UCSB Clinches Big West Tournament Berth, Travels South for Final Regular Season Weekend
March 1, 2005
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
Game No. 27
Saturday, March 5, 2005 at 5:05 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at Long Beach State 49ers
at LBSU's Pyramid
Radio: KIST 1340 AM
Game No. 28 - Big West Tournament First Round
Wednesday, March 9, 2005 at TBA
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. TBA
at The Anaheim Convention Center
Radio: KIST 1340 AM
The Gaucho Record
UC Santa Barbara enters the final weekend of the Big West season with an overall record of 10-15 and a league mark of 7-9. Since losing six of seven games, UCSB has won two of its last three contests. On Saturday, the Gauchos completed their home schedule with a narrow 58-54 win over visiting UC Riverside. Santa Barbara split its games over the weekend. Prior to the win over Riverside, UCSB dropped a 66-57 decision to Cal State Fullerton.
The Week To Come
UCSB will complete the regular season with road games at UC Irvine and Long Beach State. The Gauchos have already played both the Anteaters and 49ers this year, winning both games at the Thunderdome. On December 28, UCSB defeated Long Beach State by a score of 54-47, and then on December 30, the Gauchos topped UC Irvine, 62-45. Saturday's game at Long Beach State will tip-off at 5:05 p.m. to accommodate the school's homecoming festivities.
The Week That Was
Santa Barbara split its games on the final home weekend of the season. On Thursday night, Cal State Fullerton had four players score in double-figures en route to a 66-57 win over the Gauchos. UCSB struggled with its shooting in defeat, making just 36.4% of its shots overall, 21.7% from three-point range and 57.1% from the free throw line. Freshman swingman Derek Rasp led the Gauchos with a career-high 15 points, while Chrismen Oliver and Joe See each added 10. Saturday was Senior Day for UCSB, as the team bid farewell to its two graduating players, Oliver and Casey Cook, who has not played since fracturing a bone in his right foot in a game at Cal State Northridge on January 2. While the seniors were celebrated on Saturday, it was several non-seniors who carried the load in a 58-54 win over UC Riverside. Rasp made a career-high five three-point baskets and tied his career-high with 15 points, freshman forward Chris Moore had a career-high 10 points and four rebounds, and junior Josh Davis had 10 points, including two key baskets down the stretch, in the victory. Once again, the Gauchos struggled with their shooting, making just 41.7% overall and 55.6% from the free throw line. In the first half, UCSB was on fire, making 13-of-24 shots overall, 54.2%, and 7-of-12 from three-point range, 58.3%. On a major positive note, the Gauchos had just seven turnovers in the game, their second-lowest mark of the season.
The Active Roster Remains In Flux
Alright, let's get right to it. The following players are definitely out for this weekend and any postseason games UCSB will play. Junior guard Cecil Brown, senior forward Casey Cook, freshman forward Chris Devine and freshman forward Todd Follmer. Brown has not played this season. He missed the first six games of the year with a partially torn medial collateral ligament in his right knee, and he has missed the rest of the games with a stress fracture in his lower right ankle. Cook played in the first ten games of the season, but in game 11, on January 2 at Cal State Northridge, he fractured a bone in his right foot. Initially, it was believed that he would possibly return for the final week of the regular season and the Big West Tournament, but the injury has not sufficiently healed so Cook will spend his final games as a Gaucho sitting on the bench with a walking boot on his foot. Devine had knee surgery prior the start of practice in October. It was originally thought that he too would return at some point, but the injury has not healed sufficiently to allow his return, and he will not make his UCSB debut until the 2005-06 campaign. Although he is not injured, Follmer will redshirt the 2004-05 season. The biggest question mark entering the stretch run of the season is junior forward Cameron Goettsche. Goettsche missed four games earlier in the year with a severely strained groin, and then on February 10, in the first half of a game at UC Davis, he strained his lower back. He missed the second half of that game, and he has missed all of the last four games. Goettsche the Gauchos' leading rebounder at 6.9 per game, is very doubtful for this weekend and his status for the Big West Tournament is also in doubt. Sophomore forward David Kennedy, who missed 14 of the first 15 games of the season with a stress fracture in his leg, injured a toe on his right foot in practice last week and did not play against Cal State Fullerton. He did, however, return to play eight minutes against UC Riverside and he is expected to play this weekend. Sophomore forward Glenn Turner fractured the middle finger on his right hand in a game at Pacific on February 16, but he has continued to play with the middle finger taped to the ring finger. He is expected to continue playing. Freshman forward Chris Moore missed two games after suffering a concussion against Utah State on February 5, but he has played in the last three games.
