UCSB, Favored to Win Big West Crown, Opens 2003-04 Season Without Fullove & Jones

UCSB, Favored to Win Big West Crown, Opens 2003-04 Season Without Fullove & Jones

Nov. 18, 2003

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The Schedule
Regular Season Game No. 1
Friday, November 21, 2003 at 9:00 p.m. (PST)
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at University of Hawaii Rainbow Warriors
at Hawaii's Stan Sheriff Center
Radio: KTMS 990-AM

The Gauchos On The Radio
All UC Santa Barbara basketball games are carried live by Clear Channel Santa Barbara. The majority of the games will be aired on KTLK 1340-AM. When conflicts occur with Los Angeles Lakers' broadcasts, the games will be carried on KTMS 990-AM. There are currently nine games scheduled to be aired on KTMS 990-AM. Please note the schedule above for which games will be broadcast on KTLK 1340-AM and which will be carried on KTMS 990-AM. Brock Bowling is in his second year calling the Gauchos' play-by-play and he will be joined by former UCSB great and NBA player Don Ford, the color analyst. UCSB Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations, Bill Mahoney, will handle color duties for some road games.

UCSB On The Internet
The Official Athletics Website of the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos is www.UCSBgauchos.com. Game recaps, weekly releases, box scores, statistics and the occasional feature can be found on the web. UCSB is proud member of OCSN, the Official College Sports Network.

UCSB Opens Regular Season In Hawaii
What a difference a year makes. In November of 2002, UC Santa Barbara was opening its basketball regular season at the BP Top of the World Classic in Fairbanks, Alaska. This year, the Gauchos will open their regular season with a game at Hawaii. The trip to Hawaii is payback for UCSB's participation in last year's ESPN Bracket Buster event. The Gauchos hosted Detroit Mercy in February of 2003 while Hawaii played at Kent State. The last time UCSB played in Honolulu was in December of 1993 when it played in the Rainbow Classic, losing games to Louisville and Oklahoma State and defeating Army.

Gaucho Update
UCSB split its two exhibition games. On November 5, the Gauchos pounded EA Sports West All-Stars by a score of 91-62 and a week later, on November 12, they were beaten by Ratiopharm Ulm, a German club team, by a 74-72 score.

Missing Guard No. 1
Senior guard Branduinn Fullove, the 2002-03 Big West Player of the Year, an Associated Press Honorable Mention All-American and a Preseason All-Big West selection, injured his left ankle midway through the first half of UCSB's exhibition loss to Ratiopharm Ulm. He will not make the trip to Hawaii and could be out longer. Last year, Fullove led UCSB in scoring at 14.6 points per game. He also averaged 3.7 rebounds per game, shot 46.3% overall, 41.4% from three-point range and a team-leading 83.7% from the free throw line. Fullove is the first Gaucho player in history to earn some level of All-Big West honors in each of his first three seasons. As a freshman in 2000-01 he was honorable mention all-league, as a sophomore in 2001-02 he was Second Team All-Big West and then last year he was Player of the Year.

Missing Guard No. 2
Senior guard Nick Jones has been suspended for UCSB's first eight games against NCAA competition after playing the same number of games in an uncertified summer league in Mexico. Jones, who averaged 12.4 points and 4.3 rebounds per game as a junior, will miss games against Hawaii, Montana, Pepperdine, San Diego, UCLA, Kansas, Alabama State and either St. Mary's or Southeastern Missouri. He played in UCSB's exhibition game against Ratiopharm Ulm, scoring 18 points, but it was still to be determined if he would be allowed to play in the Gauchos' December 10 game against Westmont College, an NAIA opponent.

The Williams File
Bob Williams is in his sixth season as the head coach at UC Santa Barbara. Last year, he guided the Gauchos to an 18-14 overall record and a 14-4 mark in Big West Conference play. The Big West mark earned Santa Barbara its first-ever regular season championship along with a postseason trip to the National Invitation Tournament. In addition, 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 led UCSB to its first Big West Conference Tournament Championship ever and first NCAA Tournament appearance in 12 years. In his five seasons in Santa Barbara, Williams' teams have posted a 80-67 overall record and a 56-28 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 269-167 at four-year schools.

UCSB Radio Moves To Clear Channel Santa Barbara
All 2003-04 UC Santa Barbara men's basketball games will be broadcast by Clear Channel Santa Barbara. The majority of Gaucho games will be aired on KTLK 1340-AM, but where a conflict with Los Angeles Lakers' games occurs, the UCSB games will be carried on KTMS 990-AM. The agreement between UCSB and Clear Channel Santa Barbara comes after KEYT NewsRadio, the Gauchos' former home, converted to Spanish-language in early November. The schedule to the left indicates which UCSB games will be carried on KTMS 990-AM.

