February 22, 2005

UCSB Returns for Final Home Weekend of Season, Hosts Cal State Fullerton & UC Riverside

Feb. 22, 2005

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The Schedule
Game No. 24
Thursday, February 24, 2005 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Cal State Fullerton Titans
at UCSB's Thunderdome
Radio: KIST 1340 AM
TV: KVMD-TV (Channel 46)

Game No. 25
Saturday, February 26, 2005 at 4:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. UC Riverside Highlanders
at UCSB's Thunderdome
Radio: KIST 1340 AM
TV: Fox Sports Net 2

Game No. 26
Thursday, March 3, 2005 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at UC Irvine Anteaters
at UCI's Bren Events Center
Radio: KIST 1340 AM

The Gaucho Record
UC Santa Barbara enters this weekend's games with an overall record of 9-14 and a Big West record of 6-8. On Saturday, February 19, the Gauchos ended their three-game losing streak overall and their 11-game road losing streak with a 78-66 win at Cal Poly. The victory also moved UCSB into the upper-half of the Big West standings, a half game ahead of Idaho. Prior to the win over the Mustangs, not only had the Gauchos dropped three in a row, they had lost six of seven.

The Week To Come
UCSB will play its final two home games of the season this weekend. On Thursday night, the Gauchos will host one of the hottest teams in the Big West, fourth-place Cal State Fullerton. The Titans are coming off of a home win over visiting Utah State. In Saturday's afternoon finale, Santa Barbara will host UC Riverside. The Highlanders are in a battle for the final Big West Tournament spot. The game, originally slated for the normal 7:00 p.m. tip-off time, was moved to 4:00 p.m. to accommodate Fox Sports, which will broadcast the game live.

Seniors Take Part In Final Home Game
It would be nice to say that the UCSB seniors are going to play in their final home game, but only one will actually play. Guard Chrismen Oliver, who is averaging 10.2 points per game and leads the Gauchos in assists with 67 will play in his final game in a UCSB uniform. Forward Casey Cook, on the other hand, will not play. Cook, who averaged 10.8 points and 5.5 rebounds per game, fractured a bone in his right foot in the first half of a January 2 loss at Cal State Northridge, and he will certainly not return for the game against UC Riverside. Oliver and Cook are the only seniors on UCSB's roster.

UCSB Shoots Its Way Past Cal Poly
UCSB had four players score 15 or more points for the second time this season, and the Gauchos shot a season-high 55.0%, en route to a 78-66 win at Cal Poly on Saturday night. The win ended UCSB's three-game losing streak overall and its 11-game losing streak in road games. It was the Gauchos' second road loss of the 2004-05 campaign. Guards Alex Harris, Chrismen Oliver and Joe See, each scored 16 points, and swingman Josh Davis added 15 points and a game-high eight rebounds, to lead the way. UCSB jumped out of the gates quickly, but when Mustang forward Nick Enzweiler made a three-point basket with 11:57 remaining in the first half, he gave his team a 14-13 lead. The one-point lead was the only lead that Cal Poly would have all night. Forward Derek Wheeler rebounded a miss by Oliver and made a lay-up to give the Gauchos a 15-14 edge, and then with 10:13 left in the half, See nailed a three-pointer to expand the lead to 18-14 and that was it. See also ended the first half with a three-point basket, giving UCSB a 47-32 edge. The closest the Mustangs got the rest of the way was seven points at 71-64 with 2:20 left in the contest.

