UCSB Heads North to Open 2007-08 Season at Stanford's Basketball Travelers Classic

UCSB Heads North to Open 2007-08 Season at Stanford's Basketball Travelers Classic

Nov. 6, 2007

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The Schedule
Basketball Travelers Classic at Stanford
Game No. 1
Friday, November 9, 2007 at 4:30 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Northwestern State Demons
at Stanford's Maples Pavilion

Game No. 2
Saturday, November 10, 2007 at 4:30 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Harvard University Crimson
at Stanford's Maples Pavilion

Game No. 3
Sunday, November 11, 2007 at 3:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Stanford University Cardinal
at Stanford's Maples Pavilion
TV: Fox Sports Bay Area

On The Radio
All UC Santa Barbara basketball games are broadcast live in Santa Barbara on KTMS, 990 and 1490 AM. KEYT-TV Sports Director Gerry Fall is in his fourth year as the play-by-play voice of the Gauchos. Former Los Angeles Lakers and UCSB star Don Ford handles the color commentary for the majority of games, home and road. When Ford is not available for road games, Bill Mahoney, yours truly, will handle the task. Steve Wendt, the voice of the UCSB women's basketball team, will handle the play-by-play for a handful of men's games this season.

The Bob Williams Show
The Bob Williams in Paradise show will be aired each Tuesday night from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on KTMS 990 and 1490 AM in Santa Barbara. Coach Williams will talk about past and upcoming games, interview Gaucho players and welcome guests from the Santa Barbara sports community. Bob in Paradise is broadcast live each week from The Paradise Cafe on the corner of Anacapa and Ortega in downtown Santa Barbara.

The Gaucho Record
In 2006-07, UC Santa Barbara posted an overall record of 18-11 and a Big West record of 9-5. At 9-5 in league, the Gauchos tied with Cal Poly and Cal State Fullerton for second-place in the standings. Santa Barbara won its only preseason game of the 2007-08 season on Nov. 1, topping Cal State Dominguez Hills, 61-57.

Gauchos Tip-Off At Basketball Travelers Classic
The 2007-08 UCSB basketball season will tip-off with three games at the Basketball Travelers Classic in Palo Alto, Calif. The Gauchos will open the season on Friday, Nov. 9, when they take on Northwestern State in a game that will start at 4:30 p.m. On Saturday, UCSB plays Harvard, also at 4:30 p.m., and on Sunday the Gauchos take on the host Cardinal at 3:00 p.m. The trip to the Bay Area will also be a homecoming for several Gauchos. Alex Harris (Alameda), Ivan Elliott (San Francisco), Justin Joyner (Antioch) and Paul Roemer (Martinez) are all natives of the area. In addition, redshirts Jesse Byrd (Oakland) and Spencer Ford (Milpitas) are from the area.

Coaches, Media Select UCSB To Win Big West Title
UCSB was picked to win the Big West regular season title by the coaches and the media day at the league's annual Media Day on Oct. 24. It marked the first time that Santa Barbara has been chosen to win the title since 2003-04. In the coaches poll, the Gauchos collected four of nine first-place votes to finish with 58 total points, six points more than the second-place pick, Cal Poly. The Mustangs had one first-place vote. Pacific and Cal State Fullerton each totaled 48 points in the poll, but the Tigers were chosen to win the title by three coaches while the Titans had one first-place vote. UC Irvine finished fifth with 42 points. In the media poll, UCSB garnered 13 first-place votes and 152 total points. Cal Poly was once again picked second with two first-place votes and 138 points. Cal State Fullerton was picked third by the media with one first-place vote and 114 points. UC Irvine was fourth and Pacific was chosen fifth. While defending Big West champion Long Beach State was slotted seventh by the media, the 49ers did collect a pair of first-place votes.

