Gauchos Open Highly-Anticipated 2009-10 Season Saturday Afternoon Against Sonoma State

Gauchos Open Highly-Anticipated 2009-10 Season Saturday Afternoon Against Sonoma State

Nov. 5, 2009

Complete Release in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

• The Schedule
Saturday, November 7, 2009 at 3:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara vs. Sonoma State (exhibition)
at UCSB's Thunderdome (6,000)
Radio: KIST 1490 AM in Santa Barbara
On-Line Audio:
Game available on Gametracker

• Season Tickets Still Available!
Men's and women's basketball season tickets are now available, giving fans an opportunity to catch the Gauchos all season long.

Season tickets are only $125 for men's basketball and $100 for women's basketball (35% lower than last year). Similar to the successful men's soccer family plan, a new Family Plan season ticket is now available for both men's and women's basketball. Family plans, which include five season tickets (two adults and three youth season tickets), are $300 for men's basketball, $225 for women's basketball or get the combo plan (both men's and women's) for just $400. That's just $2.66 per game! UCSB faculty/staff will also receive 50% off pricing on all season tickets.

And, purchase tickets before Nov. 1 to receive a complimentary Olé bobblehead doll! Click here to learn more about season ticket packages or to buy today!

• Refer Your Friends, Get Free Gear!
For every new season ticket buyer referred by a current season ticket holder, the referrer will receive a free t-shirt. If a current season ticket holder refers five new buyers, they would receive five t-shirts courtesy of the UCSB Gaucho Shop - you can outfit your whole family! Hurry though ... the free t-shirt offer will end on Tuesday, Nov. 17 when the Gaucho men's team plays Weber State in a 7:00 p.m. game at the Thunderdome.

• Saturday Hours Now Available
The Intercollegiate Athletics Ticket Office now has two parking spaces adjacent to the building and is now open on Saturdays, making it easier than ever for fans to purchase tickets. The ICA Ticket Office will be open from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm on Saturdays. The two parking spots, designated specifically for the ticket office, are already available during weekday hours, which are 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

• Hello 2009-10
The UC Santa Barbara men's basketball team opens the 2009 season on Saturday, Nov. 7 with an exhibition game against Sonoma State. The game, originally scheduled to tip-off at 7:00 p.m., will begin at 3:00 p.m.

• Next Up: The Real Deal
UCSB will open the regular season on Saturday, Nov. 14 at the Thunderdome against Cal State Los Angeles. The game is currently scheduled to tip-off at 7:00 p.m., but stay tuned. The Gauchos, who play five of their first six regular season games at home, will host Weber State on Tuesday, Nov. 17 at 7:00 p.m. in the Thunderdome.

• The Gaucho Record
The Gauchos finished the 2008-09 season with a 16-15 overall record and an 8-8 record in Big West Conference play. At one point last season, UCSB had records of 8-13 overall and 2-7 in the Big West before ending with eight wins in 10 games.

• Williams Makes It An Even Dozen
Head coach Bob Williams enters his 12th season in charge of the Gauchos. Williams enters the campaign with a Gaucho record of 179-146 (.551). Overall, he is entering his 22nd season as a head coach at four-year schools. In 21 seasons, Williams has posted a record of 368-246 (.563). Currently, the two-time Big West Coach of the Year (1999 and 2003) ranks third in school history with his 179 wins.

• No Longer With Us...
Don't get alarmed, but Chris Devine, D.J. Posley, and Jesse Byrd, regulars in 2008-09 are no longer with us. Devine and Posley completed their eligibility last year and, over the summer, Byrd was forced to end his playing career because of persistent problems with his left knee, originally injured in a game at San Diego State last December. Devine, a four-year starter, was a First Team All-Big West player and the school's third all-time leading scorer and Posley was one of the Gauchos' best defenders and led them in assists.

• Don't Get Discouraged, There Are New Faces
While UCSB will be without some important players from last year, there will be several key newcomers. On the top of the list of newcomers is sophomore swingman Orlando Johnson. The 6-foot-4 Johnson sat out the 2008-09 season after transferring from Loyola Marymount where he averaged 12.4 points and 5.0 rebounds per game as a freshman. Also joining the fold is 6-foot-10 junior Jon Pastorek, a transfer from San Diego State where he played for two seasons. The Gauchos are also adding two freshmen who could each contribute immediately. Chris Brew (Oakland, Calif./St. Mary's HS), a 6-foot-3 wing and brother of teammate Will Brew, Jr., and Lucas Devenny (Santa Rosa, Calif., Piner HS), a 6-foot-9, 240 pound forward, will be in the mix.

