UCSB Tips-Off 2006-07 Campaign at Home Friday Night Against San Jose State

UCSB Tips-Off 2006-07 Campaign at Home Friday Night Against San Jose State

Nov. 9, 2006

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The Schedule
Game No. 1
Friday, November 10, 2006 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. San Jose State Spartans
UCSB's Thunderdome

Game No. 2
Monday, November 13, 2006 at 6:00 p.m. (PST)
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at Montana State Bobcats
at MSU's Brick Breeden Fieldhouse

On The Radio
All UC Santa Barbara basketball games are broadcast live in Santa Barbara on KTMS, 990-AM. KEYT-TV Sports Director Gerry Fall is in his third 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 show will be aired each Tuesday night from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on KTMS 990-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.

The Gaucho Record
UC Santa Barbara posted a 2-0 record in the exhibition season. The Gauchos recorded wins over UC San Diego (62-51) and Westmont College (76-68). UCSB finished the 2005-06 season with an overall record of 15-14 and a Big West mark of 6-8. The Gauchos finished fifth-place in the league. UCSB won eight of its final 11 games in 2005-06 to finish over the .500 mark for the fourth time in five seasons.

UCSB Picked To Finish Fifth In Big West By Media And Coaches
UCSB was picked to finish in fifth-place in the Big West by both the coaches and the media at the league's annual media day last week. The Gauchos, who finished fifth in 2005-06, finished narrowly behind Cal Poly in the media poll and behind UC Irvine in the coaches poll. The Big West coaches selected Pacific and Long Beach State to finish in first, but the Tigers received five of eight first-place votes. Long Beach had three. Cal State Fullerton was picked third, UCI fourth, UCSB fifth and Cal Poly sixth. The media, on the other hand, picked Long Beach State to win by a significant margin over Pacific. The 49ers totaled 157 points and 18 first-place votes, while UOP had 124 points and a pair of first-place votes. Fullerton was again picked third. Cal Poly and UC Irvine traded places in the media poll with the Mustangs picked fourth and the Anteaters picked sixth. UCSB was once again picked to finish in fifth-place.

2006-07 Big West Coaches Poll

1.  Pacific (5)             45
    Long Beach State (3)    45
3.  Cal State Fullerton     37
4.  UC Irvine               28
5.  UCSB                    26
6.  Cal Poly                20
7.  Cal State Northridge    16
8.  UC Riverside             7

2006-07 Big West Media Poll

1.  Long Beach State (18)   157
2.  Pacific (2)             124
3.  Cal State Fullerton     110
4.  Cal Poly                91
5.  UCSB                    87
6.  UC Irvine               82
7.  Cal State Northridge    46
8.  UC Riverside            23

Brown, Turner Out As Regular Season Tips-Off
Senior guard Cecil Brown and senior forward Glenn Turner will not be active at the outset of the regular season. Brown suffered a stress fracture in his right foot before the start of practice on Oct. 13, and he is not expected to return until some time in late November. Turner has a groin injury and a timetable has not been set for his return.

Shorthanded Gauchos Go 2-0 In Exhibition Games
They were not pretty, but UCSB's two exhibition games were wins. The Gauchos defeated UC San Diego on Nov. 1, 62-51, and then on Nov. 6 they topped Westmont College, 76-68. In the game against UCSD, the Gauchos were led by junior guard Alex Harris who had 23 points and Chris Devine who added 13. In the win over Westmont, Harris went for 36 points and walk-on guard Paul Roemer added 11.

For Openers
Santa Barbara has recorded a 4-4 mark in season-openers under Bob Williams. The 4-4 log includes last season's 82-59 home win over San Francisco. UCSB has won three consecutive season-openers. Over the years, the Gauchos have gone 43-23 in season-openers under seven different coaches dating back to the 1937-38 season. Friday's game against San Jose State will mark the first time that UCSB has opened a campaign against the Spartans.

A Short Homestand
Friday's home game against San Jose State will be the only Thunderdome appearance that the Gauchos will make prior to the Thanksgiving holiday. Following the game against the Spartans, UCSB will hit the road for contests at Montana State (Nov. 13), UNLV (Nov. 17) and Pepperdine (Nov. 21). When the Gauchos return home they will have no small task as they host San Diego State, the defending Mountain West Conference champion, on Saturday, Nov. 25. By the time November comes to and end, UCSB will have played six regular season games, the most ever for the month.

