Joe Pasternack Era Begins Saturday Afternoon as UCSB Hosts Fresno Pacific

Joe Pasternack (Photo courtesy of the University of Arizona Athletics)
Joe Pasternack (Photo courtesy of the University of Arizona Athletics)

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Upcoming Games
Exhibition Game
Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. (PST)
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Fresno Pacific Sunbirds

at UCSB's Thunderdome - Santa Barbara Calif.
On-Line Audio: UCSBgauchos.com
Live Stats: UCSBgauchos.com

Game No. 1
Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. (PST)
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. North Dakota State Bison

at UCSB's Thunderdome - Santa Barbara Calif.
On-Line Audio: UCSBgauchos.com
On-Line Video: BigWest.TV
Live Stats: UCSBgauchos.com

Season, Single Game Tickets Available for Gaucho Basketball
Great seats are still available for all UCSB men's and women's basketball games. There are a variety of season ticket options that make Gaucho basketball affordable for the entire family. For information or to purchase tickets online, please click here

Pasternack Era Begins at UCSB
The Joe Pasternack era as head men's basketball coach at UC Santa Barbara will begin on Saturday, Nov. 4 when the Gauchos host Fresno Pacific in an exhibition game at the Thunderdome. Pasternack is the 13th head coach in school history and just the third in the last 35 years. He arrived at UCSB after spending six years at the University of Arizona, the last four as Sean Miller's Associate Head Coach. Previously, he spent four seasons as the head coach at the University of New Orleans. Prior to his stint at UNO, Pasternack was at Cal from 2000-07. 

More Than One New Face
While Joe Pasternack will be the primary new face on the UCSB bench, he will have plenty of company. Joining the first-year head coach as assistant coaches are John Rillie (previously at Boise State), Louis Reynaud (previously at Houston, Rice and Cal) and Ben Tucker (previously at Northern Arizona, Arizona and College of Idaho). They will be joined by Director of Basketball Operations David Miller (Alabama and Arizona) and Video Coordinator John Seavey (Arizona).

Exhibition Starts Tough 8-Game November Stretch
Saturday's exhibition game against Fresno Pacific will open a very difficult stretch that will see UCSB play eight games over a 25-day span. In fact, when the Gauchos open the regular season at the Thunderdome on Nov. 11 against North Dakota State, they will begin a stretch of seven games in 18 days, five of which will be on the road. Following the NDSU game, UCSB will play four games in seven days and three cities in the Progressive Legend's Classic. The games will be at Pittsburgh (Nov. 15), at Texas A&M (Nov. 17), at Pepperdine (Nov. 20) and vs. Montana or Oral Roberts (Nov. 21 in Malibu). After returning home for a post-Thanksgiving Day match-up against Prairie View A&M, the Gauchos will complete the month with a Nov. 28 game at San Francisco.

UCSB Looking to Rebound in 2017-18
UCSB went through uncharacteristic struggles in 2016-17. The Gauchos needed wins in three of the final five games to finish with a 6-22 overall record and a 4-12 mark in the Big West Conference. When they won at Cal Poly to end the season, it was their  first win away from home of the season after an 0-14 start. 

Gauchos Picked to Finish Sixth in Big West, Vincent Named Preseason All-Conference
UCSB was picked to finish sixth in the Big West Conference and Gabe Vincent was chosen to the league's Preseason All-Conference Team in an annual poll of the media. The Gauchos earned one first-place vote and totaled 94 points in the poll. UC Irvine (216 points, 14 first-place votes), UC Davis (189 points, seven first-place votes), Cal State Fullerton (158 points, one first-place vote), Long Beach State (153 points, one first-place vote) and Hawai'i (146 points, two first-place votes) were ranked 1-5 in the poll. For Vincent, who missed the final eight games of the 2016-17 season with a knee injury, it was the second consecutive year in which he was named to the preseason all-league team.

Possible Starters - Quick Fact
F 1  Leland King II -
Graduate transfer averaged 3.7 ppg and 2.6 rpg at Nevada last year...As sophomore at Brown he averaged 14.6 ppg and 7.8 rpg.
G 2 Gabe Vincent - Returning from knee injury...Expected to play limited role early in the season...Enters year with 1,044 career points, 188 3-pointers.
F 5 Jalen Canty - Missed final 18 games last season because of academic issues...Averaged 10.2 ppg and 7.0 rpg while shooting 55.1% in 10 games.
G 21 Max Heidegger - Averaged 7.6 ppg, 2.1 rpg and 1.4 apg as a freshman...Led team with 70 free throws made and 96 attempted.
G 55 Marcus Jackson - Graduate transfer from Rice...A 3-year starter for the Owls...Averaged 12.2 ppg and 2.3 apg last year...Has 1,073 career points.