The Active Roster Remains In Flux
The UCSB roster is an ever-changing thing. In its own way, it has taken-on a life of its own. On February 15, just before the team boarded a bus to go to Stockton, it was decided that junior forward Cameron Goettsche would not make the trip. Goettsche, who had missed four games earlier in the season with a severely strained groin, an injury that continues to hamper him, strained his back in the February 10 game at UC Davis, and he was not ready to go against Pacific. He also missed Saturday's game at Cal Poly and is very doubtful for this weekend. In the second half of the game at Pacific, sophomore forward Glenn Turner, who has struggled with a gimpy ankle all year, injured the middle finger on his right hand when he tried to block a shot on a breakaway. His hand hit the backboard. Turner, with his middle finger taped to his ring finger, played 11 minutes at Cal Poly, but he could not hold the ball. He is questionable for the games this weekend. If he plays it will be in a limited role. Senior forward Casey Cook fractured a bone in his foot on January 2 at Cal State Northridge, and he remains sidelined. Junior guard Cecil Brown, who missed all of the early games this season with a partial tear in his right medial collateral ligament, has missed the rest of the games with a stress fracture in his right ankle. He is out for the year. Freshman Chris Moore, who missed two games after suffering a concussion on February 5 against Utah State, played five solid minutes at Cal Poly and is expected to play this weekend. Freshman forward Chris Devine had surgery on his left knee prior to the season and he will not return this year. Freshman forward Todd Follmer is sitting out the season as a redshirt. Sophomore forward David Kennedy, freshman guard Derek Rasp, and junior forward Derek Wheeler have all missed games because of injury this year, but the three are back. In all, UCSB players have missed 89 regular season games because of injuries.

Possible Starters - Notes
G - Chrismen Oliver - After struggling for three games, he had 16 points at Cal Poly.
G - Alex Harris - Has tied his career-high with 16 points in each of the last two games.
G - Josh Davis - Leads all active players in scoring average 10.3 points per game.
F - Derek Rasp - Five rebounds at Cal Poly was his highest total since returning from injury.
F - Glenn Turner - Played just 11 minutes at Cal Poly, his lowest total since start of Big West play.

Possible Reserves - Notes
G - Joe See - Has averaged 14.0 points per game and shot 56.5% in the last three games.
G - Michael Chambers - Has made 8-of-14 shots in the last three games, 57.1%.
F - David Kennedy - Played a career-high 22 minutes in the win at Cal Poly.
F - Chris Moore - Had a career-high six points, making all three field goals, at Cal Poly.
F - Derek Wheeler - Scored his first basket of the year at Cal Poly, giving UCSB the lead for good.

The Sideline - Notes
G - Cecil Brown - Stress fracture in lower left leg has sidelined him for the season.
F - Cameron Goettsche - Back strain sidelined him for the last two games. Doubtful this weekend.
F - Casey Cook - Injured tendon in right foot has him out indefinitely.
F - Chris Devine - Knee injury has not healed enough. Will miss remainder of year.
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 104-93 (.528) overall record and a 71-44 (.617) 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 293-193 (.603) at four-year schools.
The Opponents
UCSB and Cal State Fullerton have played 56 times since the series began in 1977. Santa Barbara holds a 31-25 advantage. The Titans beat the Gauchos 68-59 on January 29 in Fullerton. The win ended a three-game UCSB winning streak in the series. The Gauchos won both games last season. UCSB won at the Thunderdome by a score of 77-44, and they won at Titan Gym, 98-95 in double-overtime. Gaucho head coach Bob Williams has posted an 11-2 record against the Titans since arriving in Santa Barbara for the 1998-99 season. UCSB and UC Riverside have played 15 times in a series which began in 1955. The Gauchos hold a 12-3 edge on the Highlanders, but UCR has won the last two meetings between the schools, including a January 27 decision on January 27 in Riverside. The Highlanders also beat UCSB 63-60 on February 28, 2004, in Riverside. The Gauchos topped the Highlanders in Santa Barbara last season, 66-52. The Gauchos and UC Irvine have played 60 times in a series that dates back to 1968. UCSB holds a decisive 38-22 edge in the all-time series. The Gauchos have won the last six consecutive games against the Anteaters, including a 62-45 win at the Thunderdome on December 30. UCSB has also won the last two meetings played at the Bren Center, including an 84-77 win last season.

