UCSB, Winners Of Two Straight And Five Of Six, Travel To Idaho, Utah State
Feb. 2, 2004
Game No. 19
Thursday, February 5, 2004 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at University of Idaho Vandals
at Idaho's Cowan Spectrum (10,000)
Radio: KTLK 1340 AM
Game No. 20
Saturday, February 7, 2004 at 3:00 p.m. (PST)
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Utah State Aggies
at Utah State's Dee Glen Smith Spectrum (10,270)
Radio: KTLK 1340 AM
TV: Fox Sports Net 2
UC Santa Barbara enters the week with an overall record of 12-6 and a Big West record of 6-3. The Gauchos recorded a 77-44 victory over Cal State Fullerton on Saturday night. The win was UCSB's second in a row and fifth in the last six games. Since opening the season with a 1-2 mark, the Gauchos have gone 11-4. Santa Barbara's 6-3 Big West mark matches the 6-3 record the team had in the preseason.
UCSB Gets Defensive In Win Over Cal State Fullerton
Sophomore guard Joe See scored a career-high 21 points and UCSB closed the first half on a 33-3 run en route to a resounding 77-44 win over Cal State Fullerton on Saturday night. The Gauchos had a commanding 39-9 lead at the half. The nine points were the fewest ever scored in a half by Fullerton and they were the fewest points ever allowed in a half by the Gauchos. In addition, the Titans broke a school record for lowest field goal percentage in a game, 23.1%. UCSB, which missed its first seven shots, finished the game at 51.9%. After the first seven misses, the Gauchos went 27-of-45, 60.0%. Santa Barbara's reserves scored 54 points in the victory, making 19-of-31 shots from the field, 61.3%. In addition to See's 21 points, sophomore guard Cecil Brown tallied 12 points. Forward Cameron Goettsche and Casey Cook each added ten points and Goettsche had a game-high eight rebounds.
UCSB Finally Healthy & Whole As It Heads On The Road
For the first time this season, UCSB played back-to-back games with its entire roster available. Thursday's return of junior forward Casey Cook gave the Gauchos a 13-man roster for the game against UC Riverside. Cook was limited to just 12 minutes in that game, but on Saturday against Cal State Fullerton, he played 13 minutes and made 5-of-6 shots for ten points, showing that he was indeed healthy. UCSB has had six players miss at least one game due to injury or suspension this season.
Possible Starters - Notes G - Jacoby Atako - His 355 career assists ranks him seventh all-time. G - Nick Jones - Has missed all six of his field goal attempts in the last two games. G - Branduinn Fullove - Seventh player in school history to score 1,300 points. F - Cameron Goettsche - Has scored in double-figures in six of the last eight games. F - Bryan Whitehead - Has had three or more rebounds 17 times in 18 games.
Possible Reserves - Notes G - Cecil Brown - UCSB is 7-0 when he scores in double-figures. G - Josh Davis - Had a season-high three steals in win over Cal State Fullerton. G - Joe See - Scored a career-high 21 points in 24 minutes against Cal State Fullerton. G - Chrismen Oliver - Had three assists in nine minutes vs. Cal State Fullerton. F - Bray Skultety - Had nine rebounds in just 16 minutes against UC Riverside. F - Casey Cook - Had ten points (5-of-6 from the field) in just 13 minutes on Saturday. F - Glenn Turner - Has played 25 minutes in the last three games. F - Derek Wheeler - Has yet to play in a game this season. F - David Kennedy - Has played in four of the last five games.
In a series that dates back to 1970, UCSB and Utah State have played 52 times over the years with the Aggies holding a 30-22 edge in the series. Last season the teams split a pair of games with USU winning 75-59 in Logan and the Gauchos winning 62-50 at the Thunderdome. The Gauchos and Idaho have played 16 times since first meeting in 1963. UCSB holds an 11-5 edge in the all-time series, winning at home (52-44) and on the road (62-53) last season.
UCSB On The Road
UCSB is a solid 4-2 in true road games this season and 5-5 in games away from the Thunderdome. The Gauchos have won road games at Hawaii, UCLA, UC Irvine and Cal Poly this year with the two true road losses coming at Long Beach State and Pacific. Last year, the Gauchos recorded an 8-12 record away from the Thunderdome. Included in the 8-12 was a 2-5 record on neutral courts and a 6-6 record in true road games, thus, in the last two seasons, UCSB has gone 10-7 in true road games.
