Nov. 22, 2008
Game No. 4
Monday, November 24, 2008 at 7:00 p.m. (PST)
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at USF Dons
at USF's War Memorial Gym
Game broadcast on KIST 1490-AM
The World Vision Basketball Invitational at Illinois State
Game No. 5
Friday, November 28, 2008 at 6:30 p.m. (PST)
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Winston-Salem State Rams
Game No. 6
Saturday, November 29, 2008 at 6:30 p.m. (PST)
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Nicholls State Colonels
Game No. 5
Sunday, November 30, 2008 at 1:30 p.m. (PST)
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at Illinois State Redbirds
Note: All games are played at Illinois State's Redbird Arena in Normal, Illinois.
All games are broadcast live in Santa Barbara on KIST 1490-AM.
After opening the 2008-09 season with three consecutive home games, UC Santa Barbara will go on the road for its next five games. Actually, three games will be true road games and two will be neutral court games. The road trip begins on Monday, Nov. 24 when the Gauchos travel to the University of San Francisco for a 7:00 p.m. game. UCSB will then spend Thanksgiving weekend in Normal, Ill., to take part in Illinois State's World Vision Invitational. Three games in three nights against Winston-Salem State, Nicholls State, and Illinois State.
On The Radio
All UC Santa Barbara basketball games are broadcast live in Santa Barbara on KIST 1490-AM. KEYT-TV Sports Director Gerry Fall is in his fifth year as the play-by-play voice of the Gauchos. Former Los Angeles Lakers and UCSB star Don Ford handles the color commentary for the majority of games, home and road. When Ford is not available for road games, Bill Mahoney, yours truly, will handle the task. Steve Wendt, the voice of the UCSB women's basketball team, will handle the play-by-play for a handful of men's games this season.
The Gaucho Record
UCSB will enter the game at the University of San Francisco with a record of 1-2. After opening the year with a win over Cal State Los Angeles, the Gauchos have lost games to Utah State and North Carolina. In 2007-08, UCSB set a school record with 23 wins, finishing 23-9.
Late Surge Sends No. 1 North Carolina Past UCSB
Ty Lawson scored 19 points, Wayne Ellington added 17, and 2008 National Player of the Year Tyler Hansbrough scored 13 in his season-debut, to lead top-ranked North Carolina to an 84-67 win over the Gauchos on Friday night. Santa Barbara, which led by a 27-22 score with just over eight minutes to play in the first half, was still within seven, 60-53, with ten minutes left, and 10, 69-59, with 5:48 remaining. The Tar Heels, however, used a 15-5 run to bump the lead to 84-64 with less than 30 seconds to play and they won going away. Freshman swingman James Nunnally led the Gauchos with career-highs of 22 points and seven rebounds in 26 minutes. Junior forward Jesse Byrd had 12 points and five rebounds for UCSB, which had 21 turnovers in the game, but also forced 15 from North Carolina. The Tar Heels outrebounded the Gauchos by a 40-28 margin and outscored them from the free throw line, 22-10. The game was played in front of a sold out crowd of 6,000 at the Thunderdome in Santa Barbara.
Time Change For Jan. 29 Home Game Against Cal State Northridge
The UCSB-Cal State Northridge Big West Conference game, originally scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 29, has been moved to 8:00 p.m. to accommodate ESPNU, which will televise the game nationally.
Joyner On The Shelf
Junior point guard Justin Joyner will miss the 2008-09 season as he rehabilitates his surgically-repaired right wrist. The Big West-leader in assist-to-turnover ratio and the Gauchos' leader in assists in 2007-08, Joyner played his entire sophomore season with a broken bone in the right wrist, starting all 32 games.
Youth Is Served
UCSB has played four freshmen in each of its first three regular season games. Forward Jaimé Serna, guards Will Brew, Jr., and James Nunnally, and center Greg Somogyi have each played key roles in the first three games. The last time a Gaucho team played four or more freshmen in a game was in 200-01, when Branduinn Fullove, Jacoby Atako, Nick Jones, Casey Cook, and J.J. Todd each played in several games together. The difference this year is that all four freshmen are true freshmen. In 2000-01, Jones and Todd were redshirt freshmen.
