The last time Khalil Shabazz was at Chase Center, he was in the stands, watching a pair of friends — Golden State’s Marquese Chriss and Minnesota’s Jaylen Nowell — play in a preseason game.
On Saturday, Shabazz and the rest of the University of San Francisco men’s basketball team will get a more up-close look, when they take on Princeton.
The Dons — and their female counterparts — both won their season openers, and now get to play the first men’s and women’s collegiate games in the $1.4 billion arena. The women open things up at 3 p.m. against No. 3 Stanford, and the men play the Tigers at 6 p.m.
“I don’t think it’s going to sink in until we walk into the arena,” said Shabazz.
Before transferring from Central Washington — where he was named the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year — the last game Shabazz played before scoring 15 points in Tuesday’s 101-50 win over Sonoma State was held at the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage, Alaska — a 5,000-seat arena that cost less than one-tenth as much as Chase Center.
“Going in there, it’s like, ‘Wow,’ everything’s brand new,” Shabazz said. “Big lights, a lot going on.”
The San Francisco men did exactly what was expected in their Tuesday opener, with Shabazz hitting five 3-pointers and finishing as one of four players to score in double figures against Division II Seawolves, led by 15 each from Shabazz and Charles Minlend, the latter of whom played just under 19 minutes.
“I’ll have plenty more than that,” Minlend said.
“The best defense played on Charles tonight was by me not playing him more minutes,” head coach Todd Golden said on Tuesday. “I had the feel that Charles could have done a lot more damage if he played more minutes, but it was about getting some of these younger guys opportunities to shake the rust off.”
The Dons’ opponent, the Tigers (0-1), opened their season with a 94-67 loss to Duquense, and haven’t had a 20-win season since 2016.
The women have a bit more of a challenge on their hands in the Cardinal, who played the U.S. national team tough in a 95-80 loss on Saturday, but cruised easily past Eastern Washington 92-27 on Tuesday.
While the USF women’s win wasn’t nearly as gaudy as Stanford or their male counterparts — a 90-83 win over Northern Colorado — it did showcase their most prized newcomers.
Freshman Ioanna Krimili scored a game-high 32 points in 39 minutes, added four steals and a block, and went 6-of-13 from the field, 2-of-5 from 3-point range and hit 18-of-20 from the free throw line.
Junior college transfer Lucie Hoskova, scored 14 and pulled down 10 rebounds for her first career double-double.
Former Division II All-American Mikayla Williams — a graduate transfer from UC San Diego — was incredibly efficient, going 7-of-12 from the field and 4-of-6 from the line for 18 points, pulling down eight rebounds and adding a steal.
Tickets for the dual event are available at https://www.ticketmaster.com/event/1C005742DE17862F.
USF Baseball: San Francisco added right-hander Chase Minor out of Merced-El Capitan to its 2020 recruiting class. Minor has posted a 2.54 ERA over 107.2 innings in three varsity seasons. The 6-foot-1, 175-pounder has long levers, a loose and easy motion and throws in the high-80s.
This past season, he went 4-4 in 12 appearances (including six starts) with a 3.06 ERA in 50.1 innings pitched, striking out 52 and walking 49.
A corner infielder as well as a pitcher, Minor hit .326 last season in 20 games, with 18 RBIs, four doubles, two triples and a home run, with an OBP of .396.
His NorCal Baseball teammate, Jared Breedwel of Vacaville, flipped from Oregon State on Oct. 8. Breedwell hit .400 batting last season (36-for-96) with 10 extra base hits and 21 walks for a .500 OBP, winning a CIF section title. This summer, he and NorCal Baseball won the Perfect Game WWBA 17U West Championship.
City College Men’s Basketball: Before the Rams began their 17th season under Justin Labagh, they added another former Pac-12 player in four-star Oregon signee Miles Norris. A California native, Norris played in 27 games as a freshman for the Ducks before he opted to transfer to UC Santa Barbara. Instead of heading to Goleta, though, the 6-foot-10 Norris will spend this year with City, giving the Rams an athletic big with the ability to shoot. Last season, Austin McCullough and Deschon Winston — both former Cal Golden Bears — helped power the Rams to a CCCAA runner-up finish.
City has opened this campaign with three straight wins, blasting Mt. San Antonio 93-61, then San Diego City College 87-51 and Yuba 98-67. Norris has played in all three games with two starts, averaging 14 points and 6.3 rebounds per game, shooting 50% from the field and 38.5% from 3-point range. Freshman Ezekiel Holman leads the team with 15 points per game, adding 3.7 rebounds.
Next up for City College is Santa Rosa, where the Rams will travel for a 1 p.m. tilt on Saturday, before visiting Cabrillo on Nov. 16 at 5:30 p.m.
City College Football: Coming off a season-low 189 yards of offense a week ago in a narrow win over Diablo Valley, the Rams routed Chabot College 40-7 on Saturday, with running back Demonte Aleem ripping off 175 rushing yards on 16 rushing attempts. City (6-2, 2-1 in Bay 6) will next face 1-6 Santa Rosa Junior College to potentially set up a conference title game against undefeated College of San Mateo (8-0).
Academy of Art Women’s Soccer: On Saturday’s Senior Day, Academy of Art exploded for five goals from five different Urban Knights including two from seniors at City College of San Francisco Soccer Field. On the heels of her game-winning goal in double overtime against Dominican, ART U saw senior forward Anissa Wilson tie the program’s career goals record amid the 5-0 win over Fresno Pacific. Wilson then broke the record with a goal on Tuesday as the Urban Knights fell 2-1 on Tuesday, but take a 7-5-3 overall record (and a 3-3-2 mark in conference play) to Hawaii for a three-game PacWest swing, facing Chaminade on Saturday at noon Hawaii time, then Hawaii-Pacific on Monday, and Hawaii-Hilo next Thursday.
Academy of Art Cross Country: Graduate student Hasna Kaarour, the individual champion of the PacWest Cross Country Championships, has been named the PacWest Runner of the Year, and graduate student James Young has earned PacWest Newcomer of the Year on the men’s side. The Urban Knights also had six runners named to All-Conference teams, including first-team junior Natalie Novac and second-team redshirt sophomore fashion design major Audrey Rosencrans on the women’s side, while the men had Young, along with graduate student and landscape architecture major Charlie Messai on the first team, and sophomores Hudson Lockette and Markus Anderson Deakin named to the second team.
SF State Soccer: Both the Gators’ men’s and women’s teams see action today at Cox Stadium. The ladies (2-12, 0-1 in CCAA) host Cal State Los Angeles (6-6-1, 3-5-1 in CCAA) at 12:30 p.m., while the fifth-place men (9-5, 6-4 in CCAA) host the first-place Golden Eagles side (13-0-1, 8-0-1 in CCAA), with their match starting at 3:30 p.m.
SF State Wrestling: After a No. 17 finish last season, the Gators received 12 votes in the 2019-20 NCAA Division II National Wrestling Coaches Association poll. Junior 174-pounder Justin Pichedwatana is ranked No. 4 in the nation in the preseason rankings. Pichedwatana was a 2019 NCAA Division II All-American at 184 pounds, and heads into the season ranked at No. 5 by TheOpenMat.com. He is currently in Hungary competing at the 2019 U23 Senior World Championships.
San Francisco State has been picked to finish tied for third in the eight-team RMAC, and begins its season today against Life Pacific and Vanguard on Vanguard’s campus in Costa Mesa, Calif.