UCSB Prepares to Put Perfect League Record on the Line Sunday at Cal State Northridge, Brown Will Miss the Rest of the Season With Ankle Injury
Jan. 1, 2005
Game No. 10
Sunday, January 2, 2005 at 4:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at Cal State Northridge Matadors
at CSUN's Matadome
Radio: KTLK 1340 AM
Game No. 11
Thursday, January 6, 2005 at 6:00 p.m. (PST)
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at Utah State Aggies
at Utah State's Dee Glen Smith Spectrum
Radio: KTLK 1340 AM
Game No. 12
Saturday, January 8, 2005 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at the University of Idaho Vandals
at Idaho's Cowan Spectrum
Radio: KTLK 1340 AM
The Week To Come
UC Santa Barbara is facing one of its most difficult weeks of the Big West Conference season. The Gauchos will travel to Cal State Northridge for an odd Sunday afternoon game on January 2, and then after a couple days off, they will embark on their final league road trip to Utah State and Idaho. The Aggies and Vandals will leave the conference following the 2004-05 season. When UCSB completes the trip, it will have played five Big West games over a 12 day span.
The Gaucho Record
UCSB enters Sunday's game at Cal State Northridge with a 4-5 overall record and a perfect 2-0 mark in the Big West. The Gauchos, who have won two straight and three of their last four, are coming off of a successful league home stand. On Thursday night, UCSB snapped UC Irvine's five-game winning streak with a decisive 62-45 win. The victory was the Gauchos sixth in a row over the Anteaters. In its Big West opener on Tuesday, December 28, UCSB defeated Long Beach State in another defensive battle, 54-47. The last time the Gauchos opened Big West play with a 2-0 record was in 2001-02, when they posted road wins over Cal State Fullerton and UC Riverside.
UCSB Does The Job With Defense, Routs UC Irvine 62-45
For the second game in a row, UCSB parlayed an outstanding defensive effort into a Big West win. The Gauchos held UC Irvine 33.5 points below its season average and to just 32.5% shooting from the field, en route to a 62-45 win over the Anteaters. Santa Barbara fell behind just once in the game, at 3-2, but when senior guard Chrismen Oliver drilled a three-point shot to break a 5-5 tie, the Gauchos never trailed again. UCSB used a 12-3 spurt to close the first half and break-open a relatively close game. The Gauchos led by six before the half-ending run, but they took a 34-19 edge in the halftime. UC Irvine never got closer than eight in the second half. Senior forward Casey Cook added 11 points, and reserve junior guard Michael Chambers came off the bench to score a season-high ten points for UCSB. Junior forward Cameron Goettsche scored just two points, but he had a career-high 14 rebounds in just 25 minutes of play. While they played another outstanding defensive game, the Gauchos struggled on the offensive end again, making just 34.0% of their shots.
Williams Hits Century Mark At UCSB
The Gauchos' 62-45 win over UC Irvine on Thursday was the 100th victory of Bob Williams' UCSB coaching career. Williams, in his seventh season with the Gauchos, joins four former UCSB coaches in the 100 win club. Jerry Pimm (222), Willie Wilton (205), Ralph Barkey (169) and Art Gallon (122) have also won more than 100 games as coach of the Gauchos.
Brown Will Miss The Remainder Of Season With Leg Injury
Junior guard Cecil Brown missed the first six games of the season with a partially torn medial collateral ligament in his right knee. One day before he was set to return to action, he injured his left ankle in practice. He missed the next three games with what was believed to be a sprained ankle. A bone scan, however, revealed a stress fracture in Brown's lower left leg and he will be out a minimum of eight to ten weeks, in other words, the rest of the season. Brown was expected to be a starter at the off-guard spot and he is, without question, one of the team's leaders. Last year, as a sophomore, he averaged 7.7 points per game and he was second on the team with 24 three-point baskets. Brown started 11 games in 2003-04, mostly early in the season.