The Bob Williams File
Bob Williams is in his ninth season as the head coach at UC Santa Barbara. Last year his team overcame a slow start to finish over the .500 mark for the fourth time in five seasons. UCSB was 15-14 overall and 6-8 in the Big West. Prior to the 2004-05 season, when an injury-ravaged Gaucho team finished below .500, Williams had guided the program to three straight winning seasons for the first time since the late 1980s. In 2002-03, Williams' 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 Championship ever and first NCAA Tournament appearance in 12 years. Williams' UCSB teams have posted a 122-111 (.524) overall record and a 79-55 (.590) 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 311-211 (.596) at four-year schools.

Probable Starters - Notes
G - James Powell - Redshirt freshman gets his first opportunity as starting point guard.
G - Alex Harris - Had 36 points in exhibition finale against Westmont.
F - Chris Devine - Named to the Preseason All-Big West Team.
F - Ivan Elliott - Averaged 7.5 rebounds per game in the two exhibitions.
F - Tom Garlepp - Averaged 7.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game in exhibition wins.

Probable Reserves - Notes
G - Paul Roemer - Walk-on freshman sparked exhibition win over Westmont with 11 points.
G - Justin Joyner - Freshman guard struggled in exhibitions going scoreless in 42 minutes.
G - Trevor Bing - After struggling in first game, had 10 points, four assists, three boards vs. Westmont.
F - Emmanuel Bidias a Mouté - Freshman forward did not play in exhibition finale against Westmont.
F - Beau Gibb - Transfer forward had 10 points and five rebounds vs. Westmont.
F - David Massey - Tallest player in school history played just one minute in two exhibitions.
F - Sam Phippen - Freshman forward will redshirt the 2006-07 season.

The Infirmary - Notes
G - Cecil Brown - Stress fracture in right foot has him sidelined until late-November.
F - Glenn Turner - Groin injury has him sidelined indefinitely.

Gauchos Enter 2006-07 With Extreme Makeover
UCSB enters the 2006-07 season with a vastly different roster than it finished the 2005-06 season. Gone are eight of the 13 players from last season's team. In their place are two redshirt freshmen, a transfer from a four-year school, two junior college transfers and four true freshmen. In fact, due to injuries, the Gauchos had only three returnees play in the two exhibition games. Of the 400 minutes logged by UCSB players in the games against UC San Diego and Westmont, 237 (59.2%) was racked-up by newcomers.

The Opponents
UCSB and San Jose State will be meeting for the 102nd time in Friday night's opener at the Thunderdome. San Jose holds a 52-49 edge in the series. Last year, the Gauchos and Spartans renewed an old Big West rivalry when they met as part of Bracket Buster Saturday. In that game, UCSB piled-up a big lead and then held on for a 76-72 victory in San Jose. Last season's game between the teams was their first meeting since the 1999-2000 season. UCSB and SJSU first met in 1939. The Gauchos and Montana State have played six times with, according to our records, UCSB winning all six meetings. The last time the teams met was in December of 1987 when the Gauchos posted a 71-64 win. The first time UCSB and MSU played was in 1972.

The Gauchos At Home
UCSB went 9-4 in home games during the 2005-06 season. The Gauchos were a perfect 6-0 in non-conference home games last season. Since Bob Williams became head coach in 1998-99, Santa Barbara has gone 73-30 in home games overall and 29-11 in non-conference home games. Since the 2000-01 season, UCSB has gone 21-5 in non-conference games at the Thunderdome. The Gauchos went 8-4 in home games in 2004-05, but in each of the three years before that, they finished 10-2 in home games.

The Gauchos On The Road
UCSB posted a 5-9 record in true road games in 2005-06 and a 6-10 mark in all non-home games. While the 5-9 doesn't seem like much, it includes an 0-7 start and a 5-2 finish. The Gauchos opened the 2005-06 season with seven straight road losses, extending a two-season streak to nine straight road defeats. Last season, UCSB posted road victories at San Jose State, UC Irvine, Long Beach State, Cal State Northridge and UC Davis.

For Starters, With One Exception, Exhibition Finale Was A Struggle
With one notable exception, the UCSB starters had their offensive problems in the final exhibition game against Westmont College. Alex Harris, the notable exception, scored 36 points on 12-of-23 shooting overall, 3-of-5 from three-point range and 9-of-12 from the free throw line. Other four starters, forwards Chris Devine, Tom Garlepp and Ivan Elliott, and guard James Powell, combined for nine points on 3-of-21 shooting overall, 1-of-7 from three-point territory and 2-of-7 from the free throw line. On the bright side, the Gauchos received some solid contributions from some off-the-wall sources. Walk-on guard Paul Roemer, a freshman from De La Salle High School in Concord, Calif., made 3-of-4 shots, including 2-of-3 from three-point range, and 3-of-3 from the free throw line to finish with 11 points. Junior guard Trevor Bing, a transfer from Cape Fear Community College in North Carolina, added 10 points, four assists and three rebounds and sophomore forward Beau Gibb, a transfer from Robert Morris, had 10 points and five rebounds.

