January 11, 2005

Injury Woes Mount as 'Santa Barbara Seven' Returns Home for Next Four Games

Jan. 11, 2005

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The Schedule
Game No. 13
Thursday, January 13, 2005 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Cal Poly Mustangs
at UCSB's Thunderdome
Radio: KTLK 1340 AM

Game No. 14
Saturday, January 15, 2005 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. UC Davis Aggies
at UCSB's Thunderdome
Radio: KTLK 1340 AM

Game No. 15
Thursday, January 20, 2005 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Cal State Northridge Matadors
at UCSB's Thunderdome
Radio: KTLK 1340 AM

The Gaucho Record
UC Santa Barbara enters its four-game homestand with an overall record of 4-8 and a Big West mark of 2-3. Since recording wins over Long Beach State and UC Irvine to open league play, the Gauchos have dropped three in a row, all on the road. UCSB has lost its last three games at Cal State Northridge (70-50), at Utah State (80-70) and at Idaho (61-50). The current three-game losing streak is the second longest of the year. After winning the season-opener at San Diego State in overtime, the Gauchos dropped four straight games.

The Week To Come
UCSB returns home for its next four games, beginning Thursday night against Central Coast rival Cal Poly. On Saturday night, the Gauchos will play their first of two Big West-mandated non-conference games against future league foe, UC Davis. The Aggies, who are not yet officially a member of the Big West, will be in two years.

Goettsche Rejoins Injured List, Misses Games On Road Trip
Heading into its final road trip ever to Utah State and Idaho, UCSB was pretty thin with just eight active players. Well, by the time the ball was tossed-up for Thursday's game at Utah State, the Gauchos were even thinner. Junior forward Cameron Goettsche, who missed both exhibition games and the first two games of the regular season with a groin injury, once again felt soreness in the groin area and was unable to play in either game on the recently concluded trip. Goettsche, who is again doubtful for the upcoming weekend games against Cal Poly and UC Davis, joins an already lengthy list of injured and inactive UCSB players. Senior forward Casey Cook fractured a bone in his right foot in a game at Cal State Northridge on January 2, and he is out for at least another five weeks. Junior guard Cecil Brown missed the first six games of the year with a torn medial collateral ligament in his right knee and he mas missed the last six with a stress fracture in the left ankle. He is out for the season. Sophomore forward David Kennedy missed the first seven game of the year with a stress fracture in his right leg, played two minutes against Long Beach State in game eight, and has once again been sidelined ever since with that same stress fracture. Freshman forward Chris Devine had knee surgery before the start of practice and was expected to be ready in late-January. Now, Devine is expected to miss the remainder of the year because while the knee is healing, it has not healed fast enough. In addition, freshman forward Chris Moore, who played in the first seven games of the year, has missed the last five because he is academically ineligible. Freshman forward Todd Follmer is redshirting the 2004-05 season and will not be activated. In all, UCSB players have missed a combined total of 58 games due to injury or because of academic ineligibility. Of the 58, 41 have been missed due to injuries.

`Santa Barbara Seven' Comes Up Empty On Road Trip
Although UCSB stayed in both games of the recently concluded road trip to Utah State and Idaho, in the end the Gauchos came home with a pair of defeats. Playing with just seven players, only one of whom is taller than 6-foot-5, UCSB dropped an 80-70 decision at Big West favorite Utah State on the first leg of the trip, and a 61-50 decision at Idaho to close things out on Saturday. In the game against the Aggies, the Gauchos used eight three-pointers by junior guard Joe See to keep things close. In fact, UCSB trailed by just seven and had possession with just two minutes remaining in the game, but it could not get any closer. In the Idaho game, the Gauchos were tied with the Vandals at 47-47 and had three opportunities to take the lead, but could not get over the hump. Idaho used a 14-3 game-ending run over the final five minutes to win going away. The trip to the Utah State and Idaho was the last ever for the UCSB program as both schools will join the Western Athletic Conference next season.