The Injury Update
Junior guard Cecil Brown has recovered from a partially torn medial collateral ligament in his right knee, but while the knee was willing, his left ankle was not. Prepared to make his 2004-05 debut at San Diego on December 22, Brown injured his ankle in practice the day before the game and he was back on the injured list. A bone scan revealed that he has a stress fracture in the lower left leg and he is expected to be sidelined the remainder of the season. Redshirt freshman forward Chris Devine had surgery on his right knee prior to the opening of practice in October and he will be sidelined at least until late January. Reserve sophomore forward David Kennedy missed the first seven games of the season with a stress fracture in his right leg, but he returned in the conference opener against Long Beach State, playing two minutes. Some soreness in that leg kept him out of practice the day after the Long Beach State game and although he was suited up, he did not play in the win over UC Irvine. Junior forward Cameron Goettsche has played in the last seven games. Goettsche missed four weeks, including all practices, two exhibition games and the first two regular season games, with a severely strained groin. In the win over UC Irvine, he fell hard to floor, hitting his head, and he need six stitches to close a gash over his right eye. Goettsche did return against the Anteaters. Overall, including exhibition games, Gaucho regulars, or projected regulars, have missed 37 games due to injury this season.
Possible Starters - Notes
G - Chrismen Oliver - Has made at least one three-point basket in eight of nine games.
G - Joe See - Has made two or more three-point baskets in four of the last five games.
G - Josh Davis - He has had 11 steals in the last four games.
F - Cameron Goettsche - Career-high 14 boards vs. UCI. Has 11 or more in three straight.
F - Casey Cook - Gauchos are 4-1 when he scores ten or more. Only loss was at Wisconsin.
Possible Reserves - Notes
G - Alex Harris - Had eight points vs. UCI after totaling nine in previous four combined.
G - Michael Chambers - Scored season-high ten in win over UCI and now has 17 in last two.
F - Derek Rasp -Has had two or more rebounds four times in nine games.
F - David Kennedy - Returned from injury with two minutes vs. LBSU. DNP vs. UCI.
F - Glenn Turner - Has blocked two shots in three of last four games and UCSB has won each.
The Sideline - Notes
G - Cecil Brown - Stress fracture in lower left leg has likely sidelined him for the season.
F - Chris Devine - Knee injury has sidelined him until at least late January.
F - Chris Moore - Is currently academically ineligible.
F - Todd Follmer - The seven-footer will redshirt his freshman campaign.
The Bob Williams File
Bob Williams is in his seventh season as the head coach at UC Santa Barbara. On December 30, when the Gauchos defeated UC Irvine, he became the fifth UCSB coach to record 100 wins. Last year, he guided the Gauchos to a 16-12 overall record and a 10-8 mark in Big West Conference play. He has also guided UCSB to three straight winning seasons, the first time the program has accomplished the feat since 1987-88 through 1989-90. In 2002-03, Williams' Gauchos went 18-14 overall and 14-4 in league. The 2002-03 Big West mark earned Santa Barbara its first-ever Big West regular season championship along with a postseason trip to the National Invitation Tournament. In addition, the success earned Williams his second Big West Coach of the Year award, his first coming after an impressive 1999 campaign. In 2001-02, Williams guided UCSB to its first Big West Conference Tournament Championship ever and first NCAA Tournament appearance in 12 years. Including this season, Williams' UCSB teams have posted a 100-84 (.543 overall record and a 68-36 (.654) record in Big West games. Prior to his arrival at UCSB, he 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 a record of 289-184 (.611) at four-year schools.
The Gauchos and Cal State Northridge have played 27 times in a series that dates back to 1960. Santa Barbara holds a 21-6 edge all-time, but after winning the first meeting between the school's last season, the Gauchos dropped two in a row, including a Big West Tournament quarterfinal game, 61-58. Prior to the Matadors two wins in the series last season, UCSB had won five in a row. The Gauchos and Utah State have played 57 times in a series that dates back to 1970. The Aggies hold a decisive 35-22 edge and they won both games last season. USU topped UCSB in Logan by a score of 63-54 and in Santa Barbara by a 74-67 count. The Gauchos last win in the series came in Santa Barbara during the 2002-03 season. The last time UCSB won in Logan was in 1999. Santa Barbara and Idaho have played 16 times, meeting for the first time in 1963. Last year, the team's split their two games, each team winning on its home floor. UCSB won 59-47 in Santa Barbara and the Vandals won 57-45 in Moscow. The last time UCSB won in Moscow was in 2003 when it won 62-53.
The Gauchos On The Road
UCSB is 1-4 in road games this season. The overtime victory at San Diego State in the opener marked the second straight season in which the Gauchos have won their first road game of the season. UCSB, however, has now lost four straight road games, dropping decisions at Wisconsin, San Francisco, Pepperdine and the University of San Diego. Last season, the Gauchos went 6-10 in road games overall, and just 3-6 in Big West Conference road games.
