College Sports

UC Davis men’s basketball picked to finish seventh in Big West

UC Davis men’s basketball coach Jim Les speaks to players during a practice last season. The former King’s team, which won the Big West Conference title in 2014-15, was selected by media members to finish tied for seventh in the nine-team league.
UC Davis men’s basketball coach Jim Les speaks to players during a practice last season. The former King’s team, which won the Big West Conference title in 2014-15, was selected by media members to finish tied for seventh in the nine-team league. rpench@sacbee.com

UC Davis won the Big West Conference men’s basketball regular-season championship during its history-making run last season.

But media members who cover the nine-team league don’t see the Aggies repeating in the 2015-16 season.

UCD has been selected to finish tied for seventh with Northridge in the preseason media poll released Wednesday.

For the third consecutive year, UC Irvine is favored to claim the title. The Anteaters return three starters from last season’s squad that won the Big West tournament and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history.

Coach Russell Turner’s Anteaters received 198 total points and 19 of 23 first-place votes.

UC Santa Barbara finished second in the poll with 161 points and two first-place selections.

Hawaii was third (133), Long Beach State fourth (128), UC Riverside fifth (120) and Cal Poly sixth (117, two first-place votes).

UCD and Northridge each had 70 points and ninth-place Cal State Fullerton received 37.

The six-man all-Big West preseason team is comprised of UC Irvine’s 7-foot-6 junior Mamadou Ndiaye and Luke Nelson; UC Riverside’s Jaylen Bland and Taylor Johns; Hawaii’s Aaron Valdes and UC Santa Barbara’s Michael Bryson.

Bryson, an All-Big West first-team selection last season, graduated from Foothill High School.

Women’s basketball – UCD was picked to finish sixth in the Big West by a media panel, which released its preseason poll Tuesday.

Aggies senior center Alyson Doherty, a Lake Forest native, was selected to the preseason All-Big West team.

Bill Paterson: 916-326-5506, @SacBee_BillP

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