We Know What UCSB Doesn't Have. So What Does It Have?
You won't see the `Santa Barbara Seven' protesting at a political convention anytime soon, but you will see it playing basketball, quite possibly, for several more games. UCSB is down to seven available players for its games this weekend against Cal Poly and UC Davis, and while we have iterated and reiterated who is absent, it is high-time that we get to know the seven who will lace up the old sneakers in the upcoming games. The `Santa Barbara Seven' is made up of one senior (Chrismen Oliver), three juniors (Joe See, Josh Davis and Michael Chambers), one sophomore (Glenn Turner) and two freshmen (Alex Harris and Derek Rasp). It is made up of six guards (Oliver, See, Davis, Chambers, Harris and Rasp) and one lonely forward (Turner). The seven includes just one player, Turner, who is actually over 6-foot-5. Finally, three members of the `Santa Barbara Seven' (Oliver, Chambers and Rasp) originally came to UCSB as non-scholarship walk-ons.

Possible Starters - Notes
G - Chrismen Oliver - Has scored in double-figures a team-leading seven times this year.
G - Alex Harris - Has averaged 8.5 points per game in the last four.
G - Josh Davis - Made his first three-pointer in four games in the loss at Idaho.
F - Derek Rasp - Career-highs in points (11), rebounds (six) and minutes (37) at Idaho.
F - Glenn Turner - Tied school record with six blocked shots at Idaho.

Possible Reserves - Notes
G - Joe See - All ten of his baskets in the last two games are three-pointers.
G - Michael Chambers - Has averaged 4.4 ppg this year, but 6.0 ppg in last five games.

The Sideline - Notes
G - Cecil Brown - Stress fracture in lower left leg has likely sidelined him for the season.
F - Casey Cook - Injured tendon in right foot has him out at least five more weeks.
F - Cameron Goettsche - Recurring groin problem has him sidelined indefinitely.
F - Chris Devine - Knee injury has not healed enough. Will miss remainder of year.
F - David Kennedy - Persistent soreness in right leg has him sidelined indefinitely.
F - Chris Moore - Is currently academically ineligible.
F - Todd Follmer - The seven-footer will redshirt his freshman campaign.

The Opponents
UCSB and Cal Poly have played 81 times in a series that dates back to 1938. The Gauchos hold a decisive 55-26 advantage in the series. Last year, UCSB went 2-0 against the Mustangs, winning in San Luis Obispo by a score of 78-59, and in Santa Barbara by a 73-57 count. The last time Cal Poly defeated the Gauchos was in the semifinals of the 2003 Big West Tournament when it posted a 67-52 victory. Since Bob Williams arrived at UCSB for the 1998-99 season, the Gauchos have gone 11-2 against the Mustangs. UCSB and UC Davis have played eight times in a series that began in 1939. Santa Barbara holds a 7-1 lead in the all-time series, but the two programs have not played since November 26, 1982, when the Ed DeLacy-led Gauchos defeated UC Davis, 76-56. The Aggies will join the Big West Conference in two years, but this year the two games between the schools will count as non-conference encounters.

UCSB At Home
The Gauchos are 3-1 at home this season and they have won their last three Thunderdome games. UCSB was 10-2 at the Thunderdome last season. In fact, the Gauchos have gone 10-2 at home in each of the last three seasons. Santa Barbara went 7-2 in Big West home games last year, losing to Pacific and Utah State. UCSB is 59-22 at home under head coach Bob Williams.

A Reunion Of Sorts
Saturday's game between UCSB and UC Davis will a reunion in more ways than one. Gaucho head coach Bob Williams guided the Aggie program for eight years prior to his arrival in Santa Barbara for the 1998-99 season. In his eight years at UC Davis, Williams had a 158-76 (.675) record. In his final campaign, 1997-98, he piloted the Aggies to their first, and only, NCAA Division II basketball championship. Williams was selected NCAA Division II Coach of the Year following the season, and just a couple days removed from the championship game, he was announced as head coach at UCSB. Williams will not be the only coach celebrating a reunion on Saturday. UC Davis head coach Gary Stewart, in his second season with the Aggies, was an assistant coach at UCSB during Williams' final season in Davis, 1997-98.

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 100-87 (.535) overall record and a 68-39 (.636) 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 289-187 (.607) at four-year schools.

