Gauchos Host Chapman Friday to Open Six-Game Homestand

Orlando Johnson (Photo by Matt Brown)
Orlando Johnson (Photo by Matt Brown)

• The Schedule 
Game No. 1
Friday, November 11, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Chapman University Panthers

at UCSB's Thunderdome
Radio: AM 1290 KZSB in Santa Barbara
On-Line Audio:
Livestats available on

Game No. 2
Tuesday, November 15, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Santa Clara University Broncos

at UCSB's Thunderdome
Radio: AM 1290 KZSB in Santa Barbara
On-Line Audio:
Livestats available on

• Big West +1 Plan, Tickets Available
Season tickets and single game tickets for all UCSB games are available.  In addition, the Big West +1 Plan is also available.  With the Big West +1, fans can purchase tickets for all eight Gaucho Big West games, plus one for either the Nov. 26 showdown against San Diego State or the Nov. 30 game against rival UNLV.  The cost of the plan is just $99.  For more information, or to purchase tickets, please stop by the Ticket Office in the Intercollegiate Athletics Building on campus, call 805-893-UCSB (8272) or online by clicking here

• Coach Pimm Introduced As Legend Nov. 30
A banner honoring former UCSB head coach Jerry Pimm as a Legend of the 'Dome will be unveiled at halftime of the Gauchos Nov. 30 game against UNLV.  Pimm, who built UCSB into a top-25 program, experienced many of his greatest moments in wins over the rival Runnin' Rebels.  He will become the fourth men's basketball honoree as he joins three of his greatest Gaucho players - Brian Shaw, Carrick DeHart and Eric McArthur - to earn the honor.  Overall, Coach Pimm is the 10th honoree.  Former women's basketball great Erin Alexander (Brown) will have her banner unfurled on Feb. 4 against Cal Poly.  Tickets for both of the legends games are available by clicking here

• UCSB Opens Regular Season 
Unofficially, UC Santa Barbara opened its season on Nov. 5 with a 67-51 exhibition win over visiting San Francisco State.  On Friday, Nov. 11, Veteran's Day, the Gauchos will open the regular season with a 7:00 p.m. game against Chapman.

• Gauchos Remain At Home For November.  December?  Not As Much.
The Nov. 11 regular season opener  against Chapman will be the first of six consecutive November home games for UCSB.  The Gauchos don't play a road game in November and, in fact, will not play their first road game until Dec. 13 at the University of San Diego.  At that point, things go in a completely different direction.  The game at USD will start what is more a road odyssey than road trip.  Following the game against the Toreros, the Gauchos will play at Washington on Dec. 16, at Cal on Dec. 19 and at BYU on Dec. 22.  When all is said and done, they will have spent 12 days on the road.  After taking Christmas off, UCSB opens league play at Cal Poly on Jan. 2.  They will host Cal State Fullerton at the Thunderdome on Jan. 5, their first home game in 37 days. 

• Johnson's List Of Preseason Accolades Continues To Grow
Orlando Johnson's list of preseason honors has continued to grow.  In early October, he became the first Gaucho ever named to the John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top-50 list.  On Nov. 1, Johnson was named to the Lute Olson Preseason All-America Team.  He is one of just 21 players across the nation to be recognized on the team.  Others on the list include Jared Sullinger of Ohio State, Harrison Barnes and Tyler Zeller of North Carolina and Terrence Jones of Kentucky.  Last week, Johnson was introduced as one of 30 candidates for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award.  He is the first UCSB player ever to make his way onto the list.  Also, he was voted onto the Preseason All-Big West Team.

• Gauchos Ranked 23rd In Mid-Major Poll
UCSB opens the season ranked 23rd in the Mid-Major Top-20 poll.  Gonzaga and Butler are ranked 1-2.

• The Gaucho Record
The Gauchos, who defeated San Francisco State 67-51 in an exhibition game on Nov. 5, enter Friday night's game against Chapman with an overall record of 0-0 and a league mark of 0-0.  In 2010-11, UCSB finished with an 18-14 overall record and an 8-8 league mark.  The Gauchos did, however, go 3-0 in the Big West Tournament to win their second straight league crown and advance to their second consecutive NCAA Tournament.

• Gauchos Picked To Finish Second In Big West
UCSB has been picked to finish second in the Big West Conference's regular season standings in a poll of the league's media.  The Gauchos received four first-place votes and totaled 196 points.  Long Beach State, the 2011 regular season champion, earned 20 first-place votes and tallied 212 points.  Cal Poly (158 points), Cal State Fullerton (131 points) and UC Riverside (114 points) rounded out the top-five. 