Please Approach The Bench
In Saturday's win over Cal State Fullerton, the Gaucho bench scored 54 of the team's 77 points, 70.1%. It was the most points scored by the reserves this season, and in recent memory. In the last eight games, six wins and a pair of defeats, UCSB's bench has become a key factor, contributing 265 of the team's 546 total points, 48.5%. In addition to the 54 points scored on Saturday, the Gaucho bench chipped-in 46 in a January 5 win at UC Irvine.
Turning Over A New Leaf
Although not worthy of a National Holiday, UCSB committed "just" 12 turnovers in Saturday's win over Cal State Fullerton. Granted, 12 turnovers is still 12 more than any coach worth his salt is happy with, but it was the fewest that the Gauchos have had in the last five games and their fourth lowest total of the season. In four games prior to the win over the Titans, UCSB averaged 17.2 turnovers per game. In fact, in the only loss over that span, January 24 at Pacific, the Gauchos had 19 turnovers that led to 31 Tiger points.
As is the case with scoring and rebounding, the Gauchos don't have any one player who stands out in the assist category either. Saturday's win over Cal State Fullerton epitomizes UCSB's balance. Nine players recorded assists against the Titans, seven had two or more and the leaders, Branduinn Fullove, Jacoby Atako, Josh Davis and Chrismen Oliver, each had three. Throughout this season, eight different players have either led or tied for the team-lead in assists. The team's leader in average assists per game is Atako at 2.5 per game. Two other Gauchos, Fullove at 2.2 and Joe See at 2.0, average 2.0 or more per outing.
The Magic Number: 60
There are a number of good measuring sticks for this year's UCSB basketball team. When the Gauchos hold opponents under 40.0% shooting they have gone 9-0. When they outrebound the opposition they are 11-3. When they commit fewer turnovers than their opponent, they are 8-1. But of all the barometers none, outside of when they outscore an opponent, is more telling than when they allow 60 points or less. UCSB has gone a perfect 9-0 when it allows 60 points or fewer.
The Williams File
Bob Williams is in his sixth season as the head coach at UC Santa Barbara. Last year, he guided the Gauchos to an 18-14 overall record and a 14-4 mark in Big West Conference play. The Big West mark earned Santa Barbara its first-ever 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 led UCSB to its first Big West Conference Tournament Championship ever and first NCAA Tournament appearance in 12 years. In his five-plus seasons in Santa Barbara, Williams' teams have posted an 92-73 overall record and a 61-30 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 281-173 at four-year schools.
In 2002-03, UCSB had three players who averaged 12.4 points per game or more. This season, the Gauchos leading scorers, junior forward Casey Cook and senior guard Branduinn Fullove are averaging 10.3 and 10.2 points per game respectively. If we reach the end of the season and that statistic or something close remains the team's leading scorer, it would be the lowest scoring average to lead the team in more than 40 years. The lowest in the last 40 seasons was when Doug Muse paced the team with 11.2 points per game in 1993-94. There is a bright side to the story. While UCSB has just two players averaging double-figures, the Gauchos have six averaging 7.4 points per game or more and three others who are averaging 4.2 per game or more. By contrast, last year's squad had three players over 12.4, but nobody else on the team averaged more than 5.2 per game.
Take Me To Your Leaders
Along with the scoring balance has come several scoring leaders. Joe See led the way on Saturday with a career-high 21 points. When Nick Jones scored 14 points on January 24 at Pacific, he became the seventh different player to lead the Gauchos in scoring this season. In 2002-03, the Gauchos had just four different players lead the way in scoring and one, Cecil Brown, turned the trick just once. This year, nine different UCSB players have scored in double-figures and all nine have scored in double-figures two or more times. Six players have scored 15 or more points in a game. The highest single scoring total by a Gaucho this season was the 23 points scored by Branduinn Fullove on December 21 in a win over Alabama State. See's 21-point outing against Cal State Fullerton was just the second 20-point performance by a Gaucho this season.
On The Rebound
UCSB continues to be an outstanding rebounding team this season. The Gauchos have outrebounded 14 of 18 opponents on the year, including the last two. Santa Barbara, which is the second-best rebounding team in the Big West, outrebounded Cal State Fullerton, the third best rebounding team in the league, 40-37. The Gauchos outrebounded UC Riverside last Thursday night by a season-best margin of 26 rebounds, 45-19. The 26-rebound margin was a season-high for the Gauchos, four better than the 22-rebound gap they produced on January 17 against Cal Poly. In all, UCSB's rebounding margin, on average, is +6.2 per game. In nine league contests, the Gaucho margin is an even more impressive +9.1 rebounds per game.
