Men's Basketball Opens Season With Pair Of Exhibition Games

This Week
Sunday, November 7, 1999 at 3:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Mount Gambier (Australia) Pioneers
at The Thunderdome

Thursday, November 11, 1999 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Lithuanian National Team
at The Thunderdome

Bell Expected Back In Mid-December
Senior guard Larry Bell who had surgery to repair a broken bone in his right foot on October 7, was reevaluated on Monday, November 1 and is still expected to return in mid-December. In his Monday reevaluation he was taken off of crutches and placed in a walking boot. Last year, after a slow start, Bell secured a spot in the Gaucho starting lineup and finished the season as the team's leader in assists. He was also one of the top defensive players on the team and it was the development of the Bell-Derrick Allen duo that may have been the single most important factor in the team's turnaround last season.

Gauchos Shorthanded For Exhibitions
The 1999-2000 UC Santa Barbara basketball team debuts this week with a pair of exhibition games. On Sunday, the Gauchos host the Mount Gambier Pioneers, a club team from Australia and on Thursday, November 11, they take on the Lithuanian National Team. UCSB will play both games shorthanded. Starting point guard Larry Bell is sidelined with a broken bone in his right foot. He had surgery on October 7 and is tentatively expected to return sometime in mid-December. Ross Carmichael, a junior transfer from Texas Tech, will not become eligible until the end of Fall Quarter. The 6-foot-9, 245-pound Carmichael is expected to play a key role as part of the Gaucho frontcourt.

UCSB Selected Third By Coaches, Second By Media
UCSB was picked third in the Big West's Western Division by the league's coaches and second by the Big West media at the annual Big West Media Day in Los Angeles this week. The Big West coaches selected Long Beach State as the team to beat in the Western Division, followed by Cal Poly, UC Santa Barbara, Pacific, Cal State Fullerton and UC Irvine. In the Eastern Division, they tabbed New Mexico State first followed by Boise State, Idaho and North Texas were tied for third, Utah State was fifth and Nevada was sixth. The media also went with Long Beach State in the West, followed by UCSB, Pacific, Cal Poly, Cal State Fullerton and UC Irvine. In the East, it was New Mexico State first, followed by Boise State, Idaho, Utah State, North Texas and Nevada. In addition to their second place selection by the media, the Gauchos received four first place votes.

Gauchos Host 13th-Ranked Stanford On November 20
UCSB will open the 1999-2000 regular season on Saturday, November 20 with a 7:00 p.m. game against Stanford. The Cardinal will enter the season ranked 13th in the nation in the ESPN/USA Today preseason poll. They will be the highest ranked team to play the Gauchos at the Thunderdome since second-ranked Ohio State defeated UCSB in December of 1991.

Bob Williams Enters Second Season At UCSB
Head coach Bob Williams enters his second season at UC Santa Barbara. The 1999 Big West and NABC District 15 Coach of the Year, Williams guided Santa Barbara to the Big West Western Division Championship last season. After an 0-8 start, he led to the Gauchos to a 15-5 record the rest of the way, including a 12-4 mark in Big West play. The 15-13 overall record was UCSB's first winning season since 1992-93 and the 15 wins were the most ever recorded by a first-year head coach. In addition to hias 15-13 one season record with the Gauchos, Williams enters the 1999-2000 season with a career mark of 204-113 (.644). He coached for eight seasons at UC Davis (158-76) and for two seasons at Menlo College (31-24) prior to arriving in Santa Barbara.

Possible Starters - Notes
G - Derrick Allen - Will be the team's primary point guard until Bell returns.
G - Erick Ashe - Top returning scorer (10.6 ppg) and three-point shooter (39 threes).
G - Mark Hull - Redshirt freshman averaged 27.9 ppg at Hoover HS in Glendale as senior.
F - Juliano Jordani - Transfer from College of Southern Idaho gets the nod.
F - Adama Ndiaye - Junior has added 20 pounds since last season.

Possible Reserves - Notes
G - Brandon Payton - Has arguably been the most improved player in preseason practice.
G - LaRon Bryant - Hit 115 three-pointers as a sophomore at American River College.
G - Larry Bell - Out until mid-December with injured right foot.
G - Nick Jones - Freshman out of Oxnard's Santa Clara HS will probably redshirt.
G - B.J. Ward - Freshman out of Oxnard's Santa Clara HS will probably redshirt.
F - Mike Vukovich - Sophomore redshirted last season after playing as a freshman.
F - Eric Hare - Redshirt freshman should see limited action early on.
F - Ross Carmichael - Junior transfer from Texas Tech becomes eligible after Fall Quarter.
F - J.J. Todd - Freshman forward from Chaminade HS will probably redshirt.