Possible Starters - Notes
G - Chrismen Oliver - Has eight assists and no turnovers in the last two games.
G - Alex Harris - Led the team in rebounds with five against UC Riverside.
G - Josh Davis - Leads all active players in scoring average 10.3 points per game.
F - Derek Rasp - Scored a career-high 15 points in each of the last two games.
F - Glenn Turner - Has not attempted a shot in the last three games.
Possible Reserves - Notes
G - Joe See - Attempted a season-low two shots against UC Riverside.
G - Michael Chambers - Has averaged 5.4 points in the last five games.
F - David Kennedy - Tied his career-high with three rebounds vs. UC Riverside.
F - Chris Moore - Had career-highs of 10 points and four rebounds vs. UC Riverside.
F - Derek Wheeler - Had a career-high five rebounds vs. CSUF.
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 four games. Doubtful this weekend.
F - Casey Cook - Injured tendon in right foot has sidelined him for remainder of season.
F - Chris Devine - Knee injury has not healed enough. Will miss remainder of year.
F - Todd Follmer - Freshman is redshirting the season.
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 105-94 (.526) overall record and a 72-45 (.615) 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 294-194 (.603) at four-year schools.
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. The Gauchos and Long Beach State have played 95 times in a series that dates back to 1952. The 49ers hold a 49-46 lead in the series, but UCSB won the first meeting between the schools this year, winning on December 28 in Santa Barbara, 54-47. The Gauchos have not had much luck playing at the Pyramid in recent years. Last season, the 49ers came back from a 20 point second half deficit to beat UCSB on a buzzer-beating three-pointer, 63-62. In 2002-03, Long Beach made a pair of free throws with two seconds left to escape with a 68-67 win. In 2001-02, a three-pointer with just seconds remaining gave the 49ers a 77-74 win. The last time UCSB won at the Pyramid was during the 2000-01 campaign, when it posted a 78-71 win.
The Gauchos On The Road
UCSB is 2-11 in road games this season. On the bright side, in their last road game, the Gauchos ended an 11-game losing streak in road games. On February 19, Santa Barbara recorded a 78-66 win at Cal Poly. UCSB's only other road with this season came on November 19 in the season opener at San Diego State. In the game against the Aztecs, the Gauchos won an 80-72 overtime affair. Following the game at SDSU, UCSB dropped games at Wisconsin, San Francisco, Pepperdine, the University of San Diego, Cal State Northridge, Utah State, Idaho, UC Riverside, Cal State Fullerton, UC Davis and Pacific. UCSB is 1-6, in Big West Conference road games. Last season, the Gauchos went 6-10 in road games overall, and just 3-6 in Big West Conference road games.
A Fresh Outlook
Freshman guard Derek Rasp has led the team in scoring in each of the last two games, going for a career-high 15 in a loss to Cal State Fullerton and in a win over UC Riverside. In the last two games, the trio of UCSB freshmen who are playing on a regular basis have accounted for a pretty good chunk of the scoring load. In Thursday's game against Cal State Fullerton, Rasp, along with guard Alex Harris and forward Chris Moore, combined for 25 of the teams 57 points, 43.9%. On Saturday, the threesome assumed even more of the scoring burden when it combined for 32 of the Gauchos' 58 points, 55.2% of the total. The 32 points scored against the Highlanders was the highest total that UCSB's freshmen have contributed this year. Previously, Harris and Rasp combined for 27 of the team's 76 points (31.6%) in a 76-56 win over visiting Cal Poly on January 13. Moore was not available for that game. Finally, Moore's 10 point outing against UCR marked the first time a Gaucho frontcourt player has scored in double-figures since February 3.