Defending Their Honor
In Saturday's win over Cal State Fullerton, UCSB limited the Titans to a mere 23.1% shooting from the field. The figure was the lowest ever by a Fullerton team and it was the lowest by a Gaucho opponent this season. It marked the second straight game a UCSB opponent shot below the 40.0% mark. In fact, it was the fifth time in the last six games that a Gaucho opponent was below 40.0%. The 40.0% mark has been a benchmark for the Gauchos. Santa Barbara has now held nine of 18 opponents below the 40.0% plateau on the season and in those nine games the team is a perfect 9-0. The Gauchos have held each of the last four home opponents and six of eight home opponents overall below the 40.0% barrier.
UCSB opened the Big West season with a 1-2 record. None of the first three games was decided by more than seven points and the combined margin was 15 points, an average of 5.0 points per game. The last six games, of which UCSB has won five, have been a completely different story. Each of the last six games has been decided by at least 12 points and the combined margin in the six is 110 points, an average of 18.3 points per game. The 33-point margin in Saturday's win over Cal State Fullerton was the biggest margin of the season, either in victory or defeat, for the Gauchos. On the season, 11 of Santa Barbara's 18 games have been decided by ten or more points with the Gauchos posting an 8-3 record in those contests.
Men Of Steal
UCSB is averaging 6.4 steals per game this season, but in the last four games they are averaging 9.2 per game. On the year, the Gauchos have had ten or more steals three times, including each of the last two games. UCSB had a season-high 13 steals in a December 13 win over the University of San Diego. The Gauchos also had 11 steals against UC Riverside last week and ten more against Cal State Fullerton on Saturday.
They won't set any new records for blocked shots, but this year's Gaucho team has already surpassed the 2002-03 team in blocks on the year. Last season, in 32 games, UCSB swatted a total of 30 shots, fewer than one per game. This year, the Gauchos have already blocked 36 in 18 games, an average of 2.0 per game. Last year Bryan Whitehead led the team with 14 blocked shots and no other player had more than four. This season, through 18 games, Cameron Goettsche leads the way with eight and four players have at least four.
Senior guard Branduinn Fullove scored nine points, had three assists, two rebounds and a steal in UCSB's win over Cal State Fullerton on Saturday. With his nine points, Fullove now has a career total of exactly 1,300. He became the seventh player in school history to hit the 1,300 point mark and he now needs 52 to pass Scott Fisher and move into sixth-place on the all-time list. Fullove, who missed the season's first five games with a left ankle injury, is one of two Gauchos averaging in double-figures. His 10.2 points per game overall is second on the team. In nine league contests, he is leading the team at 10.9 points per game. Fullove scored 19 points in last week's win over UC Riverside, equaling his second-hight scoring output of the season. After scoring just one point and missing all four of his field goal attempts, including all three of his three-point attempts, in a loss at Pacific on January 24, he has averaged 14.0 points, making 9-of-18 shots overall, 50.0%, and 3-of-5 from three-point range, 60.0%. Fullove has also been distributing the ball better as of late. He led the team with five assists against UC Riverside and then he tied for team-high honors with three against Cal State Fullerton. Despite going without an assist in one of the last six games, he has dished-off 20 assists over that span, 3.3 per game. Fullove had a season-high six assists in a January 17 road win at Cal Poly. With one three-point basket on Saturday, he now has 149 in his career and he needs one more to move into a tie for fifth all-time with 150.
Casey At The Bat
After missing three full games with a tear in his right quadriceps muscle, junior forward Casey Cook has played a combined 25 minutes in the last two games. On Saturday against Cal State Fullerton, he played 13 and started to show offensive flashes similar to before the injury. Cook made 5-of-6 shots and scored ten points. He also had three assists. On the year, he is the Gauchos' leading scorer at 10.3 points per game. Further, among players who have attempted 50 or more shots, Cook is leading the team with a 52.1% mark from the field. In his six Big West appearances, he is averaging just 8.3 points per game, but he is shooting 56.4%. In his last three games, Cook has drilled 12-of-15 shots from the field, 80.0%. In addition to his 10.3 points per game, Cook is averaging 5.1 reobunds per outing, third on the team. The emergence of Cook has been one of the most pleasant surprises for the Gauchos this season. He has not only put up solid numbers, but he has become one of the team's top clutch players. He opened the season by posting the first double-double of his career in a win at Hawaii. He had 16 points and a career-high 12 rebounds against the Warriors. In a narrow home win over Pepperdine, Cook drilled a three-pointer with less than a second to play to give his team the win. On December 17, he scored UCSB's final four points, the last two on a pair of free throws with 18 seconds remaining, to give the Gauchos their first-ever win over UCLA, 61-60 at Pauley Pavilion. Cook also sealed that win with the steal of an inbounds pass in the final seconds. Cook has been dynamite away from home, scoring 13 or more six times, averaging 13.0 points per game and hitting 40-of-80 shots from the field, 50.0%.