Probable Reserves - Quick Fact
F 0 Jarriesse Blackmon -
Averaged 4.1 ppg and 3.2 rpg...Missed 7 games with fractured elbow...Averaged 7.2 ppg and shot 59.3% in final 5 games.
G 3  Clifton Powell, Jr. - Provided 6.1 ppg, 2.4 rpg and 1.3 apg in a solid freshman season...One of 3 players on the team to play in all 28 games.
F 10 Maxwell Kupchak - Averaged more rebounds (3.2 rpg) than points (3.1 ppg) as a sophomore...Played in 26 of 28 games.
G 11 Brandon Davis - Freshman point guard is a tough defender and plays very physical...Comes to UCSB out of Bishop Alemany High School.
F 12 Alex Hart - Paced team at 6.2 rpg...Also averaged career-high 7.6 ppg...Recorded 4 double-doubles...Started 22 games and played in all 28.
G 13  Sam Walters - Played 134 minutes in 18 games as a walk-on sophomore...Made 9 3-pointers...Named to Academic All-Big West Team.
F 14  Ami Lakoju - Limited to 10 games because of academic issues...Led team in FG% at 61.2% and second in rebounding at 5.7 per game.
G 23 Christian Terrell - Struggled with his shooting last season...Could be one of the team's better defenders in the backcourt.
F 43 J.D. Slajchert - Called into action last season he responded with 4.2 ppg and 4.0 rpg.   

Vincent Slated to Return in Exhibition Game
Senior guard Gabe Vincent is expected to return to game action in UCSB's exhibition game against Fresno Pacific. The Preseason All-Big West Conference choice suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in a game against Cal State Fullerton on Feb. 2, 2017. Vincent had surgery soon after the injury and started full practices last week. Before injuring his knee, he was averaging 14.8 points and had made a team-high 51 three-point baskets. Last season, Vincent also became the 28th Gaucho player to eclipse 1,000 points in his career when he had 18 in a game at UC Riverside. He enters the 2017-18 campaign with 1,044 career points and needs just seven to move past Doug Muse and into 25th on the school's all-time list. With 188 three-point baskets in his first three seasons, Vincent is eighth all-time and needs just nine to move into fifth on the all-time list.

The Graduates 
The Graduate was a 1960s movie that starred Dustin Hoffman. The Graduates are an infusion of talent for the 2017-18 Gaucho basketball team. In this case, The Graduates are guard Marcus Jackson and forward Leland King II, each of whom is a graduate transfer from another Division I program and are eligible to play their final collegiate season immediately. Jackson, a guard, transferred to UCSB from Rice University where he was a three-year starter. In 2016-17, he averaged 12.2 points and 2.3 assists per game while starting all 35 of the Owls games. The Acton, Calif., native also made a team-leading 71 three-point baskets. Jackson redshirted the 2015-16 season after injuring his knee, but as a sophomore in 2014-15 he averaged 14.5 points and led Conference USA with 85 three-point baskets. He graduated from Rice with 1,073 career points and his 182 three-pointers rank second in school history. King, a forward, graduated from Nevada last spring. He played one season there after playing two years at Brown University. In 2016-17 he averaged 3.7 points and 2.6 rebounds for a Wolf Pack team that won the Mountain West and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. In one and a half seasons at Brown, he played in 46 games and started 20. King averaged 14.8 points and 7.8 rebounds in 17 games as a sophomore 

Canty, Lakoju Also Return to the Fold
Gabe Vincent isn't the only key player returning to UCSB in 2017-18. Forwards Jalen Canty and Ami Lakoju, the team's top two post players a year ago, return after missing the final 18 games of the 2016-17 season because of academic issues. Each played in 10 games last season. Canty, a senior averaged 10.2 points and 7.0 rebounds per game while making 55.1% of his field goal attempts. Lakoju, a junior, averaged 6.7 points and 5.7 boards while shooting a team-best 61.2%.

The Gauchos at Home
UCSB  was 5-8 at the Thunderdome in 2016-17. In fact, the Gauchos have grappled in home games over the past two seasons having gone a combined 11-13 in home games over that span. In 2015-16 they were just 6-5 in games at the Thunderdome.

ACC, SEC and Pac 12 Opponents for UCSB 
UCSB's schedule is a tough one, particularly its November slate. The Gauchos' 2017-18 non-conference schedule includes several teams that could get their tickets punched to the Big Dance in March. Included among the top opponents are Pitt, Texas A&M and USC, giving UCSB games against opponents from the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Southeastern Conference and the Pac 12. It marks the first time in a decade that the Gauchos will play opponents from the ACC, SEC and Pac 12. In 2007-08 the schedule included regular season games at North Carolina and Stanford, and an NIT game at Ole Miss.  

For Starters, That's a Lot of Starters
For a variety of well chronicled reasons, the Gauchos had a lot of different starting lineups and a lot of different starters in 2016-17. In all, 11 different players were in the starting lineup and just one, Eric Childress, started all 28 games. This year, UCSB has 10 players on the roster who started at least two games last season. The returnees with the most starts – Gabe Vincent and Alex Hart – each made 20 starts. They are followed by Christian Terrell (17), Clifton Powell (15), Jalen Canty (10), Maxwell Kupchak (10), Jarriesse Blackmon (8), Ami Lakoju (7), Max Heidegger (3) and J.D. Slajchert (2).