Playing The Percentages And Those Fabulous 40s
In recent UCSB games, one thing that you can expect with a good deal of confidence is plenty of missed shots. On the one hand, that's a bad thing for the Gauchos because they have been right in the middle of the action when it comes to missing shots. On the other hand, they have stepped their defense up a level and that has meant three wins in the last four games. In fact, if we just look at the UCSB side of the ledger, it's tough to believe that the Gauchos have won three of the last four. In the three wins, Santa Barbara made 33.9%, 37.5% and 34.0% of its shots while scoring 55, 54 and 62 points. No need to replace the nets. A look at the opponents side of the ledger, however, gives us a better understanding of the three wins in four games. In the last three UCSB wins, the opposition shot 31.0% (Montana), 30.0% (Long Beach State), and 32.6% (UC Irvine), scoring 46, 47 and 45 points. In fact, in all four Gaucho wins this season, San Diego State joining the above trio, the opponent has shot 38.8% or below. Now, a few words about sub-50 point efforts by the opposition. The last time UCSB held back-to-back opponents under the 50 point barrier was at the beginning of the 2001-02 season when Westmont scored 42 and San Francisco tallied 49 in the first two games of the season. The last time the Gauchos allowed under 50 points in three out of four games, Dwight D. Eisenhower was in his first term as president. The 1951-52 UCSB team, coached by Larry Findlay, who coached just the one season, limited Camp Cooke (Don't ask.) to 40 points, Los Angeles State to 49 points and Redlands to 37 points. In between, Pepperdine scored 81. Overall, in the last four games, including a loss at the University of San Diego, the Gauchos have shot 37.1% and averaged 58.5 points per game and their opponents have shot 35.9% and averaged 52.2 points per game.
Three-Point Barrage Ends
In the three games prior to UCSB's Big West opening win over Long Beach State, the Gauchos were killed by their opponents from three-point range. In the games against San Diego, Montana and San Diego State, the opposition combined to go 26-of-46 from beyond the three-point stripe, a sparkling 56.4%. That happy run by the opponents came to a crashing end in the first two Big West games against LBSU and UC Irvine. The 49ers staggered to a 1-for-18 total from three-point territory, a miserable 5.6%. It marked the first time this season that a UCSB opponent did not make at least four three-point baskets in a game. In the game against UCI, the Gauchos limited the hot-shooting Anteaters to just 3-of-17 from beyond the arc. Combined, LBSU and UCI went 4-for-35 from three-point range, 11.4%, a major improvement over the 56.4% of the final three non-conference games. On the season, Gaucho opponents have now made 57-of-170 shots from outside the three-point line, a 33.5% mark.
No Offense Intended
Since starting the season by scoring 80 points in an overtime win at San Diego State, UCSB has gone into an offensive slump. In the past eight games, the Gauchos have not scored more than the 63 points that they recorded on December 22 at the University of San Diego. The 62 points that UCSB scored against UC Irvine on Thursday marked just the fourth game of 60 or more points this season. Through nine games, Santa Barbara has averaged 60.2 points per game, but in the last eight outings, the Gauchos have averaged just 57.7 points per game.
Turning Over A New Leaf
Through the first seven games of season, UCSB never had fewer than the 11 turnovers it had in a loss at Wisconsin. Through the first seven, the Gauchos averaged 15.4 turnovers had a high of 17 in games at San Diego State and Pepperdine. In the last two games, UCSB has turned things completely around. In the Big West opener against Long Beach State, the Gauchos had just ten turnovers, and in the win over UC Irvine, they had just eight. The average of 9.0 turnovers in the two league games is an improvement of 6.4 per game over what the team had averaged in non-conference games. Overall, UCSB is now averaging 14.0 turnovers per game. In 2003-04, the Gauchos averaged 14.7 turnovers per game and had a season-low eight turnovers on two occasions.
The Gauchos have 73 steals through eight games this season, an average of 8.1 per game. In the last four contests, UCSB has had a combined total of 40 steals, tying its season-high in the win over Montana with 13, producing ten in the loss at San Diego and then coming-up with nine against Long Beach State and eight against UC Irvine. Last season, Santa Barbara averaged 6.82 steals per game, and had a total of 191, the ninth highest total in school history. At their current rate, the Gauchos would have 219 steals in 27 games this year, a figure that would rank second on the all-time single-season list. Leading the way through seven games this season has been junior guard Josh Davis, who has 20, an average of 2.2 per game. Davis had two in the win over UCI and now has 11 in his last four games.
