November 3, 2010

UCSB Picked to Repeat as Big West Champs, Hosts Master's College Friday

Nov. 3, 2010

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• The Schedule
Exhibition Game
Friday, November 5, 2010 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. Master's College
at UCSB's Thunderdome
Radio: AM 1290 KZSB in Santa Barbara
On-Line Audio: NewsPress.com
Game available on Gametracker

• On The Radio
All UC Santa Barbara basketball games are broadcast live in Santa Barbara on AM 1290 KZSB and will stream live online at NewsPress.com. Gerry Fall is in his seventh year as the play-by-play voice of the Gauchos. Former Los Angeles Lakers and UCSB star Don Ford and Santa Barbara News-Press legend Mark Patton handle the color commentary.

• Talk'n Gauchos
UCSB Athletics' weekly radio show, Talk'n Gauchos, airs every Tuesday from 6-7 p.m. on AM 1290 KZSB. The show is broadcast live from The Beachside Café, located on Goleta Beach and it features UCSB coaches and athletes. Hosted by Gerry Fall, the voice of the Gauchos, the show also airs live online via audio streaming at NewsPress.com.

• Follow The Gauchos On Twitter
Don't forget, fans can follow UCSB Athletics on twitter by going to twitter.com/UCSBgauchos and the men's basketball program at twitter.com/UCSBbasketball

• Edges Of Seats Still Available
Season tickets are on sale and start as low as $3/game. For more information or to purchase tickets, please call (805) 893-UCSB, visit the Ticket Office located inside the Intercollegiate Athletics building on campus or buy online and print at home by clicking here.

• Before The Oregon Trail, An Exhibition Game
UC Santa Barbara will open the 2010-11 season with an exhibition game against The Master's College on Friday night at the Thunderdome. The game against the Mustangs will be the Gauchos' only exhibition. UCSB will play its first regular season game on Friday, Nov. 12 when it takes-on the University of Denver at the BTI Invitational in Eugene, Ore. The Gauchos will play three games in the tournament, also playing North Dakota State on Nov. 13 and the host Ducks on Nov. 14. UCSB will play its first home game on Nov. 20 when it battles Fresno State at the Thunderdome.

• The Gaucho Record
The Gauchos will enter and exit Friday's game against The Master's College with a 0-0 overall record and a 0-0 record in the Big West. UCSB completed the 2009-10 season with a 20-10 overall record and a 12-4 record in the Big West. The Gauchos tied Pacific for the league's regular season championship, received the No. 1 seed in the Big West Tournament, and then posted wins over UC Davis and Long Beach State to win their second league tournament title. Santa Barbara advanced to the NCAA Tournament where it lost to Ohio State in the first round.

• Media Panel Picks UCSB To Repeat
The Gauchos have been picked to repeat as Big West Conference champions in a poll of the league's regular media. UCSB received 20 first-place votes from the 23-member voting panel for a total of 204 points. Long Beach State, Santa Barbara's opponent in the tournament championship game in 2010, received two first-place votes and totaled 180 points and Pacific, the co-champion during the regular season, received one first-place vote and 161 points. UC Davis was selected fourth.

• Johnson, Nunnally Selected To Preseason All-Big West Team
The same panel that picked UCSB to win the 2010-11 Big West title also selected juniors Orlando Johnson and James Nunnally to its Preseason All-Big West Team. Johnson, a preseason Mid-Major All-American, was the Big West Player of the Year as a sophomore in 2009-10. He led the league in scoring at 18.0 points per game and he also contributed 5.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists. In addition, he was the Big West Tournament MVP, First Team NABC All-District 9, Associated Press Honorable Mention All-American, First Team All-Big West and a Lou Henson Mid-Major All-American. Nunnally was second on the team in scoring at 14.7 points per game and he led the way at 5.6 rebounds per game. He also had the highest three-point field percentage at 45.5%. Following the season, Nunnally was named Second Team All-Big West and he was chosen to the Big West All-Tournament Team.

