UCSB Continues Progressive Legends Classic Friday at No. 16 Texas A&M

Jalen Canty (Photo by David Hague)
Jalen Canty (Photo by David Hague)

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Game No. 3
Progressive Legends Classic
Friday, Nov. 17, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. (PST)
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at No. 16 Texas A&M Aggies

at Texas A&M's Reed Arena - College Station, Texas
On-Line Audio: UCSBgauchos.com
On-Line Video: SEC Network Plus | Watch ESPN
Live Stats

Game No. 4
Progressive Legends Classic
Monday, Nov. 20, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. (PST)
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at Pepperdine University Waves

at Pepperdine's Firestone Fieldhouse - Malibu, Calif.
On-Line Audio: UCSBgauchos.com
On-Line Video: TheW.tv
Live Stats

A November to Remember Continues at No. 16 Texas A&M
UCSB's difficult November schedule will continue Friday with another Regional Game in the Progressive Legends Classic. The Gauchos will travel to 16th-ranked Texas A&M on Friday, Nov. 17. The game will be aired on the SEC Network Plus and Watch ESPN. Play in the Progressive Legends Classic will resume when UCSB returns to Southern California with a Monday, Nov. 20 game at Pepperdine and a Tuesday, Nov. 21 game in Malibu against either Montana or Oral Roberts. The Gauchos will return home on Friday, Nov. 24 when they host Prairie View A&M.

The Gaucho Record
UCSB enter Friday's game in College Station with a 1-1 record. The Gauchos opened their campaign with an 85-66 win over North Dakota State on Saturday, Nov. 11, before falling at Pittsburgh on Wednesday night, 70-62. Santa Barbara is coming off of an injury and eligibility-riddled 2016-17 season in which it went 6-22 overall and 4-12 in the Big West Conference. 

Pasternack Era Begins With a Victory
The Joe Pasternack era as head men's basketball coach at UCSB officially began on Saturday, Nov. 11 when the Gauchos defeated North Dakota State, 85-66. Pasternack became the fourth Gaucho head coach to begin his career with a victory, joining Jerry Pimm, Willie Wilton and Ralph Barkey

Pitt Rallies for 70-62 Win Over UCSB
For 37 minutes on Wednesday night, it looked like the Gauchos may accomplish something that no UCSB team had in 30 years: defeat a team from the ACC. When Ami Lakoju grabbled an offensive rebound and banked in a short shot with 3:02 remaining in the game, the Gauchos took a lead, 57-56. After leading for almost the entire first half and much of the second half, that was their last advantage of the game. The Panthers closed the contest on a 14-5 run to win 70-62. After making 8-of-15 three-point attempts in the first half, UCSB went ice cold in the final 20 minutes, hitting just 2-of-15, 13.3%. The Gauchos also had their struggles from the free throw line where they made just 10-of-22, 45.5%, while Pitt nailed 21-of-25, 84.0%, including 19-of-22 in the decisive second half, 86.4%. Santa Barbara did have a couple of bright spots as it had 19 offensive rebounds and held a 43-35 overall edge. They also had a mere eight turnovers. Leland King II had 22 points and eight rebounds, Max Heidegger added 13 points and a career-high six assists, while Jalen Canty had 10 points and 11 rebounds for the Gauchos. Gabe Vincent also had a season-high 10 points. King, Heidegger and Vincent each made a trio of three-point baskets. 

Possible Starters - Quick Fact
F 1  Leland King II - Grad transfer from Nevada has started his UCSB career with back-to-back 20+ point games...Averaging 22.5 ppg and 8.5 rpg.
G 2 Gabe Vincent - Had 10 points at Pitt, first double-digit game since injury in February...Has 1,061 career points, 192 3-pointers.
F 5 Jalen Canty - Posted first double-double of the season with 10 points, 11 rebounds at Pitt...Averaging 11.5 ppt and 9.0 rpg.
G 21 Max Heidegger - Set career-highs with 33 points and 8 3-point baskets in win over NDSU...Most points by a Gaucho since Dec. 30, 2015.
G 23 Christian Terrell - Started in place of injured Marcus Jackson in both games...Made the fourth 3-pointer of his career in game at Pitt.

