January 18, 2005

UCSB Takes Two-Game Winning Streak Into Key Big West Weekend, Rasp Joins Injured List

Jan. 18, 2005

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The Schedule
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

Game No. 17
Thursday, January 27, 2005 at 7:10 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at UC Riverside Highlanders
at UCR's Student Recreation Center
Radio: KTLK 1340 AM

The Gaucho Record
UC Santa Barbara enters this week's action with an overall record of 6-8 and a Big West mark of 3-3. The Gauchos are in fifth-place league. UCSB also enters the week with a two-game winning streak. Last week, the Gauchos topped Cal Poly (76-56) and UC Davis (67-62) to equal their longest winning streak of the season. Since opening the season at 1-4, Santa Barbara has posted a 5-4 record.

The Week To Come
This is a key week for UCSB's Big West fortunes as it hosts the first and second-place teams in the Big West. 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.

Gauchos Hold-Off UC Davis To Win Second Straight
Senior guard Chrismen Oliver scored a career-high 19 points, and junior forward Cameron Goettsche added a season-high 15, to lead UC Santa Barbara to a 67-62 win over visiting UC Davis on Saturday night. The Gauchos got out of the gates slowly. When Aggie forward Ryan Moore made a short jumper from the baseline with 14:31 to go in the first half, UC Davis took a 10-2 lead. Moore finished with a game-high 25 points, but UCSB used a 22-4 over the next 11 minutes to take a 24-14 lead with 3:44 left. Oliver capped the rally with a three-point basket.The Aggies, however, battled back. Guard Fowzi Abdelsamad made a pair of three-pointers and forward Justin Stearns hit one, to as UC Davis ended the first half with an 11-5 run to close the gap to 29-25 by the break. The lead stayed between two and seven for most of the second half, but when Oliver drilled his third three-pointer of the game with 4:30 to go, the Gauchos took a 10-point edge at 54-44. But the Aggies had one more push that was capped by a Stearns three-pointer with eight second left in the contest to cut the lead to 66-62. UCSB freshman guard Derek Rasp was fouled intentionally with six seconds left and he made one of two free throws. The Aggies missed a shot at the buzzer and the Gauchos had their second straight win, 67-62. Oliver made all three of his three-point attempts on the night, finishing 7-of-11 from the field overall, and he also paced UCSB with three assists. Although Goettsche struggled from the free throw line, making just 1-of-7, he hit 7-of-13 shots from the field, had eight rebounds and blocked a career-high four shots. Junior guard Josh Davis added ten points and a career-high nine rebounds for UCSB. Sophomore forward Glenn Turner had just five points, but he had eight rebounds and four blocked shots. The Gauchos had a season-high nine blocked shots as a team, the fifth highest total in school history.

Injury Update: Rasp Sidelined With Lung Contusion
Freshman guard Derek Rasp is now officially a Gaucho. He is the latest addition to UCSB's injury list. Rasp suffered a lung contusion when he fell down hard in the first half of the Gauchos' game against UC Davis on Saturday. He has not practiced this week and he will miss the games against Cal State Northridge and Pacific. Junior forward Cameron Goettsche played both games over the weekend after missing the previous two games with a strained groin. He is expected to play this week as well. 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 four 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.

Possible Starters - Notes
G - Chrismen Oliver - Scored a career-high 19 points in the win over UC Davis.
G - Alex Harris - Has made 23-of-26 from the free throw line in the last seven games, 88.5%.
G - Josh Davis - Posted a career-high nine rebounds vs. UC Davis.
F - Glenn Turner - Has blocked two or more shots in seven of the past nine games.
F - Cameron Goettsche - Scored a season-high 15 against UC Davis.

Possible Reserves - Notes
G - Joe See - Has had ten assists and just two turnovers in the last three games
G - Michael Chambers - Played just three minutes vs. UC Davis, his lowest total of the year.

The Sideline - Notes
G - Cecil Brown - Stress fracture in lower left leg has likely sidelined him for the season.
F - Derek Rasp - Lung contusion will sideline him for games against Cal State Northridge and Pacific.
F - Casey Cook - Injured tendon in right foot has him out at least four 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.

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 102-87 (.540) overall record and a 69-39 (.639) 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 291-187 (.610) at four-year schools.

