Photo by: Jimmy Gekas/Sideline Studios
Chris Carlson has the Tritons off to the program's best start at the Division II level.
UCSD Entertains Academy of Art in 2010-11 Home Opener Sunday
Release: Thursday 11/18/2010 
The Schedule
Game No. 4
UC San Diego Tritons (2-1) vs. Academy of Art Urban Knights (0-1)
Sunday, November 21, 2010
RIMAC Arena (5,000) • 1:00 pm

Live Audio and Video
The Tritons' game against AAU on Sunday will be webcast live and can be viewed here. Craig Elsten returns for his second season as the voice of UCSD basketball.

Live Stats
Live stats for Sunday's tilt with the Urban Knight are available here.

First Things First
After winning two out of three games at the Disney West Coast Tip Off Classic in Anaheim last weekend, the UC San Diego men's basketball team will return to La Jolla to take on Academy of Art University in its 2010-11 regular season home opener. The Tritons and Urban Knights will square off on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. at RIMAC Arena on the UCSD campus.

Tritons Are Early Season Champions
While many programs have yet to play their first regular season game, UCSD already has a tournament championship under its belt. The Tritons defeated Lewis University (70-59) and Dixie State College (65-57) in their first two games of the Disney Classic and went on to win the tournament trophy despite a 67-52 loss to Alaska Anchorage on the final day. UCSD was crowned the champion of the event by virtue of its victory over Lewis, which also went 2-1 in three games.

Good Shooting, Rebounding Key Hot Start
The Tritons did a lot of things well in Anaheim, but two things stood out the most: good shooting and rebounding. UCSD shot at least 40% from the field in all three of its games and wrapped up the tournament at a combined 45% (61-137). The Tritons shot the ball particularly well in their 11-point win over Lewis, connecting on 23-of-46 attempts from the floor, 50%. UCSD also got the job done on the boards, outrebounding the opposition by a total margin of 94-74. The Tritons won the battle of the boards in both of their victories, while surrendering a narrow 26-23 advantage on the glass in their only defeat.

2-1 Start Best In Division II
At 2-1, UCSD is not only off to the best start in Chris Carlson's four seasons as head coach, but the Tritons have also put together the program's best record through three games at the Division II level. UCSD, which has traditionally scheduled Division I opponents during nonconference play as a D-II member, had started 0-2 each of the past four seasons. In fact, last Friday's victory over Lewis was the program's first win in a season opener since the Tritons defeated Redlands 104-44 to begin the 2001-02 campaign. You have to go back to 1998-99 -- when UCSD opened 9-0 -- to find a better start.

Scouting the Urban Knights
Academy of Art begins its third season as a program in 2010-11, welcoming back eight letterwinners from its squad that was winless in 26 games last season. Among the returnees is senior forward Phillip Samuel, who averaged 9.4 points and 2.6 rebounds per game in 2009-10, and senior forward Jonathan Burnett, who posted season averages of 9.3 points and 5.5 boards, while shooting 56% from the field. Despite being picked to finish last in the the Pacific West Conference this season, the Urban Knights have been extremely competitive thus far. AAU defeated Division I foe UC Davis, 67-62, in an exhibition matchup on November 6 and took Cal State East Bay to overtime, before losing a 68-65 decision in its season opener on Tuesday. Junior forward Keith Davis scored a game-high 25 points in the loss to the Pioneers, while freshman Will Overton chipped in with 11 off the bench.

Head-to-Head With AAU
UCSD is 1-0 all-time against Academy of Art after defeating the Urban Knights 62-40 at the CCAA-PacWest Shootout in Las Vegas on December 20, 2008. Senior forward Shane Poppen finished with 13 points and a game-high 11 rebounds to lead the way for the Tritons. UCSD held UAA to just 25% (13-51) shooting in the win.

UCSD Probable Starters - Notes
G - James McCann • Fr., 5-10, 165 - Scored a season-best 18 points on 5-of-10 shooting in loss to Alaska Anchorage.
G - Justin Brue • So., 6-4, 205 - Second on the team averaging 4.7 rebounds so far in 2010-11.
G - Casey Ryan • Sr., 6-4, 195 - Shot 50% (11-22) from the field during the Disney Tip Off Classic.
F - Ryan Peters • So., 6-3, 200 - Finished with three points and a game-high eight boards in win over Lewis.
C - Christian Hatch • Jr., 6-8, 245 - Averaged a team-high 14.0 points in three games in Anaheim.

