Gauchos Set to Host High-Flying First-Place Pacific in Big West Showdown Thursday
Feb. 18, 2004
Game No. 22
Thursday, February 19, 2004 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. the University of the Pacific Tigers
at UCSB's Thunderdome (6,000)
Radio: KTLK 1340 AM
Game No. 23
Saturday, February 21, 2004 at 3:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at Cal State Northridge Matadors
at Cal State Northridge's Matadome (1,600)
TV: Fox Sports Net 2
Radio: KTLK 1340 AM
UC Santa Barbara enters the week with an overall record of 13-8 and a Big West record of 7-5. In their last outing, the Gauchos snapped a two-game Big West losing streak with a 73-57 home victory over visiting Cal Poly. The two-game league losing streak was the first UCSB had suffered since late in the 2001-02 season. The Gauchos have now posted five consecutive wins at the Thunderdome.
Skultety Reinjures Left Knee
Senior forward Bray Skultety reinjured his left knee in the second half of Saturday's game against Cal Poly. Skultety, who sat out the 2002-03 season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in the left knee, has suffered the same injury and will most likely be lost to the team for the remainder of the 2003-04 season. The 6-foot-6 Skultety was granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA to take part in this season. He also missed the 1999-2000 season with an eye injury. Skultety had played in all 21 games this season with averages of 3.5 points and 4.0 rebounds per game. He has accumulated his stats despite playing just 12.1 minutes per outing.
UCSB Uses New-Look, 17-0 Run To Top Cal Poly
UCSB used a new starting lineup and a 17-0 first half run to defeat visiting Cal Poly on Saturday night, 73-57. For the first time this season, the Gauchos starting five included guards Joe See, Branduinn Fullove and Josh Davis, and forwards Cameron Goettsche and Casey Cook. See was making his second straight start, but Davis was starting for the first time in league play. The new lineup paid off. Trailing 17-12 midway through the first half, UCSB went on a devastating 17-0 run to take a commanding 29-17 lead. The Mustangs were able to pull to within six points with 11 minutes left, but they never got closer. The Gauchos were led by Fullove who scored 17 points. Goettsche posted the first double-double of his career, scoring 12 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Guard Cecil Brown came off the bench to add ten points, while Davis had nine points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals. See added seven points, four rebounds and a career-high seven assists. Davis was also instrumental in limiting Cal Poly star Shane Schilling to 12 points on 4-of-21 shooting in the game. UCSB held the Mustangs to 33.9% shooting from the field overall.
Possible Starters - Notes
G - Joe See - Had a career-high seven assists in the win over Cal Poly.
G - Josh Davis - Nine points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals, all highs in Big West play.
G - Branduinn Fullove - 17 points vs. Cal Poly was his highest scoring effort in four games.
F - Cameron Goettsche - Posted first career double-double with 12 points, 11 rebounds vs. CP.
F - Casey Cook - 21 minutes played vs. Cal Poly was his highest total since returning from injury.
Possible Reserves - Notes
G - Cecil Brown - Has scored in double-figures eight times and Gauchos have won all eight.
G - Nick Jones - Played a season-low 13 minutes against Cal Poly.
G - Jacoby Atako - Played a season-low 13 minutes against Cal Poly.
G - Chrismen Oliver - Has played one minute in each of the last two games.
F - Bray Skultety - Reinjured his left knee in win over Cal Poly.
F - Bryan Whitehead - Has had three or more rebounds in 19 of 21 games.
F - Glenn Turner - Has played 42 minutes in last six games after playing 35 in first 14.
F - Derek Wheeler - Has yet to play in a game this season.
F - David Kennedy - Has played in five of the last eight games.
UCSB Will Salute Lou Cvijanovich On Kids To College Night Thursday
On Thursday night, when UCSB hosts the Big West's hottest team, the University of the Pacific Tigers, the Gauchos will also be honoring one of the greatest high school coaches of all-time and saluting "Kids To College Night". Lou Cvijanovich, the boys basketball coach at Santa Clara High School in nearby Oxnard for 41 years, is the winningest prep coach in California history. He coached numerous athletes on to college careers, but more importantly, college educations. Included among his former players are current UCSB guard Nick Jones and former Gaucho B.J. Ward. Fittingly, Cvijanovich will be honored on "Kids To College Night" when three youngsters, from kindergarten through 12th grade, will be admitted free with each paying adult.
The UCSB-Pacific series dates back to 1947 and spans 88 games. The Gauchos and Tigers have each won 44 games in the series. UOP trounced UCSB on January 24 at Stockton, 76-56. The defeat was the Gauchos' worst of the season. Last year, Santa Barbara won all three games played between the schools, including a first round match-up at the Big West Tournament. UCSB holds a 21-4 edge over Cal State Northridge. The Gauchos defeated the Matadors in Santa Barbara on January 22, 59-47. UCSB has never lost to Cal State Northridge in a Big West game, posting a 5-0 record since the Matadors entered the league.
