Volume 32 · Number 2 · Spring 2015
Sports: Fan makers
Never mind March Madness. The Aggie men’s basketball craze lasted all year long, with the cheers of ecstatic fans still echoing well beyond The Pavilion.
After a 9–22 season in 2013–14, the Aggies finished 25–7 this year, winning the Big West regular-season championship for the first time and securing the top seed in the conference tournament.
Their dramatic jump surprised everyone — other than, perhaps, themselves. The turnaround was one of the best in Big West Conference history and the biggest in college basketball this year.
A semifinal loss kept UC Davis from advancing to the NCAA Tournament, but couldn’t erase a 14–2 conference record and a 14–0 mark on Hamilton Court. And that brings us to some of the secrets of the team’s success:
The Pavilion. Everybody loves a winner, but ESPNU also loves a great game-day environment. UC Davis gave the network both during two nationally televised games. The Aggies battled back from big deficits in both matchups, edging Long Beach State and Cal Poly in front of raucous, near-sellout crowds.
Buckets. Armed with sharpshooters at nearly every position, UC Davis led Division I in three-point shooting the entire season (finishing at 44.7 percent), and achieved the fourth-best mark for overall shooting (49 percent).
Corey Hawkins. The Big West Player of the Year closed a career that will go down in Aggie annals as one of the best, if not the best, in school history. He led the country in three-point shooting (48.8 percent), lit up Stanford for 34 points in the first round of the National Invitational Tournament and averaged 20.9 points per game.
The coach. For his part, Jim Les, above, was named the Big West Coach of the Year.
New athletics leader
Teresa Gould, an athletics administrator with more than 25 years of experience in collegiate sports, was tapped this spring to serve as UC Davis’ interim athletics director.
The women’s basketball team advanced to the Big West Women’s Basketball Tournament semifinals.
The women’s gymnastics team won the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation championship.