17.3 points/game), field goals made (48), field goals attempted (106), free throws made (50), free throws attempted (63), total rebounds (44), total assists (56), assists average (6.2), total minutes (307) and minutes average (34.1/game). He shot .453 overall from the field. McCann scored at least 12 points in all nine games played and totaled 20-plus points on three occasions. He recorded two double-doubles and set single game career-highs in free throws made (10), free throws attempted (14) and rebounds (10). On the last day of January, McCann tied UCSD's Division II career assists record.
Drew Dyer was named the CCAA Player of the Week on Nov. 25. The 6'6" forward recorded his first double-double of the season in a near victory over league favorite Cal State San Bernardino on Nov. 21. The Tritons fell in overtime, 77-73, despite 22 points and a career-high 14 rebounds from the sophomore. The Aurora, Colo., native was 7-for-16 from the floor, including a pair of treys, and capitalized on six-of-seven free throw opportunities. His 22 points and 14 rebounds, eight on the offensive side, were game-highs. It marked the first career conference award for Dyer.
2013-14 CCAA PRESEASON COACHES POLL
1. Cal State San Bernardino (6), 115 points
2. Cal Poly Pomona (6), 112 points
3. San Francisco State, 92 points
4. Chico State, 91 points
5. Cal State Dominguez Hills, 86 points
6. Cal State L.A., 75 points
7. Sonoma State, 60 points
8. Humboldt State, 48 points
9. Cal State Stanislaus, 40 points
10. Cal State East Bay, 32 points
11. UC San Diego, 24 points
12. Cal State Monterey Bay, 17 points
HEAD COACH ERIC OLEN
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-ever 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.
ABOUT THE GOLDEN EAGLES
Cal State L.A. enters Friday's game with a 14-10 overall record and is alone in fifth place in the CCAA at 11-9. The Golden Eagles are one game ahead of sixth place UCSD and San Francisco State and one game behind fourth place Cal State Stanislaus. CSULA is 2-4 in its last six games. It split last week's road contests, defeating Humboldt State (84-78) and losing against Cal Poly Pomona (56-47). The Golden Eagles rank second in the league in rebounding (37.2/game) and blocks (3.6/game) and are ninth in scoring (67.5/game). Quinton Watkins is the CCAA's No. 2 scorer, averaging 18.5 points/game. He's draining 2.5 three-pointers/game, also second in the conference. James Tillman is the team's leading rebounder, pulling down 5.8/game, while Jordan Mitchell is averaging 1.1 blocks/game, the fourth-best number in the league.
ABOUT THE SERIES
UCSD leads the all-time series against Cal State L.A., 16-13. On Jan. 25 at RIMAC Arena, Drew Dyer led all players with 22 points as the Tritons topped the Golden Eagles by a score of 70-66. James McCann recorded a double-double with 13 points and 10 assists while adding seven rebounds. Cal State L.A. got a double-double out of Duce Zaid, who had 21 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Quinton Watkins had 18 points and Aaron Alston added 10 with eight boards for the Golden Eagles. CSULA led by a point, 28-27, at halftime in a game that saw 10 lead changes in the opening half of play.
ABOUT THE TOROS
Cal State Dominguez Hills, which plays at Cal State San Bernardino Friday, entered the week with a 7-20 overall record. The Toros are 4-16 in CCAA games, tied with Cal State East Bay for 11th place. They have lost six straight games, with their last win coming against Cal State East Bay at home on Feb. 1. Last week on the road, CSUDH dropped games at Cal Poly Pomona (56-30) and Humboldt State (83-72). Givon Crump leads the team in scoring, averaging 10.6 points/game. Darnell Martin is just behind at 10.1. Martin is also the Toros' top rebounder, grabbing 6.4/game. As a team, CSUDH is fourth in the CCAA in rebounding (35.6/game). The Toros are scoring just 64.3 points/game, 11th among the 12 league squads.
ABOUT THE SERIES
UCSD is 20-17 in the all-time series against Cal State Dominguez Hills. On Jan. 24 in La Jolla, Aleks Lipovic nailed seven three-pointers and finished with 23 points to lead UCSD to an 80-59 Spirit Night victory. Three other Tritons hit double figures in points as Adam Klie totaled and James McCann and Hunter Walker each had 12. Drew Dyer had a game co-high seven rebounds and added four steals. CSUDH got 13 points from DeShaun Freeman, 11 out of Everett Turner and 10 from Chris Carvin. Darnell Martin had seven boards. The crowd of 3,902 was the second-largest ever for a basketball game at RIMAC Arena.
CCAA TOURNAMENT RETURNS TO ONTARIO
The 2014 CCAA Championship Tournament returns to Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, Calif., March 6-8. This year, the tournament will feature a new format that includes 12 teams (six men's teams and six women's teams) instead of the previous 16-team field. All tournament games will be played at Citizens Business Bank Arena, with the first round campus site games eliminated. The top two men's teams and top two women's teams will receive a first-round bye, while the No. 3, 4, 5 and 6 seeds on each side will play a first round elimination game on Thursday, March 6. Semifinal games between the first-round winners and the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds will take place on Friday, March 7, and the championship games will be played on Saturday, March 8. The men's and women's teams that win the CCAA Tournament will receive automatic qualification into the 2014 NCAA Division II Championship Tournament.
CCAA TOURNAMENT TICKETS ON SALE NOW
Tickets for the 2014 CCAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships are now on sale at http://www.axs.com, over the phone at (888) 929-7849, or at the Citizens Business Bank Arena box office. All purchases made online or over the phone are subject to a convenience fee. Base ticket prices are unchanged from last year. New this year: Groups of 10 or more can get $2 off any ticket by contacting Jessica Reveles at email@example.com or (909) 244-5516. Complete information is available here.
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THE BIG PICTURE
We want to reward you for posting your creative photos showing Triton spirit. Tweet, Facebook or Instagram your pics and include our #TritonsRising hashtag. At the end of every month, we'll pick our favorite photos and dole out some swag to the winners!