The Opponents Thursday's meeting between UCSB and Cal State Northridge will be the second of the season. On January 2 the Gauchos experience a not-so-happy New Year when they were beaten at Northridge, 70-50. Not only did UCSB lose the game to the Matadors, but they also lost senior forward Casey Cook with a fractured bone in his right foot, and junior forward Cameron Goettsche with re-strained groin. Goettsche has returned, Cook has not. The Gauchos now have an all-time record of 21-7 against Cal State Northridge, but the Matadors have won the last three games, including a 61-58 decision in the Big West Tournament quarterfinals last year. In the last meeting between the schools in Santa Barbara, the Gauchos posted a 59-47 victory. UCSB and Pacific have played 89 times in a series that dates back to the 1946-47 season. The Tigers hold a narrow 45-44 advantage and they won both games last season, defeating the Gauchos in Stockton, 76-56, and in Santa Barbara, 61-58.

UCSB At Home
The Gauchos are 5-1 at home this season and they have won their last five 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 61-22 at home under head coach Bob Williams.

Defending Their Honor
Overall this season, UCSB's opponents are shooting 42.0%. Through 16 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 five 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, Cal Poly and UC Davis, allowing the five to make just 84-of-253 from the field, 33.2%. UC Davis actually shot the highest percentage over the five-game span, making 41.4%. Cal Poly shot an opponent season-low last Thursday, making just 14-of-47 shots, 29.8%. Santa Barbara has also been outstanding in defending the three-point arc over the last five home games, allowing just 25-of-104, 24.0%. 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
When a team has scored fewer than 60 points seven times in 14 games, even the slightest progress is appreciated. A week ago, UCSB exploded for 76 points in a 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 Saturday, the Gauchos scored a modest 67 points in the win over UC Davis. The two-game total of 143 points (71.5 ppg) is the highest two-game total of the season. In fact, the only other time that UCSB scored more than 60 in two straight games was when it scored 80 in the opener at San Diego State and then 61 in the season's second game at Wisconsin. In fact, taking the offensive joyride one step further, the Gauchos have scored 60 or more, actually 67 or more, in three of the last four games, the only time this season the have accomplished the feat.

On The Rebound
In UCSB's win over visiting UC Davis on Saturday, the Gauchos outrebounded the Aggies by a 39-28 margin. The 11-rebound difference was the biggest for UCSB this season and it gave the team back-to-back rebounding victories for just the second time this season. The only other time the Gauchos had more rebounds than their opponents in consecutive games was On December 4 and December 18, when they outrebounded San Diego State and Montana. In fact, even with consecutive rebounding wins, Santa Barbara has still outrebounded only six of 14 opponents. On the year, the Gauchos are still at a minus-3.2 rebounds per game. UCSB is 4-2 when it rebounds an opponent and 2-6 when it doesn't. Finally, what a difference one player makes. When the Gauchos' leading rebounder Cameron Goettsche is in the lineup, their chances of outrebounding an opponent goes up significantly. When Goettsche, who averages 7.9 rebounds per game, plays, Santa Barbara has outrebounded six of ten opponents. In his ten games, the Gauchos have been outrebounded by precisely one rebound, 0.1 per game.

Who Took The Lid Off The Basket?
Through 14 games this season, UCSB is shooting 41.0% overall from the field. The 41.0% mark is certainly nothing to write home about, but in the last two games the Gauchos have shown improvement. In wins over Cal Poly and UC Davis, UCSB made 51-of-104 shots, a solid 49.0%. After a run of ten games in which they never shot better than 42.9%, and shot below 40.0% seven times, the last two games were a welcome respite. The 49.1% that Santa Barbara made in last Thursday's win over Cal Poly 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 the last two games, that is.

Nothing Is Free
While the field goal percentage was on the rise in the last two games, the free throw percentage was on the decline. In Saturday's win over UC Davis, the Gauchos made just 16-of-28 from the free throw line, 57.1%, the second lowest mark of the year. In the win over Cal Poly, UCSB was just 12-of-20, 60.0%. In the last two games combined, the team has made just 28-of-48 from the charity stripe, 58.3%. In the four games prior to the two-game dip, the Gauchos made 56-of-71, 78.9%. UCSB is now making 68.6% of its free throws this season. The Gauchos have made just 86-of-134, 64.2%, of their free throws in home games, and 82-of-111, 73.9%, in road games.

Block Party
In Saturday's win over UC Davis, the Gauchos had a season-high nine blocked shots, a figure that ties for the fifth-highest total in school history. As a team, UCSB now has 54 blocked shots in its first 14 games, an average of 3.9 blocks per game. While the 3.9 blocks per game is a modest figure, it is an increase over last year's average of 2.0 per game. Nine of the 11 players who have suited-up for the Gauchos this season have produced at least one blocked shot. Sophomore forward Glenn Turner, who had four blocks against UC Davis, is leading the block parade with a team-high 25, an average of 1.8 per game. Turner tied a school record when he swatted six shots on January 8 at Idaho. Cameron Goettsche, who has missed four games, is second on the team with 16 blocks. Goettsche, who also had four blocks against the Aggies, led UCSB in blocked shots last season with a total of 14. In fact, the Gauchos' 54 blocks through 14 games is just four shy of their total for 28 games last season.