UCSB's 55.0% field goal percentage in the February 19 win at Cal Poly seems like a dream now. The 55.0% mark against the Mustangs was just the second time this season that the Gauchos made half or better of their shots this year, and it snapped a streak of 21 straight games under the 50.0% mark. In the two games since the win over Cal Poly, UCSB has seen a return of its shooting woes. In the loss to Cal State Fullerton, the Gauchos made just 36.4% of their shots, and then in the win over UC Riverside, they made 41.7%, including just 29.2% in the second half. Overall, Santa Barbara is shooting just 40.8% from the field this season, and the Gauchos have been under 50.0% 23 times in 25 games and under 40.0% 12 times. In fact, when the Gauchos shoot 45.0% or better, they have posted a solid 6-1 record with the only loss coming on the road at nationally-ranked Wisconsin.
Free? I Beg To Differ
Not only has UCSB 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 nine straight games and 12 times in the last 13 games. In fact, the team has been under the 60.0% mark in three of the last four games. In the last 13 games, Santa Barbara has made just 147-of-253 from the free throw line, 58.1%. UCSB is now shooting a season-low 63.8% 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.
A Nice Turnabout
UCSB had just seven turnovers in Saturday's game against UC Riverside. The total of seven tied for the second fewest turnovers that the Gauchos have had this season. It marked the ninth time this season that UCSB had committed 10 or fewer turnovers in a game, and all 10 of those games have come within the last 18 games. In fact, in the first seven games this year, the Gauchos averaged 15.4 turnovers per game, and in the last 18, they have averaged just 9.2 per game.
Consecutive Road Wins Rare
It doesn't take a genius to figure out that UCSB has not won consecutive road games this season. The last time the Gauchos put together back-to-back road victories was during the early stages of the 2003-04 Big West season when they won games at UC Irvine (84-77), and then a couple weeks later at Cal Poly (78-59).
Few Close Encounters For UCSB
UCSB has had few close encounters this season. Of the Gauchos 25 games, 14 have been decided by 10 points or more. The closest games that UCSB has played this season, with the exception of an 80-72 overtime win in the season-opener against San Diego State, were both against UC Riverside. In each of the games against the Highlanders, the margin was four points. UCSB topped UCR in Santa Barbara 58-54, and lost in Riverside, 54-50. 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, eight different players have led the team in rebounding with Glenn Turner leading the way eight times.
Junior guard Josh Davis was has been one of UCSB's brightest spots this season. He is leading the active players on the team in scoring at 10.3 points per game, but in the last 10 games, he has averaged 12.0 points per outing and he has scored in double-figures six times. He had 10 points in Saturday's win over UC Riverside, including the Gauchos' final two field goals in the closing seconds when the game was on the line. The 10 point game marked Davis' 12th double-figure scoring effort of the season. In Thursday's game against Cal State Fullerton, he had nine points, but he tied for team-high honors in rebounding with five. On February 19 at Cal Poly, Davis had 15 points and a game-high eight rebounds. In the game against the Mustangs, Davis attempted a career-high 17 free throws, by far the most by a Gaucho player this season. Interestingly, in the two games since then, he has attempted a total of just one free throw. Also in the game against UCR on Saturday, Davis made 5-of-10 shots from the field, 50.0%. In the four games prior to Saturday, he had made just 12-of-37 shots from the field, 32.4%. With Gaucho players dropping like flies this season, Davis has been the one automatic in the lineup every game. He is the only player on the team to start every game this season, and he leads the team in minutes played with 805. While his minutes total is just 41 more than Chrismen Oliver, it is 141 more than Alex Harris, who ranks third on the team. Davis has logged 24 or more minutes in all 25 Gaucho games this season, and he has played 30 or more 18 times, including 12 times in the last 15 games. While Davis has scored 10 or more points 12 times in 25 games, he has also become one of the team's top rebounders. He is averaging 4.9 boards per game and he has had five or more rebounds 15 times this season, including 10 of the last 12 games. In the last 12, Davis has averaged 6.1 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 38 steals in 25 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.