Early Free Throw Woes, Take 2
Early in the 2005-06 season, UCSB was a poor free throw shooting team. While the Gauchos ended the year with a respectable 70.8% mark, they needed to shoot 76.6% in Big West games to get to that point. In non-conference games last year, the bulk of which were played before the start of league play, UCSB made just 202-of-307, 65.8%. Taking it a step further, and I am willing to do that, if you toss out the three non-conference games that the Gauchos played in the midst of the Big West season, they made just 152-of-233, 65.2%. If the two exhibition games are any indication, Santa Barbara could be primed for another slow start at the all-important charity stripe. In the games against UC San Diego and Westmont College, the Gauchos made just 37 of their 61 free throws, 60.7%. Taking it another step further, which you all know I am willing to do, if you exclude Alex Harris from the mix, UCSB made just 16-of-34 from the free throw line, 47.1%. Harris attempted 27 of the team's 61 free throws, making 21, 77.8%. On the bright side, the Gauchos did attempt 61 free throws in two exhibitions, 39 more than the opposition.

The Devine File
Because of the injury to Cecil Brown, junior forward Chris Devine is UCSB's top returnee. Even with a healthy Brown, he is probably the co-top returnee, if there is such a term. Devine, a Second Team All-Big West choice last season, was selected to the league's preseason all-conference team this year. After missing two full seasons because of injuries, Devine had a breakout year in 2005-06. He finished second on the team in scoring at 12.2 points per game, and he led the team in rebounding (5.9 per game), field goal percentage (55.3%) and steals (31). He was the only player to start all 29 games and his 853 minutes was also a team-high. After playing almost exclusively at the four spot in his first season of activity, Devine is expected to receive a significant number of minutes at the three-spot, particularly until Brown returns. In the two exhibition games, his time spent playing the three resulted in a mixed-bag. Against UC San Diego, Devine played 32 minutes and scored 13 points, making 6-of-9 shots. In 25 minutes against Westmont, he made just 1-of-5 shots from the field, the one being a three-pointer, and he finished with four points. In the two games combined, Devine averaged 8.5 points and 3.5 rebounds per game. He shot 50.0% from the field and 50.0% from the free throw line. Despite his pedestrian numbers in the two exhibition games, Devine is the last guy that the UCSB coaching staff expects to worry about during the 2006-07 season.

The Harris Poll
Granted they were only exhibition games, but junior guard Alex Harris looks like a different player than last season. Harris had an outstanding summer in the San Francisco Pro-Am League and his aggressive play seems to have carried over. In the Nov. 6 exhibition win over Westmont College, he made 12-of-23 shots overall, including 3-of-5 from three-point territory, and scored 36 points. Again, we must acknowledge that the game was an exhibition, but we also need to consider that Harris enters the 2006-07 season with a career-high of 17 points and that, regardless of who the opponent was, 36 points is a big-time leap. In addition to the point total, Harris had five rebounds, five assists and five steals in his 38 minutes. In the two exhibition games, the Alameda, Calif., native made 17-of-30 shots overall 56.7%, 4-of-7 from three-point range, 57.1%, and he averaged 29.5 point. Another important aspect to Harris' performance in the two exhibitions was that he went to the free throw line 27 times. He was driving into the lane and drawing fouls with enough regularity that he attempted 44.3% of all the free throws attempted by the Gauchos. Harris was 21-of-27 from the charity stripe, 77.8%. A Big West All-Freshman Team honoree following the 2004-05 season, he spent much of the 2005-06 campaign as UCSB's starting point guard. Last year he averaged 8.3 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. This year, Harris is expected to play primarily at the off-guard position, but based on the early returns, you can expect to see the ball in his hands a significant amount of the time.

Brown Out
One of the things that became pretty apparent after two exhibition games was that UCSB misses senior guard Cecil Brown. Brown, who is out until at least late-November with a stress fracture in his right foot, led the team in scoring in 2005-06 at 13.1 points per game. He also posted career highs in rebounds (3.7 per game), assists (2.3 per game), steals (21), three-point baskets (42), field goal percentage (42.0%) and free throw percentage (78.5%). Without Brown in the lineup, the Gauchos are forced to play Devine more at the three-spot, and they are also forced to play others more minutes that preferred. A Second Team All-Big West selection last year, Brown is actually in his sixth year at UCSB. He missed the 2001-02 and 2004-05 seasons due to injuries and in the spring of 2006 the NCAA awarded him an additional year of eligibility. When he returns, he will be expected to move into a starting wing position.

