Men's Basketball Drops Opener To Stanford, Prepares For Thanksgiving In Bay Area

Nov. 22, 1999

Santa Barbara, Calif. -

The Schedule
Game No. 2
Wednesday, November 24, 1999, 7:30 p.m.

UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at San Jose State Spartans
at SJSU's Event Center

Game No. 3
Sunday, November 28, 1999, 3:30 p.m.

UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at University of San Francisco Dons
at USF's War Memorial Gymnasium

Game No. 4
Wednesday, December 1, 1999, 7:30 p.m.

UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at USC Trojans
at The Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena

Gauchos Get Defensive In Opener Against Stanford
UC Santa Barbara lost to Stanford in its season opener on Saturday, 62-49. The game, however, was not without its highlights for the Gauchos. Granted, non of the highlights would necessarily go on a highlight reel, but from a coaching standpoint, they were highlights. UCSB limited the ninth-ranked Cardinal to 15-of-57 shots from the field overall, a paltry 26.3%. They also held them to 4-of-25 from three-point range, 16.0%. UCSB actually led by as many as seven points in the first half (19-12) and they trailed by only seven with 1:37 remaining, but they continued to foul, sendiing Stanford to the line and resulting in the final 13-point margin. One of the most impressive defensive jobs was that which was done on Stanford's freshman phenom Casey Jacobsen who was held to seven points, all from the free throw line. He was 0-for-7 from the field and 0-for-6 from three-point range.

Giving Thanks In The Bay Area
The UCSB basketball team will spend its entire Thanksgiving week and weekend in the Bay Area. The Gauchos will leave on a bus Tuesday at Noon and not return until after their game at USF on Sunday, November 28. UCSB will play at former Big West-rival San Jose State on Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. Sunday's game at USF will tipoff at 3:30 p.m.

Williams Returns For Second Season
Bob Williams is in his second season as head coach of the Gauchos. Last year he guided the Gauchos to a 15-13 overall record and an outstanding 12-4 mark in Big West play. After guiding the squad to the league's Western Division Championship, Williams was selected Big West Coach of the Year and National Association of Basketball Coaches District 15 Coach of the Year. After one game this season, Williams' Gaucho record is now 15-14 and his overall record as a college coach is 204-114. His teams have won either a league, division or National Championship in five straight seasons.

Probable Starters - Notes
G - Derrick Allen - Fouled out in only 19 minutes of action against Stanford.
G - Erick Ashe - Missed all six of his field goal attempts vs. Stanford.
G - Mark Hull - Scored a team-high 13 points and had seven rebounds vs. Stanford.
F - Adama Ndiaye - Played a career-high 30 minutes vs. Stanford.
F - Juliano Jordani - Led the team with eight rebounds in opener.

Probable Reserves - Notes
G - Brandon Payton - Attempted only two shots in 20 minutes vs. Stanford.
G - LaRon Bryant - Went scoreless in 12 minutes vs. Stanford.
G - B.J. Ward - Scored six points vs. Stanford, all from the free throw line.
G - Nick Jones - Did not play in opener. Will probably redshirt the 1999-2000 season.
F - Mike Vukovich - Hit both of his field goal attempts and had five points in opener.
F - Ross Carmichael - Transfer from Texas Tech not eligible until end of Fall Quarter.
F - J.J. Todd - Did not play in opener. Will probably redshirt the 1999-2000 season.

Iron Bending
At the outset of the 1998-99 season, the Gauchos were not a very good shooting team. By the end of the year, they were okay. They finished up at 44.6% overall and a decent, if not spectacular 45.6% in Big West games. Thus, we conclude, there is hope. In Saturday's opener against Stanford,, UCSB made only 13 field goals in 45 attempts, a meager 28.9%. From three-point range, they struggled even more, canning 2-of-15, 13.3%. Three Gauchos, forwards Mark Hull and Mike Vukovich and guard Derrick Allen, combined to go 10-for-15, 66.7%. The remainder of the team made only 3-of-30, 10.0%. The only thing worse than Santa Barbara's shooting on Saturday? Stanford's shooting. As mentioned on page one, if you made the time to read it, the Cardinal hit only 15-of-57 field goal attempts, 26.3%. Not one Stanford player who attempted more than two shots hit bdtter than 41.7% (Jarron Collins was 5-for-12). Getting back to the Gauchos for a moment, their 13 successful field goals were seven fewer than their lowest total last season. They hit 20 in last season's opener at Pepperdine. UCSB's worst single-game percentage last year was the 34.4% they made in a loss at New Mexico State.