Stolen Moments
UCSB had ten more steals in last Thursday's win over Cal Poly, marking the sixth time this season that the Gauchos had produced ten or more steals in a game. Although it tied its season-low with three steals against UC Davis, UCSB is still averaging 7.8 steals per game after averaging just 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 7.8 steals-per-game pace, it would finish with 211 steals in 27 games, the third highest total in school history. Josh Davis and Chrismen Oliver are tied for the team-lead with 27 steals apiece.

Close Encounters Of The Gaucho Kind? They Don't Exist
My apologies to Spielberg, but UCSB has had few close encounters this season. On Saturday, the Gauchos defeated UC Davis 67-62 and the five-point spread was the smallest of the season. Prior to the five-point win over the Aggies, the smallest margin in any UCSB game this season was the six-point spread in a 62-56 loss at Pepperdine on December 1. There have been eight double-digit margins in Gaucho games this season and the largest margin has been 20 points. UCSB dropped a 70-50 decision at Cal State Northridge on January 2, and won a 76-56 contest over Cal Poly on January 13.

Just Joshing
Junior guard Josh Davis has been UCSB's jack-of-all-trades this season. With the numerous injuries, particularly to frontcourt players, Davis has been forced to play out of position on more than one occasion. In fact, in the last four games, he has essentially started at the four spot on the defensive end of the court. Davis is the only Gaucho player to start all 14 games this season, and he has been the team's workhorse, averaging a team-high 31.5 points per game and playing 32 or more in ten of 14 games, including the last four. At 9.6 points per game, Davis ranks third on the team in scoring. He opened the season on an offensive role, scoring in double-figures in each of the first four games, including a career-high 20 at San Francisco on November 27, and 18 in a season-opening overtime win over San Diego State. His performance against SDSU earned Davis his first Big West Player of the Week honor ever. In addition to his 9.6 points per game, Davis is averaging 4.4 rebounds per game and he collected a career-high nine rebounds in last week's win over UC Davis. He has had five or more rebounds six times this season. He also tallied ten points against UC Davis, equaling his highest total in the last 11 games. In the win over the Aggies, he made 4-of-6 shots from the field, and in the last two games he has made 8-of-15 shots from the field, 53.3%. Davis, Josh, not UC, is tied for the team-lead with 27 steals. Last year, he had 18 steals in 27 games, and his two-year total entering the 2004-05 campaign was 40 steals in 59 games. He has had a career-high four steals three times this season, most recently in the win over Cal Poly. Interestingly, if you go strictly by the numbers, he seems to be taking a hands-off approach in recent games. In the last two contests, Davis played 65 total minutes and did not commit a personal foul. Finally, Davis' total of 12 three-point baskets, nine of which came in the first five games, are just one fewer than he had in his first two seasons combined.

Oliver's Twist
Senior point guard Chrismen Oliver entered the 2004-05 season never having scored in double-figures in a game. This year, he leads the team in double-figure scoring games with nine. In last week's win over Cal Poly, Oliver scored a career-high 19 points, nine of which came on a career-best 3-for-3 from three-point range. He has now scored in double-figures in four straight games, averaging 13.2 over that span. Also, in the last four games, Oliver has made 20-of-43 shots overall, 46.5%, and 9-of-18 from beyond the three-point line, 50.0%. On the year, he is now averaging 10.5 points per game, second on the team, but first among active players. Oliver also paces the team in assists with 44, 3.1 per game, and he is tied with Davis for the team-lead in steals with 27. Originally a walk-on who redshirted his first year at UCSB, Oliver is averaging 30.6 minutes per game, second on the team, and he has played 30 or more seven times. In his first three seasons, Oliver totaled 71 games, 595 minutes and 168 points. This year, he has scored 147 points in 14 games and 428 minutes. He has also made 21 three-pointers after entering the year with a career total of 27, and his 27 steals are just four fewer than his total of 31 over the first three seasons.

Cam I Am
Junior forward Cameron Goettsche was questionable for last weekend's games against Cal Poly and UC Davis. In the two games, he wound-up playing 56 minutes, including a season-high 35 against UC Davis on Saturday. Question answered. Goettsche scored a season-high 15 points and had eight rebounds in the win over UC Davis. He also had a career-high four blocked shots. The team's leading rebounder at 7.9 per game, Goettsche had eight in each of the games last week, and he has now had eight or more in seven of his ten appearances this season. UCSB has gone 5-2 when he does grab eight or more rebounds. On December 22 at San Diego, he had the third double-double of his career with ten points and 11 rebounds. The game against USD also started a streak of three straight double-figure rebound performances by Goettsche, including a career-high 14 on December 30 against UC Irvine, the most by a Gaucho since the 2001-02 season. While he missed the first two games of the season, and then both games on the road trip to Utah State and Idaho, Goettsche has blocked 16 shots, second on the team and two more than he had all of last season. He has blocked at least one in each of his last eight appearances and two or more in five straight. Finally, while he is shooting 48.4% for the season, Goettsche has made 10-of-19 from the field in his last two games, 52.6%.