Walk This Way
UCSB is currently using three players who originally walked-on to the team. Granted, all three players were recruited walk-ons, but guard Chrismen Oliver, Michael Chambers and Derek Rasp all came to UCSB as non-scholarship players. The walk-on, or former walk-on trio is making its mark. With all the injuries suffered by the Gauchos, Oliver, Chambers and Rasp have all taken lead roles. In the last game, a loss at Idaho, Oliver scored a team-high 12 points, Rasp added a career-high 11 and Chambers chipped-in seven. Combined, the trio had 30 of UCSB's 50 points, or 60.0%. On the year, the group is averaging 18.3 points per game and it has combined to make 34 of the Gauchos' 78 three-point baskets.

Three-Pointers Become The Shot Of Choice
After searching through box scores for a pretty lengthy time, it has tentatively been concluded that last Thursday's loss at Utah State marked the second time in UCSB's basketball history that the Gauchos attempted more three-point shots in a game than two-point shots. The first time was against Jacksonville State in the third round of the Top of the World Classic in Fairbanks, Alaska, at the beginning of the 2002003 season. In the 80-70 loss to the Aggies, Santa Barbara attempted a total of 57 shots, including 31 launches from beyond the three-point arc and 26 from inside the arc. In terms of percentages, of the Gauchos 57 shots, 54..4% were three-point attempts. In the game at Idaho, two days later, UCSB attempted 48 shots, exactly half of which were three-point attempts. In the two road games combined, the Gauchos attempted 105 shots, 55 of which were three-point attempts, 52.4%.

Maybe The Three-Pointers Aren't Such A Bad Idea
As mentioned above, UCSB has opted to shoot more three-pointers than two-pointers in the last two games, and if numbers mean anything, maybe it wasn't such a lousy idea. In the last two games, the Gauchos hit 22-of-55 shots from outside the three-point arc, 40.0%, and just 18-of-50 from inside the arc, 36.0%. In fact, Santa Barbara's totals of 13 three-point baskets at Utah State and nine at Idaho, are the two highest totals this season. In fact, the 13 successful three-point baskets against the Aggies were the most made by the Gauchos since they made 16 against Arizona in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in 2002.

Playing The Percentages
Overall this season, UCSB's opponents are shooting 42.9%. Through 12 games, the Gauchos have experienced either a defensive feast or famine. Four opponents have shot 50.0% or better, but six other opponents shot under the 40.0% mark. UCSB has been particularly stingy in its last three home games. After allowing San Diego State to shoot 60.0% at the Thunderdome on December 4, the Gauchos have clamped down in victories over Montana, Long Beach State and UC Irvine, allowing the trio to make just 46-of-148 from the field, 31.8%. Long Beach shot an opponent season-low on December 28, making just 18-of-60 shots, 30.0%. Santa Barbara has also been outstanding in defending the three-point arc over the last three home games, allowing just 11-of-52, 21.1%. Long Beach made a miserable 1-of-18 of its threes, 5.6%.

No Offense Intended
When UCSB scored 70 points in last week's loss at Utah State, it was an offensive explosion not seen since the season opener at San Diego State. Actually, 70 points is hardly an explosion, but it was the second-highest scoring effort of the year for Santa Barbara. The Gauchos scored 80 on November 19 at San Diego State, and they have been over 60 just four times since. On the year, UCSB is averaging 59.3 points per game, but since the 80-point opener it has averaged 57.5 points per game. Also, the team's shooting has, understandably, declined since the injuries have mounted. In the first two games of the season, UCSB made 55-of-111 shots, 49.5%. In the last 10 games, the Gauchos haven't even been in the same neighborhood as those percentages. Santa Barbara has been below 40.0% seven times in the last ten games, making just 37.5% over that span. The highest mark recorded by UCSB in the last ten games was the 42.9% it shot at San Diego on December 22.

Stolen Moments
Despite tying its season low with just three steals in the loss at Idaho, UCSB is still averaging 8.0 steals per game after averaging 6.3 per game last season. The Gauchos had 12 steals in last Thursday's game at Utah State and it was the fourth time this season that they had gone for double-figures in steals in a game this season. Twice this season, in wins over San Diego State and Montana, the Gauchos have had a season-high 13 steals. If UCSB can remain at an 8.0 steals-per-game pace, it would finish with 216 steals in 27 games, the second highest total in school history.