UCSB Opens Season Ranked 20th In Mid-Major Poll
Not only has UCSB been tabbed as the preseason favorite to win the Big West regular season crown, but the Gauchos will also start the season ranked 20th in the Collegeinsider.com Mid-Major Top-25. UCSB, which was ranked in the top-25 for portions of the 2006-07 season, accumulated 139 points in the poll. West Coast Conference power Gonzaga is ranked first in the poll with 741 points and 15 first-place votes. Southern Illinois, Butler, Davidson and Virginia Commonwealth round out the top-five. The only other Big West Conference school to receive points was Cal State Fullerton with 89, a figure that ranks the Titans 30th.

Probable Starters - Notes
G - Justin Joyner - Named to Big West All-Freshman Team in 2006-07.
G - Alex Harris - Named First Team All-Big West after leading league at 21.1 ppg.
G - James Powell - Big West All-Freshman Team choice made 38 three-pointers.
F - Chris Devine - Two-time Second Team All-Big West choice averaged 14.1 ppg.
F - Ivan Elliott - Made a team-best 56.0% from the field as a junior.

Probable Reserves - Notes
G - Nick Quick - Junior guard redshirted the 2006-07 season.
G - Jordan Weiner - Freshman was a redshirt in 2006-07.
G - Paul Roemer - Played a total of 132 minutes in 16 games as a freshman.
G - D.J. Posley - Honorable Mention Junior College All-American in 2006-07.
G - George Murphy - Freshman guard is a candidate to redshirt the 2007-08 season.
F - Nedim Pajevic - Transfer from Weber State redshirted the 2006-07 season.
F - Sam Phippen - Redshirt freshman could receive playing time at the four or five.
F - Beau Gibb - Played 72 minutes in 12 games as a sophomore.

Trip To North Carolina Highlights 2007-08 Gaucho Schedule
A Dec. 22 trip to play top-ranked North Carolina is one of several highlights on UCSB's 2007-08 schedule. For the second time in three seasons, the Gauchos will play the Tar Heels in Chapel Hill, N.C. Other highlights include a Nov. 27 Thunderdome visit by UNLV, a former Big West Conference rival and 2007 NCAA Sweet 16 team.

Gaucho Duo Earns Preseason All-Big West Recognition
Senior guard Alex Harris and junior forward Chris Devine were chosen to the Big West Conference's preseason all-league team. Harris, who led the circuit in scoring in 2006-07 at 21.1 points per game, was a First Team All-Big West Conference choice as a junior. Devine, who averaged 14.1 points and a team-leading 6.6 assists per game, is a two-time Second Team All-Big West selection. The rest of the six-man preseason all-conference team included Anthony Brown (Pacific), Scott Cutley (Cal State Fullerton), Patrick Sanders (UC Irvine) and Dawin Whiten (Cal Poly).

The Bob Williams File
Bob Williams is in his 10th season as the head coach at UC Santa Barbara. Last year his team recorded an overall record of 18-11 and a Big West mark of 9-5. The 18 wins were the most regular season wins by a Gaucho team since 1991-92 and it equaled the second most wins a Williams-coached UCSB team has ever had. Williams has led Santa Barbara to winning records in five of the last six seasons, the only exception being a 2004-05 team that was ravaged by injuries. He has guided UCSB to a pair of postseason appearances. In 2002-03, the 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 trip to the postseason National Invitation Tournament. Additionally, 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 title ever and first NCAA Tournament appearance in 12 years. Including this season, Williams' UCSB teams have posted a 140-122 (.523) overall record and an 86-59 (.589) 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 329-222 (.597) at four-year schools.

For Openers
Santa Barbara has recorded a 5-4 mark in season-openers under Bob Williams. The 5-4 log includes last season's 75-67 home victory over San Jose State. UCSB has won four consecutive season opening games. Over the years, the Gauchos have gone 44-23 in season-openers under seven different coaches dating back to the 1937-38 season. Friday's game against Northwestern State will mark the first time that UCSB has opened a campaign against the Demons.

