Gauchos Travel to Montana State for First 2006-07 Road Test

Nov. 13, 2006

The Schedule
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

Game No. 3 Friday, November 17, 2006 at 7:35 p.m. UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at UNLV Rebels UNLV's Thomas and Mack Center

The Gaucho Record
UC Santa Barbara will enter Monday's game at Montana State with a record of 1-0. The Gauchos opened the 2006-07 season on Friday night with a 75-67 home win over San Jose State. UCSB 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.

This Week
UCSB will begin a stretch of three consecutive road games, two of which will take place this week. The Gauchos will travel to Montana State on Monday night for their first game in 19 years against the Bobcats. On Friday, UCSB will play one of its old PCAA/Big West rivals when it travels to UNLV. Santa Barbara has not played the Rebels since they moved from the Big West to the Mountain West Conference following the 1995-96 season.

Harris Leads The Way As UCSB Rallies Past San Jose State, 75-67
Junior guard Alex Harris averaged 29.5 points in two exhibition wins and on Friday night, he was just as effective in the regular season opener as he scored a career-high 25, leading UCSB to a come-from-behind 75-67 win over visiting San Jose State. Harris scored 15 of his 25 points in the second half as the Gauchos overcame a 10 point deficit in the final 15 minutes. He also tied his career-high with 37 minutes played and he never left the game in the second half. Harris made 5-of-9 three-point attempts and all six of his free throws against the Spartans. Junior forward Chris Devine added 14 points, eight rebounds and a career-high five steals. Tom Garlepp had eight points, including a three-pointer that ended the Gauchos' decisive 11-0 rally late in the game, and eight rebounds. Freshman guard James Powell and Justin Joyner also made major contributions in their respective debuts. Powell had nine points, including two critical free throws with less that 30 second sto play, while Joyner had six points, four rebounds and six assists. Just as impressively, he had no turnovers. San Jose State was led by Tim Pierce who had 18 points and Darion Goins who added 16.

Brown, Turner Remain Out As Gauchos Take First Road Trip
Senior guard Cecil Brown and senior forward Glenn Turner each missed Friday's opener against San Jose State and neither will accompany the team to Montana State. 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 had a procedure to repair a hernia on Thursday, Nov. 9, and is not expected back for a few weeks. Both Brown and Turner were penciled in as starters before the injuries.

Probable Starters - Notes
G - James Powell - Had nine points, two rebounds and two assists in debut vs. SJSU.
G - Alex Harris - Scored career-high 25 points in Friday's season-opening win.
G - Trevor Bing - Made a pair of three-pointers in his debut.
F - Chris Devine - Produced a career-high five steals in the win over SJSU.
F - Tom Garlepp - Had a career-high eight rebounds vs. San Jose.

Probable Reserves - Notes
G - Paul Roemer - Walk-on freshman made a three-pointer and had two assists vs. SJSU.
G - Justin Joyner - Had six assists and no turnovers in his first collegiate game.
G - Ivan Elliott - After starting two exhibitions, came off the bench in the regular season opener.
F - Emmanuel Bidias a Mouté - Nursing a sore back, played five minutes vs. SJSU.
F - Beau Gibb - Had three fouls and no points in seven minutes on Friday night.
F - David Massey - Tallest player in school history did not play in the opener.
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 - Repaired hernia has him out indefinitely.

The Opponents
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. Santa Barbara and UNLV have played 33 times in a series that dates back to 1970. For many years, the Gauchos and Rebels were PCAA and Big West opponents. The last time the teams met was on February 10, 1996 in Santa Barbara when UCSB posted a 65-57 win. The Gauchos only win in Las Vegas came on January 7, 1988 by a score of 62-60.

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.

Free Throw Woes Short-Lived
UCSB struggled from the free throw line in its two exhibition games. Overall, they made just 60.7% and if you excluded Alex Harris, the percentage dropped to 47.1%. In the season-opener against San Jose State, it was a different story. Although the Gauchos attempted just 14 shots from the charity stripe, they made 13, 92.9%. Last year, UCSB got off to a horrible start at the free throw line and did not really hit it stride until Big West play. The Gauchos were led on Friday night by Harris who made all six of his attempts. UCSB attempted 13 of its 14 free throws in the second half against the Spartans.

Getting Defensive
UCSB was outshot and outrebounded by San Jose State on Friday night. Still, the Gauchos must have done something right in a 75-67 win. What they did right was play solid defense. Santa Barbara forced the Spartans into 20 turnovers and limited them to 40.0% shooting, including 38.7% in the second half. In fact, San Jose had just seven assists to go with its 20 turnovers, nearly a negative 3-to-1 ratio.

