Published: Sun, March 19, 2017
Sport | By Scott Davis

NCAA tournament: UC Davis' Chima Moneke spans globe

NCAA tournament: UC Davis' Chima Moneke spans globe

The prize awaiting the victor of the game UC-Davis (22-12) plays at 5:40 p.m. Wednesday against North Carolina-Central (25-8) at UD Arena is an opportunity to meet top-seeded Kansas (28-4).That game is scheduled Friday in the Midwest Region at BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla. "But usually when you play a two-game tournament, you know who your first opponent's going to be". The Jayhawks said Thursday that a week off was far too much time, and they all seemed eager to get back onto the court. "We've got to pick up speed and keep building off what we did this year".

Oakmont High graduate J.T. Adenrele probably feels like he's been enrolled at UC Davis forever.

Providence had the game well in hand but went cold in the second half and let Southern Cal muscle back into it. "The main thing we've been talking about coming into this tournament is not to look past anybody because it just takes one loss and it's all over".

"And Davis, it's really interesting because this hasn't happened before so a lot of people - it was very unexpected - but a lot of people are very congratulatory to us".

The Aggies are led by Chima Moneke, a 6-6 junior forward, who averages 14.5 points and 9.5 rebounds and Brynton Lemar, a 6-4 senior guard who averages 16.1 ppg.

For the past couple of weeks, Self and the Jayhawks have talked about their mindset being a major key to their tournament success.

"For this being my first time and a lot of my teammates' first time, the experience from leaving school to getting on the plane to getting off the plane was just tremendous, " said Patrick Cole, a senior guard who led NC Central (25-8) with 19.5 points per game.

"I hope so", Vang said of the prospect of playing. Jackson's focus appears to be on those two things.

The Eagles and Aggies say they'll gladly worry about Bill Self's team when the time comes.

Elsewhere, Jackson was charged with one misdemeanor count of property damage in February after allegedly vandalizing a Kansas woman's basketball player's vehicle outside a Lawrence, Kansas bar in December. Certainly there's been some challenges, but I don't think that's going to be a factor in any way, shape or form. "He gave me that offer, and I took the offer because it was the only offer I had". They also face the largest handicap in the first round, way larger I'd accept in this situation. Being here with these guys, I love each and every one of them.

"Josh is a great kid". "After their game (Wednesday's win over North Carolina Central in play-in game) they said they weren't satisfied yet. So it's important for us to ... stay locked in and stay focused and enjoy the moment but know that we're here to take care of business also".

No matter who they are playing or what the outcome is, Les said the Aggies, which include redshirt freshman Joe Mooney from Notre Dame, are ready to compete. "We're proud of how far he came throughout his year and we're just focused on today and not really anxious about anything off the court".

"I think my greater value to them is having been a player and all the things I've experienced just helping them deal with their mindset", he said. I really respect that. So I hope he can get here.

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