Men's Basketball Hosts Utah State & Nevada In Big West Action

Jan. 18, 2000

The Schedule
Game No. 14
Thursday, January 20, 2000, 7:00 p.m.

UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Utah State Aggies
at UCSB's Thunderdome

Game No. 15
Saturday, January 22, 2000, 7:00 p.m.

UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. University of Nevada Wolf Pack
at UCSB's Thunderdome

The Gaucho Record
UC Santa Barbara enters this week's Big West action with an overall record of 4-9 and a Big West mark of 0-2. The Gauchos took a two game winning streak on the road last weekend and dropped their first two league games. UCSB lost at North Texas on Thursday, 74-67 and then on Saturday they lost at New Mexico State, 76-61.

UCSB-Long Beach State Game Time Changed
The time has been changed for UCSB's March 2 home game against Long Beach State. The contest, originally slated for 7:00 p.m., has been moved to 5:00 p.m. to accomodate television. Fox Sports Net has added the game to its schedule.

What About Bob?
Bob Williams is in his second season as head coach of the Gauchos. Last year he guided the Gauchos to a 15-13 overall record and an outstanding 12-4 mark in Big West play. After guiding the squad to the league's Western Division Championship, Williams was selected Big West Coach of the Year and National Association of Basketball Coaches District 15 Coach of the Year. After 13 games this season, Williams' Gaucho record is now 19-22 and his overall record as a college coach is 208-122. His teams have won either a league, division or National Championship in five straight seasons.

Probable Starters - Notes
G - Derrick Allen - Tied his career-high with ten assists at NMSU.
G - Erick Ashe - Has averaged 14.2 ppg over the last ten games.
G - Mark Hull - Scored in double-figures for the first time in seven games at NMSU.
F - Adama Ndiaye - Had his third double-double at NMSU, 10 points, 14 rebounds.
F - Juliano Jordani - Started for the first time in seven games at NMSU.

Probable Reserves - Notes
G - Brandon Payton - Has shot 43.3% over the last seven games.
G - B.J. Ward - After opening the season at 6-for-6 from FT line, has gone 7-of-20.
G - Larry Bell - Had career-best five assists at North Texas, all in second half.
G - Matt Long - Freshman walkon has yet to play in a game.
G - LaRon Bryant - Has averaged 8.6 ppg in last seven after 3.8 ppg in first six.
F - Mike Vukovich - Averaging 14.4 rebounds per 48 minutes played.
F - Ross Carmichael - Did not play at NMSU, his second DNP in last four games.

Gauchos & The Opponents
UCSB and Utah State have met 44 times since the series began in 1970. The Aggies hold a 24-20 edge on the Gauchos, but UCSB won both games last season, defeating Utah State at Logan, 66-65 in overtime and then winning 75-74 in the first round of the Big West Tournament. UCSB leads its series with Nevada, 6-5. UCSB won the only meeting between the schools last season, 66-64 in Reno. This week's game will mark the final regular season Big West game between the schools.

Poor Shooting Continues To Plague Gauchos
In Saturday's defeat at New Mexico State, the Gauchos reverted to poor shooting, a malady that has plagued them all season. In the 76-61 loss, UCSB made only 21-of-63 shots, 33.3%. The performance at Las Cruces ended the team's modest streak of four consecutive games of better than 40.0% from the field. On the season, the Gauchos are shooting only 37.5%. In the four games prior to the loss at NMSU, UCSB had made 92-of-221, a mark of 41.6%. While the 41.6% would not set a school record for successful shooting, it was better than the 37.7% or less that the team had shot in seven of its first eight games. Overall, on the season, the Gauchos have made 40.0% or better in only five games. Their best single-game performance of the year was the 50.0% (28-of-56) that they shot in a win over Westmont College. The worst single-game performance they have produced was 27.3% (15-of-55) at San Jose State. In fact, in the first two games of the year, against Stanford and San Jose State, UCSB made a combined 28-of-100 shots, 28.0%. In the last 11 games the team has shot 39.0%.