We Enjoy Your Company Derrick, Next Time Stay Longer
Senior point guard Derrick Allen was up to his old tricks on Saturday. He was making some shots, coming up with some steals, playing well defensively. And it was fun while it lasted. Allen fouled out in a mere 19 minutes of play. When he committed his fifth foul, there were five minutes remaining in the game and the Gauchos trailed by eight. Allen, who averaged 6.7 points, 4.2 assists, 2.4 steals and 4.4 rebounds per game last season, ended the game with seven points (3-of-4 from the field), two rebounds, one assist and a pair of steals. He also made one of UCSB's three-point field goals.

Hull Was On The Mark
Redshirt freshman wing Mark Hull had a nice coming out party against Stanford. It would have been nicer if he could have walked off the court with a win, but his 13 point, seven rebound and one steal performance was a pretty good one to open up with. Hull, out of Hoover High School in Glendale, sat out last season. This year, he seized his opportunity by securing a spot int he starting lineup. On Saturday, he was the team's leading scorer and its second leading rebounder. He made 5-of-9 shots from the field, including 1-for-3 from three-point range. Hull led the Gauchos in minutes played with 33. Not bad for his first collegiate outing, and in fact, not bad for his first game actioin in about 21 months.

Re: Ward
Freshman guard B.J. Ward made his debut against Stanford as well. While he struggled with his shooting (0-for-5 from the floor), his appearance was not without its positives. He made all six of his free throws and his six points was the fourth highest total on the night for the Gauchos. Next to Hull's 33 minutes, Ward's 23 minutes were the most played by a Gaucho wing or point guard. And while he had only one assist, he showed signs that he has the ability to be an outstanding playmaker. Ward showed great quickness and explosiveness, particularly in the second half when he scored all six of his points. As the season progresses, the Gaucho coaching staff hopes to use he and Derrick Allen in the same backcourt more often, a luxury not offered on Saturday with the speedy (19 minutes) disqualification of Allen.

Jordani Shows Some Positive Signs
I tried to think of a snappy headline for junior forward Juliano Jordani. Something to go with his name (a rather original name in these parts) or something to play off of the fact that he is from So Paulo, Brazil. No dice. Maybe later in the year, but not this early. Either way, Jordani, a transfer from the College of Southern Idaho, made only 1-of-7 shots from the field on Saturday and he missed all three of his three-point field goal attempts, but he did come up with a team-high eight rebounds, all on the defensive end. In addtion, Jordani had eight points (including 6-of-8 from the free throw line), a team-high two assists and a pair of steals. Faced with the task of guarding Stanford's Jarron Collins, fresh off of a Most Valuable Player performance int he Coaches vs. Cancer Tournament in New York, he did a commendable job on the defensive end of the floor as well, holding him to 5-of-12 from the field. Jordani's 31 minutes played were the most by any Gaucho frontcourt player.

Vukovich Shakes The Rust
Sophomore forward Mike Vukovich returned to action for the first time in 20 months. After redshirting last season, Vukovich played 11 minutes in his return, making both of his field goal attempts, his only free throw and finishing with five points. He also had four rebounds in the loss to Stanford.

Ndiaye's Longest Day
Junior forward Adama Ndiaye did not have standout statistics in game one, but there were some positives. His field goal numbers were identical to his frontcourt partner, Jordani. He was 1-of-7 from the floor, but he did finish with five points and four rebounds. Ndiaye did, however, set a career-high in minutes played with 30. Last season the most time he ever spent on the court in one game was 24 minutes (vs. Westmont College) and he only played 20 or more in four games.

The Opponents
San Jose State, holds a 51-48 lead in the all-time series with the Gauchos, but UCSB did win the last meeting between the old Big West rivals. Last December, the Gauchos defeated San Jose State by a score of 68-66. The last time UCSB and SJSU met in San Jose was during the 1995-96 season with Gauchos recording an 80-77 victory. As for San Francisco, the Dons lead their all-time series against the Gauchos by a solid 20-6 margin. USF has won the last two games in the series, including a last-second win at the Thunderdome last year, 71-70. As for the Trojans, well, the UCSB has never beaten USC. The Gauchos are 0-8 against them, including a 79-73 loss at the Thunderdome early last season.

The Gauchos On The Road
After opening the 1998-99 season with an 0-4 mark in games away from home, UCSB went 6-2 on the road, all in Big West play, the finish with a solid 6-6 road record. The Gauchos won conference road games at Pacific, Utah State, Nevada, UC Irvine, Cal State Fullerton and Cal Poly. The six wins on the road in the Big West is the most by a Gaucho team since the 1987-88 team went 7-2 in league road games.