The Opposition
Friday's meeting between UCSB and Northwestern State will be the first ever between the schools. The Gauchos have played Harvard once, posting an 85-61 win on Dec. 27, 1968. Sunday's game against Stanford will be the 10th in the series with the Cardinal holding a 6-3 edge. The programs last met on Nov. 20, 1999, with Stanford winning in Santa Barbara, 62-49.

Two For The Show
Senior guard Alex Harris and junior forward Chris Devine, each an all-conference choice in 2006-07, return as the highest scoring one-two punch in UCSB basketball history. Harris had 611 points last season, the third highest total ever, and Devine added 408 for a two man total of 1,019, five more than the second highest scoring tandem of Lucius Davis and Idris Jones (1,014) and a combined average of 35.1 points per game.

Familiar Faces Dominate Roster
Unlike the 2006-07 season when UCSB entered the year with only a few key returnees, the 2007-08 Gauchos return several key players. Santa Barbara returns seven players from a team that went 18-11 overall and 9-5 in the Big West. Five of the seven returning players started at least 17 of 29 games last season and the group includes five of the top six scorers and three of the top four rebounders from 2006-07.

Familiar Faces...Sort Of
While UCSB returns seven players who played last season, it also returns four players who were on the bench and involved in practice, but sat out 2006-07 as redshirts. At the top of the list of semi-familiar faces is senior forward Nedim Pajevic, a 6-foot-9 transfer from Weber State, who is expected to have an immediate impact. He should be the first forward off the bench for the Gauchos. Freshman Sam Phippen, who sat out the 2006-07 season after a stellar high school career at Durango High School in Durango, Colo., is another 6-foot-9 forward. He is a very good outside shooter and could also develop into a contributor. Guards Jordan Weiner and Nick Quick, both 6-footers, will add depth to the backcourt.

The Harris Poll
Senior guard Alex Harris is coming off of one of the finest junior seasons in UCSB history. He averaged a Big West-leading 21.1 points per game in 2006-07 (How many times can I work that into one release?, and he also averaged career-highs of 4.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. Following the season, he was selected First Team All-Big West and Second Team All-District by the National Association of Basketball Coaches. This year, he has already been chosen to the Preseason All-Big West Team and preseason Mid-Major All-American by collegeinsider.com and collegehoops.net. In the Gauchos' only exhibition game, Harris played 28 minutes and scored a team-high 16 points. He did not shoot the ball particularly well, making 4-of-12 shots, but he did lead UCSB with four steals.

More Honors For Harris
Senior guard Alex Harris paced the Big West in scoring in 2006-07 at 21.1 points per game, a figure that ranked 11th nationally. Following the year, he was selected First Team All-Big West and Second Team All-District 15 by the National Association of Basketball Coaches. Although he and the Gauchos are yet to play a game, Harris has continued to collect honors in 2007-08. In addition to being selected to the Preseason All-Big West Team, he was chosen Second Team Mid-Major All-American by Collegehoops.net and to the 25 member Mid-Major All-America Team by collegeinsider.com.

The Devine File
Junior forward Chris Devine is returning for his second junior year. During the summer of 2007, Devine was granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA, giving him two more years to play rather than one. A native of Eagle River, Alaska, Devine missed his first two seasons at UCSB with knee and wrist problems. When he finally laced up his shoes for a real game, he was listed as a sophomore and last season he played as a junior. Either way, since he started playing Devine has become the one sure thing in the starting lineup. He and Harris were the only two players to start all 29 games last season, but he is the only player to start all 58 games over the last two seasons. A two-time Second Team All-Big West honoree, Devine was named to the Preseason All-Big West Team for the second consecutive year. In 2006-07, he averaged 14.1 points and a team-high 6.6 rebounds per game. He also paced the team with five double-doubles and now has nine in his two seasons as a Gaucho. Devine had 14 points, seven rebounds and three steals in UCSB's exhibition win over Cal State Dominguez Hills.