Original Joe
Junior guard Joe See continues to have his ups-and-downs this season. He leads the team in three-point baskets with 23, and he has had at least one in each of the last four games. See is shooting just 29.1% from three-point range, but since an 0-for-16 start, he has gone 23-of-63, 36.5%. On January 6, in a game at Utah State, See almost single-handedly kept the undermanned Gauchos in a game against the Aggies. He made 8-of-12 three-point attempts, including a school-record seven in the second half, and he scored a career-high 26 points. The eight three-point baskets tied the second-highest total in school history, and it was the most by a Gaucho since Mark Hull nailed eight against Arizona in the first round of the 2002 NCAA Tournament. See has made two or more three-point baskets seven times this season, all in the last ten games. See is now averaging 7.6 points per game, not bad since he scored a total of four points in the season's first three games. In the last 11 contests, he has scored 102 points, 9.3 per game. See ranks second on the team in assists with 33, an average of 2.4 per game. He has had two or more assists in 11 games this season, including each of the last five. Last week, in the win over Cal Poly, he had a season-high five assists and no turnovers. See is one of just three UCSB players, joining Chrismen Oliver and Derek Rasp, with fewer turnovers (25) than assists (33).

The Young And The Restless
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 six, he has started to get back to where he was at the beginning of the season. Although he had just four points against UC Davis, Harris has scored 51 points in the last six games, an average of 8.5 per game. Twice in the last five games, including the win over Cal Poly, he has had 13 points, his second-highest total of the year. He also had a personal-best five assists vs. the Mustangs. On Saturday, he had another career-high, pulling down six rebounds. From the free throw line, Harris has been one of the most dependable Gauchos. He leads the team in made free throws with 33, and he is second in free throw percentage at 82.5%. In his last seven games, Harris has made 23-of-26 from the line, 88.5%.

As The World Turners
After going without a blocked shot in UCSB's win over Cal Poly last week, sophomore forward Glenn Turner was back on his shot-blocking rampage against UC Davis. He had four against the Aggies and now has 25 on the season, 24 of which have come in the last nine games. On January 8, in a loss at Idaho, Turner tied the Gaucho record with six blocked shots. He had five in the game at Utah State, giving him 11 in the two games on that trip, a school record. Including the seven blocks he had last season, Turner now has 32 in his career and he needs just eight more to move into tenth-place all-time. If he could block 14 more this season, an if he remains relatively injury-free he probably will, he would move into eighth on the single-season blocked shot list. In addition to blocking shots, Turner is starting to become one of the team's most dependable rebounders. He is averaging 5.0 rebounds per game, and he has had six or more in five straight games. He tied his career-high with eight in the win over UC Davis. In the game prior to that, a win over Cal Poly, Turner scored a career-high 12 points. He is now averaging 4.4 points per game, and while he is shooting 48.5% for the year, he has made 10-of-18 shots over the past six games, 55.6%.

Grasping His Opportunity
While UCSB's season has been filled with numerous bad surprises, walk-on freshman guard Derek Rasp represents a pleasant surprise. Rasp, who will not play this weekend after suffering a lung contusion in the game against UC Davis, has started the last four games, averaging 9.2 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists over that span. Rasp struggled through the last game after falling early in the game. He missed all four of his three-point field goal attempts and was just 1-of-5 overall. In the win over Cal Poly, he had a career-high 14 points and made 4-of-5 three-pointers. Over a two-game span, including the Idaho and Cal Poly games, Rasp hit 7-of-13 shots from beyond the three-point arc. Also in those two games, he had his career-high of six rebounds. He is third on the team in three-point baskets overall with 14, and while he ranks seventh on the team in scoring overall at 5.0 points per game, he is sixth on the team in scoring in Big West games at 6.8 points per outing.

Chambers Music
Junior guard Michael Chambers played just three minutes in the win over UC Davis, his second lowest total of the season. Chambers did not play at all in UCSB's December 18 game against Montana. He is averaging 4.0 points per game overall, but he has chipped-in 5.5 per game in Big West play, including a personal best of ten on December 30 against UC Irvine. Chambers has eight three-pointers on the year, including two in three separate games.