How About More Two-Pointers?
Through three games, UCSB and its opponents seem to be having a hard time adjusting to the new distance of the three-point line. After shooting a school-record 41.0% from beyond the old arc in 2007-08, the Gauchos have made just 32.1% this year, a drop of 8.9%. The opponents have made just 29.2%, a smaller drop of 2.2% from their mark of 31.4% last season. Things have actually been much better from two-point range. Santa Barbara has made 53-of-105 from inside the arc, 50.5%, an improvement from last season's 47.4%. UCSB opponents, on the other hand, have hit 68-of-116 shots from two-point range, 50.0%.
On The Road Again
In 2007-08, the road was quite friendly to UCSB. Last season, the Gauchos posted a 10-5 record in true road games and a 12-6 mark in all games away from home. Most impressively was their road performance in Big West Conference games. After losing at UC Irvine in its first league road game, UCSB won its last seven conference road games in succession. Even more impressively, of the five losses in true road games, four came against teams that advanced to postseason play: North Carolina, Stanford, Mississippi, and Utah State.
As The World Turns...Over
UCSB had 21 turnovers in the game against North Carolina. The Gauchos now have 55 turnovers in three games, an average of 18.3 per game. They have had 20 or more two times in the three games. They had a season-high 22 in a win over Cal State Los Angeles. On the other side of the court, Santa Barbara forced the Tar Heels into 53. Gaucho opponents are now averaging 17.7 per game.
On The Rebound
Since outrebounding Cal State Los Angeles 41-30, the Gauchos have lost consecutive rebounding battles. Last week, against Utah State, they were beaten on the boards 36-25. On Friday, North Carolina had a 40-28 edge in rebounding. Through three games, UCSB opponents are outrebounding the Gauchos by an average of 35.3 to 31.3, a margin of four rebounds per game. Santa Barbara is led by Jesse Byrd who is averaging 5.0 per game.
UCSB and the University of San Francisco have played 34 times since their first meeting in 1961. The Dons hold a 23-11 all-time edge, but the Gauchos have won the last three games. In 2007-08, they won in Santa Barbara by a score of 74-69. UCSB has never played Winston-Salem State or Nicholls State. The Gauchos have played Illinois State once, defeating the Redbirds 84-69 on Jan. 5, 1978 in Santa Barbara.
Senior forward Chris Devine, a Collegeinsider.com preseason mid-major All-American, is averaging 11.7 points and 4.7 rebounds through three games. Devine's numbers took quite a dip because of the game against North Carolina. Against the Tar Heels, he played 27 minutes and made just 2-of-6 shots from the field, finishing with four point. He also had one rebounds. Both figures represented the second-lowest of Devine's career. In the season-opener against Cal State Los Angeles, the native of Alaska had 17 points and 11 rebounds. It was the first time that he had produced double-figures in rebounds since the 2006-07 season, and it was the 10th double-double of his career. Devine is, in fact, the only Gaucho player with a double-double in his career. The 35 points he has scored on the season, gives him 1,178 career points, the 15th highest total in school history. He needs just 22 to hit the 1,200 point mark and move into the 13th slot. Also, with 541 career rebounds, Devine needs 42 more to move into the all-time top-10 in that category. In his UCSB career, he has now played in 92 of a possible 93 games, missing just one for a non-injury related reason. All 92 of Devine's appearances have been starts.