UCSB At Home
With its win over Cal Poly on the Saturday, UCSB is now 8-1 at the Thunderdome this year. The Gauchos' lone defeat came at the hands of Utah State on January 8. In addition to Cal Poly, UCSB has defeated Cal State Fullerton, UC Riverside, Cal State Northridge, Idaho, Pepperdine, San Diego and Westmont. Last year, UCSB posted a 10-2 record at home, losing an overtime game to Cal State Fullerton and a non-conference game to Detroit. In 2001-02, the Gauchos also posted a 10-2 home record. The 10-2 mark that Santa Barbara has recorded each of the past two seasons is the best home mark for the program since the 1989-90 team went 11-2. Dating back to the end of the 2000-01 season, the Gauchos have gone 30-5 at home over the last 35 games.
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 93-73 overall record and a 62-30 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 282-173 at four-year schools.
Single-Digit Fever Breaks In Win Over Mustangs
For one game, UCSB had single-digit fever. Before senior guard Branduinn Fullove scored 17 points in the win over Cal Poly to improve his scoring average on the season to 10.4 points per game, the Gauchos had exactly no players averaging in double-figures. Fullove and senior forward Casey Cook each led the way entering the game against the Mustangs with identical averages of 9.9 points per game. Close, but no banana. In 2002-03, UCSB had three players who averaged 12.4 points per game or more. This season, nobody is really that close. Fullove's 10.4 is within shouting distance, but he would need a strong run in the final several weeks to hit that mark. If the Gauchos reach the end of the season and they still have no player averaging more than 11.0 points per game, it would be the lowest team-leading average in recorded history (that sounds dramatic). The previous low of 11.2 points per game was set in 1993-94 by Doug Muse. While UCSB has just one player averaging in double-figures, it does have six players averaging 7.0 or more points per game and ten players averaging at least 3.5 or more per game. By contrast, last year's team had three players at or over 12.4 points per game, but nobody else on the team averaged more than 5.2 per outing.
Take Me To Your Leaders
Along with the scoring balance has come several scoring leaders. Branduinn Fullove paced the way with 17 in Saturday's win over Cal Poly. The Gauchos have had seven different players lead the way in scoring this season and five of those players have led the way at least twice. Fullove, Casey Cook, Cameron Goettsche, Cecil Brown, Joe See, Jacoby Atako and Nick Jones have led the way in scoring and only Atako and Jones have led just once. Last season, in 32 games, UCSB had four players lead the team in scoring and one of those, Brown, led one time.
Home Schooling I
UCSB has won five consecutive home games and it has done so in pretty resounding fashion. Since dropping a 74-67 decision to Utah State on January 8, the Gauchos have reeled off Thunderdome victories over Idaho, Cal State Northridge, UC Riverside, Cal State Fullerton and Cal Poly. The lowest margin of victory in the last five home wins was 12 points and in the five games, UCSB outscored its opposition 334-247, an average of 66.8 to 49.4, 17.4 points per game.
Home Schooling II
The Gauchos have not only easily outscored their last five home opponents, they have outshot them in a big way. UCSB has shot 49.0% or better in each of its last four home games, making 50.0% or better three times. In the last five games, just one opponent, UC Riverside, has even come close to making 40.0% of its shots. The Highlanders shot 39.2%. Overall, in the last five games at the Thunderdome, the Gauchos have made 122-of-244 from the field, exactly 50.0%. The last five home opponents have made just 83-of-248, 33.5%.
Handling With Care
Slowly, but surely, UCSB is improving its ballhandling this season. While the Gauchos are still averaging 14.9 turnovers per game, they have averaged a modest 12.6 per game in the last five. In fact, Santa Barbara has committed 11 turnovers in each of its last two games, a loss at Utah State and a win over Cal Poly, and the 22 turnovers over a two-game span is the lowest two-game total on the season.
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 10-0, including 5-0 in the last five home games. When they outrebound the opposition they are 12-3. When they commit fewer turnovers than their opponent, they are 9-3. Finally, UCSB has gone 10-1 when it allows 60 points or fewer to an opponent. The only opponent to score fewer than 60 and beat the Gauchos was Idaho. On February 5, the Vandals scored just 57 points in a 57-45 victory over UCSB.