In Defense Of The Gauchos: The Other Side Of The Coin
It does not take Albert Einstein to figure out that UCSB has had its shooting problems this season. On the other hand, it does not take Stephen Hawking to deduce that the Gauchos have defended well. To put it mildly, UCSB basketball games involve a whole bunch of missed shots. Opponents are shooting only 38.7% from the field against the Gauchos. Only one opponent, USC (51.4%), has mustered better than 50.0% against them and only three opponents (including USC) have made better than 43.0% their shots. Santa Barbara's last nine opponents have shot 42.0% or worse and over that span, the opposition has made only 199-of-544 shots, 36.6%. Three opponents, Stanford (26.3%), BYU (29.6%) and St. Mary's (29.6%). Finally, UCSB has been particularly stingy at home. In six home contests this season, UCSB opponents have made a mere 117-of-356 shots from the field, 32.9%. The best shooting performance by a Gaucho opponent in the Thunderdome has been the 40.6% (26-of-64) that Pepperdine shot on December 11. In the last three home contests, opponents have made a total of 57-for-177, 32.2%. The last two home opponents, BYU and St. Mary's, made only 32-of-109 combined, 29.4%.

Rebounding Streak Ends
In Saturday's game at New Mexico State, the Gauchos were outrebounded 47-42, snapping a streak of nine games in a row in which UCSB had either outrebounded or tied its opponents in rebounding. In fact, in those nine games, the Gauchos outrebounded eight foes and tied one. On the season, Santa Barbara is outrebounding the opposition by an average of 3.2 rebounds per game. UCSB was outrebounded in each of the first three games of the campaign. In those first three games, the Gauchos had an average rebound deficit of 6.3 per game. In the last ten games, including Saturday's rebounding defeat, UCSB has produced an average rebound advantage of 6.1 per game.

Three-Point Ups & Downs
Through 13 games this season, the Gauchos have drained 75 three-point baskets, an average of 5.8 per game. Last season, UCSB made a total of 124 in 28 games, an average of only 4.4 per game. That is the bright side, however, while Santa Barbara is averaging 1.4 more three-pointers per game this season, its percentage has dipped. In 1998-99, the Gauchos made 32.0% of their three-point attempts and this year, they are succeeding on only 29.4% of their attempts. Actually, since a dismal start to the season (9.7% in the first two games and 16.9% in the first three games), UCSB has been a bit better. In the last ten games, the Gauchos have made 65-of-196 of their three-point attempts, a more decent 33.2%.

Please Don't Eat The Turnovers
UCSB coaches have not eaten any of the Gauchos turnovers, but they are still probably a bit queasy just thinking about them. While Santa Barbara had only 12 turnovers at New Mexico State, the second lowest total of the season, they are still turning the sphere over at a discouraging rate. The Gauchos have produced 231 turnovers on the season, an average of 17.8 per game. They had 20 in the Big West opener at North Texas, marking the fourth time this season that they have had 20 or more in a game. On December 1 at USC, the Gauchos had a season-high 31 turnovers. UCSB has 66 more turnovers than they do assists. Last year, in 28 games, the Gauchos had 432 turnovers, 15.4 per game, and they had 457 assists. Actually, In the last four games, UCSB has improved slightly to an average of 14.7 turnovers per game.

Ndiaye's Emergence
Junior forward Adama Ndiaye has started to emerge as UCSB's most dependable frontcourt player. The 6-foot-9 native of Dakar, Senegal is second on the team in scoring at 9.2 points per game and he easily leads the team in rebounding at 8.0 per game. Entering this week's action, Ndiaye is third in the Big West in overall rebounding and first in offensive rebounds. In fact, he has produced a total of 104 rebounds in 13 games, 53 of which have come at the offensive end of the floor. Ndiaye had a career-high 16 rebounds in a game against Concordia and on Saturday at New Mexico State, he had 14, the most he has had in a game against a Division I opponent and the second highest total of his career. In addition, it was Ndiaye's third double-double of the season and it was his second in the last three games. Of his 14 rebounds against the Aggies, seven were on the offensive end, marking the fifth time he has had at least six offensive rebounds in a game this season. In his 16 board performance against Concordia, Ndiaye had ten on the offensive end, the second most in school history. After a somewhat slow start to the season, Ndiaye has come on. In the last nine games, he has averaged 10.8 points, 8.9 rebounds and 1.4 blocked shots per game. And while he is shooting 48.4% from the field, the best among Gaucho regulars, he has made 37-of-66 in the last nine contests, 56.1%. Finally, while there may have been some question about his stamina, Ndiaye is second on the team in minutes played at 367, an average of 28.2 per game. On Saturday at NMSU, he tied his career-high with 35 minutes played and, for the first time, he played the entire second half. It was the sixth time he has played 30 or more.

