November 17, 2000

Men's Basketball Signs Two Big Men To National Letters Of Intent

Nov. 17, 2000

UC Santa Barbara has signed two frontcourt players to National Letters of Intent, head coach Bob Williams announced today.

The Gauchos inked Bryan Whitehead , who played last season at Washington State and is currently redshirting at Butte Junior College, and Scott Rainey of Astoria High School in Astoria, Oregon.

Whitehead is a 6-foot-8, 230 pound forward. As a freshman at Washington State, he played in 21 games, averaging 1.2 points, 1.0 rebounds and shooting 59.1% from the field. He had season-highs of eight points (vs. Grambling and Portland State) and nine rebounds (vs. Portland). Whitehead prepped at Mount Vernon High School in his hometown of Mount Vernon, Washington where he helped the basketball program to three consecutive State Tournament Final Fours. As a senior, he averaged 15.3 points and 8.3 rebounds per game and was named his team's "best all-around player". As a junior, he averaged 11.3 points and 8.7 boards and as a sophomore he chipped in 10.2 points and 7.2 rebounds. In Whitehead's junior campaign, Mount Vernon started the year 28-0 before losing in the state championship game.

"I am extremely excited to add a player of his (Whitehead's) caliber and experience to the program," Williams said. "He is a redshirt this year at a junior college after he had a very disappointing freshman season at Washington State. I think he will be a great player in the Big West Conference. When he was a senior in high school, we recruited him as hard as any player since I've been here, and we are excited to get him on the rebound. He is very skilled, he has great court sense and great hands. He will be a perfect fit."

Rainey is a 6-foot-10, 230 pound post player. As a senior at Astoria High School, he averaged 15.4 points, 9.3 rebounds, 4.0 blocked shots and 1.8 assists per game as his team went 21-6 and won the Cowapa League championships. He also had an outstanding summer with his travel team, the Portland Legends. At the Superstar Camp in San Diego, his 3-on-3 team won the 6-foot-6 and taller tournament championship.

"What excites me most about Scott is his size," began Williams, "and the way he responded to our expectations about how much work it will take to be a success at this level. He comes out of a small league in Oregon and it will be an adjustment for him playing against big-time competition, but it is an adjustment that I think he will handle. With a 3.95 grade point average, not only is he a talented basketball player, but academically he is a perfect fit for the U.C. system."

The signing of Whitehead and Rainey completes the UCSB men's basketball recruiting for the early signing period.