Keeping Up With Jones
In the Gauchos' last two games, wins over Cal State Fullerton and UC Riverside, senior guard Nick Jones was kind of like a kid standing outside the candy store, looking in the window and seeing all of his friends chowing down on sweets. He was so close but he couldn't get his hands on the goods. In 16 minutes against the Titans, Jones missed all four of his field goal attempts and scored just two points. He did have a pair of rebounds and two assists, but his offensive struggles continued. In 15 minutes against UCR, he missed both of his shots and went scoreless. In the last two games combined, he missed all six of his field goal attempts, including two from three-point range, scored a total of two points and had three turnovers. Jones, who missed the first eight games of the year because of a suspension, is averaging 7.4 points per game, well below the 12.4 points per game he averaged last year and three points off of his career scoring average of 10.4 per game. Jones is really struggling in home games. Since his return, he has played in five games at the Thunderdome, scoring a total of 20 points, 4.0 per game, and going 6-of-22 (27.3%) overall from the field and 1-for-8 (12.5%) from three-point range. Conversely, Jones has scored in double-figures three times this season, all in games away from home. In fact, in his last two road games, he has averaged 13.5 points and shot 43.0% from the field overall and 42.8% from three-point territory. In UCSB's January 5 win at UC Irvine, Jones scored nine points and became the 20th player in school history to reach the 1,000 point mark. He now has 1,049 career points, 18th all-time. He needs just two more points to move into 17th all-time. Jones' career total of 111 three-point baskets ranks him seventh on the all-time list.
Help Cecil! Help!
Sophomore guard Cecil Brown had 12 points, two rebounds, two assists and two steals in 20 minutes against Cal State Fullerton on Saturday. The 12-point performance marked the seventh time this season that Brown has scored in double-figures and the Gauchos remained perfect at 7-0 in those games. Brown, who scored a career-high 16 points in three consecutive December home games, is third on the team in scoring at 8.3 points per game. For the first seven games of the year he was one of UCSB's most dependable starters and, after missing a game with an ankle injury, he has become one of the team's most dependable reserves. As the Gaucho bench has turned things up a notch, so too has Brown. Not only is he a dependable offensive threat, he has become one of the team's most reliable ball-handlers and defenders. In fact, while the Gauchos have struggled as a team with turnovers, Brown has gone the other way. In the last three games, a span of 65 minutes, he has not committed a turnover. Despite leading the team in total minutes played at 391, he has the fewest turnovers on the team, 16, outside of Glenn Turner (60 minutes) and David Kennedy (15 minutes). Brown made both of his three-point attempts against Cal State Fullerton and his 17 threes on the year rank him second on the team to Joe See. He needs just five to equal his total of last season. Brown has also played 20 or more minutes in four straight games, his longest such streak since he opened the season by playing 20 or more minutes in six straight. Finally, since he began the campaign by going 11-of-33 from the floor, Brown has made 39-of-92, 42.4%.
Although senior point guard Jacoby Atako was scoreless in the win over Cal State Fullerton, he did have three assists in his 16 minutes, the same total that he had produced in the three games prior to Saturday. Atako missed both of his field goal attempts on Saturday, but he is still having the best shooting season of his career. He enters the week having made 34-of-71 shots from the field overall, 47.9%, and 13-of-31 from three-point range, 41.9%. His total of 13 three-point baskets are two more than he had all of last season and it is the second highest total of his career. Atako leads the Gauchos with 45 total assists and an average of 2.5 per game. He had a season-high six assists on December 3 against Pepperdine and he has had five, two other times. With his three assists against Cal State Fullerton, Atako now has 355 in his career, seventh all-time. He needs 23 to move into fifth-place all-time. Also, Atako had a steal against the Titans and he leads the team in that category as well with 22. Atako has had at least one steal in six straight games and two or more three times over that span. He has had a season-high four steals twice, including one occasion against Idaho on January 10. Atako's career total of 114 is tied for fifth all-time. He needs just three more to move into third-place all-time.
