« Men’s Basketball 2018-19

TJ Shorts II


University of California, Davis



As a team captain and leader since arriving to the fifth-ranked public school in the nation last season, T.J. Shorts II has played a key role in organizing study sessions and tutoring clinics for himself and his teammates. He will graduate in the spring with a degree in communications.


Shorts truly leads by example and invests the time and energy needed to succeed on the court and in the classroom. Since his arrival, he has been a phenomenal mentor for the team’s newcomers, helping them with their transition and the rigors of a D-I athletics schedule combined with the academic expectations of coaches and faculty.


Shorts also plays a key role in the program’s Reading Program, which boasts a membership of over 15,000 local elementary-aged children in Yolo and Sacramento counties. This program, which encourages students to enjoy reading, also includes campus visits and basketball clinics throughout the off-season—events that also often feature Shorts.


Following the 2017-18 season, Shorts became the first player in Big West Conference history to be named league Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year in the same season. Over the last four weeks of the season, Shorts averaged 21.0 points and 5.8 steals per game (both team highs) and shot .566 from the floor, .400 from three, and .788 at the line to lead UC Davis to its third league championship in the last four seasons and the team’s third postseason tournament appearance in the same timespan. He is a All-BIG West First Team selection.

Shorts finished his first year at UC Davis with the following NCAA rankings: No. 39 in free throw attempts (212), No. 42 in total steals (63), No. 46 in steals per game (1.91) and No. 55 in free throws made (158).

UC Davis is the only Division I program that offered a scholarship to Shorts. He received zero offers out of high school or during his time at Saddleback College.