In Search of Second Straight Win, UCSB Hosts Future Big West Opponent UC Davis on Saturday
Jan. 14, 2005
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
Game No. 16
Saturday, January 22, 2005 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. University of the Pacific Tigers
at UCSB's Thunderdome
Radio: KTLK 1340 AM
The Gaucho Record
UC Santa Barbara enters Saturday's game against UC Davis with an overall record of 5-8 and a Big West mark of 3-3. The Gauchos ended a three-game losing streak on Thursday night with a 76-56 home victory over Cal Poly. After recording wins over Long Beach State and UC Irvine to open league play, the Gauchos dropped three in a row, all on the road. UCSB lost at Cal State Northridge (70-50), at Utah State (80-70) and at Idaho (61-50).
The Week To Come
Following tonight's non-conference game against UC Davis, the Gauchos will return to Big West action next weekend. UCSB will host a pair of key league games. On Thursday, the Gauchos will host Cal State Northridge. Santa Barbara will be trying to avenge a January 2 loss to the Matadors in Northridge. On Saturday, UCSB hosts the defending Big West Conference regular season and tournament champion, Pacific.
Injury Update: Goettsche Returns For One, May Miss One
Junior forward Cameron Goettsche, who missed both games last weekend, entered the week listed as doubtful for UCSB's Thursday night game against Cal Poly with a strained groin. Goettsche, however, played 21 minutes against the Mustangs, scoring seven points and collecting eight rebounds. His availability for the game against UC Davis will likely be determined the day of the game. If Goettsche does sit for the game against the Aggies, the Gauchos would be down to seven players again, the same total they played with at Utah State and Idaho. 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 64 games due to injury or because of academic ineligibility. Of the 58, 41 have been missed due to injuries.
Eight Is Enough As UCSB Trounces Cal Poly, 76-56
Walk-on guard Derek Rasp scored a career-high 14 points, and freshman guard Alex Harris added 13, to lead UCSB to a 76-56 win over visiting Cal Poly on Thursday night. Rasp scored 11 of his points in the first half, including a buzzer-beating three-pointer that gave the Gauchos a 42-30 lead at the break. Santa Barbara did not let up in the second half, outscoring the Mustangs 28-11 over the first 15 minutes to take an insurmountable 70-41 edge. Rasp made 4-of-5 shots from beyond the three-point arc, also a career-high, and he added six rebounds. Harris had four rebounds, and career-highs of five assists and two blocked shots. Cameron Goettsche, returning after a two-game absence, had seven points, eight rebounds and a pair of blocked shots. Sophomore forward Glenn Turner had a career-high 12 points to go with seven rebounds. As a team, UCSB shot 49.1%, its best mark since it hit 50.0% in the opener at San Diego State. Meanwhile, on the defensive end, the Gauchos limited Cal Poly to just 29.8% shooting from the field overall and 24.1% from three-point range. UCSB played the game with just eight players active.
We Know What UCSB Doesn't Have. So What Does It Have?
If Cameron Goettsche is not available for the game against UC Davis, then UCSB will once again be down to seven players. 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 eight times this year.
G - Alex Harris - Has averaged 9.4 points per game in the last five games.
G - Josh Davis - Has had three or more steals six times in 13 games this season.
F - Derek Rasp - Walk-on has averaged 12.5 points and 6.0 rebounds in last two games.
F - Glenn Turner - Tallied a career-high 12 points in Thursday's win over Cal Poly.
Possible Reserves - Notes
G - Joe See - Had a season-high five assists against Cal Poly.
G - Michael Chambers - Has averaged 4.4 ppg this year, but 5.5 ppg in last six games.
F - Cameron Goettsche - Had seven points and eight boards vs. Cal Poly. Questionable for Davis.
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 - 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.
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. Also, UC Davis assistant coach Greg Clink was an assistant at UCSB under Williams during the 1998-99 and 1999-2000 seasons.
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 101-87 (.538) 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 290-187 (.609) at four-year schools.
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 4-1 at home this season and they have won their last four 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 60-22 at home under head coach Bob Williams.
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 win over Cal Poly, Rasp scored a game-high and career-high 14 points, Oliver added ten, and Chambers had four. In last Saturday's loss at Idaho, Oliver scored a team-high 12 points, Rasp added 11 and Chambers chipped-in seven. Combined, the trio has 58 of UCSB's 126 points in the last two games, or 46.1%. On the year, the group is averaging 18.9 points per game and it has combined to make 40 of the Gauchos' 86 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 the January 6 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 2002-03 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%. In Thursday's win over Cal Poly, the balance was a little more Gaucholike. UCSB took 22 three-pointers against the Mustangs, still the fourth-highest total of the season, but it also took 35 two-point shots.
