Exhibition No. 1
UC San Diego Tritons (0-0) at Utah State Aggies (0-0)
Friday, October 28, 2011 • 6:05 pm (PST)
Dee Glen Smith Spectrum (10,270) • Logan, Utah
Exhibition No. 2
UC San Diego Tritons (0-0) at Cal Golden Bears (0-0)
Tuesday, November 1, 2011 • 7:30 pm
Haas Pavilion (11,877) • Berkeley, Calif.
First Things First
The UC San Diego men's basketball team will kickoff the 2011-12 season this week with exhibition matchups against a pair of Division I opponents. The Tritons will take on Utah State on Friday at 6:05 p.m. PST at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum in Logan, Utah, before squaring off with Pac-12 power Cal on Tuesday, November 1 at 7:30 at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley. After the tune-ups with the Aggies and Golden Bears, UCSD will open the regular season November 4-6 at the Disney West Coast Tip Off Classic in Anaheim. The Tritons will face Chestnut Hill, Western Washington and Dominican during the three-day event.
2010-11 At A Glance
Despite an impressive start, UCSD finished with an overall record of 11-17 in 2010-11, missing the postseason for the third consecutive year. The Tritons won five of their first six games to open the season -- the program's best start at the NCAA Division II level -- and stood at 8-4 on January 3 after going 3-3 in its first six games in California Collegiate Athletic Association play. UCSD hit a rough patch after that, dropping seven out of its next eight, and recorded just three more wins in the ultra-competitive CCAA. UCSD wrapped up the year with a 6-16 conference record, finishing 11th in the league standings.
The Triton coaching staff has high expectations in 2011-12 as UCSD welcomes back four starters and 10 letterwinners this season. Highlighting the list of returnees is senior center Christian Hatch, who was the Tritons' leading scorer at 14.5 points per game a year ago, while ranking second in rebounding at 6.7. The Henderson, Nev. native also shot a team-high 50% (143-286) from the field. Also returning is junior forward Justin Brue, who had a breakout season as a sophomore last year. A native of Hayward, Calif., Brue averaged 9.2 points and 4.9 rebounds in 28 games, while leading the squad in blocked shots with 24. Sophomore point guard James McCann will look to build off a stellar rookie campaign in which he was named the CCAA Freshman of the Year after averaging 9.7 points and a team-high 2.9 assists. The Tritons will also have the services of guard/forward Dylan Bohanan after he missed last season with a hip injury. Bohanan averaged 4.3 points and 1.5 rebounds in 25 games as a freshman in 2009-10.
Hatch Among League's Best
Christian Hatch was one of the elite centers in the conference last season and he earned a spot on the All-CCAA Second Team to back it up. In addition to leading the Tritons in scoring and field goal percentage, he recorded a team-high nine double-doubles and scored in double figures a total of 22 times in 2010-11. Hatch ranked seventh in the CCAA in scoring, sixth in rebounding and 13th in field goal percentage. He racked up 26 points and 13 boards to lead the Tritons to a thrilling double-overtime victory over Cal State L.A. on January 13 and scored a career-high 28 points on 11-of-16 shooting in a losing effort against Cal State Stanislaus on February 10.
UCSD Probable Starters - Notes
G - Matt Bailey • So., 5-10, 180 - Appeared in all 28 games as a freshman in 2010-11, making one start.
G - Tyler McGrath • Jr., 6-3, 175 - Tritons top 3-point shooter a year ago, converting 44-of-101 from the arc.
F - Mike Meza • Sr., 6-5, 220 - Posted averages of 4.9 points and 2.7 boards in 19 games a year ago.
F - Ryan Peters • Jr.., 6-4, 200 - Averaged 2.8 points and 3.2 rebounds in 28 games after transferring from Lehigh.
C - Christian Hatch • Sr., 6-8, 260 - UCSD's leading scorer and second-leading rebounder in 2010-11.
Scouting the Aggies
Utah State returns four letterwinners and one starter from its 2010-11 squad that went 30-4 and won its fourth consecutive Western Athletic Conference regular season title with a 15-1 record. The Aggies went on to claim their second WAC Tournament Championship in the last three years and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, where they dropped a 73-68 decision to Kansas State. The team's lone returning starter is senior guard Brockeith Pane, who averaged 11.8 points, 3.1 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 34 games last season. He earned All-WAC First Team honors and was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2011 WAC Tournament. Utah State was picked to win the league title once again by the media, but finished third in the conference's coaches poll.
Scouting the Golden Bears
Cal welcomes back four starters from last year's team that went 18-15 overall and advanced to the second round of the National Invitational Tournament where they fell to Colorado, 89-72. Among the returnees is 2010-11 All-Pac 10 First Team selection Jorge Gutierrez, who paced the Golden Bears in scoring at 14.6 points per game, while also dishing out 4.5 assists a year ago. Also back this season is sophomore guard Allen Crabbe, who was named the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year after setting the school's freshman record for three-pointers made. He averaged 13.4 points and 5.3 rebounds per game as a rookie. Both Gutierrez and Crabbe were named to the Preseason John Wooden Award Top 50 Watch List. The Golden Bears enter the season ranked No. 24 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll.
UCSD is 0-1 all-time against Utah State after dropping an 82-58 decision as a NCAA Division III member in Logan on December 4, 1999. The Tritons are 0-4 in four previous meetings with Cal, with the last matchup coming back on November 30, 1985. The Golden Bears won that contest handily, defeating the Tritons 88-46 in Berkeley. While the exhibition matchups won't count towards the all-time series with either school, UCSD will still be aiming to knock off both programs for the first time.
Tritons Eye Second Consecutive Disney Classic Crown
UCSD will be looking to capture a second consecutive Disney West Coast Tip Off Classic title when it heads to Anaheim to open the regular season in two weeks. The Tritons went 2-1 at the Disney Classic to begin the 2010-11 season, defeating Lewis University (70-59) and Dixie State (65-57), before dropping a 67-52 decision to Alaska Anchorage on the final day of the event. Despite the loss to the Seawolves, UCSD was crowned the champion by virtue of its victory over Lewis, which also went 2-1 in three games. The Tritons shot the ball extremely well in the tournament, converting 45% (61-137) of their attempts from the field.
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