UCSB At Home
The Gauchos are 7-3 at home this season, but they have lost two of their last three Thunderdome appearances. On January 22, UCSB dropped a 58-43 decision to Pacific, then defeated Idaho 54-40 on February 3, before losing to Utah State, 80-50, on February 5. UCSB had a six-eight home winning streak snapped when it lost to Pacific, the Big West regular season champion. UCSB has gone 5-3 in Big West home games this season. In addition to the win over Idaho, the Gauchos have posted wins against Cal State Northridge, UC Irvine, Long Beach State and Cal Poly. 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 63-24 at home under head coach Bob Williams.

No Close Encounters For UCSB
UCSB has had few close encounters this season. Of the Gauchos 23 games, 14 have been decided by 10 points or more. The closest game that UCSB has played this season, with the exception of an 80-72 overtime win in the season-opener against San Diego State, was a 54-50 loss at UC Riverside on January 27. Prior to the four-point loss to the Highlanders, the smallest margin in any UCSB game this season was the five-point spread in a 67-62 win over UC Davis on January 15. The Gauchos' largest margin of victory this season came on January 13 when they defeated Cal Poly by a 76-56 score. The largest margin of defeat was their 80-50 loss to Utah State on February 6. The 30 point loss to the Aggies was, in fact, the second-largest margin of defeat ever suffered by a Bob Williams-coached Gaucho team.

Take Me To Your Leader(s)
If you include the injured Casey Cook, UCSB has three players averaging 10.0 per game or more. For better or worse, the Gauchos have spread the scoring around this season and each of their top seven scorers have led the way at least one time. Chrismen Oliver has led the team in scoring more than anyone else, doing so on eight occasions. Also, seven different players have led the team in rebounding with Glenn Turner leading the way eight times.

Shooters For A Day
In Saturday's win over Cal Poly, UCSB made 22-of-40 shots from the field. While the 40 field goal attempts were a season-low, the 55.0% field goal mark was the Gauchos highest of the season. In fact, it was just the second time all year that UCSB had made 50.0% or better of its field goal attempts. In the season-opener, an overtime win at San Diego State, the Gauchos made 30-of-60, 50.0%, of their shots. The 55.0% from the field ended a streak of 21 straight games under the 50.0% mark for UCSB. Overall, Santa Barbara is shooting just 40.9% from the field this season. On the other side of the coin, the Gauchos allowed Cal Poly to make 21-of-50 shots, 42.0%. The 42.0% shot by the Mustangs ended a run of three straight Santa Barbara opponents which had made at least 52.7% of its shots. Beginning with Utah State on February 5, the Gauchos had allowed three opponents to combine for 82-of-149 from the field, 55.1%. In fact, in that February 5 game, the Aggies set an all-time record for a UCSB opponent by making 32-of-45 shots, 71.1%.

Free Throw Attempts Are Either Feast Or Famine
With UCSB, its free throw attempt totals are either feast or famine. On Saturday, the Gauchos attempted a season-high 45 free throws, making 27. In last week's game at Pacific, they attempted just eight free throws, making just two. In the game prior to that, at UC Davis, UCSB attempted 40, making 26, and in the game against Utah State, the one that proceeded the Davis game, the Gauchos attempted a season-low six free throws. UCSB and its opponents have each attempted 411 free throws this season, an average of 17.9 per game. The Gauchos, however, have attempted 10 or fewer six times, including four times in the last eight games.

They're Anything But Free
UCSB has not only been struggling with its shooting from the field, it has also had its problems at the free throw line in recent games. The Gauchos have made fewer than 70.0% of their free throws in seven straight games and 10 times in the last 11 games. In the last 11 games, Santa Barbara has made just 125-of-214 from the free throw line, 58.4%. UCSB is now shooting a season-low 64.5% from the charity stripe. The team has made 70.0% or better in a game 10 times this season, nine of which came during the first 12 games. In 2003-04, the Gauchos shot 66.0% from the free throw line.