Playing The Percentages
Overall this season, UCSB's opponents are shooting 42.0%. Through 13 games, the Gauchos have experienced either a defensive feast or famine. Four opponents have shot 50.0% or better, but seven other opponents shot under the 40.0% mark. UCSB has been particularly stingy in its last four 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, UC Irvine and Cal Poly, allowing the trio to make just 60-of-195 from the field, 30.8%. Cal Poly shot an opponent season-low on Thursday, making just 14-of-47 shots, 29.8%. Santa Barbara has also been outstanding in defending the three-point arc over the last four home games, allowing just 18-of-81, 22.2%. On December 28, in the win over Long Beach State, the 49ers made a miserable 1-of-18 of its threes, 5.6%.
Getting Offensive For A Day
UCSB exploded for 76 points in Thursday's win over Cal Poly. Well, exploded might be a little strong, but the 76 points marked the team's second-highest output of the season and just the third time the team hit or exceeded the 70 point mark. On the bright side, two of the 70-point efforts have come in the last three games. The Gauchos hit 70 on the button at Utah State on January 6. UCSB's high-water mark for the season was the 80 it scored in the season-opener at San Diego State. On the year, UCSB is averaging 60.6 points per game, but since the 80-point opener it has averaged 59.0 points per game.
The Lid Comes Off The Hoop
For at least one game anyway, the baskets didn't seem to have lids on them. After a run of ten games in which they never shot better than 42.9%, and shot below 40.0% seven times, the Gauchos made a better-than-respectable 49.1% of their shots against Cal Poly. The 49.1% mark was, in fact, the second-highest mark of the year for UCSB. The Gauchos made exactly 50.0% of their shots in the opener at San Diego State and they followed that up with a 49.0% game at Wisconsin, but it had been downhill since then. Until Thursday, that is. UCSB is now shooting 40.4% overall.
Turning Over A New Leaf
Through its first eight games, UCSB never had fewer than ten turnovers in a game. In the last five games, the Gauchos have had three games with just eight turnovers. On Thursday night, they tied their lowest output of the year with eight turnovers, and they also had a season-high 22 assists, five more than the previous high.
Maybe The Three-Pointers Aren't Such A Bad Idea
As mentioned above, or on the other page, UCSB has opted to shoot more three-pointers than two-pointers in two of the last three games, and if numbers mean anything, maybe it isn't such a lousy idea. In the last three games, the Gauchos hit 30-of-77 shots from outside the three-point arc, 39.0%, and just 38-of-85 from inside the arc, 44.7%. In fact, Santa Barbara's totals of 13 three-point baskets at Utah State, nine at Idaho and eight against Cal Poly, are the three 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.
Men Of Steal
UCSB had ten more steals in Thursday's win over Cal Poly, marking the sixth time this season that the Gauchos had produced ten or more steals in a game. UCSB is still averaging 8.2 steals per game after averaging 6.3 per game last 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 8.2 steals-per-game pace, it would finish with 221 steals in 27 games, the second highest total in school history. Josh Davis (2.1 steals per game) and Chrismen Oliver (2.0 steals per game) give UCSB two player averaging more than 2.0 steals per game.
As a team, UCSB has 45 blocked shots in its first 13 games, an average of 3.5 blocks per game. While the 3.5 blocks per game is a modest figure and certainly no reason to jump for joy, 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 1.6 per game. Cameron Goettsche, who has missed four games, is second on the team with 12 swats. Goettsche led UCSB in blocked shots last season with a total of 14. In fact, the Gauchos' 45 blocks through 13 games is just 13 shy of their total for 28 games last season.
Goettsche Makes A Rebounding Difference
There is no question about the importance of rebounding in basketball. UCSB's rebounding prospects, not very good with the loss of Casey Cook, Chris Devine and David Kennedy, got even bleaker with the loss of Cameron Goettsche in last week's games at Utah State and Idaho. On Thursday, Goettsche's return helped the Gauchos win the battle of the boards by a narrow 36-34 count. It marked just the fifth time this season that UCSB has outrebounded an opponent and all five times, Goettsche has been in the lineup. Through 13 games this year, the Gauchos are being outrebounded by a 4.3 rebound per game margin. Prior to Thursday, UCSB had been outrebounded in three straight games by an average of 14.3 boards per game.
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. In the last two games, however, he has been back into single-digits with six at Idaho and nine against Cal Poly. On the bright side, in each of the last two games, Davis has made a three-point basket, marking the first time since games four and five that he has made a triple in back-to-back games. Davis is now third on the team in scoring at 9.6 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 offensive game has suffered. Davis is shooting 41.7% for the season, including just 34.1% (14-of-41) in the last five 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 12 three-pointers on the season are three more than he made all of last year. An outstanding defensive player, he leads the team in steals with 27 and he has had three or more in six games. He has had a career-high four steals three times this season, including Thursday's win over Cal Poly. Finally, Davis is the only player on the team to have started all 13 games this season.