Hatch Earns Disney Classic MVP Honors
Junior center Christian Hatch had a tremendous start to the season, averaging a team-high 14.0 points on 55% (16-29) shooting during the Disney West Coast Tip Off Classic. The Henderson, Nev. native was a perfect 10-for-10 at the free throw line and also averaged 4.7 rebounds in three games. Hatch finished with 16 points and six rebounds in UCSD's 70-59 win over Lewis to open the tournament and then scored a game-high 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting to lead the Tritons to a 65-57 triumph over Dixie State the next day. Hatch, who was UCSD's second-leading scorer and rebounder last season, was voted the Tournament MVP on Sunday to cap off an impressive opening weekend for the Tritons.

Ryan Air
Senior guard Casey Ryan was on his game in Anaheim as well, averaging 11.7 points and a team-high 6.0 rebounds in three games at the Disney Classic. He was also very efficient from the field, converting 11-of-22 shots during the tournament, 50%, while hitting 12-of-14 at the foul line, 85.7%. Ryan reached doubled figures in both of the Tritons' victories, scoring 11 points in the win over Lewis on Friday and then finishing with 16 points and nine rebounds to help lead UCSD past Dixie State on Saturday. He finished with just eight points and three boards in the loss to Alaska Anchorage in the finale. A native from Jackson, Calif., Ryan averaged 6.0 points and team-high 7.0 rebounds as a junior in 2009-10.

McCann Can
Freshman point guard James McCann proved he is more than capable of leading the Triton offense this season, averaging 13.3 points and 2.7 assists during the Disney Classic. The rookie from Carlsbad shot 43% (9-21) from the field in three games, while connecting on 4-of-8 attempts from the three-point line and hitting 18-of-23 at the foul line, 78%. An All-CIF honoree at La Costa Canyon High School, McCann's best performance came in the 15-point loss to Alaska Anchorage on Sunday, when he finished with a game-high 18 points on 5-of-10 shooting. He was 3-of-6 from downtown and a perfect 5-of-5 at the charity stripe.

Tritons Picked to Finish 11th in CCAA Coaches Poll
UCSD was selected to finish 11th in the California Collegiate Athletic Association regular season standings, according to the league's preseason coaches poll that was released last month. The Tritons, who finished ninth in the conference last season at 7-15, received 21 points in the poll, 10 behind 10th place Cal State Monterey Bay. Defending national champion Cal Poly Pomona was picked to win the 2010-11 CCAA regular season title, receiving 10 first place votes and a total of 120 points. Cal State Dominguez Hills collected 100 points and earned one first place vote to finish second, while Cal State San Bernardino was third after garnering 98 points. Humboldt State, which earned the remaining first place vote, tallied 95 points to finish fourth, followed by Chico State (85), Sonoma State (69), Cal State Stanislaus (58), San Francisco State (52), Cal State L.A. (51), and Cal State Monterey Bay (31) coming in fifth through ninth, respectively. Cal State East Bay, which is not eligible for the conference title, finished 12th with 12 points.

Quick Hits
While UCSD shot 44.5% from the field in three games in Anaheim, the opposition shot just under 43%... The Tritons held their opponents to 40% shooting in their two wins... UCSD has a total of three players averaging 4.7 rebounds after three games, as Christian Hatch, Justin Brue and Ryan Peters all hauled down 14 boards at the Disney Classic... The Tritons averaged 14.3 turnovers per game in Anaheim and enter Sunday's matchup with a turnover margin of -2.3... UCSD shot 33% from the three-point line over the weekend, converting 11-of-33 attempts from behind the arc... After taking on Academy of Art on Sunday, the Tritons will travel to Belmont, Calif. to take part in the Notre Dame de Namur Thanksgiving Tournament November 26-27... UCSD will face the host Argonauts on Friday at 7:00 p.m. to open the tourney, before squaring off with Simon Fraser on Saturday at 3:00.

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