• Probable Starters - Quick Fact
F 0  Jaimé Serna - Had six points, five rebounds and three blocked shots in exhibition vs. SFSU.
G 1  Nate Garth - Dealt three assists and had two steals in his UCSB exhibition debut.
F 21 James Nunnally - Scored 13 points and had game-high six assists vs. SFSU.
F 24 Christian Peterson - Sore leg limited him in practice this week, but could make first start ever.
G 33 Orlando Johnson - Sat out exhibition game but has returned to practice and should start opener.

• Probable Reserves - Quick Fact
F 5 Keegan Hornbuckle - Likely to miss season opener with a tweaked back.
G 10 Kyle Boswell - Spark off the bench, he had 11 points vs. SFSU, made 3-of-5 3-point attempts.
G 11 T.J. Taylor - Passed off four assists in exhibition debut vs. SFSU.
F 12 Lewis Thomas -First Aussie to play for UCSB since Tom Garlepp (2005-07).
F 15 Alan Williams - Had 10 points and seven rebounds in just 11 minutes vs. SFSU.
F 20 Shawn Moore - Walk-on from Butte College was a DNP in win over SFSU.
F 32 John Green - Was outstanding in his exhibition debut with 17 points, nine boards in 19 minutes.
F 35 Taran Brown - Made the start vs. SFSU, but is a possible candidate to redshirt.
C 55  Greg Somogyi - Has 135 career blocked shots ranking him third in school history.

• Gaucho Duo Named Preseason All-Big West
In a poll of the media, senior guards Orlando Johnson and James Nunnally were named to the Big West's Preseason All-Conference Team.  Johnson is a two-time First Team All-Big West selection.  He has also been named the Big West Tournament Most Valuable Player twice and in 2010, he was chosen Big West Player of the Year.  Nunnally was an honorable mention All-Big West selection in 2011 and a second team all-league choice in 2010.

• Williams Seeks UCSB Wins Record
Bob Williams is in his 14th season at the helm of the UCSB basketball program.  In his 23 seasons overall, Williams has led three schools to a 406-270 overall record.  In his first 13 years in Santa Barbara, his teams have gone 217-170.  He has the second highest win total in school history and needs just six to move into first all-time.  Jerry Pimm, who guided the Gauchos for 15 seasons, is the current record holder with 222 career wins.

• Dynamic Duo Back For More
Seniors Orlando Johnson and James Nunnally are the most prolific scoring combination in UCSB history.  In their two years of playing together, the duo has piled-up 2,159 points over 62 games, an average of 34.8 per game.  In 2010-11, Johnson and Nunnally scored 1,194 points, a combined average of 37.3 per game.  Both figures were one-two punch records for the Gauchos.  Last season, also marked the first time in school history that two players scored more than 500 points in the same season.  Johnson finished with a school record 674, while Nunnally's 520 were good enough for eighth on the all-time list.

• Johnson's Busy Offseason 
Orlando Johnson didn't get a whole lot of rest between the end of last season and the beginning of this season.  First, he made himself available for the NBA Draft, went to New Jersey for a workout and then decided to take his name out of consideration.  Early in the summer, he was a counselor at the Kevin Durant Skills Academy in Chicago.  From there, he was invited to be a counselor at the LeBron James Skills Academy in Akron.  Later in the summer, Johnson tried out for Team USA.  After a few days of tryouts, he learned he had made the team so he took part in training camp for August's World University Games in China.  At the games, he played in all eight games, starting four, and averaged about 20 minutes.  He also found time to lead the U.S. delegation in the opening ceremonies as the flag bearer.  A few days after returning from China, he took part in UCSB practices as the team prepared for a 10-day, five-game tour of eastern Canada and then he played in all five games on the trip.  If he is tuckered out, it's for good reason.

• The Gauchos In Season Openers
UCSB has recorded a 9-4 record in season openers under Bob Williams. The 9-4 log includes last season's 65-49 win over Denver University at the BTI Invitational in Eugene, Ore. The Gauchos have won eight consecutive season-opening games. This will mark the fifth time in the last seven seasons that UCSB will start the season at home.  The last time, in 2008-09, they defeated Cal State Los Angeles, 85-57. Dating back to 1937-38, UCSB has gone 48-23 in 71 season-openers under seven different coaches.

• The Opponents
The Gauchos and Chapman have played eight times in a series that dates back to 1938.  Santa Barbara holds a 5-3 all-time edge.  The teams last met on Dec. 13, 1985 and UCSB won, 65-57.  On a side note, I remember that game well.  The Gauchos had three players who had finals that didn't end until after tip-off and the trio didn't get to the game until halftime.  Anyway, I digress.  As for the series against Santa Clara, the teams have met 25 times and the Broncos hold a 15-10 edge.  Last season, on Dec. 4, 2010, UCSB won at Santa Clara by an 80-69 score.

