Sacramento State vs. UC Davis
Spread: UC Davis -3.5
Total: not released
Moneyline: UC Davis -165, Sac St +145
Tip off: 7 PM EST from Charleston, West Virginia
Last season was a rough one for Sacramento State. They finished 7-21 with a 4-12 record in Big Sky play and they did not qualify for the Big Sky tournament. Their offense was anemic, scoring 0.96 points per possession, while their defense wasn’t particularly impressive either, giving up 1.08 points per possession. They struggle badly against Division 1 competition and have now strung together 9 straight years of having their two point offense and two point defense ranked outside the nation’s top 200.
They will be without Sultan-Toles Bey who finished out his eligibility. He posted the second best assist rate in the conference, so the loss is grave. They will rely heavily on 6’6″ junior John Dickson, who is leading the team in scoring so far this season with 15.0 ponts per game. He is also second on the team in rebounding at 6.0 boards per game. Dickson made 40% of his three point attempts his freshman year and he could play big minutes on even better teams in this conference.
Joe Eberhard is contributing big as well, with 13.0 points per game and 8.7 boards per game. Dylan Garrity has been dishing out the ball like the best of htem, with 8.3 assists per game, though his 35.7% field goal percentage is a little troubling. Garrity is second in the team in minutes, as a true freshman, and he’s a local product from Huntington Beach.
UC Davis finished 10-20 last year with a 4-12 Big West record, also failing to qualifiy for the Big West tournament. They scored well enough, at 1.03 points per possession, but they gave up too many easy shots, resulting in their 9th rated defense in the Big West, a defense which gave up 1.09 points per possession. They finished 8-8 in the Big West in 2010, so to go 4-12 was a huge disappointment. They made the leap to D-1 six years ago, but couldn’t manage to do much, even with so many seniors last season. Last year’s third fiddle is now the number one fiddle in Eddie Miller, who shot an effective field goal percentage of 54.7% last season, and he took 26% of the teams’ shots.
Miller has been injured so far this season, so Josh Ritchart has picked up the slack. The 6’9 sophomore swingman has averaged 16.0 points per game so far and scored 21 against Byrant University, while also putting up 19 against Stanford, though both games were losses. In the Aggies lone victory at 1-4, he put up 11 points on 4 of 7 shooting. 6’4″ Junior guard Ryan Sypkens is also having a nice season, though he did not play last game against Stanford. UC Davis struggled badly that entire second half against Stanford and Ritchart’s 19 off the bench led the way for the Aggies, as their starters combined for only 15 points, with 4 of the 5 faililng to score more than 2. You can’t win many games when you’re getting that kind of production. Eddie Miller suffered an injury in that game, too, to compound problems for the struggling Aggies.
This is really a show down between two pretty hapless teams. Neither is expected to make any kind of waves this season, even in their weak conferences.
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