Old Buddy, Old Powell
Junior guard James Powell is off to a slow start. He enters the week averaging 13.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 2.0 assists per game, but he had made just 30.4% of his field goals overall, and just 17.4% from three-point range. Anyone who wants to panic is advised to think back one season, to 2007-08. After three games last season, wins over Northwestern State and Harvard, and a loss to Stanford, Powell was averaging 6.0 points per game. In those three games, he made 7-of-25 shots overall, 28.0%, and 2-for-9, 22.2% from three-point territory. The biggest only major difference is that through three games this season, he has attempted 46 shots, 21 more than last season. Powell had 16 points in the opener against Cal State Los Angeles and 14 against Utah State. Last year, Powell made 79 three-point baskets, the second-highest total in school history, and he shot 46.7% from outside the three-point arc, a new school record. Following the season he was named Honorable Mention All-Big West. Finally, in the opener against Cal State Los Angeles, Powell had a career-high seven rebounds, and he is tied for the team-led with five steals.
The Word On Byrd
Junior forward Jesse Byrd had his best game as a Gaucho against the No. 1 team in the country, North Carolina. Byrd, who transferred to UCSB from San Francisco, made 4-of-5 shots from the field, all four of his free throws, for 12 points. He also had five rebounds. Overall, the Oakland native is now averaging 7.7 points and a team-leading 5.0 rebounds per game. Byrd, in fact, has had five rebounds in each of the first three games. In the last two games, he has made 8-of-10 field goal attempts, 80.0%, and averaged 10.0 points per game. The 12 points he had against the Tar Heels equalled the all-time best that he recorded against Cal State Fullerton during his freshman season at USF.
The Flying Nunnally
After scoring a combined eight points and collecting a total of two rebounds in the first two games, freshman swingman James Nunnally broke through in the loss to North Carolina. Nunnally, playing 26 minutes, had 22 points, seven rebounds, one blocked shot and one steal. He made 8-of-15 shots overall, and 3-of-4 from three-point range. The 22 points were the most scored by a Gaucho freshman since Branduinn Fullove had 22 in a game at Boise State on March 3, 2001. Nunnally leads the team in three-pointers on the year with five. He has gone 5-of-7, 71.4%.
Strike A Posley
Senior guard D.J. Posley was off to a pretty good start in the game against the Tar Heels. While he had missed both of his field goal attempts, he had five assists and a steal in nine minutes. Unfortunately, Posley cramped-up and was unable to return to the game. Despite playing just nine minutes against UNC, he still leads the Gauhos in assists with 13, an average of 4.3 per game. Posley has had five assists twice, against Cal State Los Angeles as well as UNC, the second highest total of his career. His five steals also ties for the team-lead.
Roemer Wasn't Built In A Day
Junior guard Paul Roemer picked a good time to have his best game of the season. In the defeat to North Carolina, Roemer made both of his three-point attempts to finish with six points, and he had a season-high four assists, one shy of his career-high. Just as importantly, against the pressure of the Tar Heel defense, he had just one turnover in 23 minutes. On the year, Roemer is averaging 3.7 points and 2.3 assists per game. He had made 3-of-5 three-point shots.
Something Is Brewing
Will Brew, Jr., had three assists in a career-high 20 minutes on Friday night against North Carolina. In his last two games, Brew has totaled eight assist and he enters the week ranked second on the team in that category at 3.0 per game. Also, the Oakland native has made his mark on the defensive end. After producing a personal-best three steals against Utah State, he added another against the Tar Heels. Finally, Brew had a career-high three rebounds on Friday night.
Dunk You Very Much
Freshman center Greg Somogyi has made 4-of-5 shots on the year. All four of his field goals have come via the slam dunk. The agile 7-foot-2 Somogyi is averaging 2.7 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game in an average of just 8.7 minutes per game. He had highs of four points and four rebounds in the narrow loss to Utah State.
That's Jaimé, not Jamie
Freshman forward Jaimé Serna scored a season-high six points against North Carolina. He made both of his field goal attempts and both of his free throw attempts. Serna is now averaging 4.0 points per game on the season. He is also averaging 4.0 rebounds per game, despite have a season-low one rebound against the Tar Heels. Serna had a season-high seven rebounds in the opener against Cal State Los Angeles.