Gauchos Host 12-1 San Francisco at Thunderdome Saturday

Devearl Ramsey (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Devearl Ramsey (Photo by Tony Mastres)

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• Upcoming Games
Game No. 13
Saturday, Dec. 29, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. (PST)
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Univ. of San Francisco Dons

at UCSB's Thunderdome - Santa Barbara, Calif. 
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Game No. 14
Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. (PST)
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Bethesda University Flames

at UCSB's Thunderdome - Santa Barbara, Calif. 
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On-Line Video:

• First 250 Kids in Attendance Receive Free UCSB Basketball T-Shirt
The first 250 kids through the gates at the Thunderdome for Saturday's UCSB-USF game will receive a free collector's edition Gaucho Basketball T-Shirt.

• Gauchos Host San Francisco in Thunderdome Showdown
UC Santa Barbara hosts the University of San Francisco in a showdown of two of the better college basketball teams in California. While the Gauchos will enter the game with a 9-3 record, the Dons are coming off of a win over Stanford and have a 12-1 record. Their only loss on the season was to nationally-ranked Buffalo in Belfast, Ireland. The UCSB-USF game is the second of a season-long five game home stand for the Gauchos. They will open the new year with a Jan. 2 game against Bethesda University before opening Big West Conference play with games against Cal Poly and UC Riverside on Jan. 9 and Jan. 12 respectively.

The Gaucho Record
UCSB enters Saturday's game against San Francisco with an 9-3 record. On Saturday, Dec. 22, the Gauchos defeated Idaho State at the Thunderdome, 84-65. The Gauchos have won three of their last four games and eight of their last 10. In 2017-18, UCSB finished with an overall record of 23-9 and a Big West Conference mark of 11-5. The 23 wins equaled the most in school history and the 11-5 league record was good for second-place. 

UCSB is Off to Its Best Start Since...
Actually, you don't have to go back too far to find the same 9-3 start to a season for the Gauchos. Last season, Santa Barbara started the season at 9-3 and, ultimately, went 11-3 before losing the Big West Conference opener at Cal Poly.

Gauchos Go the Distance for Non-Conference Road Games
This season, UCSB played its non-conference road games at Wyoming, North Dakota State, Washington, Rice, Nebraska-Omaha and against Portland State and Idaho in Boise. The schedule marks the second time in program history that the Gauchos played all of their non-conference road games outside the state of California. The only other time on record that the team spent all of its preseason road time outside the Golden State was in 2014-15 when it traveled to Kansas, Florida-Gulf Coast, SMU, Oregon and Oregon State. That season, UCSB also played Washington State, Mercer and Colorado  State at the Great Alaskan Shootout in Anchorage, and at Oral Roberts in the College Basketball Invitational.

Gauchos Complete Big Sky Schedule With Win Over Idaho State
UCSB has an overall record of 9-3 and a Big Sky Conference mark of 5-0. Actually, the Gauchos are in the Big West, but they have played five Big Sky teams (Montana State, Portland State, Idaho, Sacramento State and Idaho State).The five games are the most that Santa Barbara has ever played against Big Sky opposition.

UCSB in the Midst of its Best Stretch in 30 Years
In Joe Pasternack's first season, UCSB tied a school record for wins and went 23-9. Through the first 12 games in 2018-19, the Gauchos are 9-3 giving them a 32-12 record (.727) in Pasternack's first 44 games. The last time the program had a better 44 game stretch was when it went 22-8 in 1987-88 and then opened the 1988-89 season with an 13-1 record, giving it a 35-9 record over a 44 game span. 

Gauchos Picked to Finish 4th in Big West Media Poll
With league play beginning during this home stand, it behooves us to take another look at the preseason media poll. UCSB was selected to finish in fourth-place in the Big West Conference in the annual poll of the media. The Gauchos received four first-place votes in the poll and totaled 149 points. UC Irvine collected 10 first-place votes and was picked to finish first with 192 poll points. Cal State Fullerton, which won the Big West Tournament in 2018, was picked second and UC Davis third.