• Probable Starters - Quick Fact
G 4 Paul Roemer - Could start until Joyner returns from ankle injury.
G 33 Orlando Johnson - Sophomore named Preseason All-Big West.
G 42 James Powell - Senior looks to bounce-back after tough junior year.
F 0 Jaimé Serna - His role should increase significantly in 2009-10.
F 15 Sam Phippen - Might be the most improved player on the team.

• Probable Reserves - Quick Fact
G 1 Chris Brew - Athletic wing has been limited due to the flu.
G 3 Jordan Weiner - Second on team in three-pointers in 2008-09.
G 11 Justin Joyner - Return of point guard delayed due to sprained ankle.
G 20 Will Brew, Jr. - Expected to play both the one and two spots.
G 21 James Nunnally - Coiuld start year as team's spark off the bench.
F 25 Lucas Devenny - Freshman is one of best rebounders on the team.
F 32 Jon Pastorek - Transfer will battle for starting job at the four.
C 55 Greg Somogyi - Added strength should make major difference.

• The Bob Williams File
2009-10 is Bob Williams's12th season as head coach at UC Santa Barbara. In 2008-09, Wiliams guided 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 guided 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. Williams has been selected Big West Coach of the Year twice, in 1998-99 and 2002-03. 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 179-146. He guided the program to nine winning seasons in his first 11 years - including four in a row - and a pair of 20 win seasons. He has a career record of 108-72 in Big West games. 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 368-246 (.599) at four-year schools.

• UCSB Picked To Finish Second In Big West
A panel of media members has picked UCSB to finish second in the Big West Conference in 2009-10. Long Beach State has been tabbed as the league favorite. The Gauchos received six first-place votes and totaled 179 points in the poll while Long Beach received 17 first-place votes and 209 points. Defending league champion Cal State Northridge finished third in the poll with 130 points. UC Riverside and Pacific finished fourth and fifth. Pacific received the only other first-place vote.

• Johnson Named To Preseason All-Big West Team
The same media panel that picked the Gauchos to finish second also selected sophomore swingman Orlando Johnson to the Preseason All-Big West Team. A transfer from Loyola Marymount where he set freshmen records for points (383), scoring average (12.4 ppg) and total rebounds (152), Johnson sat out the 2008-09 season as a redshirt. He is expected to play at the three and the four spot for UCSB in 2009-10 and is one of six players named to the preseason all-conference squad.

• Joyner Rejoins The Gauchos...Eventually
Justin Joyner never actually left the Gauchos, but he was forced to miss the entire 2008-09 season as he recovered from surgery on his right wrist. UCSB felt the effects of Joyner's absence as it struggled holding leads, particularly through the first two-thirds of the season. In his first two years in Santa Barbara, Joyner played in 60 of a possible 61 games, starting 58 times. He averaged 3.3 assists in those 60 games and just 1.8 turnovers. As a sophomore in 2007-08, he started all 32 games and quarterbacked a Gaucho team that set a school record with 23 wins. That year, Joyner had a Big West-leading 2.1-to-1.0 assist to turnover ratio with 116 assists and only 56 turnovers. Joyner's ultimate return to the UCSB lineup is delayed a bit as he nurses a sprained ankle back to health. He will not play in the exhibition game against Sonoma State, and possibly not the Nov. 14 regular season opener against Cal State Los Angeles, but he could make his season debut on Nov. 17 against Weber State or Nov. 23 against San Francisco. Whenever Joyner comes back, he will be a welcome re-addition.

• On The Rebound
Normally, this would be a section about statistical rebounds. Not this time. This is a section about senior guard James Powell. As a junior, Powell struggled from start to finish. He averaged 9.0 points per game, but shot just 32.8% overall and 29.1% from three-point range. The tough season was in contrast to an outstanding sophomore season in which he averaged 12.3 points per game and shot 46.7% from three-point range. Following the 2007-08 season the Pomona, Calif., native was named Honorable Mention All-Big West. Powell enters the season needing 90 points to become the 22nd UCSB player to score 1,000 in his career, and he is also climbing up the three-pointer list. Either way, since practice started in October, he has proven to be one of the brightest spots on the team and if he can sustain that, he will be a major factor for the Gauchos.

• Sophomore Surge
In 2008-09, UCSB had four players who played in all 31 games. Guards James Nunnally and Will Brew, Jr., as well as frontcourt players Jaimé Serna and Greg Somogyi, were the only players to see action in every game. Each of the foursome made several starts as well with Brew receiving 23 starting assignments and Serna 16. Nunnally started As sophomores in 2009-10, the foursome will again be called on to make major contributions, whether as starters or coming off the bench. Nunnally, Brew, Serna, and Somgyi will combine with fellow-sophomore Orlando Johnson to comprise, arguably the best sophomore class in UCSB basketball in many years.