On Guard
In UCSB's media guide, which I must say became slightly obsolete as the players starting falling by the wayside, seven of the 14 players on the roster are listed as guards. Of those seven, six are still active. Those six, Josh Davis, Chrismen Oliver, Joe See, Alex Harris, Derek Rasp and Michael Chambers, have combined for 1,018 of the Gauchos' 1,373 points scored this season, 74.1%. Granted, Davis, Harris and Rasp have all played some frontcourt this season, as a group they can still be considered the Gaucho backcourt. Of UCSB's top-five scorers this season, by virtue of scoring average, four are guards. The only exception is Casey Cook, who at 10.8 points per game is still listed at the top of the stats. Cook, however, has not played in the last 13 games.

Just Joshing
Junior guard Josh Davis was has been one of UCSB's bright spots this season. He is leading the active players on the team in scoring at 10.3 points per game, but in the last eight games, he has averaged 12.0 points per outing and he has scored in double-figures five times. He had 15 points and a game-high eight rebounds in Saturday's win at Cal Poly. In the game against the Mustangs, Davis attempted a career-high 17 free throws, by far the most by a Gaucho player this season. He made nine of the 17 in the game. Although he has kept his scoring average up, Davis has not shot the ball particularly well in recent games. In the last three games, he made 8-of-27 shots from the field, 29.6%. With Gaucho players dropping like flies, Davis has been the only player on the team to start every game this season, and he leads the team in minutes played with 743. While his minutes total is just 46 more than Chrismen Oliver, the next closest player, his total is 139 more than Alex Harris, who ranks third on the team. Davis has logged 24 or more minutes in all 23 Gaucho games this season, and he has played 30 or more 17 times, including 11 times in the last 13 games. While Davis has scored 10 or more points 11 times in 23 games, he has also become one of the team's top rebounders. He is averaging 5.0 boards per game, a figure that is at its highest point since he was averaging 5.0 per game after the first game of the season. Also, he has had five or more rebounds 14 times this season, including nine of the last 10 games. In the last 10, Davis has averaged 6.5 rebounds, the top mark on the team over that span. In UCSB's January 22 home loss to Pacific, Davis scored a career-high 21 points, making a career-high 5-of-7 shots from three-point range, and 7-of-13 overall. It marked the second time this season and in his career that he had scored 20 or more points. His previous high of 20 came on November 27 at San Francisco. He opened the season on an offensive roll, scoring in double-figures in each of the first four games, including 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. Last year, Davis had 18 steals in 27 games, and his two-year total entering the 2004-05 campaign was 40 steals in 59 games. This season, Davis has 35 steals in 23 games and he has had a career-high four steals three times this season, most recently in the January 13 win over Cal Poly. Davis' total of 24 three-point baskets are 11 more than he had in his first two seasons combined. He has made two or more three-point baskets six times this season.

Oliver's Story
Senior guard Chrismen Oliver snapped out of a three-game slump in Saturday's win at Cal Poly. After making just 1-of-18 shots and scoring a total of 10 points in the previous three games, Oliver hit 6-of-11 shots overall, 2-of-5 from three-point range, and he scored 16 against the Mustangs. He is now second among active UCSB players with a scoring average of 10.2 points per game. Oliver has scored in double-figures 13 times this season, more than any players on the team. The Gauchos have gone 8-5 when he scores 10 or more points. When Oliver scores fewer than 10 points in a game, UCSB has gone 1-9. With the exception of the three-games prior to the game at Cal Poly, Oliver has had an outstanding season. He not only ranks second on the team in scoring, but he leads the Gauchos in assists with 67 (2.9 per game) and steals with 43 (1.9 per game). He is second on the team with 33 three-point baskets and he has made two or more 12 times this season and a he has made a career-high three times. While he remains the team's second-leading active score. Oliver has led or tied for the team-lead in scoring eight times this season, the most of anyone on the team. In the Gauchos January 20 win over Cal State Northridge, he scored a career-high 21 points. His previous career-high of 19 points had been set in the previous game, a win over UC Davis. He has made a career-high three three-point baskets three times this year, including a perfect 3-for-3 performance on January 15 against UC Davis. During his three-game slump, Oliver did not make a three-point basket, his first three-game streak this season. Prior to that, however, he had made at least one three-point bucket in nine straight games. Oliver is averaging 30.3 minutes per game, second on the team, and he has played 30 or more 12 times. In his first three seasons, Oliver totaled 71 games, 595 minutes and 168 points. This year, he has scored 234 points in 23 games and 697 minutes. He has also made 33 three-pointers this season after entering the year with a career total of 27, and his 43 steals are 12 more than his total for the previous three seasons combined. In fact, Oliver has had at least one steal 19 times this season and two or more 13 times.

