Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#807 UC Davis 140.5 vs.
#808 Hawaii -8
Saturday, January 25, 2020 at 11:55pm EST
Written by Chris Kubala

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#807 University of California, Davis
#808 University of Hawaii at Manoa
8-12
12-6
10-8
8-7-1
11-7
9-7
71
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70
67

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It’s a matchup of Big West foes out on the Hawaiian Islands on the parquet floor. The UC Davis Aggies are on the road as they make the trip to face the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors late Saturday night on the east coast. UC Davis was edged 68-64 at home by CSU Fullerton in their previous contest Wednesday night. Hawaii earned a 70-63 home win over UC Santa Barbara last Saturday in their most recent contest. The Rainbow Warriors lead the all-time series between the teams 11-6 and won the last two matchups, including a 76-69 road win in the most recent meeting on March 7, 2019.

UC Davis Aggies Hoping to Earn Road Victory

UC Davis has had a tough time this season under coach Jim Les. The Aggies are 8-12 on the year overall, including 2-2 in Big West action, but they’ve hung around in games. Eight of their 12 defeats are by single digits, including a double-overtime loss to VMI on a neutral floor. The Aggies fell by six at Cal, by four at Utah and at San Diego, in addition to a five-point road loss at New Mexico. UC Davis has to find a way to turn some of those close games into victories that actually go in the win column instead of the dreaded moral victories. The Aggies suffered another one of those tough to swallow defeats as they couldn’t come up with a couple key plays that could have swung the game against CSU Fullerton. In the process, they snapped a two-game win streak.

The Aggies are an average team on the offensive end of the floor as they average 71.8 points per game, putting them 170th in the nation in scoring offense. UC Davis collects 31.8 boards a night and dish out an average of 13.4 assists per contest on the year. The Aggies are 208th in scoring defense by allowing 70.8 points a night. Joe Mooney is the team’s leading scorer as he puts up 14.7 points a night. Ezra Manjon (12.1 points, 3.8 assists) and Matt Neufeld (9.4 points) are solid secondary options. Stefan Gonzalez, Elijah Pepper, Kennedy Koehler and Caleb Fuller are looked at to contribute on a regular basis. The Aggies shoot 45.5 percent from the field as a team this season. UC Davis hits 7.8 triples a night while sinking 36.5 percent from beyond the arc. The Aggies are an above average team at the charity stripe as they cashed in 76.8 percent of their attempts on the season.

UC Davis is a team that will slow things down as they are 224th in adjusted tempo with 67.4 possessions a night this season. Size is a factor for the Aggies as outside of Neufeld, there is no one taller than 6’7 in their rotation. That’s partially why UC Davis is just 302nd in offensive rebound percentage at 23.8 percent on the year. On the plus side, the Aggies are 32nd in free throw percentage but they need to create more opportunities. UC Davis is only 306th in effective field goal percentage defense (53.1 percent) in addition to being 302nd in two-point field goal percentage defense (53.4 percent) and 317th in block percentage at 5.5 percent this year.

Hawaii Rainbow Warriors Seeking Third Straight Win

Hawaii has been a pleasant surprise to this point of the season and they look to carry that forward here. The Rainbow Warriors enter the game 12-6 overall under Eran Ganot and 3-1 in the Big West. Hawaii has done a solid job of beating the teams you would expect them to beat this season. Their worst loss came in a six-point defeat to South Dakota at home. Hawaii’s other losses were more expected as they lost at Illinois, Oregon and UC Irvine along with home defeats to Washington and Georgia Tech. Since that loss to Georgia Tech on Christmas Day, Hawaii has won four of five and comes in with back to back wins on the books.

The Rainbow Warriors put up an average of 70.6 points per game on the season, putting them 202nd in the nation in scoring offense. Hawaii grabs 34.6 rebounds per game and dishes out 14.2 assists per contest. The Rainbow Warriors have been solid on the defensive end of the floor, ranking 135th in the nation by giving up 67.4 points per game. Eddie Stansberry leads the team with 16.4 points per game on the year. Samuta Avea (11 points, four rebounds) is the only other player scoring in double figures this season. Drew Buggs, Zigmars Raimo, Justin Webster, Bernardo Da Silva, Dawson Carper and Justin Hemsley are all going to do their part for Hawaii when they’re on the floor. Hawaii shoots 43.8 percent from the field as a team on the year. The Rainbow Warriors knock down 7.5 triples a night while shooting 34.1 percent from beyond the arc as a team. Hawaii is scuffling at the charity stripe, cashing in 69.9 percent of their attempts at the line this season.

The Rainbow Warriors are a pretty average team according to the KenPom metrics. Hawaii comes in 193rd in offensive efficiency and 155th in defensive efficiency on the year. The Rainbow Warriors are 130th in effective field goal percentage at 50.3 percent this season. On the defensive end, Hawaii is 126th in effective field goal percentage defense by holding opposing teams to 48 percent in that department. The team is 56th in offensive rebounding percentage allowed as they hold opposing teams to a 25.1 percent clip. Hawaii isn’t afraid to push the pace as they are 116th in tempo with an average of 69.5 possessions a night.

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UC Davis has had problems in close games and playing on the road hasn’t been a strong suit for them this season either. The Aggies are 4-8 as the visiting team while Hawaii comes in with an 11-3 home mark to their credit. UC Davis has to make the long trip to face a Hawaii team that has been off for a week, which is always tough to deal with. The defensive woes that the Aggies have make it tough to like their chances. Hawaii has done their job beating the teams they should defeat on their schedule. This is another check mark to put in the books as the Rainbow Warriors take care of business at home.

Prediction: Hawaii Rainbow Warriors -8

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UC Davis shoots the ball fairly well, which is why it's surprising that they aren't more productive on the offensive end of the floor. The Aggies have to rely on knocking down shots because the opportunity for second chances are slim given their lack of size. Hawaii is going to try to expose that weak UC Davis defense, likely by pounding the ball down low with Raimo and Carper, in order to set up open perimeter looks for Stansberry and Avea to cash in. The Rainbow Warriors are content to make the Aggies spin their wheels and take ill-advised shots. UC Davis is best suited keeping this game at a slower pace and controlling the tempo, much as they did with CSU Northridge. This one ends up a couple points shy of the number as Hawaii misses some chances to salt it away that would have added to the total.

Prediction: Under 141.5
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Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in-depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. Now he is writing for our team here at Winners @ Whiners. Chris keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college. He is also very knowledgeable in the NHL, the NBA, college basketball and MLB. If you want consistency, then be sure and check out Chris’ content daily.