Block Party
As a team, UCSB has 41 blocked shots in its first 12 games, an average of 3.4 blocks per game. While the 3.4 blocks per game is a modest figure and certainly no reason to declare even a state holiday, it is an 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. Sophomore forward Glenn Turner is leading the block parade with a team-high 21, an average of 1.8 per game. Cameron Goettsche, who has missed four games, is second on the team with ten swats. Goettsche led UCSB in blocked shots last season with a total of 14. In fact, the Gauchos' 41 blocks through 12 games is just 17 shy of their total for 28 games last season.

Rebounding Just Got Tougher
There is no question about the importance of rebounding in basketball. UCSB's rebounding prospects, no very good with the loss of Casey Cook, Chris Devine and David Kennedy, got even bleaker with the loss of Cameron Goettsche. Through 12 games this year, the Gauchos are being outrebounded by a 4.8 rebound per game margin. UCSB has been outrebounded in each of the last three games by an average of 14.3 boards per game. The Gauchos have outrebounded just four of 12 opponents this season and none when Goettsche has been sidelined. In his eight games, the 6-foot-9 junior has averaged 7.9 rebounds per game and he had three straight games with 11 or more. In fact, in UCSB's win over UC Irvine, Goettsche had a career-high 14 boards. In the four games without Goettsche, the Gauchos have been outrebounded by an average of 14.5 per game.

Just Joshing
After scoring in double-figures in each of the team's first four games, junior guard Josh Davis scored in single-digits in six straight games. In the tough loss at Utah State last week, Davis was back in the land of double-figures with ten points. He had six in the loss at Idaho. Davis is now third on the team in scoring at 9.7 points per game. His job has been especially difficult lately because as one of the last men standing, he has had to play out of position, recording time at the three, four and five spots, and as a result, his game has suffered. Despite making 5-of-10 shots in the game at Utah State, Davis is shooting 41.5% for the season, including just 31.2% (10-of-32) in the last four games. On November 27, in a loss at San Francisco, Davis scored a career-high 20 points. He also had an 18-point game effort in the season opener at San Diego State, making a career-high 4-of-5 from three-point range in the process. Following his performance in the OT win over the Aztecs, Davis was named Big West Player of the Week for the first time in his career. His 11 three-pointers on the season are two more than he made all of last year. An outstanding defensive player, he is also second on the team in steals with 23. He has had a career-high four steals twice this season, three or more five times and two or more seven times. Finally, Davis is averaging 4.1 rebounds per game and he has had four or more nine times, including both games of the recently concluded road trip.

Oliver's Twist
Senior point guard Chrismen Oliver was the only UCSB player to score in double-figures in each of the games on the road trip to Utah State and Idaho. Oliver scored 12 points in each of the two games, and he is now second on the team in scoring at 9.8 per game. Actually, he is first in scoring among active players because Casey Cook is leading the way at 10.8 points per game. Oliver's back-to-back 12-point outings in the last two games gives him seven double-figure point games this season. Since he came into the season with exactly zero double-figure scoring games in his first three seasons, that's not too bad. Oliver is second on the team in three-point baskets with 16, two more than he made all of last season. He has made two in a game six times this season. Originally a walk-on who redshirted his first year at UCSB, Oliver actually leads active players in scoring (9.8 points per game), assists (3.1 per game), steals (2.1 per game) and free throw percentage (84.2%). In fact, his free throw percentage is a major improvement over the 61.1% he shot last year and the 60.0% he was shooting in his career entering the season.

See Saw
Junior guard Joe See snapped out of his shooting slump in the games at Utah State and Idaho. Did I say snapped out of? I should have said he exploded out of his slump, particularly in the game at Utah State. See almost single-handedly kept UCSB in the game at Logan, Utah, making a career-high eight three-point baskets in 12 attempts, 66.7%, and scoring a career-high 26 points, the most by a Gaucho this season. The eight three-pointers were not only his career-high, but it marked the most made by a UCSB player since Mark Hull made eight in the first round of the NCAA Tournament against Arizona in 2002. See's eight three-point baskets were just one off of the school record of nine set by Brian Johnson near the end of the 1987-88 season. In all, See made ten baskets in the last two games, all ten from three-point range. He is now averaging 7.7 points per game, fourth on the team and 0.6 points per game more than he scored last season. Not bad considering he opened the season with four points in the first three games, making 2-of-20 shots overall and 0-of-16 from three-point range. In the last nine games, See has averaged 9.8 points per game, making 39.1% of his field goals overall, and 38.5% of his three-point attempts. Finally, in the last three games, See has had eight assists and four turnovers, and has now joined Chrismen Oliver as one of just two Gauchos with positive assist to turnover ratios. He has 26 assists and 23 turnovers on the season.