The Turner Factor
After missing six months of activity while he underwent a myriad of tests following a incident of shortness of breath, chest tightness and dizziness in a March 2 game at Pacific, Glenn Turner was cleared to return to the Gauchos in late-September. It was determined that the incident at Pacific was the reaction to a combination of medications that Turner was taking at the time. Early on in practice, however, the senior from San Jose, Calif., suffered an injury in his groin area and he has been out ever since. He did not play in the exhibition games and will certainly not play in the first two games of the regular season. His condition will be reassessed next week. If and when he does return, he too will be an important part of the puzzle. Last year, he played in 23 games, starting eight, and he averaged 4.7 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. He also blocked 32 shots. At the time that he was sidelined, Turner had become one of the team's most vital contributors. In a game against UC Davis, he had 12 points, 10 rebounds and five blocked shots. He had five double-figure rebounding efforts over a six-game span and during the nine games prior to the Pacific game, he made 26-of-34 shots from the field, 76.5%. If he is healthy, there is little doubt, Turner will have an impact.

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie! Oye, Oye, Oye!
In the absence of Turner, sophomore forward Tom Garlepp is making the transition from the four spot to the five spot. Offensively, the results haven't been too remarkable as he scored just four points in 37 minutes during the exhibition season. On the other hand, Garlepp blocked four shots, including three against UC San Diego, and he has averaged 7.0 rebounds. In the win over Westmont College he played just 15 minutes but tied for team-high honors in rebounds with nine. Last season, Garlepp sprinted out of the gates early, averaging 7.8 points per game through the first four games, but he really struggled thereafter and finished with averages of 2.3 points and 2.1 rebounds per game. This year, he returned with additional muscle and improved lateral quickness, both factors that should help he and the Gauchos.

Ivan The Pretty Good
This Ivan is not so terrible. Junior forward Ivan Elliott, a transfer from West Valley College, started both of the exhibition games for the Gauchos, and although his offensive numbers will not set the world on its ear, he was pretty solid in other important areas. Elliott made just 3-of-13 shots in the games against Westmont and UC San Diego and averaged 5.0 points per game. He did, however, lead UCSB in rebounding at 7.5 per game. Elliott tied for game-high honors with nine rebounds against Westmont. Of his 15 rebounds in two games, nine were offensive. In addition, he added three steals and his total of 12 free throw attempts was the second highest total on the team.

Powell Points The Way
Redshirt freshman James Powell has been designated UCSB's starting point guard for 2006-07. Playing the point is no small task, particularly for a freshman, but Powell will be the first freshman to start a regular season opener for the Gauchos since Aaron McCarthy did so in 1981. In two exhibition games, Powell had his ups and downs. In the game against UC San Diego, he had 10 points, six rebounds, five steals and a pair of assists. He also made 5-of-8 shots from the field. On Monday, against Westmont, he played 22 minutes and was scoreless, missing all eight of his shots. As a senior at Glendora High School, Powell split time between the point and the off-guard spot. He was a prolific three-point shooter, making as many as 12 in one game, and he scored as many as 63 points in a game. Still, he is a freshman and the game against San Jose State will be his first major test as the starter at the point.

Bing Is The Thing
Junior guard Trevor Bing, a transfer from Cape Fear Community College in North Carolina, was one of the most pleasant surprises in Monday's win over Westmont. In the first exhibition game, Bing played just nine minutes and had three points. On Monday, he played a prominent role in the UCSB win with 10 points, four assists, three rebounds and a steal. At Cape Fear in 2005-06, he set a school record for three-point baskets in a season with 66, so that part of his game was a known commodity. On Monday, however, he was even more effective driving to the basket and, in fact, three of his four buckets came on drives into the lane. With the absence of Cecil Brown, Bing is one of several keys to UCSB's early-season fortunes.

De La Duo
The Gauchos have two true freshman guards and they have something in common. Justin Joyner and Paul Roemer each played at Concord's De La Salle High School and each was a key member of the school's California State Division I title team last year. Unlike Joyner, however, Roemer is a walk-on who is not even listed in the Gauchos' media guide. Don't let that fool you, however. Both Joyner and Roemer will get opportunities to play. Joyner struggled in 42 minutes during the exhibition schedule, but he will undoubtedly improve. Roemer played nine minutes in the first exhibition, but on Monday against Westmont, he played 15 minutes and sparked the team in the second half, making three out of his four shots, including a pair of three-pointers, all three of his free throws and scoring 11 points. Roemer also had a steal.