• Gauchos Ranked 12th In Mid-Major Poll
UCSB has opened the season ranked 12th in the collegeinsider.com Mid-Major Top-25. Butler, which played Duke for the 2010 National Championship, is ranked number one in the poll of coaches from 31 mid-major programs around the country. Butler received 16 first-place votes while Gonzaga, ranked second, received 15. St. Mary's (11th) and Loyola Marymount (21st) are the only other west coast schools ranked among the top-25. Long Beach State (26th) and Pacific (29th) were also in the vicinity.

• Probable Starters - Quick Fact
G - 3 - Jordan Weiner - Gauchos went 9-2 with him in starting lineup in 2009-10.
G - 20 - Will Brew - Has started and led team in assists each of the last two seasons.
G - 33 - Orlando Johnson - Returning Big West Player of the Year.
F - 0 - Jaimé Serna - Averaged 11.0 points and shot 64.3% in 8 games prior to NCAA.
F - 21 - James Nunnally - Preseason All-Big West choice.

• Probable Reserves - Quick Fact
G - 10 - Kyle Boswell - Freshman guard is sharp-shooter from long distance.
G - 11 - Justin Joyner - Had the team's best assist-to-turnover ratio in 2009-10.
G - 24 - Christian Peterson - Hard-working and physical player could see some action.
F - 25 - Lucas Devenny - Looks as if he could be one of the team's most improved players.
F - 32 - Jon Pastorek - Runs the floor as well as any big on the team.
G - 43 - Troy Leaf - Talented freshman will battle for playing time.
C - 55 - Greg Somogyi - Team's top shot-blocker the last two years.

• The Media Is Not Alone
The Big West media panel is not alone in selecting UCSB to repeat as league champions. The Gauchos have also been selected to win the title by several preseason publications and college basketball websites. The Sporting News, Blue Ribbon Yearbook, Athlon Sports, Lindy's Magazine, Rivals.com and RushTheCourt.com have all picked Santa Barbara to win the Big West in 2010-11. Also, all six of the publications/websites selected Orlando Johnson and James Nunnally to their preseason all-league teams.

• Williams Approaches Four Milestones
Head coach Bob Williams, who is entering his 13th season at UCSB, is approaching four significant coaching milestones, three of which seem very reachable in 2010-11. When, or rather if, the Gauchos win their first game this season, it will be Williams' 200th win at UCSB. He would be the third coach in program history to eclipse the 200 win barrier. Williams also needs seven wins to move past Willie Wilton (205) and into second on the school's all-time list and 12 wins to hit the 400 victory plateau for his overall career. Finally, he needs 24 victories to move past Jerry Pimm (222) and become UCSB's all-time leader in coaching wins.

• 2009-10 Win Total Among The Best
UCSB's 20 wins in 2009-10 equaled the second most that a Bob Williams-led Gaucho team has recorded. They also won 20 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament during the 2001-02 season. In 2007-08, UCSB won a school record 23 games, advancing to the National Invitation Tournament. Last season also marked the 10th time that a Gaucho team, regardless of head coach, had posted 20 wins. The 12 Big West wins that they had last season were the third most in school history. The Gauchos were 14-4 in 2002-03 and 13-5 in 1987-88, 1989-90, and 1991-92. They were also 12-4 in 2007-08 and 1998-99.

• Gauchos Hope To Extend Five-Year Streak Of Winning Records
With an 20-10 record in 2009-10, UCSB recorded its fifth consecutive winning season. The streak of consecutive winning seasons is the longest during the tenure of head coach Bob Williams and it is the longest since Ralph Barkey guided the program to six straight winning seasons from 1970-76.

• Some Familiar Faces
UCSB will open the 2010-11 season with some very familiar faces in the starting lineup and coming off the bench. All five players who started the last 11 games of the 2009-10 season are returning, as are four of the team's top reserves. Orlando Johnson, James Nunnally, Jaimé Serna, Will Brew and Jordan Weiner started the final eight regular seasons games and all three postseason games last season. Over that 11-game span, the Gauchos went 9-2 and in the process clinched the Big West regular season title and their second tournament championship.