Cam I Hope I Am
Junior forward Cameron Goettsche had a run of three consecutive double-figure rebound games entering the contest at Cal State Northridge. The streak ended when he had four against the Matadors. Still, Goettsche is leading the Gauchos at 7.9 rebounds per game in his eight games. He had a career-high 14, the most by a UCSB player since the 2001-02 season, in the win over UC Irvine. And, despite grabbing just four in his last game, he has averaged 10.0 per game in his last five games. Now, the bad news. Goettsche has experienced recurring soreness in his groin. A severe groin strain kept Goettsche out of the team's two exhibitions and its first two regular season games, and although he made the trip to Utah State and Idaho, he did not play. Goettsche, who is also averaging 6.0 points and 1.2 blocks per game, is again doubtful for this weekend's games against Cal Poly and UC Davis.

Turner's Role Increases
Sophomore Glenn Turner will has started to come alive, particularly at the defensive end of the floor. Turner has taken over the team-lead with 21 blocked shots, an average of 1.8 per game, but that doesn't tell the story. The 6-foot-9 forward tied the school record with six blocked shots in 29 minutes at Idaho. The six swats came on the heels of a five-blocked shot performance at Utah State. His 11 blocks in the last two games are the most ever for a Gaucho over a two-game span. In fact, Turner has blocked two or more in five straight games, all Big West games, totaling 18 over that time, 3.6 per game. His 21 blocks are seven more than the Gaucho leader, Cameron Goettsche, had all of last year. Perhaps as impressive as his shot-blocking prowess is the fact that after never playing more than 22 minutes in any game during the first 37 games of his career, Turner has logged an average of 29.7 per game in the last three games, including a career-high 31 on January 2 at Cal State Northridge. Turner ranks third on the team in rebounds at 4.6 per game, but in the last three games he has averaged 7.0 per outing. Finally, he has made his last ten free throws and is now shooting 73.3% from the line, a huge improvement over his 23.1% of last season.

Chambers Music
Junior guard Michael Chambers bounced-back from a scoreless game at Utah State with seven points at Idaho. Trailing by seven midway through the second half, the Gauchos called on Chambers and he responded, scoring seven straight points to tie the score. Entering the game at Idaho, he had made just 1-of-10 field goals in his previous two games, 10.0%. In the game against the Vandals, Chambers made 3-of-5 shots from the field. On the year, he is now chipping-in 4.4 points per game, but in the last five he has averaged 6.0 per game.

Harris Steps Up
In the season opener at San Diego State, freshman guard Alex Harris scored 15 points. Through his first four games he averaged 9.2 per game. In the next four games, however, Harris cooled off, averaging just 2.2 points per game. In the last four, he has started to get back to where he was at the outset of the season. Harris, who is now averaging 6.7 per game overall, has scored 8.5 per game in the last four games. Much of his scoring has come at the free throw line. Harris is second on the team in free throw percentage at 83.9%, and he leads the team with 26 made free throws. He has made 26 free throws on the year and 23 field goals. Harris and Glenn Turner are the only two players with more free throws than field goals. The 6-foot-5 Bay Area native has made 16 of his last 18 free throws, 88.9%. Finally, while Harris is averaging 23.0 minutes per game overall, he played an average of 30.5 per game at Utah State and Idaho.

Grasping His Opportunity
While UCSB's season has been filled with numerous bad surprises, freshman guard Derek Rasp represents a pleasant surprise. Rasp, a walk-on who has played the three, four and five spots, scored a career-high 11 points in a career-high 37 minutes at Idaho on Saturday night. He is now averaging 4.1 points per game, but in the last three games he has tallied 22 points, 7.3 per game. In addition to the 11 points and 37 minutes at Idaho, Rasp had career-highs with three three-point baskets and six rebounds against the Vandals. In the game against Utah State last Thursday, he had a career-high three assists. In the last two games, Rasp played 69 minutes, an average of 34.5 per game, after averaging 10.2 per game in the first ten games of the season.