Senior guard Branduinn Fullove scored a game-high 17 points, making a season-best 8-of-11 shots from the field, in UCSB's win over Cal Poly on Saturday. The 17-point performance was his highest scoring effort in four games and his fourth-highest of the season. It also ended a streak of three straight games below ten points. With the 17 points, Fullove has taken over the team-lead in scoring at 10.4 points per game. He is, in fact, the only Gaucho averaging more than 10.0 per game. Since scoring just one point and missing all four of his field goal attempts in a January 24 loss at Pacific, Fullove has averaged 12.2 points per game and made 22-of-48 shots from the field, 45.8%. He enters this week's games with a career total of 1,333 points, a figure that ranks him seventh on UCSB's all-time list. He needs 20 points to pass Scott Fisher and move into sixth-place all-time. In addition, Fullove had three assists against Cal Poly and he has now had three or more in five consecutive games, averaging 3.4 per game over that span. In fact, going back a bit further, he has produced 29 assists in the last nine games, 3.2 per game. He has, in fact, had three or more assists eight times this year and he is now tied with Jacoby Atako for the team-lead at 2.3 per game. In his career, Fullove has collected 258 assists, ninth all-time.
Casey Cook played 21 minutes and had eight points and four rebounds in Saturday's win over Cal Poly. The 21 minutes is significant because it represents the most minutes Cook has played since returning from a three-game absence due to a torn right quadriceps muscle. He is second on the team in scoring at 9.8 points per game and second in rebounding at 4.9 boards per outing. Cook has scored in double-figures nine times this year, seven times on the road. Although he has not played his best offensive basketball at the Thunderdome, he has been hotter recently. In his last four home appearances, Cook has made 16-of-24 shots from the field, 66.7%. He is one of two UCSB players with more than 75 field goal attempts who is shooting over the 50.0% mark. He is at 50.4% for the year. Cook has scored a career-high 16 points three times this season, against Hawaii, Kansas and Southeast Missouri State. In the season-opener at Hawaii, he also recorded a career-high 12 rebounds and the first double-double of his career. On the year, he has had five or more rebounds nine times in 18 appearances, but he has not done so since January 10 against Idaho.
Senior guard Nick Jones continues to struggle. Coming off of the bench for the second game in a row, Jones played a season-low 13 minutes in Saturday's win over Cal Poly, scoring just wo points on 1-of-4 shooting from the field. It marked the fifth game in a row in which Jones failed to score ten or more points. In the last five, he has scored a total of 19 points, 3.8 per game, and over that span he has made just 4-of-27 field goals, 14.8%. When he made a lay-up on Saturday, it ended a streak of 16-straight missed two-point field goal attempts. Jones did make three field goals in UCSB's February 7 loss at Utah State, but all three came from three-point distance. He is averaging 7.0 points per game overall, well below his career average of 10.4 per game and even further below the 12.4 he averaged as a junior. Jones has especially struggled in home games, scoring a total of 22 points in his six home appearances, 3.7 per game, and making just 7-of-26 shots from the field, 26.9%. He has scored in double-figures three times this year, all away form home. His season-high 14 points came in UCSB's January 24 loss at Pacific. In his career, Jones has now scored 1,066 points, 17th in school history.
Sophomore guard Cecil Brown had ten points in just 15 minutes while nursing a sore ankle against Cal Poly. The ten-point effort marked the eighth time this year that Brown had scored in double-figures and the Gauchos have gone a perfect 8-0 in those games. The ten-point game was also a solid response to scoring just two points while struggling with a sprained left ankle during the Gauchos' road trip to Idaho and Utah State. Brown is now averaging 7.7 points per game, fifth on the team. He also ranks second on the team with 17 three-point baskets, although he has not made one in three straight games. In addition to his offensive exploits, Brown has become one of most sure-handed players on the team. Although he is fourth on the team in total minutes played with 431, Brown has had just 18 turnovers, the fewest of any Gaucho regular. He has had zero turnovers in five of the last six games and in those six, he has had two in a total of 105 minutes played. Finally, while he is shooting 39.3% overall, since opening the year 11-of-33, Brown has gone 42-of-102, 41.2%. He scored a career-high 16 points earlier in the season in consecutive home wins over Pepperdine, San Diego and Westmont College.
Sophomore guard Joe See has started each of the last two UCSB games and by the looks of things, he doesn't plan to give up the role. While See has scored a total of just 12 points in the two games, he has run the Gaucho offense well, particularly in the win over Cal Poly when he had seven points, four rebounds and a career-high seven assists while playing a season-high 29 minutes. See also made a pair of three-pointers to give him 40 on the season, 23 more than the second highest total on the team. On January 31, in a UCSB home win over Cal State Fullerton, See scored a career-high 21 points, tying another career-high with five three-point baskets. While See is making a solid 44.0% from three-point range overall, he has been especially good in Big West games, making 25-of-52, 48.1%. He has scored in double-figures seven times on the season, all in the last 18 games, and he is now fourth on the team in scoring at 8.1 points per game. He has made at least one three-point basket in five straight games and 17 times this season. See has made two or more threes 12 times, three or more seven times and a season-high of five twice. With his seven assists against the Mustangs, he is now averaging a season-high 2.1 per game, third on the team. See has had four or more assists six times.
