Gauchos Take 1-0 Record on the Road to Montana Holiday Classic

Nov. 26, 2003

Complete Release in PDF Format
Download Free Acrobat Reader

The Schedule
Game No. 2
Saturday, November 29, 2003 at 4:30 p.m. (PST)
Montana Holiday Classic
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. St. Mary's College Gaels
at Montana's Adams Center (7,321)
Radio: KTLK 1340-AM

Game No. 3
Sunday, November 30, 2003 at 4:30 p.m. or 6:30 p.m.
Montana Holiday Classic
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. University of Montana Grizzlies or Southeast Missouri State Indians
at Montana's Adams Center (7,321)
Radio: KTMS 990-AM

Gaucho Update
UC Santa Barbara enters the Montana Holiday Classic with a record of 1-0. The Gauchos opened the season with a 57-51 win at Hawaii on Friday night. The victory over the Rainbow Warriors was UCSB's first season-opening road win since 1988-89 when the Gauchos opened the season at Colorado, posting a 71-70 win.

Gauchos Play St. Mary's In First Round Of Montana Tournament
UCSB was originally scheduled to play the University of Montana, the host school, at the Montana Holiday Classic, but that has been changed. The Gauchos will take on St. Mary's in the first round of the tourney and tip-off time is 4:30 p.m. (PST).

UCSB Overcomes The Odds In Season-Opening Win
Taken by itself, UCSB's 57-51 win over Hawaii last Friday was a good one. When considering the fact that the Gauchos played without guards Branduinn Fullove and Nick Jones, their top two returning scorers from last season, and that the Rainbow Warriors had won 33 of their previous 35 games at the Stan Sheriff Center, the win was even more impressive. Casey Cook tied his career-high with 16 points and he set a career-high with 12 rebounds in the win. Cecil Brown and Jacoby Atako each added 13 points and the Gauchos limited Hawaii to 39.6% shooting from the floor. In addition UCSB had eight steals and forced 16 turnovers. Santa Barbara trailed 42-37 with 10:28 remaining in the game but outscored the Rainbow Warriors 14-2 over the next 7:27, taking a 51-44 advantage. The lead never dropped below four points after that.

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 did not make the trip to Hawaii and he will not be available for the tournament in Montana. 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-Big West, 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 of the 2003-04 season 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, sat out the season-opener at Hawaii, he will miss both games at the Montana Holiday Classic, and he will sit out games against Pepperdine, Westmont, San Diego, UCLA and Kansas. Jones will resume play on December 21 against Alabama State at the Wolf Pack Classic in Reno.

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 when 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.

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 81-67 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.

Bob Williams' Show Returns
Extra! Extra! Read all about it! The Bob Williams Show returns to the airwaves for its third season. Mark your calendars and grab your Palm Pilots. The show will air on Tuesday evenings from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on KTMS 990-AM, one of the Clear Channel Santa Barbara homes of Gaucho Basketball. The show will air on December 2 and December 16, January 6, 13, 20 and 27, February 3, 10, 17 and 24, and March 2, 9 and 16. All broadcasts will originate from The Paradise Café in downtown Santa Barbara.

Possible Starters - Notes
G - Jacoby Atako - Tied his career-high with 13 points in the win at Hawaii.
G - Cecil Brown - Scored 13 points against Hawaii, 11 in the second half.
G - Josh Davis - Went scoreless against Hawaii, but did a great job on the defensive end.
F - Cameron Goettsche - Foul trouble limited him to 17 minutes in opener.
F - Casey Cook - Tied career-high with 16 points at Hawaii and had career-high 11 boards.

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 - Had eight points at Hawaii, made three-pointer that gave UCSB the lead for good.
G - Chrismen Oliver - Had one steal in six minutes of action at Hawaii.
F - Bryan Whitehead - Had four rebounds in 19 minutes against Hawaii.
F - Bray Skultety - Committed four fouls in just six minutes of the opener.
F - Glenn Turner - Played six minutes in his first game, three rebounds, one block and two points.
F - Derek Wheeler - Did not play in the opener.

Chris Devine Set To Redshirt
Freshman Chris Devine will redshirt the 2003-04 season, head coach Bob Williams has announced. Devine, a 6-foot-8, 200 pound forward from Chugiak High School in Eagle River, Alaska, in the only true freshman on the UCSB roster. As a senior at Chugiak High School he averaged 22.1 points, 10.3 rebounds, 3.0 blocked shots, 3.0 assists and 4.1 steals per game. Devine is joined as a redshirt by Michael Chambers, a 6-foot-3 guard who transferred to UCSB after playing two seasons at the University of San Francisco. Chambers, who will be a junior in 2004-05, is a walk-on for the Gauchos. As a sophomore in 2002-03, he averaged 11.0 minutes, 2.6 points and 1.0 rebounds per game while playing in 24 contests.

