Thanksgiving Tourneys Dot The Holiday Landscape
Men's Basketball Release No. 3
Big West men's basketball squads are involved in six different Thanksgiving-based tournaments scattered all across the country, from Alaska to Florida, in hopes of stuffing the standings with wins.
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UC Davis is off to a 4-1 start thanks to four straight wins, including Monday’s 81-72 victory over Causeway Cup rival Sacramento State at the new Golden 1 Center. It is the second-best five-game start for the Aggies since joining Division I prior to the 2007-08 season. UC Davis was 5-0 out of the gate in 2014-15 en route to the program’s first Big West regular season title. The Aggies travel to the GCI Great Alaska Shootout over Thanksgiving for three games, with the opener against Weber State.
CSUN is the only school with three players ranked in the conference’s top 10 in scoring. Junior Kendall Smith is the league’s No. 3 scorer at 17.5 points per game, followed by Tavrion Dawson, who ranks No. 5 at 15.8. Senior Aaron Parks gives the Matadors a potent triple threat, as he is No. 7 at 15.0 points per game. Dawson tied his career high with 21 points in Saturday’s win over Northern Illinois. He has come off the bench in all four games.
Can’t Check Coggins
Cal State Fullerton senior Tre’ Coggins is tied for No. 20 nationally and leads the Big West in scoring at 23.7 points per game. He averages nearly more than six points more than the next player on the Big West scoring list.
Allen Making An Impact
Hawai‘i senior Noah Allen, a transfer from UCLA, is paying dividends for his new squad through the first four contests. He ranks No. 2 in Big West scoring at 17.8 points per game, buoyed by a career-high 22-point performance against then-No. 5 North Carolina last week. He also delivered a 15-point, 11-rebound double-double versus Florida Atlantic in a one-point victory.
Stuffed With Thanksgiving Tournaments
Big West teams hope to manage the tryptophan barrage of Thanksgiving in a busy week that features 23 games over the next six days. Sixteen of those contests take place in tournament settings. CSUN is this year’s Big West entry in the Wooden Legacy. Junior center Dylan Johns gets to face his former team in the opening round, as the Matadors take on Texas A&M in the first game.
Other tournaments on tap include:
Cal Poly at NIU Thanksgiving Classic
Cal State Fullerton at Global Sports Classic
Long Beach State at Battle4Atlantis Mainland
UC Davis at GCI Great Alaska Shootout
UC Irvine at Sanford Pentagon Showcase
Moneke’s Great First Impression
After redshirting last season, junior Chima Moneke is excelling in his first career games with UC Davis. In his first career start on Nov. 17 against Holy Names, he dropped 21 points. In the following game, he notched his first career double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds in just 22 minutes versus Sacramento State.