Although senior point guard Jacoby Atako came off the bench for the second game in a row, he was an instrumental factor in shutting down Cal Poly's Kameron Gray in Saturday's Gaucho win. Atako scored just two points, missing all three of his field goal attempts, but he did have three assists in a season-low 13 minutes. The three assists actually matched his highest output in the last eight games and his average of 2.3 assists per game is a decimal point better than Branduinn Fullove's average. Throughout his career, Atako has now collected 360 assists, a total that ranks him seventh on UCSB's all-time list. He needs 16 to pass Brian Shaw and move into sixth-place all-time. He also has 118 steals in his career, third all-time. He enters the week having made 35-of-78 shots from the field overall, 44.9%, and 14-of-36 from three-point range, 38.9%. His total of 14 three-point baskets are three more than he had all of last season and it is the second highest total of his career.
Sophomore Cameron Goettsche had the first double-double of his career in the win over Cal Poly, scoring 12 points and pulling-down 11 rebounds. The 11 rebounds tied Goettsche's career-high and the 12 points were his third-highest total of the year, and his highest since he scored 15 on January 17 at Cal Poly. Goettsche has now scored in double-figures nine times this year, including two straight, four times in the last five games, and eight times in 12 Big West outings. Overall, he is averaging 8.1 points per game, third on the team, but in 12 league games, Goettsche is second on the squad at 8.9 points per game. His emergence in the scoring column is no accident. Goettsche has taken over the team-lead in field goal percentage at 50.8%. In 12 Big West games he is shooting an impressive 58.8%, easily the best on the team, and since opening the season by making 10-of-31 in the first three games, 32.3%, he has made 54-of-95, 56.8%, over the last 18 games. Goettsche also had 11 rebounds in 18 minutes on December 10 against Westmont. He scored a career-high 17 points on December 13 against San Diego.
Sophomore guard Josh Davis made his first start since mid-December on Saturday and he made the most of it. Davis, playing 25 minutes, made 3-of-6 shots, scored nine points, had six rebounds, four assists and three steals. In addition, he did a tremendous defensive job on one of the Mustangs' best offensive players, Shane Schilling, holding the league's second-leading scorer to just 12 points on 4-of-21 shooting from the field. Davis' point total of nine was his highest since he scored a career-high 13 in a win at UCLA on December 17. His six rebounds tied a career-high, his four assists was the second-highest total of this season and his career, and the three steals tied his career-high. All in all, it was an outstanding effort . On the year, Davis is now averaging 4.6 points, 2.4 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 0.8 steals per game.
Senior forward Bryan Whitehead is averaging 4.2 points and 4.8 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 19 times in 21 games this season. On Saturday against Cal Poly, he had two points and three rebounds in 16 minutes, his lowest playing time total since January 5 at UC Irvine. Whitehead is one of two UCSB regulars to have more rebounds (101) than points (88). He scored a season-high ten points against Westmont and Cal State Northridge and he has had five or more points ten times.
Senior forward Bray Skultety suffered an injury to his left knee in Saturday's win over Cal Poly. He will miss the remainder of the season. If Skultety is lost for any length of time it would be a major blow for UCSB. He is one of the emotional leaders and statistically, he is the team's best rebounder, averaging 4.0 per game in just 12.1 minutes per outing. In addition, he is averaging 3.5 points per game and shooting 54.7% from the field, including 58.0% in the last 19 games.
Junior guard Chrismen Oliver has played exactly one minute in each of the last two games. He scored two points in the win over Cal Poly. On the year, Oliver is now scoring 2.2 points per game, but since playing ten or more minutes in six of the first eight games, he has played ten or more just once in the last 14 games.
Sophomore forward Glenn Turner has become a semi-regular in UCSB's rotation and you may be able to lose the "semi" if the Gauchos lose Bray Skultety to a knee injury. Turner has played in the last eight games, including the last six as a regular member of the lineup. In his last six games, a span that totals 42 minutes, has had five blocked shots and 15 rebounds.
On The Horizon
Following Thursday night's home game against Pacific, the Gauchos will hit the road for three games. They travel to Cal State Northridge on Saturday for a 3:00 p.m. game against the Matadors. The UCSB-CSUN game will be broadcast live on Fox Sports Net 2. The Gauchos will also play at Cal State Fullerton and UC Riverside next weekend.