In 2011, the Tritons were picked to finish 10th in the 12-team conference. UCSD proved to over perform at the beginning of the season, going 5-1 to start, eventually closing the campaign out with a 6-16 CCAA record, good for 11th place.
Chico State, the defending CCAA regular season champion, tops the preseason poll for the second season in a row, while Cal Poly Pomona was ranked second, and CSU San Bernardino came in at third.
“This season, we should definitely show some improvement,” starting forward Justin Brue said. “[Coach Carlson’s] made some changes, that will let us play to our strengths and hopefully help us out a bit.”
The Tritons have one notable gap in the roster, left by the departures of 6’8” starting center Christian Hatch and his relief 6’10” Ryan Wheeler. Hatch served as UCSD’s leading scorer, averaging 12.5 points per game, while also leading in rebounds with 7.3 per game.
This season, UCSD Head Coach Chris Carlson adds five new freshmen to his 14-player roster, although only one of his newcomers is reported to be a center.
“I think that [Carlson] recruited some really good players,” Brue said. “I think a few of them are definitely going to be getting some playing time, and I really like the chemistry that the team has now.”
UCSD opens up the 2012-2013 season with an exhibition match, scheduled for today, Monday, Nov. 5, at 7:05 p.m. against No. 20 San Diego State, at Aztec Stadium.
Despite going 30-3 in the regular season and 21-1 in conference last season, the UCSD Women’s Basketball team goes into 2012 picked to finish third in the CCAA. In the annual preseason coaches’ poll, the Tritons were ranked behind first place CSU Monterey Bay as well as Cal State Los Angeles.
Granted, not much is left of the core of the 2011-2012 team that set the program record for number of wins in a single season. This season’s squad will go without forward Lauren Freidenberg — a three-time All-CCAA selection — as well as UCSD’s all-time assist leader, guard Chelsea Carlisle. Although Carlisle will remain with the program as an assistant coach, the Tritons will certainly miss her impact on the court, as she has been UCSD’s leading scorer for the past three seasons.
Rounding out the departures is former head coach Charity Elliott, who left her post at UCSD for a position at Loyola Marymount. Fortunately, the UCSD Athletics Department has found a more than qualified replacement in Heidi Vanderveer, whose background includes experience at the WNBA and national levels.
The Tritons retain guards, fifth-year Daisy Feder and senior Emily Osga, both 2011-2012 All CCAA-First team selections. The Tritons also return junior forward Erin Dautremont, a CCAA Second team selection.
UCSD’s first game is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 9 at the Disney Tip-Off Classic, held in Anaheim, California, where the Tritons will look to protect their title.