Probable Reserves - Quick Fact
F 0 Jarriesse Blackmon - Had 7 rebounds, 4 offensive, in just 16 minutes at Pitt...Also blocked a pair of shots against the Panthers.
G 3  Clifton Powell, Jr. - Played just 7 minutes and was scoreless against Pitt...Made his only field goal attempt and had 2 points in 8 minutes vs. NDSU.
F 10 Maxwell Kupchak - Did not play at Pitt...Played 2 minutes and was scoreless in the win over NDSU...Played in 26 of 28 games in 2016-17.
G 11 Brandon Davis - Freshman point guard has passed off for 6 assists and had 0 turnovers in 30 minutes over his first 2 games.
F 12 Alex Hart - Logged just 1 minutes at Pitt...Missed his only field goal attempt and a pair of free throw attempts in his 7 minutes vs. NDSU.
G 13  Sam Walters - Played 6 minutes in the opener and didn't attempt a field goal or a free throw.
F 14  Ami Lakoju - Hit both of his field goal attempts and finished with 4 points at Pitt...Is 3-for-3 in 2 games and is now 33-of-52, 63.5 in 2 years.   
F 43 J.D. Slajchert - Did not enter either of the 2 games...Had 4 points in 5 minutes on Nov. 4 in exhibition game against Fresno Pacific.   
G 55 Marcus Jackson - Grad transfer from Rice is nursing an injured hip and missed first 2 games...Had 14 points, 10 assists in exhibition game.

The Gauchos and Aggies
According to our records, UCSB holds a 2-0 record against Texas A&M, defeating the Aggies 69-61 on Dec. 17, 1976, and 66-61 on Dec. 15, 1979. The second victory was at College Station.

The Gauchos Away From Home 
With their defeat at Pitt on Wednesday night, the Gauchos are 0-1 in road games this season. Last year, UCSB was 1-14 away from home in 2016-17, going 1-12 in true road games and 0-2 in neutral site games. In fact, the Gauchos were winless away from home until defeating Cal Poly at San Luis Obispo in the final game of the regular season.

The 20-20 King
Graduate transfer Leland King II has become the first UCSB player on record to open his career with consecutive 20-point scoring performances. King played almost two seasons at Brown University and then one at the University of Nevada. In 17 games as a sophomore at Brown, he averaged 14.8 points per game, so it was no secret that he could score. In his first game as a Gaucho, the opener against North Dakota State, he made 7-of-13 field goals overall, 3-of-5 from three-point range and 6-of-9 from the free throw line for 23 points. On Wednesday at Pitt, the Inglewood, Calif., native followed-up that performance by making 8-of-20 overall, 3-of-10 from three-point distance and 3-of-5 free throws for a total of 22 points. 

A Turn for the Better 
In its regular season opener against North Dakota State on Nov. 11, UCSB committed just six turnovers while assisting on 21 baskets. In Wednesday night's game at Pitt the Gauchos had only eight turnovers to go along with 15 assists. Through two games, the totals are 36 assists and a mere 14 turnovers, an assist to turnover ratio of 2.6-to-1.0. The team's backcourt players have passed off for 29 assists and totaled just six assists, a 4.8-to-1.0 ratio. Granted, it's a very early sample size, but by contrast the 2016-17 UCSB team had 338 assists and 341 turnovers and it doesn't take a physicist to realize that is not quite a 1-to-1 ratio.

50-Percent Breakthrough
UCSB shot 50.9% in its season-opening win over North Dakota State on Nov. 11 and while that figure didn't set any records, it was a nice step in the right direction for the Gauchos. In 2016-17, Santa Barbara shot just 37.7% overall and ranked among the bottom three in NCAA Division 1. In fact, when the Gauchos made 50.9% in the win over North Dakota State, it was the first time that the team made more than half of its shots since the Big West Tournament in 2016. On March 10, 2016, UCSB made 54.2% of its shots in a tournament win over UC Davis. Last year's season-best was 48.9% in a win over UC Riverside.

It's a Three for All! Or at Least for Some
Last year UCSB made more than 10 three-point baskets just one time, in a loss to Seattle University. Through two games this season, the Gauchos have totaled 22 and have hit 12 and 10 in games against North Dakota State and Pitt respectively. The most they had in consecutive games last season was 20, in games against Seattle (12) and Cal State Bakersfield (8). Overall, UCSB has gone 22-for-52 through two games, 42.3%. Last season, it shot 29.0% for the season.

On the Rebound 
After being outrebounded in their exhibition game against Fresno Pacific, the Gauchos have won the battle of the boards is consecutive games against North Dakota State and Pitt. In the opener against the Bison, they had a 36-29 edge and on Wednesday against the Panthers the advantage was 43-35 with 19 of the boards coming on the offensive end of the court. In 2016-17, UCSB never outrebounded more than three consecutive opponents, a feat that could be tied on Friday.

They Aren't Free, They're Costly
They may be called "free" throws, but on Wednesday at Pitt, they were very costly to UCSB. The Gauchos, who led most of the game, made just 10-of-22 "free" throws, 45.5%, and they were outscored from the line by 11 as the Panthers made 21-of-25, 84.0%, including 19-of-22 in the decisive second half.