See-Saw
Junior guard Joe See continues to emerge on the offensive end of the floor after a slow start to the season. See is now averaging 8.1 points per game, a figure that is at its highest point of the year. In Saturday's win over Cal Poly, See scored 16 points for the second game in a row. It also marked the third game in succession in which he has scored in double-figures, a first this season. In the last three, See has made 13-of-23 shots overall, 56.5%, and 8-of-13 from three-point range, 61.5%. Over that span, he has averaged 14.0 points per game. In the last six games, he has scored in double-figures four times and averaged 11.0 points per game. In the first 17 games this season, See averaged 7.1 points per game and scored in double-figures just two times. With his seven three-point buckets in the last two games, See has taken over the team-lead in the category for the first time this season with 37. He has had at least one in each of the last six games. See now has 81 three-point baskets in his career, the 10th most in school history. On January 6, in a game at Utah State, See made a career-high eight three-point baskets, the second-highest single-game total in school history, and the most by a Gaucho player since Mark Hull made eight against Arizona in the first round of the 2002 NCAA Tournament. See, who almost single-handedly kept UCSB in the game at Logan, scored a career-high 26 points against the Aggies. Overall, See is shooting just 33.3% from three-point range, but since an 0-for-16 start, he has gone 37-of-95, 38.9%. Also, since opening the year at 2-for-20 overall from the floor, he has gone 58-of-144, a modest 40.3%.

The Harris Poll
Freshman guard Alex Harris has tied his career-high with 16 points in each of the last two games, a loss at Pacific and a win at Cal Poly. He continues to improve and play a bigger and bigger role for UCSB. Harris has now scored in double-figures nine times this season, including the last four and five times in the last six games. In the last six, he has averaged 13.2 points per game, making 25-of-49 shots overall, 51.0%, and 11-of-21 from three-point range, 52.4%. He is now averaging 8.3 points per game, third among active players and 8.3 is the highest his average has been since it was at 9.2 per game after four games. In addition to scoring 16 points in each of the last two games, Harris also had 16 on January 29 at Cal State Fullerton. He has made two or more three-point baskets six times this year, including three times in the last four games. He made both of his three-point attempts at Cal Poly and he was a perfect 3-for-3 on February 5 against Utah State. He is now shooting 40.0% from three-point range, the top figure among active players. Harris is also improving his rebounding. He had six at Cal Poly, just two short of his career-high of eight set on February 10 at UC Davis. His average of 2.9 rebounds per game is at its highest point since he was averaging 3.0 per game after three games this season. Harris is ranked third on the team in steals with 22, a figure that ranks tied for fifth on UCSB's all-time freshman list. After producing four steals in the first nine games, he has had 18 in the last 14 games, including a career-high of four on February 3 against Idaho. Harris is second on the team in free throw percentage at 79.4%. He season-highs of 10 attempts and eight made free throws on Saturday at Cal Poly. Finally, when Harris tallied 15 points in the season-opener at San Diego State, it was the most points ever scored by a UCSB freshman in a season-opener and the most ever scored by a freshman in his Gaucho debut.