Possible Starters - Notes
G - Jacoby Atako - Senior begins his fourth season as the starter at the point.
G - Cecil Brown - Sat-out final exhibition but scored team-high 15 points in first game.
G - Josh Davis - Will probably open the season as the replacement for Fullove.
F - Cameron Goettsche - Averaged 14.5 points and 8.5 rebounds in two exhibitions.
F - Bryan Whitehead - Scoreless in second exhibition after going for ten in the opener.

Probable Reserves - Notes
G - Nick Jones - Suspended for first eight games of 2003-04 season.
G - Branduinn Fullove - Injury to left ankle will sideline him indefinitely.
G - Joe See - Transfer from Oregon State is now eligible after redshirting last season.
G - Chrismen Oliver - Had eight assists in 33 minutes during the exhibition schedule.
F - Casey Cook - Started final 23 games as a sophomore.
F - Bray Skultety - Given sixth year of eligibility after sitting out 2002-03 with torn ACL.
F - Glenn Turner - Redshirt freshman made all three of his field goal attempts in exhibitions.
F - Derek Wheeler - Walk-on will once again add depth.

UCSB Picked To Repeat As Big West Regular Season Champions
UCSB was selected by both the Big West Coaches and the league's media to repeat as regular season conference champion. The Gauchos won both polls at the annual Big West Basketball Media Day on November 5. Here are the results of the votes:

    Coaches Poll Results 			      Media Poll Results
Pl. Team (First-place votes)   Points             Pl. Team (First-place votes)   Points
1.  UC Santa Barbara (6)         78                1. UC Santa Barbara(22)         271
2.  Utah State (3)               74                2. Utah State (4)               246
3.  UC Irvine (1)                67                3. UC Irvine (3)                224
4.  Cal Poly                     50                4. Cal Poly                     192
5.  Idaho                        40                5. UC Riverside                 132
6.  Pacific                      38                6. Idaho                        118
7.  UC Riverside                 37                7. Cal State Northridge         108
8.  Cal State Northridge         28                8. Pacific                      102
9.  Cal State Fullerton          24                9. Cal State Fullerton           84
10. Long Beach State             14               10. Long Beach State              63

Atako Stabilizes Backcourt
When UCSB opens the 2003-04 season at Hawaii, the only familiar face in the starting backcourt will be senior point guard Jacoby Atako. Don't get me wrong, we will recognize sophomore Cecil Brown, but Atako will be the only starting backcourt player returning from last season. In fact, Atako has started all or most of his three seasons as a Gaucho. Last year, he started 31 of 32 games and in his three seasons, he has been in the starting lineup 82 times in 91 appearances. Atako has led UCSB in assists each of the last two campaigns, averaging 3.2 per game last year. In the last two seasons, he has had 227 assists and just 120 turnovers, a solid 1.9:1.0 assist to turnover ratio. Atako enters his final campaign with 310 career assists, eighth on Santa Barbara's all-time list. He needs just a trio of assists to pass Carrick DeHart and move into seventh-place. In two exhibition games, Atako made 8-of-16 shots from the field (50.0%) and averaged 11.0 points per outing. In the final exhibition game, a 74-72 loss to Ratiopharm Ulm, he had 13 points, five assists, three rebounds and two steals.

Help Cecil! Help!
The early-season absence of starting guards Branduinn Fullove and Nick Jones is made a bit for palatable by the presence of sophomore Cecil Brown. Although he missed the team's final exhibition with a sore foot, he is expected to be ready for the opener in Hawaii. As a starter in the Gauchos' first exhibition game against the EA Sports West All-Stars he Brown scored a team-high 15 points to go with four rebounds, three assists and a pair of steals. He also played a team-high 30 minutes in that game and made a pair of three-point baskets. Last year, as a redshirt freshman, Brown was one of seven players to play in all 32 games, starting three. He averaged 5.2 points and 1.9 rebounds per game and was, in fact, the only UCSB player other than Fullove, Jones and Mark Hull to lead the team in scoring. His 5.2 points per game ranked fourth on the team. Brown scored a career-high 16 points in a Gaucho road win at Pacific. He scored in double-figures five times last season and made 22 three-point baskets, the fourth-highest total on the team.

Wait And See
The season-opener in Hawaii will mark the UCSB debut of sophomore guard Joe See. A transfer from Oregon State, See sat out the 2002-03 season as a redshirt. As a freshman in 2001-02, he was one of just two Beavers to play in all 29 games. He was fifth on the team in scoring at 6.1 points per game and he logged an average of 23.1 minutes per game. See has the potential to be an excellent outside shooter and his 43 three-point baskets as a freshman at Oregon State attest to that. He made a high of five three-point baskets twice, once each against Cal and Southern Utah. See scored eight points in each of UCSB's two exhibition games and in the first game, a win over EA Sports West All-Stars, he led the Gauchos with six assists.