• Any Relation?
Freshmen guards Kyle Boswell and Troy Leaf aren't twins, but at 6-foot-2, 180 pounds, the roommates do force the occasional double-take. Both Boswell and Leaf are expected to compete for the playing time left behind by UCSB's all-time three-point shooting specialist and late-game free throw hero James Powell, as well as Paul Roemer. Boswell, who prepped at Edison High School in Huntington Beach, had his junior and senior years shortened by injuries, but when he did play he was outstanding. Before injuring a wrist and missing the rest of the season last year, Boswell played in 15 games and averaged 23.9 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.7 assists. He made 47 three-pointers and shot 40% from beyond the arc. Leaf was a First Team All-State All-Divisions player from Foothills Christian High School in El Cajon. He is San Diego County's all-time leading scorer finishing with 3,318 points in his career. While he too is an outstanding three-point shooter, Leaf is more of a combination guard and could play some minutes at either the point guard or the off guard positions.

• UCSB Perfect At Home In Big West Play
In 2009-10, for the first time in program history, UCSB was perfect at home against Big West opponents. The Gauchos went 8-0 against league opponents at the Thunderdome. Several of the games were close, but they were able to hold-on in all instances. How close were some of the games? UCSB's wins over Pacific, Cal State Fullerton, Long Beach State, Cal State Northridge, and UC Irvine came by a combined 16 points. The largest margin of those games was five points over Fullerton and the Gauchos needed a three-pointer as time ran out to send that one to overtime.

• Waiting In The Wings
There will be two key players dressed in street clothes on the UCSB bench this season. Forward Keegan Hornbuckle and point guard Nate Garth will sit out the 2010-11 season as redshirts after transferring from Colorado and New Mexico, respectively. The 6-foot-7 Hornbuckle will have three years of eligibility remaining beginning with the 2011-12 season while the 6-foot-2 Garth will have two.

• The Bob Williams File
2010-11 is Bob Williams's 13th season as head coach at UC Santa Barbara. In 2009-10, he guided the Gauchos to a 20-10 overall record, their second Big West Tournament title, and fourth NCAA Tournament berth ever. It was the program's second NCAA Tournament bid and its fifth regular season title in his 12 seasons. Following the season, Williams was named Big West Coach of the Year for the third time.

Last year also marked the third Williams coached Gaucho team to win 20 or more games and the 10th overall in program history. It was the second time in the three seasons that the UCSB won 20 or more.

In 2008-09, Williams coached the Gauchos to a 16-15 overall record and an 8-8 mark in the Big West Conference. The record, however, doesn't tell the entire story. UCSB was forced to overcome a myriad of injuries and at one point stood at 8-13 overall and 2-7 in league play.

In 2007-08, Williams led the Gauchos to a 23-9 overall record. The 23 wins were a school record, and UCSB also won its second Big West regular season title with a 12-4 conference record. Following the campaign, the Gauchos were awarded a bid to the National Invitation Tournament. It was the third time that a Williams-coached UCSB team advanced to postseason play.

The 2002 Gauchos won the school's first Big West Tournament title, advancing to the NCAA Tournament, and in 2003, they won the league's regular season championship and played in the NIT.

In 1998-99, he took over a UCSB program that had not recorded a winning season in five years, and after seeing his team lose its first eight games that year - extending a two-season losing streak to 16 straight games - the Gauchos turned things around, winning 15 of their final 20 games and finishing on top in the Big West's Western Division.

Williams has a UCSB record of 199-156. He guided the program to 10 winning seasons in his first 12 years - including the last five in a row - and three 20 win seasons. He has a career record of 120-76 in Big West games and his .612 winning percentage in league games is tops among the league's active coaches.

Prior to his arrival at UCSB, Williams 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's 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 an overall career record of 388-256 (.602) at four-year schools.

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