Coaches and Media Select UCSB to Win 2003-04 Big West Title

Nov. 5, 2003

IRVINE, Calif. - The Big West Coaches and the Big West Media made UC Santa Barbara a strong choice to win the league's 2003-04 men's basketball title, it was annouced today.

The Gauchos, who won last year's regular season championship before dropping a Big West Tournament semifinal game to Cal Poly, was picked first by six of the ten coaches in the conference. Utah State collected three first-place votes and UC Irvine had one in the poll taken during the annual Big West Media Day in Irvine, Calif.

UCSB collected 78 points in the poll, followed by Utah State (74), UC Irvine (67) and Cal Poly (50).

The Gauchos were also a strong choice by the media that covers the conference's ten schools. Santa Barbara had 22 of a possible 29 first-place votes and a total of 271 points. Again, Utah State was second with four first-place votes and a 246-point total and UC Irvine was third with three first-place voites and 224 points.

"It is flattering to be picked first again," commented UCSB's sixth-year head coach Bob Williams. "But being picked first in November and finishing first in March are two different things. I think it is a positive reflection on where our players and coaching staff have taken the program, but we still have to get the job done on the court."

Senior guard Branduinn Fullove, the 2003 Big West Player of the Year, was the lone Gaucho selected to the conference's 2004 Media All-Conference Team. He was joined by Cal Poly's Varnie Dennis, Cal State Northridge's Ian Boylan, UC Irvine's Adam Parada and a pair of UC Riverside players, Vili Morton and Nate Carter.

2003-04 Big West Conference Preseason Coaches Poll
Pl.  Team (First-place votes)     Points
1.   UC Santa Barbara (9)         78
2.   Utah State (3)               74
3.   UC Irvine (1)                67
4.   Cal Poly                     50
5.   Idaho                        40
6.   Pacific                      38
7.   UC Riverside                 37
8.   Cal State Northridge         28
9.   Cal State Fullerton          24
10.  Long Beach State             14

2003-04 Big West Conference Preseason Media Poll Pl. Team (First-place votes) Points 1. UC Santa Barbara (22) 271 2. Utah State (4) 246 3. UC Irvine (3) 224 4. Cal Poly 192 5. UC Riverside 132 6. Idaho 118 7. Cal State Northridge 108 8. Pacific 102 9. Cal State Fullerton 84 10. Long Beach State 63