I'm Gonna Goettsche
Sophomore Cameron Goettsche (pronounced Getch-ee) was one of UCSB's offensive standouts in the first two exhibition games. The 6-foot-9 Goettsche, who originally attended Utah out of high school, is a sophomore transfer from Salt Lake Community College. In the games against EA Sports West All-Stars and Ratiopharm Ulm, he averaged 14.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. Goettsche made 12-of-19 shots from the field, 63.2%, and 5-of-6 from the free throw line, 83.3%. He has shown some outstanding versatility on the offensive end, posting up with his back to the basket, facing-up and getting out on the break. He is tentatively slated to start at the four spot and will probably give UCSB its best true power forward in a number of years.

For Openers...
UCSB will be opening its sixth season under head coach Bob Williams. The Gauchos are 1-4 in openers under Williams. Last year, they dropped a 91-82 decision to Weber State in the opening round of the BP Top of the World Classic. In the four previous openers, UCSB dropped a home game against Stanford, which was ranked second in the nation at the time and two at Pepperdine. The Gauchos only season-opening win under Williams came in 2001-02 when they defeated Westmont 51-42. Historically, the Gauchos are 40-23 in season-openers, dating back to the 1937-38 season. Included among the 40 wins were victories over 20th Century Fox, Camp Pendleton Marines, Camp Cook and Fall River Navy.

The Opposition
UCSB and Hawaii have played five times over the years and the Gauchos hold a 3-2 edge. The teams first met in 1959 with Hawaii posting a 69-67 win. UCSB and Hawaii have not met since December 29, 1962 when the Gauchos recorded a 71-49 victory.

UCSB On The Road
UCSB recorded an 8-12 record away from the Thunderdome last season. Included in the 8-12 was a 2-5 record on neutral courts and a 6-6 record in true road games. After getting off the mark slowly, the Gauchos closed the year by winning seven of their final 12 games away from home.

Mid-Major National Ranking
UCSB enters the season ranked 11th in The CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top-25 poll. The ranking is the highest the program has achieved in the history of the poll. The Gauchos are the second-highest West Coast school in the poll. Only Gonzaga, which is ranked number one, is ranked higher. Utah State, also of the Big West Conference, checks in at number 14 and Pepperdine, a UCSB opponent on December 3, is 18th.

Skultety's Sixth Sense
Senior forward Bray Skultety got a reprieve from the NCAA in the spring. Last year, during preseason practice, the 6-foot-6 forward tore the ACL in his left knee, sidelining him for the entire season. The 2002-03 campaign was Skultety's fifth at UCSB, although just his third on the basketball team. A torn ACL would have been a tough way for a walk-on who never played high school basketball and then became a major contributor to an NCAA Tournament team, to end his career. In the spring, however, Skultety was awarded a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA. In addition to the knee injury that cost him the 2002-03 season, he also missed the 1999-2000 season with an eye injury. In his one year of activity, Skultety emerged as one of the team's best rebounders and shot blockers. He finished his junior campaign averaging 4.4 rebounds in just 10.9 minutes per game. Skultety did not resume playing until just before the start of practice this year, and while he is still trying to regain his conditioning, he showed flashes 2001-02 in the exhibition games.

Frontcourt Variety
In addition to Cameron Goettsche and Bray Skultety, the Gaucho frontcourt will include quite a variety of players. Junior Casey Cook, who started 23 games at the five spot last year, will make the shift back to his more familiar spot at the four spot. He is more comfortable facing the basket and will probably enjoy his return. Last year, Cook averaged 5.2 points and 3.5 rebounds per game. Senior Bryan Whitehead started nine games at the five spot last year. His was really a tale of two seasons. He struggled early and came-on late. He averaged 3.4 points and 4.2 rebounds per outing, but by the end of the season, he had become a solid defensive presence in the post and he could return to the starting lineup. The fifth UCSB frontcourter is 6-foot-9 redshirt freshman Glenn Turner. If he can avoid back troubles and gain strength, Turner has a great deal of upside potential. He has long arms and is one of the best athletes on the team. In the two exhibition games, Turner played a total of 13 minutes, scoring eight points, but committing seven fouls.

From The Frying Pan Into The Freezer
UCSB opens on the road at Hawaii. So what's the payback? A Thanksgiving weekend trip to the Montana Holiday Classic in Missoula, Montana. The Gauchos will leave on Thanksgiving day for a Saturday, November 29 first round match-up with the host University of Montana.