Ndiaye's Double-Doubles
Date Opponent Pts. Rebs.

12/20 Concordia 10 16
1/8 St. Mary's 13 13
1/15 at NMSU 10 14

Rising From The Ashes
Senior guard Erick Ashe continues to have fits and starts in terms of getting on-track with his shooting. If one player epitomizes UCSB's shooting rollercoaster this year, it is Ashe. He is currently shooting 29.8%. In the game at New Mexico State, he made only 2-of-11 shots overall, 18.2%. The 2-for-11 performance put an end to Ashe's first really good run of the season. In the four games prior to the NMSU game, he made 22-of-46 shots, 47.8%. Twice in that four game span, he made 50.0% or better, going 7-for-12 at Loyola Marymount and 7-for-14 at North Texas, his only two such performance of the year. In fact, not only was the four game run the first time this season he had made 40.0% or better in four straight games, they are the only four games in which he has made 40.0%. Ashe has also improved his three-point percentage in recent games. While he is making only 27.8% from three-point range on the season, he has made 12-of-28 over the last four games, including the game at Las Cruces, a respectable 42.9%. Ashe has made at least one three-point bucket in 12 straight games and he has hit two or more in the last four. Finally, Ashe's shooting struggles have not caused him to stop shooting. He has attempted 151 shots on the season, an average of 11.6 per game. The next closest Gaucho, in terms of field goal attempts, is Mark Hull who has taken 95 shots, an average of 7.3 per game, 4.3 per game fewer than Ashe.

The Hull Truth, Nothing But
Redshirt freshman swingman Mark Hull is one of only two UCSB players to have started all 13 games this season and he leads the team in minutes played with 373. On Saturday, after a streak of six straight games in which he scored in single-digits, Hull tallied ten points. Actually, in the game prior to NMSU, he had shown signs of coming alive, scoring nine, all in the second half. The ten point effort marked the sixth time this season that he had scored in double-figures, having done so in five of the season's first six games. On December 11 against Pepperdine, Hull scored a season-best 19 points. In the season-opener against powerful Stanford, he gave an indication that he was going to be a major contributor this season when he had 13 points (5-of-9 from the floor) and grabbed seven rebounds. Hull set a new career-best with eight rebounds in last week's game at North Texas and he is now averaging 4.7 boards per game, second on the team.

A Ringing Endorsement
In four games since returning at Loyola Marymount on January 5, senior guard Larry Bell has made a difference. While UCSB is only 2-2 since his return, Bell's unmistakeable spark is back. He is averaging 5.8 points, 2.8 steals, 2.2 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game. In the second half at North Texas, he almost single-handedly helped UCSB overcome a 12-point deficit. In the second half, he had six points, five steals and three rebounds. His defense set the tone and allowed the Gauchos to get back into the game, giving them a chance at victory. Last year, Bell had a similar effect on the team. When he entered the starting lineup at mid-season, things turned around. When Bell became a starter in game number 14 last season, UCSB proceeded to finish the season by going 10-3, and that was no accident.

On The Horizon
Following this weekend's games, UCSB will once again hit the road. On Thursday, January 27 when they play at Pacific, the Gauchos will make their second appearance of the year on national television. The UCSB-UOP game will begin at 9:00 p.m. and it will be televised by ESPN. Following that game, the Gauchos return to Southern California to renew their long Big West rivalry with Long Beach State. UCSB will take on the 49ers on Saturday, January 29 in a 7:30 p.m. game at the Pyramid. The Gauchos will then play at Cal Poly on Thursday, February 3 at 7:00 p.m.