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, and he added ten more on Thursday against Cal Poly, marking the first time in his career that he has scored in double-digits in three straight games. Oliver 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 and that doesn't figure to change much anytime soon. Oliver's three consecutive double-figure scoring games gives him eight 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 18, four more than he made all of last season. He has made two in a game seven times this season, including each of the last three games. Originally a walk-on who redshirted his first year at UCSB, Oliver actually leads active players in scoring (9.8 points per game), assists (3.2 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.
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 burst 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 the two games following his 8-for-12 performance, however, See's shooting from three-point territory has been a bit off. In the last two games, he has made just 3-of-14 three-point attempts, 21.4%. In the win over Cal Poly, he had seven points, going 3-for-9 from the field overall, but he also added a season-high five assists, and he had three rebounds. He is now averaging 7.6 points per game, fourth on the team and 0.5 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 ten games, See has averaged 9.5 points per game, making 38.5% of his field goals overall, and 36.2% of his three-point attempts. Finally, in the last four games, See has had 13 assists and four turnovers, and has now joined Chrismen Oliver and Alex Harris as one of just three Gauchos with positive assist to turnover ratios. He has 31 assists and 23 turnovers on the season.
Cam I Hope I Am
Junior forward Cameron Goettsche was not expected to play on Thursday against Cal Poly, but he did, going 21 minutes and leading the team with eight rebounds and a pair of blocked shots. A severe groin strain kept Goettsche out of UCSB's games at Utah State and Idaho last week, and his status for the game against UC Davis is still up in the air. The team's leading rebounder at 7.9 boards per game, Goettsche has had eight or more rebounds in six of his nine appearances this season. At one point, he had 11 or more in three consecutive games, including a career-high 14 in a December 30 win over UC Irvine. The 14 boards were the most by a Gaucho since the 2001-02 season. Goettsche, who is also averaging 6.1 points per game, is second on the team in blocked shots with 12, and he has had two in four straight appearances.
Turner's Role Increases
Because of foul trouble, sophomore Glenn Turner played just 19 minutes in the win over Cal Poly, but he still had one of his bests games. Turner scored a career-high 12 points, and he added seven rebounds in the win. For the first time in several games, however, he did not have a blocked shot. In the previous game, a loss at Idaho, Turner tied UCSB's school record with six blocks. In fact, he had 11 in the two games at Utah State and Idaho, the most ever by a Gaucho player in back-to-back games. With 21 blocks overall, an average of 1.6 per game, Turner leads the Big West. 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 logged an average of 29.7 per game in the three games prior to Thursday, including a career-high 31 on January 2 at Cal State Northridge. Turner ranks third on the team in rebounds at 4.8 per game, but in the last four games he has averaged 7.0 per outing. Finally, although he is averaging just 4.3 points per game, he has scored 8.0 per game in the last four games.
Alex The Great
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 five, he has started to get back to where he was at the outset of the season. On Thursday, he had perhaps his best all-around game of the year, scoring 13 points, collecting four rebounds, passing off for a career-high five assists and blocking two shots. Harris made a season-best 5-of-6 shots from the floor against Cal Poly, and while he is now averaging 7.2 points per game overall, he has averaged 9.4 per game in the last five games, shooting 48.1% over that span. Much of his scoring has come at the free throw line. Harris is second on the team in free throw percentage at 80.6%, and he leads the team with 29 made free throws. While he has made 29 free throws on the year, he has made just 28 field goals. Harris and Glenn Turner are the only two players with more free throws than field goals. Finally, while Harris is averaging 23.7 minutes per game overall, he has averaged 31.0 per game in the last three games.
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 14 points, making a career-high 4-of-5 shots from three-point range in the win over Cal Poly. He also tied his career-high with six rebounds, a figure he has had in back-to-back games. In the last two games, in fact, Rasp has averaged 12.5 points and 6.0 rebounds per game while making 7-of-13 (53.8%) shots from beyond the three-point arc and 9-of-17 (52.9%) shots overall. Also, after playing 102 total minutes in the first ten games of the season, Rasp has played 99 in the last three games, an average of 33.0 per game. Also in Thursday's win over Cal Poly, he tied his personal best with three assists and he had a career-high two steals. Not bad for a true walk-on. Overall, Rasp is now averaging 4.8 points per game, and his 14 three-point buckets rank him third on the team. His 43.8% mark from three-point range is the best on the team. The first ten games of the season.
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. He added four points in Thursday's win over Cal Poly, and Chambers is now averaging 4.3 points per game on the year, 5.5 per game in the last six games. He ranks fifth on the team with eight three-point baskets.