Sophomore guard Joe See, a transfer from Oregon State, scored a career-high 21 points in UCSB's win over Cal State Fullerton on Saturday night. He tied his seaso-high with five three-point baskets in joining Branduinn Fullove as the only Gauchos to score 20 or more points in a game this season. See also attempted a season-high 12 shots overall and nine three-pointers against the Titans. See is now averaging 8.3 points per game, tied for second on the team. He is third on the team in Big West scoring at 9.0 per outing, including 9.7 per game in the last eight. See has scored ten or more seven times, all in the last 15 games. In addition to his 21-point effort, he has had 15 three times, 13 once and 11 twice. He is shooting 49.5% overall, 46.7% from three-point territory and 56.7% from two-point range. Since opening the year by going 3-for-13 in the first two games, including 2-for-11 from three-point territory, See has made 49-of-92 shots overall, 53.3%, 32-of-64 from three-point range, 50.0%, and 17-of-28 from two-point range, 60.7%. In nine Big West games, he has gone 20-of-36 from beyond the arc, 55.6%. In fact, since going 1-for-3 from three-point range in the league opener at Long Beach State, he is 19-of-33, 57.6%, in the last eight games. See is one of three players on the team averaging two or more assists per game, but since posting a career-high six on January 22 against Cal State Northridge, he has had just two in a three game span. See has more than twice as many three-point baskets as the next closest Gaucho. He has 35 and Cecil Brown has 17. Finally, if See can maintain his three-point field goal percentage of 46.7%, knock on wood, it would be a school record.
Cam I Am
Sophomore Cameron Goettsche had ten points, eight rebounds and a career-high two blocked shots in the win over Cal State Fullerton. He is fifth on the team in scoring at 8.2 points per game and with 15 boards in his last two games, Goettsche has taken over the team lead in rebounding at 5.5 per game. His eight rebound total on Saturday was his highest total in the last eight games. After scoring in double-figures one time in his first ten games, a career-high 17 against San Diego on December 13, Goettsche has had ten or more points six times in the last eight games. In addition to his 17-point game against San Diego, he had 15 in a win at Cal Poly on January 17. He has scored exactly ten points four times and is shooting 49.1% overall. Since starting the year by going 10-for-31 through the first four games, he has hit 43-of-77, 55.8%, in the last 14 games. Goettsche has had four or more rebounds 15 times in 18 games, including the last ten in a row. His two blocked shots on Saturday gives Goettsche the team-lead in that category with eight.
The Life Of Bryan
Senior forward Bryan Whitehead is averaging 4.2 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. He is second on the team in rebounding and he has had three or more rebounds in each of the last two games and 17 times in 18 games this season. Last week, against UC Riverside, Whitehead had a season-high nine rebounds in just 21 minutes of activity. He is one of two UCSB regulars to have more rebounds (93) than points (76). He has scored a season-high ten points against Westmont and Cal State Northridge and he has scored five or more nine times.
Chairman Of The Boards
Senior forward Bray Skultety is fourth on the team in rebounding at 4.1 per game, despite averaging just 12.3 minutes per game, tenth on the team. He is averaging nearly 14.0 rebounds per 40 minutes played. In the last three games he has had 18 rebounds in 34 total minutes. Skultety had a season-high nine rebounds in 13 minutes at Cal Poly and in 16 minutes last Thursday against UC Riverside. Although he is averaging 3.8 points per game, he has averaged 5.4 per game in the last eight. Finally, since Skultety went 0-for-3 from the field in the first three games of the year, he has made 27-of-44 shots, 61.4%.
Sophomore guard Josh Davis has had his Big West scoring-high of five points in two of the last three games, including Saturday's blasting of Cal State Fullerton. He is now averaging 4.9 points per game. Davis is fourth on the team with 11 steals and he tied his season-high with three against the Titans. In league games, he is second on the team with eight steals. Davis scored a career-high 13 points in UCSB's first-ever win over UCLA on December 17.
After going without an assist in six straight appearances and seven games overall, junior guard Chrismen Oliver had three in just nine minutes against Cal State Fullerton on Saturday. Also, after playing a total of 16 minutes in the first six Big West games, Oliver has played 32 in the last three. Since starting the season by making just 4-of-15 shots from the field, Oliver has hit 9-of-19, 47.4%.
On The Horizon
Following the road games this weekend, the Gauchos will return home for a pair of games. On Valentine's Day, Saturday, February 14, UCSB will fittingly play Cal Poly in a 7:00 p.m. game at the Thunderdome and on Thursday, February 19, the Gauchos host Pacific at 7:00 p.m.