Senior guard Chrismen Oliver played in his final home game on Saturday, and although he only scored seven points on 3-of-11 shooting, he had four assists, three steals and no turnovers. Oliver is now averaging 10.0 points per game, third on the team overall and second among active players. Although he made just 3-of-11 shots against UC Riverside, Oliver has averaged 11.0 points in the last three games, going 13-of-31, 42.0%, over that span. While the numbers are modest, they are a major improvement over the previous three games when he scored a total of just 10 points, 3.3 per game, and made just 1-of-18 shots from the field. Oliver has scored in double-figures 14 times this season, more than any player on the team. The Gauchos have gone 8-6 when he scores 10 or more points. When Oliver scores fewer than 10 points in a game, UCSB has gone 2-9. In fact, the win over UC Riverside was the second win. 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 among active players in scoring, he leads the Gauchos in assists with 75 (3.0 per game) and steals with 46 (1.8 per game), tying him for ninth on UCSB's all-time single season list. He is second on the team with 35 three-point baskets and he has made two or more 12 times this season. Oliver has led or tied for the team-lead in scoring eight times this season, the most of any player 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 and now he has made at least one in the last three games. He has had four assists in each of the last two games and he has had four or more nine times this year. In fact, in the last two games, he has had eight total assists and no turnovers. Oliver is averaging 30.6 minutes per game, second on the team, and he has played 30 or more 14 times. In his first three seasons, Oliver totaled 71 games, 595 minutes and 168 points. This year, he has scored 251 points in 25 games and 764 minutes. He has also made 35 three-pointers this season after entering the year with a career total of 27, and his 46 steals are 15 more than his total for the previous three seasons combined.
Junior guard Joe See entered Saturday's game against UC Riverside having scored 10 or more points in a season-high four games. Over that span he averaged 13.0 points per game and he made 16-of-31, 51.6%. Also, over those four games, See averaged 23 minutes per game. On Saturday against Riverside, he tied his season-low with just 14 minutes played, he attempted a season-low two field goals, and for the first time this year, he did not even attempt a three-pointer. In the end, See finished with one point, making 1-of-2 shots from the free throw line. Despite Saturday's game, See has emerged from the slump that haunted him early in the year. While he is averaging 7.9 points per game overall, he has scored an average of 9.0 per game in the last 21 games, and 10.6 per game in the last five games. Also, since opening the year by making just 2-of-20 shots overall and going 0-for-16 from three-point range, See has gone 61-of-154 overall, 39.6%, and 38-of-100 from three-point range, 38.0%. While See has scored 10 or more points seven times this season, five of those outings have come in the last eight games. In the first 17 games this season, See averaged 7.1 points per game and scored in double-figures just two times. He has also taken over the team-lead in three-pointers with 38. When he went without a three-pointer in the last game, it snapped a streak of seven straight games in which he had at least one. See now has 82 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, the highest total by a Gaucho this season.