The Opponents
UCSB and San Francisco first met in 1961 and the Dons have won 25 of 39 meetings all-time. Last season, the Gauchos won in The City, 79-72. The last time the teams played in Santa Barbara was during the 2016-17 season and USF walked away with a 75-63 victory. UCSB and Bethesda will be playing for the first time.

The Gauchos at the Thunderdome
The Gauchos have started the 2018-19 season with a 5-0 record at the Thunderdome. They have posted wins over   Idaho State, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Sacramento State, Montana State and Cal Lutheran and are now 17-2 at home under Joe Pasternack, including 10-0 in non-conference home games. In 2017-18, UCSB opened the regular season with an 11-0 record at the Thunderdome, equaling the longest streak to begin a home schedule in school history. The team finished with a 12-2 home record last season. 

UCSB's Possible Starters
1 Ar'Mond Davis G 6-5 190 Gr. Averaging 22.5 pts, 4.0 rebs and 2.5 asts while making 8-of-13 3-ptrs in last 2, 61.5%. 
3 JaQuori McLaughlin G 6-4 190 So. Since scoring UCSB-high 22 with 6 3-ptrs on Dec. 15 at Rice, has totaled 11 pts, 0 3-ptrs.
4 Devearl Ramsey G 6-0 185 So. Double-figures in 5 straight, 14.2 ppg over that span...Made 8-of-11 3-ptrs in last 3, 72.7%.
12 Amadou Sow F 6-9 235 Fr. 10+ points in 3 of last 4 and 5 of last 7...Made 16-of-25 FGs in last 4 games, 34.0%.
21 Max Heidegger G 6-3 180 Jr. Passed off for career-high 8 assists on Dec. 22 vs. ISU...Made 4-of-20 FGs in last 2, 20.0%.

• UCSB's Possible Reserves    
0 Sékou Touré G 6-5 185 Fr. 10 pts, 4 rebs, 2 asts, 1 BS in 12 mins on Dec. 22 vs. ISU...13-16 FGs, 81.2%, in last 9 games.
2 Jarriesse Blackmon F 6-7 220 Sr. His 10 points on Dec. 22 vs. ISU was his high at home and most in the last 6 games.
5 Jay Nagle F 6-8 205 Fr. Played season-low 3 minutes on Dec. 22 vs. Idaho State...12 of 14 FGs are 3-ptrs.
10 Maxwell Kupchak F 6-7 205 Sr. Made only field goal attempt and had 2 points in each of the last 2 games.
14 Ami Lakoju F 6-9 260 Sr. Has made just 1 FG in the last 6 games, a span of 31 minutes.
23 Christian Terrell G 6-5 200 Jr. Logged exactly 4 minutes in each of the last 3 games, his lowest total when healthy.
34 Zack Moore G 6-5 210 Jr. Has played a total of 2 minutes in last 3 games...Has 2 DNPs in last 3 games.
35 Robinson Idehen F 6-10 230 So. 5 points and 5 rebounds in 9 minutes on Dec. 22 vs. ISU...Leads team in FG% at 69.7%.
40 Andrew Pickles F 6-7 225 Jr. Saw first action of season, 1 minute on Dec. 22 vs. ISU...A DNP in the first 11 games.

Double Vision
Last season, UCSB had five players score in double-figures just once. On Jan. 13, 2018, in a loss at Hawai'i, Max Heidegger (22), Jalen Canty (16), Leland King (11), Gabe Vincent (11) and Marcus Jackson (10) each scored 10 or more points. The Gauchos turned the trick in their Dec. 22 win over Idaho State and have now done so in two of the last three games. In the win over ISU, Ar'Mond Davis (19), Devearl Ramsey (18), Amadou Sow (10), Sékou Touré (10) and Jarriesse Blackmon (10) scored in double-digits. On Dec. 15 at Rice, it was JaQuori McLaughlin (22), Max Heidegger (22), Ramsey (21), Sow (12) and Davis (10) who each scored 10 or more points.   