• Home, Sweet Home 
While the Gauchos had a relatively modest 9-4 record at home in 2010-11, they have found great success at the Thunderdome over the years.  In the last four seasons, UCSB has gone 41-13 in home games.  In 2009-10, an 11-2 home record equaled the second best single-season home winning percentage in school history at 84.6%.  In Bob Williams' 13 seasons in Santa Barbara, the Gauchos have posted a 122-48 home record, 71.7%.  In his last 10 seasons, they have gone 96-32, 75.0%.  Finally, in 2009-10, for the first time in school history, they were unbeaten at home in Big West Conference games going a perfect 8-0.

• It's Getting Easier Being Green 
Freshman John Green was sidelined for three months with a foot injury.  He traveled to Canada as Gauchos played five exhibition games, but he did so in a walking boot.  When he was finally cleared to play, Green had to get back in shape.  In UCSB's exhibition game against San Francisco State, his performance indicated that he might be getting closer to being ready for the regular season  Granted it was only an exhibition game, but Green played 19 minutes and finished with team-highs of 17 points and nine rebounds.  He made 6-of-9 shots overall, including 6-of-7 from inside the three-point arc.  Not a bad start for the Oakland, Calif., native.   

• UCSB Tries To Extend Winning Ways
With an 18-14 record in 2010-11, UCSB recorded its sixth consecutive winning season. The streak of consecutive winning seasons is the longest during the tenure of head coach Bob Williams and it is the longest since Ralph Barkey guided the program to six straight winning seasons from 1970-76.  A seventh straight winning season would be the longest in school history.

• TV Time 
UCSB will get its opportunity to shine on television in 2011-12.  The Gauchos will be on TV a minimum of six times and as many as seven during the regular season.  The first broadcast will be when they travel to Washington on Dec. 16.  That game will be on ROOT Sports.  On Dec. 22, UCSB's game at BYU will be carried by BYU-TV.  The Gauchos will be on ESPNU when they host Long Beach State on Jan. 21 and Cal Poly on Feb. 25 and their Feb. 22 game at Long Beach State will be on ESPN2.  On Feb. 11, the UCSB-UC Riverside game from the Thunderdome will be on Prime Ticket.  Finally, the Feb. 18 BracketBuster game could be on of the ESPN networks.

• The Bob Williams File
2011-12 is Bob Williams' 14th season at UC Santa Barbara. 

In 2010-11, Williams guided the Gauchos to their second straight Big West Tournament championship and, as a result, their second straight NCAA Tournament berth.  It marked the third NCAA Tournament bid under Williams, the fifth overall for the school and it was the first time the program had gone to the tourney in consecutive seasons.  In his 13 years, UCSB has won four regular season league titles, three tournament titles and advanced to five post-seasons.

On Feb. 5, 2011, he recorded his 400th career win when his team defeated UC Davis in overtime, 93-86.   In 2009-10, he guided the Gauchos to a 20-10 overall record, a Big West regular season championship, their second Big West Tournament title, and an NCAA Tournament berth.  Following the season, Williams was named Big West Coach of the Year for the third time.

Last year also marked the third Williams-coached Gaucho team to win 20 or more games and the 10th overall in program history.  It was the second time in a three-year span that UCSB won 20 or more contests.

In 2008-09, Williams coached the Gauchos to a 16-15 overall record and an 8-8 mark in the Big West Conference.  The record, however, doesn't tell the entire story.  UCSB was forced to overcome a myriad of injuries and at one point stood at 8-13 overall and 2-7 in league play.  

In 2007-08, Williams led the Gauchos to a 23-9 overall record.  The 23 wins were a school record, and UCSB also won its second Big West regular season title with a 12-4 conference record.  Following the campaign, the Gauchos were awarded a bid to the National Invitation Tournament.  It was the third time that a Williams team advanced to postseason play.  

The 2002 Gauchos won the school's first Big West Tournament title, advancing to the NCAA Tournament, and in 2003, they won the league's regular season title and played in the NIT.    

In 1998-99, Williams took over a UCSB program that had not recorded a winning season in five years, and after seeing his team lose its first eight games that year - extending a two-season losing streak to 16 straight games - the Gauchos turned things around, winning 15 of their final 20 games and finishing on top in the Big West's Western Division.  

Williams has a UCSB record of 217-170.  He guided the program to 11 winning seasons in his first 13 years – including the last six in a row – and three 20 win seasons.  He has a career record of 128-84 in Big West games and his .606 winning percentage in league games is tops among the league's active coaches.  

Prior to his arrival at UCSB, Williams spent eight years at UC Davis and in those eight years, his teams recorded 20 or more wins five times and a 158-76 record.  In Williams' final season, the Aggies went 31-2, won the NCAA Division II National Championship and he was named NABC Division II Coach of the Year.  Including two seasons at Menlo College, Williams has an overall career record of 406-270 (.601) at four-year schools.