The X-Factor
Forward Ivan Elliott, along with Harris the only seniors expected to start, was one of the standouts during the Gauchos' five-game exhibition tour of Canada in September and he has also been impressive in training camp. In the four games in which he played in Canada (he missed one with a sprained ankle), Elliott was the team's leading rebounder at just over seven per game. As a junior in 2006-07, Elliott averaged 6.1 points and 6.0 rebounds per game. He led UCSB by making 56.0% of his shots from the field. In 14 Big West games, Elliott was even better, averaging 6.6 points and a team-high 6.8 rebounds per game. Although he had just four points and six rebounds in 23 foul-plagued minutes against Cal State Dominguez Hills, Elliott will be counted on for major contributions in 2007-08.

Not So Fresh Face No. 1
Guard Justin Joyner was named to the Big West's All-Freshman Team following the 2006-07 season. Joyner started 26 games at the most demanding of positions, point guard, and lived to tell about it. He led the team with 81 assists and committed just 54 turnovers. While not expected to score, the Antioch, Calif., native did average 4.8 points per game and made 18 three-point baskets. In the exhibition win over Cal State Dominguez Hills, Joyner made a pair of three-point baskets, finishing with six points, five assists, three steals and three rebounds in 27 minutes. He is nursing an injured right wrist, but is expected to continue playing anyway.

Not So Fresh Face No. 2
James Powell also made the Big West's All-Freshman Team following the 2006-07 season. While he had a bit of a topsy-turvy first season as a Gaucho, Powell averaged 8.8 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. He also finished second on the team with 38 three-point baskets. Powell played in all 29 games in 2006-07, including 17 starts. Most of his starting assignments came during the first half of the season. Powell jumped out to a great start last season, averaging 14.7 points per game over the first seven games. He slumped at mid-season, scoring 10 or more just once over a 13 game span, but he was back on the beam at the end of the year, scoring in double-figures five times in the last nine games. Despite coming off the bench in the exhibition game against Cal State Dominguez Hills, Powell is expected to be in the starting lineup at the outset of the 2007-08 season and, unless something goes haywire, he should stay there. In the exhibition, he did not shoot the ball well, making just 1-of-6 from the field, but he had six assists and six rebounds.

Party Crasher
Senior forward Nedim Pajevic (pronounced Pie-ah-vich) strained a shoulder in practice on Monday and is listed as day-to-day. He is expected to play a major role in his one season at UCSB. A 6-foot-9 transfer from Weber State, Pajevic can play either the five or the four spots. In his one season at Weber State, the native of Sarajevo, Bosnia, averaged 6.7 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game. He started 23 of 27 games and really came on like gangbusters at the end of his junior year. Did I just use the word gangbusters? Anyway, over the Wildcats final nine games of the 2005-06 season, Pajevic averaged 10.2 points per game and shot 60.9% from the field. Among all of his other attributes, he is generally considered a very good passer. He had three or more assists seven times in his one season at Weber State and he is effective in either the high or low post. In 18 minutes against Cal State Dominguez Hills, Pajevic made 3-of-5 shots, including 1-of-2 from beyond the three-point arc, scored seven points and had a pair of rebounds.

The Newcomer
Junior guard D.J. Posley is the one true newcomer who will receive a good share of playing time as he is expected to be the fourth guard. Posley is transfer from John A. Logan College in Centerville, Ill., where he was an Honorable Mention All-American in 2006-07. He averaged 17.1 points, 5.3 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game as he led John A. Logan to a 28-4 record. Probably more important than his offensive abilities however, is the fact that Posley is a very good defensive playr. He is quick and agile. and gives the Gauchos an element that they missed last season. Also, the Chicago-area native brings with him NCAA Division I experience. Posley played his freshman season at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne where he averaged 3.2 points 1.5 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game in 2005-06. That season, Posley averaged 13.0 minutes per game, but he logged nearly 20 minutes per game over the second half of the season.