20-20-20 Vision
On Dec. 15 at Rice, UCSB had three players score 20 or more points for the first time this season. JaQuori McLaughlin (22), Max Heidegger (22) and Devearl Ramsey (21) became the first trio to score 20 or more points in a game since Feb. 1, 2018 when Heidegger (25), Leland King (21) and Jalen Canty (21) achieved the feat in an overtime win against Hawai'i. 

Three for the Show
In its win at Rice on Dec. 15, UCSB made 14-of-29 three-point attempts and then followed that up by making 8-of-23 on Dec. 19 at Omaha and 6-of-13 in a Dec. 22 win over Idaho State.  The 14 the Gauchos made against Rice was three more than their previous season-high and the most they made in a game since also hitting 14 on Dec. 30, 2015 at Seattle University. In the last three games, they have hit 28-of-65 three-point attempts, 43.1%, to lift their three-point percentage to a season-best 35.5%. 

Turning Over a New Leaf...and Not Much Else
In its first nine games this season, UCSB committed 10 or more turnovers eight times. In the last three games, the Gauchos have flipped the script, turning the ball over fewer than 10 times in each. On the season, they are averaging 12.0 turnovers per game, but in the last three, they have totaled just 26 turnovers, an average of 8.7 per game. While Santa Barbara has a 1.19-to-1.0 assist to turnover ratio through 12 games, it has 50 assists to go along with its 26 turnovers in the lat three games, a 1.92-to-1.0 ratio.

Take Me to Your Leader(s)
Through the first 12 games of the 2018-19 season, UCSB has had five different players lead or tie for the team-lead in scoring and nine lead or tie for the lead in rebounding. Ar'Mond Davis has led the team in scoring a team-high seven times while JaQuori McLaughlin and Amadou Sow have each paced the way twice. Sow has led the way in rebounding four times. McLaughlin, Devearl Ramsey, Max Heidegger and Zack Moore have each led the team in assists with McLaughlin leading the way six times.

UCSB Has Near Historic Free Throw Shooting Game at Rice
The Gauchos have been a solid free throw shooting this season, but on Dec. 15 at Rice, they were so exceptional it was nearly historic. Against the Owls, UCSB made 23-of-24 free throw attempts, 95.8%. It was the fifth best performance in program history and the best when missing an attempt. When attempting at least 12 free throws the Gauchos have been perfect four times. Their previous best mark when missing an attempt was 18-for-19, 94.7%, on Feb. 8, 2003 against Idaho and on Feb. 20, 1965 against San Francisco.

Newcomers Make Their Mark
To say that UCSB has leaned on newcomers quite a bit through its first 12 games would be a bit of an understatement. The top four Gaucho scorers (Not including Max Heidegger who has played in just three games) and seven of their top eight are newcomers. Their top two rebounders and seven of their top eight are also newcomers. In all, exactly 736 of Santa Barbara's 907 points, 81.1%, have been scored by first-year Gauchos. The rebounding number is not quite as extreme with 312 of 416 individual rebounds, 75.0%, credited to newcomers. Finally of the 180 assists that UCSB has produced through nine games, 145 have been by newcomers, 80.6%.    

Win or Lose, It's Likely to Be a Big Margin
UCSB has played 12 games this season and of those, 10 have been decided by 10 or more points. The only two games not decided by double-figure margins were the Gauchos' 76-69 Nov. 3 win over Portland State and their 67-63 loss on Dec. 2 at the University of Washington. Overall, UCSB has a +10.4 average point margin. In addition, the rebound margins in Santa Barbara games have also been rather large with seven of 10 or more. Overall, the Gauchos are outrebounding their opponents by a margin of +7.8.