The Harris Poll
Freshman guard Alex Harris has struggled on the offensive end of the floor in the last two games. In Saturday's win over UC Riverside, he had seven points, making 2-of-6 shots overall and 1-of-3 from three-point range. Last Thursday, against Cal State Fullerton, he had four points on 1-of-7 shooting. Still, with his seven points against the Highlanders, Harris now has 203 points on the season and he needs just three more to move into UCSB's all-time freshman top-ten. As you will note, if you look to the box on the right, he is moving up on several freshman top-10 lists. In the last two games combined, Harris made just 3-of-13 shots overall, 23.1%, 1-of-6 from three-point range, 16.7%, and 4-of-9 from the free throw line, 44.4%. The last two games come on the heels of back-to-back 16 point games against Cal Poly and Pacific. The 16 points tied Harris' career-high, set previously on November 29 at Cal State Fullerton. Harris has scored in double-figures nine times this season, including four of the last six games and five times in the last eight games. In the last eight, he has averaged 11.5 points per game, making 28-of-62 shots overall, 45.1%, and 12-of-26 from three-point range, 46.2%. He is now averaging 8.1 points per game, third among active players. His all-around game is also starting to pickup. In Saturday's game, Harris tied his career-high with five assists, a total he also recorded in a January 13 win over Cal Poly. He also had a team-high five rebounds and he is now averaging a season-high 3.0 boards per game. In fact, in the last three games he has averaged 4.0 assists and 5.0 rebounds per game. He has made two or more three-point baskets six times this year, including three times in the last six games. He had a career-high of eight rebounds on February 10 at UC Davis. 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 back in UCSB's February 10 game at UC Davis and he has missed the last four games as a result. His status for this week remains very doubtful, and it is possible he has played his final minutes this season. Goettsche had struggled in his last two games of activity, at Davis and at home 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. 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 also has 24 blocked shots this season. Last year, he had just 14.
As The World Turners
Sophomore forward Glenn Turner has been hobbled all year by a bad ankle. In the February 16 game at Pacific, he fractured the middle finger on his right hand when he hit the backboard on an attempted blocked shot. He has had the middle finger taped to the ring finger for the last three games and he will continue to do so. In the three games since suffering the finger injury, Turner has played 40 minutes and he has not attempted a shot, scoring just two points on a pair of free throws against UC Riverside. He has had eight rebounds and one blocked shot over that span. He scored a career-high 12 points on January 13 against Cal Poly. Turner is now averaging 3.8 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. Also, despite having blocked just four shots in the last seven games, he leads the Gauchos and the Big West with 38 this season. He has had two or more blocked shots 11 times this year. In fact, over one stretch of six games, he had three or more five times, including six on January 8 at Idaho, tying UCSB'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 45 career blocked shots, ninth on UCSB's all-time list. With 38 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 4.5 per game, but he has led the team in rebounding nine times, more than anyone else.
Grasping His Opportunity
Freshman guard Derek Rasp has scored a career-high 15 points in each of the last two games, leading the team in each. On Saturday, in the win over UC Riverside, Rasp made 5-of-8 shots from beyond the three-point arc, the five three-pointers was one more than his previous career-high of four set on January 13 against Cal Poly. In his last two games, Rasp has averaged 15.0 points per game, making 8-of-17 three-point attempts, 47.1%. In a season full of bad breaks, Rasp has been a pleasant surprise. After redshirting last season, he was forced into a major role this season and he has taken advantage of that. Although he missed five games at one point with a lung contusion, he is averaging 5.4 points per game and his 23 three-point baskets rank fourth on the team. His 37.7% mark from three-point range leads all active players, and he has made three or more in a game four times. Rasp is also averaging 2.3 rebounds per game, but he is averaging 4.3 per game in the last seven.
The Moore The Better
Freshman forward Chris Moore has picked a good time to emerge. On Saturday, Moore scored a career-high 10 points, and tied his career-high with four rebounds. He also blocked a shot and had a steal. In scoring 10 points against UC Riverside, Moore became the first UCSB post player to score 10 or more in a game since February 3, a span of six games. In fact, in the last three games, he has averaged 7.3 points and 3.3 rebounds. In the last three, he made 9-of-12 shots from the field, 75.0%, and scored 22 points. In his first 10 appearances this year, Moore scored a total of nine points and was 4-of-10 from the field. Finally, in the last two games, he played a total of 43 minutes, averaging 21.5 per game. In his first ten outings, he never played more than 18.