Cam I Am
Junior forward Cameron Goettsche suffered a strained lower UCSB's February 10 game at UC Davis and he was forced to miss Wednesday's game at Pacific. He has missed the last two games. His status for this weekend's games is up in the air. Goettsche has struggled in his last two games, including the game at Davis and the previous game against Utah State. In 46 total minutes, he scored a total of six points and had six rebounds, an average of 3.0 per game each. In addition, while he is shooting 47.5% from the field overall, he went just 3-of-10 in last two games, 30.0%. Although he remains the team-leader in rebounding at 6.9 per game, Goettsche has averaged just 5.0 per game in his last five appearances. At one point this season, in consecutive games at San Diego, and at home against Long Beach State and UC Irvine, he recorded double-figures in rebounds. In the December 30 game against UC Irvine, he had a career-high 14 rebounds, the most by a UCSB player since the 2001-02 season. His season-high of 15 points came on January 15 against UC Davis. In a six game stretch, beginning with the first game against UC Davis, and ending with the February 3 game against Idaho, Goettsche had his best offensive run of the season, scoring in double-figures four times and averaging 11.3 points per game. On December 22 at San Diego, he had the third double-double of his career with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Goettsche has become a defensive presence inside. He is second on the team with 24 blocked shots, 10 more than he had last season. He had a career-high four blocked shots on January 15 against UC Davis and he has had two or more nine times this season. The one area of biggest struggle for Goettsche continues to be free throws. Since starting the season by making 6-of-8, has gone 10-of-27, 37.0%.

As The World Turners
Sophomore forward Glenn Turner has been hobbled all hear by a bad ankle. In the February 16 game at Pacific, he injured the middle finger on his right hand when he hit the backboard on an attempted blocked shot. He had the middle finger taped to the ring finger for the game at Cal Poly on Saturday, but he struggled, playing just 11 minutes, attempting no shots and pulling down one rebounds. He scored a career-high 12 points on January 13 against Cal Poly. Turner is now averaging 4.1 points and 4.6 rebounds per game. Also, despite not having a blocked shot in four of the last five games, he leads the Gauchos and the Big West with 37 this season. He has had two or more blocked shots in 10 of his last 16 games. In fact, over one stretch of six games, he had three or more five times, including six on January 8 at Idaho, tying Eric McArthur's single-game record. In the game prior to that, he had five, giving him 11 over a two-game span, a school record. Turner now has 44 career blocked shots, ninth on UCSB's all-time list. With 37 this season, Turner has moved into 10th on the all-time single-season list. In addition to blocking shots, Turner has developed into one of the team's most dependable rebounders. He is not only averaging 4.6 per game, but he has led the team in rebounding nine times, more than anyone else.

Moore Is Better
Freshman forward Chris Moore, returning after missing two games with a concussion, had his best game as a Gaucho at Cal Poly. Although he played just five minutes, Moore was the top scorer among UCSB frontcourt players. He made all three of his field goal attempts en route to a career-high six points. He also had three rebounds, tying his third-best mark this season. The six points he scored against the Mustangs was one more than he had tallied in his previous eight games combined.

Grasping His Opportunity
Freshman guard Derek Rasp made his seventh start on Saturday at Cal Poly. He has started the last two games at the four spot. Rasp has struggled since returning after a five game absence with a lung contusion. In his four games back, he has averaged just 2.0 points and 2.0 rebounds per game while going just 2-of-12 from the field overall and 1-of-8 from beyond the three-point line.

Chambers Music
Junior guard Michael Chambers has averaged 7.0 points per game over the last three games. Over that span, he has made 8-of-14 shots overall, 57.1%, and 3-of-7 from three-point range, 42.9%. Chambers had a career-high 12 points on February 12 at UC Davis. While he has 21 points in his last three games, he had scored 20 points in his prior eight games.

Kennedy Center
Sophomore forward David Kennedy recorded a career-high 22 minutes at center in Saturday's game at Cal Poly. While he was scoreless, he was active and is looking more comfortable on the court. He has played in each of the last seven games after missing 15 of the first 16 with a stress fracture. He had career-highs of four points and three rebounds last week at Pacific.

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