|High School:||Santa Clara HS|
Ward Of The Court
Senior B.J. Ward will probably start his final season at UCSB as a back-up at the point guard position. In the last two seasons, he has proven to be a capable defender and distributor of the basketball. Those two things should continue to earn him playing time at a position where the Gauchos have four players vying for playing time.
During his sophomore season in 2000-01, Ward rarely played at the same time as Jacoby Atako. Last year, in the first three games of the season, the duo didn't play together at all. In game four, however, all of that changed. The Gauchos, struggling in the first half of a game against BYU, decided to go with quickness in the backcourt to help turn things around. The plan worked like a charm. Led by Ward and Atako on the defensive end, UCSB bounced back in the second half and posted an impressive 68-58 victory over the Cougars. BYU was limited to 24 second-half points and Ward finished with nine points, four assists and a game-high three steals in his 20 minutes. The Gauchos also used the newly-found defensive duo to help out in several other key wins during the season, including one over Pepperdine.
His Ratio Improves Again
In three seasons, Ward's assist to turnover ratio has gotten better and better. As a freshman in 1999-2000, he had 39 assists and 54 turnovers, a 0.7-to-1.0 assist to turnover ratio. As a sophomore in 2000-01, he had 80 assists and 62 turnovers, a 1.3-to-1.0 assist to turnover ratio. Last year, as a junior, Ward had 64 assists and just 36 turnovers, a solid 1.8-to-1.0 ratio edge.
Free, But Valuable Too
As a free throw shooter, Ward has come a thousand miles since his freshman season. In that first campaign, Ward made just 19-of-40 free throws, 47.5%. Last year, he led the Gauchos by making 41-of-48 shots from the charity stripe, an outstanding 85.4%. In fact, dating back to the final 14 free throws of his sophomore season, 13 of which went through the hoop, Ward has now made 54 of his last 62 free throw attempts, a glistening 87.1% and a far cry from the 47.5% he shot during the 1999-2000 season.
His Shooting Arm Should Be Well Rested
Ward will probably never get tendonitis in his right arm from shooting too much. In his first two seasons, he attempted just 160 shots in 993 minutes, an average of one shot for every 6.2 minutes of action. Last year, he attempted even fewer shots. In his 448 minutes as a junior, Ward launched just 46 field goal attempts, one every 9.7 minutes of play. When he did shoot, he was actually pretty good, making 47.8%, he just didn't shoot that much. In 2001-02, Ward was also the sole Gaucho player to attempt more free throws (48), than field goals (46).
B.J. Ward Notes
B.J. Ward will once again give UCSB veteran depth at the point guard position. A very quick player, he adds solid defense and experience.
Ward played 30 of 31 games, averaging 2.9 points, 2.1 assists and 1.1 rebounds per game. Scored in double-figures twice, going for 11 against Detroit and ten against Pacific. While he had 64 assists on the season, only one came in his final seven games. Ward passed off for a career-best seven assists in a win over Pepperdine. Chipped in with six assists against Long Beach State. He had four or more assists nine times on the year. While he had just 13 steals on the season, he had three steals in three separate games against BYU, Detroit and Utah State. Ward attempted just 46 shots in 448 minutes of play. Led the team in free throw percentage at 85.4%. He actually attempted more free throws (48) than field goals (46). Averaged 14.9 minutes per game. Played ten or more minutes 23 times, but in the team's final seven games he played just total of 24 minutes.
As a sophomore, Ward averaged 4.5 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game. His assist average ranked him third on the team, but his 80 assists ranked second. Led the team with 38 steals, including a career-high of three in games against USF and Idaho. Scored in double-digits three times, all early in the season. Tallied a career-high 15 in an overtime win against Westmont. In the win over Westmont, he nailed two three-pointers, including one at the buzzer to send the game into the overtime. Also had 12 points against USF and ten at BYU. Passed off for four or more assists nine times. Ward had a career-high seven assists against USF, and he had six in games at UCLA and vs. Westmont. Pulled down a career-high ten boards in a triple-overtime win over San Diego State. Also had seven boards at BYU and six at Utah State. Ward played a total of 621 minutes, averaging 23.3 per game. Played 20 or more minutes 19 of 28 games. Played a career-high 44 minutes in triple-overtime game with San Diego State.
Played in all 28 games as a freshman, starting two and averaging 13.3 minutes per contest. Averaged 2.9 points, 1.9 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game. Scored a season-high 12 points at USC. Produced season-highs of eight rebounds and five assists against Concordia. Ward had two or more assists in 12 games. Finished fourth on the team in steals with 17 and had a high of two in three different games.
Attended Santa Clara High School in Oxnard. Ward helped Santa Clara to a 30-3 record and the California State Division 5 Championship in 1999. Selected CIF Player of the Year, Frontier League Player of the Year and Ventura County Player of the Year in 1999. Also named Santa Clara's MVP as a junior and as a senior. A First-Team All-State, All-CIF, All-Ventura County and All-Frontier League selection following his junior and senior seasons. Ward averaged 20.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 4.0 steals as a senior. Scored a career-high 34 points and had a career-best 12 rebounds against Pacific Hills HS. Twice went for 33 points in games against Nordhoff HS. Recorded his personal-bests of ten assists and ten steals against Pilgrim HS. Ward helped Santa Clara not only to the State Championship, but also to the State Tournament in 1997 and 1998 and CIF Championships in 1997 and 1999. As a junior, Ward averaged 19.4 points, 5.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 2.0 steals per game. In his sophomore season, he chipped in 6.1 points, 2.0 assists, 2.0 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game. Coached by the legendary Lou Cvijanovich at Santa Clara, the winningest boys basketball coach in California history.
Granville Burdette Ward III, known as B.J., was born on September 8, 1981 in Oxnard, CA. A member of the National Honor Society, Ward maintained Honor Roll status at Santa Clara High School all four years he was there. Also competed in football and tennis in high school. Ward's most memorable sports moment was Santa Clara's State Championship in 1999. A devoted Christian, Ward would like it known that he loves God and his parents. A Communication major, he would someday like to work with children. Ward is the son of Olivia and Granville B. Ward.
Total 3-PTS G FG-FGA .Pct AVG 3FG-FGA .Pct FT-FTA .Pct REB A BLK STL 102 100-220 .454 3.1 5-18 .277 111-168 .660 186 193 1 71