SAN RAMON, Calif. - The University of California San Diego men's basketball team has been picked to finish second in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) standings as the conference released its preseason coaches poll Monday.
UC San Diego garnered 118 points and one first-place vote in the poll.
For the third-consecutive year, Chico State was chosen as the preseason favorite, totaling 137 points and 11 first-place votes. Cal State San Marcos rounded out the top-three with 112 points and was followed by Cal Poly Pomona (110, one first-place vote), San Francisco State (95), Cal State LA (81), Cal State Dominguez Hills (74), Cal State San Bernardino (72), Sonoma State (68), Stanislaus State (58), Cal State East Bay (39), Humboldt State (31), and Cal State Monterey Bay (19).
UCSD is coming off its most successful season ever as it set program records for wins (27) and CCAA victories (17). The Tritons, ranked as high as No. 11 nationally, won their first conference regular season title and followed that up with their second league tournament championship. For the second-straight season, they advanced to the NCAA Division II Sweet 16. Guard Adam Klie was tabbed the CCAA Player of the Year and Eric Olen was named the CCAA Coach of the Year.
For its 2017-18 campaign, UC San Diego returns two starters in senior guard George Buaku and junior guard/forward Christian Oshita. Oshita, an All-CCAA Second Team honoree, averaged 10.9 points and 5.6 rebounds last season, while Buaku averaged 5.7 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 2.5 assists.
Lost to graduation was Klie, who averaged 15.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 4.7 assists - all team-highs - last season. Junior center Chris Hansen will sit out this year after undergoing off-season shoulder surgery. Hansen was second on the roster in 2016-17 in scoring (12.5/game) and rebounding (6.0/game).
UCSD played an exhibition game at San Diego State on Nov. 2, falling by a score of 98-79. The Tritons hit 15 three-pointers and held a 14-8 advantage in offensive rebounds. Four Tritons finished with at least 10 points, including Oshita (game-high 16), sophomore forward Scott Everman (14), junior forward Eric Patton (14), and junior forward Brett Oosdyke (10).
The Tritons are ranked fourth in the most recent D2SIDA West Region poll, which was released Monday.
UC San Diego opens its regular season Nov. 10-11 at the CCAA/PacWest Challenge, hosted by Cal Poly Pomona. The Tritons play Azusa Pacific Friday and Dixie State Saturday, with both contests tipping at 5 p.m. at Kellogg Arena.
2017-18 CCAA Men's Basketball Preseason Poll
1. Chico State, 137 points (11 first-place votes)
2. UC San Diego, 118 (1)
3. Cal State San Marcos, 112
4. Cal Poly Pomona, 110 (1)
5. San Francisco State, 95
6. Cal State LA, 81
7. Cal State Dominguez Hills, 74
8. Cal State San Bernardino, 72
9. Sonoma State, 68
10. Stanislaus State, 58
11. Cal State East Bay, 39
12. Humboldt State, 31
13. Cal State Monterey Bay, 19