Nov. 22, 2002
UCSB takes on the Wildcats from Weber State tonight in a 7:00 p.m. game at the Top of the World Classic, hosted by the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. The game will be played at Carlson Arena and will be broadcast on KEYT 1250 AM.
UCSB Probable Starting Lineup:
Santa Barbara returns four starters from last season's Big West Tournament Championship squad. Senior Mark Hull will likely start tonight at forward, junior Jacoby Atako will run the point, and juniors Nick Jones and Branduinn Fullove will be at the off-guard positions. Junior Bryan Whitehead will round out the starting five for the Gauchos and he will play forward alongside Hull.
Weber State Probable Starting Lineup:
The Wildcats will start four seniors to counter the Gauchos' junior attack. Stephan Bachmann will start at center while Jermaine Boyette, Stevie Morrison, and Brad Barton will play at the guard spots. The lone junior in the Weber State starting lineup will be forward Nic Sparrow.
Scouting the Wildcats:
Weber State is coming off of two exibition victories against the E.A. Sports Southwest All-Stars and Team Global Sports. Jermaine Boyette lead the Wildcats against the E.A. All-Stars with 29 points and he also hit the winning lay-up against Team Global Sports with three seconds left. Junior forward Slobodan Ocokoljic scored 24 points and grabbed 12 boards for Weber State but he begins an eight game suspension tonight against the Gauchos.
Scouting the Gauchos:
Santa Barbara, who was picked to win the Big West this season, is coming off a loss to Team Ezybonds. In that game the Gauchos were led by Mark Hull who scored 22 points and grabbed five rebounds. Sophomore Casey Cook also played well scoring 15 points. UCSB played the game without two of its top players as Branduinn Fullove and freshman Josh Davis sat out. In tonight's game look for UCSB to get the ball into Hull's hands as much as possible. Fullove will be looking to get some shots as well as he is back from an ankle injury and ready to ball.
The key match-up in tonight's game will be the lone senior against the lone junior. Gaucho senior Mark Hull will likely be guarded Weber State junior, Nic Sparrow. Sparrow only has two previous starts under his belt where as Hull has about 90. The Gauchos will be looking to get the ball into 6-foot-7 Hull's hands as much as possible in hopes that he can either post up or shoot over the undersized 6-foot-4 Sparrow.
What to look for:
Look for Santa Barbara to come out hot, despite the subzero temperatures of Alaska, as they are the reigning Big West Tournament Champions. With four starters returning to defend the crown, the Gauchos will be determined to make a preseason mark at the Top of the World Classic.