As a team, UCSB has 25 blocked shots in its first nine games, an average of 2.8 blocks per game. While the 2.8 blocks per game is a modest figure and certainly no reason to declare even a state holiday, it is a slight increase over last year's average of 2.0 per game. Eight of the 11 players who have suited-up for the Gauchos this season have produced at least one blocked shot. Despite missing two games, junior forward Cameron Goettsche leads the way with eight blocks. Sophomore forward Glenn Turner,, who has blocked two shots in three of the last four games, has seven.
Last season, Santa Barbara finished the season with just one player, Branduinn Fullove, averaging in double-figures. This year, through nine games, the Gauchos have three players averaging in double-figures. With his back-to-back double-figure performances to open Big West play, Casey Cook has taken over the team-lead in scoring at 12.0 points per game. Josh Davis, who has scored in single-digits in each of the last five games, is second on the team at 10.9 points per game. Chrismen Oliver, who briefly smelled the rarefied air of a double-figure scoring average, dropped below the 10.0 mark by scoring eight points against Long Beach State, but he has eked back over the line with a 12-point game against UC Irvine . Oliver is now averaging 10.0 points per game on the money.
Just In Casey
Senior forward Casey Cook has reclaimed the team-lead in scoring at 12.0 points per game. He scored in double-figures in each of the first two Big West games. Cook had 11 points, five rebounds and two steals in the win over UC Irvine, and he had 15 points and had nine rebounds in Tuesday's win over Long Beach State. Cook has now scored in double-figures five times this season, including three times in the last four games. The Gauchos are 4-1 when he scores tenor more. The 15 he had against LBSU equaled his second-highest total of the season and the sixth-highest of his career. Cook scored a season and career-high 21 in the loss at Wisconsin on November 23. He has not scored fewer than eight points in any game this season. Despite his recent scoring surge, Cook is struggling with his field goal percentage. In the first two games of the year, Cook made 15-of-21 shots from the field, 71.4%. In the last seven games, he has made just 26-of-78 from the floor, 33.3%. He did, however, make 10-of-23 in the two home wins, 43.5%. Cook who is second on the team in rebounding at 5.9 per game, had a career-high 12 boards in a December 18 win over Montana. In that game he also recorded the second double-double of his career.
After scoring in double-figures in each of the team's first four games, junior guard Josh Davis has scored in single-digits in five straight. He had eight points in the win over UC Irvine, and while he has scored less than ten in five in a row, he has never scored fewer than seven, which he had in the league opener against Long Beach State. Still, Davis is at 10.9 points per game, a season-low. In fact, since averaging 14.5 per game in the first four games of the year, Davis has averaged 8.0 per game in the last five, making just 13-of-35 shots, 37.1%, over that span. He is one of two Gauchos to have scored at least 20 points in a game this season, scoring a career-high 20 at San Francisco. In the season-opener at San Diego State, he scored 18 points, including a career-high four three-point baskets. Davis is tied for second on the team with ten three-point baskets, one more than he had all of last season, and he paces the team with 20 steals. Twice this season he has had a career-high of four steals, once each at San Diego State and the University of San Diego. Davis has had two or more steals six times, and at least one in eight of nine games. In fact, he has 11 steals in the last four games.
Senior point guard Chrismen Oliver scored 12 points in the win over UC Irvine, moving back into double figures for the season at 10.0 per game. Oliver is third on the team in scoring and he remains the only regular on the team with a positive assist to turnover ratio. Oliver leads the team in assists at 3.2 per game and he has had at least two assists in eight of nine games, including each of the last five. He is one of two Gauchos who has scored ten or more points in five of UCSB's nine games this year. Oliver also leads the team with 12 three-point baskets. In the last four games he has made seven three-point baskets. In fact, in the last four games, he has made 7-of-17 shots from beyond the three-point arc, 41.2%, and just 6-of-19 from inside the three-point arc, 31.6%. Oliver has 18 steals on the season, including two on Thursday against Long Beach State. He had a career-high five steals in a home win over Montana and he has had two or more six times this year. In the game against Montana, Oliver also had a career-high seven assists. His career-high of 17 points came in the season opening win at San Diego State.