Men Of Steal
Former Gaucho guard Derrick Allen was on the sideline as an assistant coach for San Jose State on Friday night. Allen, who still holds the UCSB record for steals in a game with eight, must have been disappointed that his new team lost to his old team, but there had to be a part of him that was pleased that his old team had 11 steals on the night. Led by their starting frontcourt, the Gauchos were just one shy of their season-high from last year. Junior forward Chris Devine had a career-high five steals on the night and sophomore forward Tom Garlepp added a pair. Four other UCSB players had one and all five starters had at least one steal in the victory.

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 struggling in the final exhibition game against Westmont College, Devine had a solid regular season debut in Friday's win over San Jose State. The native of Eagle River, Alaska had 14 points, making 7-of-16 shots from the field, eight rebounds, two assists, one blocked shot and a career-high five steals. Devine's total of eight rebounds tied for team-high and it was the sixth most he has ever recorded. Perhaps the only mild surprise about his performance in the first game was that he did not attempt a free throw. 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 has played at both the three and four early this season. However, after starting both exhibitions at the three, he was back in his more familiar four spot to open the game against the Spartans.

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie! Oye, Oye, Oye!
In last season's opener against San Francisco, forward Tom Garlepp had career-highs of 16 points and seven rebounds. In this year's season-opener against San Jose State, Garlepp had eight points, his third-highest total ever, eight rebounds, a new career-high, and two steals, also a new career-high. Now a sophomore, Garlepp also played a career-high 30 minutes against the Spartans and it was his three-point shot that capped the Gauchos' decisive 11-0 rally with less than a minute remaining. If you include the two exhibition games, Garlepp's rebounding has been outstanding this season. He has 22 rebounds in the three games, 7.3 per game. Not bad considering he averaged just 2.1 per game in 2005-06. Last season, Garlepp sprinted out of the gates quickly, 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.

The Harris Poll
Junior guard Alex Harris was tremendous in UCSB's two exhibition games. In the wins over UC San Diego and Westmont, he averaged 29.5 points per game. One had to wonder if he would carry his hot start into the regular season. Wonder no more. Harris scored a careerhigh 25 points, including 15 in the second half, to ignite the Gauchos to a come-from-behind win over San Jose State. Harris not only had a career-high night in scoring, but he also had a career-best five three-point baskets in nine attempts, 55.6%. His previous regular season scoring high was 17, set on Jan. 7, 2006, in a win over Long Beach State. Ironically, his previous best for three-point baskets was four, set in last year's season-opening win over San Francisco. In Friday's win over San Jose, Harris also tied his career-high with 37 minutes played, including all 20 in the second half. In UCSB's final exhibition game, the win over Westmont, he gave a pretty good preview of what was to come, scoring 36 points. On top of everything else he did on Friday night, Harris made all six of his free throw attempts, all in the second half. 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 and that decision has already paid dividends.

Brown Out
Cecil 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 have been forced to play Chris 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., took an elbow in the groin area and it aggravated a hernia. Last Thursday, he had the hernia surgically repaired and he is expected to remain sidelined for a few weeks. 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.

Powell Points The Way
Redshirt freshman James Powell scored nine points and had two assists in his debut as the Gauchos starting point guard on Friday. He scored seven of his nine points in the second half as UCSB outscored San Jose State 44-30 and won 75-67. Powell played 26 minutes against the Spartans. He also made 2-of-3 free throws, including a pair with less than 30 seconds remaining that clinched the victory. Powell was 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 mixed results. 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. Against Westmont, he played 22 minutes and was scoreless. 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. In his debut on Friday, he was 1-of-5 from beyond the three-point arc.

Justin Joins The Party
After really struggling in two exhibition games, freshman guard Justin Joyner had a solid debut in Friday's win over San Jose State. A graduate of De La Salle High School in Concord, Calif., Joyner played 42 minutes in the exhibitions and he was was scoreless, missing all four of his field goal attempts. He did have three assists, but he also committed five turnovers. Against San Jose, Joyner played 27 minutes and finished with six points, four rebounds and a team-high six assists. Even more impressively, he did not commit a turnover. While he did miss all five of his three-point attempts, Joyner did make all three of his two attempts and he scored four of his six points in the decisive second half.

Around The Key
Trevor Bing earned the start against San Jose State and responded with a pair of three-point baskets and six points in 13 minutes...Freshman Emmanuel Bidias a Mouté, who missed the exhibition finale with a sore back, saw his first regular season action and had two points and one rebound in five minutes...Walk-on guard Paul Roemer, a teammate of Justin Joyner's at De La Salle High School, played 11 minutes and had three-points, on a three-pointer, two rebounds, two assists and one steal...Beau Gibb, a transfer from Robert Morris, played seven minutes in a reserve role and failed to score.