Cam I Am
Junior forward Cameron Goettsche has yet to get full on-track offensively this season, but his rebounding is getting better each game. In Thursday's win over UC Irvine, despite playing just 25 minutes and missing nine minutes in the second half as he received six stitches above his right eye, Goettsche had a career-high 14 rebounds, the most by a Gaucho since Mark Hull had 14 against Pacific during the 2001-02 campaign. It was also the third consecutive game in which he had produced a double-digit rebound total. He went for 12 in the last week's game against Long Beach State and in a December 22 loss at San Diego he had 11. In fact Goettsche, who leads the team at 8.4 rebounds per game, has had 46 boards in the last four games, an average of 11.5 per game. He has had eight or more rebounds in five of his seven appearances. Since missing both exhibition games and the first two regular season games, Goettsche has played in seven straight games. He is averaging 6.0 points per outing to go with his 8.4 rebounds. He also leads the team in blocked shots with eight, all in the last five games. In fact, he has had two in each of the last two games. Goettsche is shooting 47.4%, first on the team among players averaging at least ten minutes per game, but he made just 3-of-11 shots in the first two Big West games, 27.3%. He scored a season-high ten points on December 4 against San Diego State and on December 22 against San Diego. In the game against USD, he had his first double-double of the season.
Junior guard Joe See has taken great strides towards a recovery from a slow start to the season. After a brief set-back in the win over Long Beach State, he scored eight points, including a pair of key second half three-pointers, in the win over UC Irvine. He also grabbed a season-high five rebounds in the win over the Anteaters. See scored a season-high 17 in the final non-conference game on December 22 at San Diego, but he then came back against LBSU and missed all five of his shots, including a trio of three-point attempts. In the first three games of the year, See hit just 2-of-20 shots overall and he missed all 16 of his three-point attempts. In the last six games, including the 0-for-5 LBSU game, he has made 15-of-39 shots overall, 38.5%, and 10-for-26 from beyond three three-point arc, also 38.5%. While he is averaging 6.0 points per game, he has averaged 9.0 per game in the last five. See has also picked things up from the free throw line. Since opening the year at 1-of-5, 20.0%, he has made 9-of-10, 90.0%.
Junior guard Michael Chambers played a combined total of six minutes in the two games prior to UCSB's Big West-opening win over Long Beach State. In the last two games, Chambers played a total of 28 minutes and he was an important part of both wins. Against LBSU, ,he had seven points, including six in a decisive 23-5 run that broke the game open. Against the Anteaters, Chambers had his best game of the season, scoring a season-high ten points on 3-of-6 shooting overall and 2-of-5 from three-point range. In fact, his 17 points in the last two games has increased his scoring average to a season-best 4.5 per game. Also, his 17 points in the last two come after he scored a total of 19 in his first six games and 53 minutes. In the last two games, Chambers also hit 5-of-10 shots overall, 50.0%, and 4-of-8 from three-point range, 50.0%. In the first six games, he had made just 5-of-22 overall, 22.7%, and 3-of-12 from three-point range, 25.0%.
Turner Sticks Around
Since sophomore Glenn Turner suffered through an eight-minute four-foul performance at San Diego on December 22, he has played 29 minutes over two games, committing just six fouls. In those two games, he scored seven points, 3.5 per game, grabbed five boards, 2.5 per game and blocked four shots, 2.0 per game. Turner ranks fourth on the team at 3.8 rebounds per game. He is also second in blocked shots with seven, including two in three of the last four games. In fact, Turner has blocked at least one shot in four games this season and UCSB has gone 4-0 in those games. Hmmm.
The Young And The Restless
After scoring a total of just nine points in the previous four games, freshman guard Alex Harris equaled the second-highest total of his career in the win over UC Irvine, scoring eight. Although he officially attempted just two field goals, making one, he was aggressive in going to the basket and as a result he attempted a team-high six free throws, making five. Harris' one successful field goal against the Anteaters, was a three-pointer. He is now averaging 6.0 points per game and shooting 38.1% from the field. Harris scored a season-high 15 in the opener at San Diego State, but he has not scored more than eight since. In the first two games of the year, he made 8-of-12 shots, including 3-of-5 from three-point range. Since then, he has gone just 8-of-30 overall, 26.7%, and 2-of-9 from three-point territory, 22.2%.
Grasping His Opportunity
With UCSB's active roster down to ten players, walk-on freshman Derek Rasp has, and will continue, to be a key contributor. Rasp has played in all nine games, averaging 3.0 points and 9.7 minutes per game. He has played ten or more minutes five times. Although he didn't score against UC Irvine, he had two rebounds in five minutes. In the win over LBSU on Tuesday, he had five points in 15 minutes. Five of his 11 baskets have come from three-point territory and he has made a three-pointer in five of his nine appearances. Rasp has also shown some versatility. Despite his 6-foot-4 height, he has been called-on to play some at the power forward spot. He has also played at both wing positions.