Plenty Of Offensive Firepower...In Santa Barbara
When UCSB entered its season-opener at Hawaii on Friday, it had a cumulative total of 1,520 career points spread out among the 11 players on the trip and that included the points that Joe See scored as a freshman at Oregon State. In Branduinn Fullove and Nick Jones, the Gauchos had a total of 2,144 points sitting at home.

Better Weather, Better Start
This marked the second consecutive year that UCSB had opened the season somewhere other than the continental United States. Last year, the Gauchos opened the campaign in the 49th state, Alaska, where they played in the BP Top of the World Classic. The result in the 2002-03 opener was significantly different, however, as UCSB dropped a 91-82 decision to Weber State.

The Lonely Senior
In a normal game situation, Jacoby Atako would have been one of three or four seniors in UCSB's starting lineup. He would have had a leading role on the court, but he would be one of several co-leaders. Against Hawaii, due to an injury to Branduinn Fullove, the suspension of Nick Jones and the coaching staff's decision to start Casey Cook at the five spot, Atako was the lone senior in the starting five and he made the best of it. Playing 31 minutes, Atako made 3-of-6 shots from the field, 7-of-9 shots from the free throw line and he tied his career-high with 13 points. In addition, he had four rebounds, the sixth most in his career, and he had three steals, his third-highest total. Although Atako did have seven turnovers, he did so with a generally inexperienced group around him. He also played one of the most aggressive games of his career on the offensive end, going to the basket more than usual and pushing the ball up the floor. The Santa Monica, Calif., native had one assist to give him 311 for his career, one behind former Gaucho great Carrick DeHart for seventh-place on the school's all-time list. With his start, Atako has now been in the starting lineup 83 times in his 92 games at UCSB.

Brown Becomes A Leading Man
As a freshman, guard Cecil Brown was an important role-player for a UCSB team that won the Big West Conference regular season championship. As he entered his sophomore season, it was expected that Brown's role would increase, but with three returning senior starters in the backcourt, his role was expected to remain one of a reserve. Then, circumstances changed. Jones was suspended and Fullove was injured. Enter Brown, in a starring role and in the starting lineup. In the season-opener at Hawaii, Brown fueled a second half rally that helped the Gauchos overcome a five-point deficit and cruise to a 57-51 victory. The 6-foot-4 Canoga Park, Calif., native scored 13 points in 35 minutes, but more importantly, he scored 11 points in the second half. After going 1-for-8 from the field in the first half, Brown set the tone by drilling a three-point basket to open the second half. In the second half, he went 5-for-9 from the field. His 13-point total equaled the second highest total of his career. He also had four rebounds, two assists and a steal. Last season, Brown averaged 5.2 points and 1.9 rebounds per game. He played in all 32 games, starting three, and scored in double-figures five times. His high-game of 16 points also came in a clutch situation. Brown recorded his 16-point game in a win at Pacific, a game in which Fullove went down in the opening minute after banging heads with a Tiger player.

Cook Serves Up A Tasty Performance
Junior forward Casey Cook grew-up in Sacramento. He has spent virtually his entire life living in California. So what is it about the non-continental United States that gets him going? Whatever it is, Cook had the best game of his career in the win at Hawaii, tying his career-high with 16 points and recording a new career-high with 12 rebounds. Cook's other 16-point effort came last year in a game against Centenary at the BP Top of the World Fairbanks, Alaska. In addition to his career numbers in points and rebounds, Cook played 31 minutes, eclipsing the 30-minute barrier for the firt time in his UCSB career. Like Brown, he was an important part of the second half surge, scoring 12 points and collecting seven rebounds in the final 20 minutes, and while he made 6-of-11 shots in the game, he hit 4-of-5 field goal attempts and all four of his free throw attempts in the second half. Dating back to last year, Cook has become a free throw line demon. After opening last year by making just 12-of-25 attempts over the season's first 15 games, 48.0%, he closed strong, making 37-of-42 over the final 17 games, an outstanding 88.1%. By going 4-for-4 in the opener at Hawaii, Cook has now made 41-of-46 shots from the charity stripe over his last 18 games, 89.1%.

What You See Is What You Get
Sophomore guard Joe See, a transfer from Oregon State, came to UCSB with a reputation as an outstanding three-point shooter. As a freshman for the Beavers, he missed the first 12 three-point shots he attempted. His sophomore season is off to a better start. See scored eight points in the Gauchos' win over Hawaii. He made 3-of-5 shots from the field, including 2-of-4 from beyond the three-point arc. With about 7:30 remaining in the contest and the score tied, Jacoby Atako stripped a Rainbow Warrior of the ball under the basket. He passed the ball up-court to See for a three-on-two break, the UCSB guard calmly pulled-up from about 22 feet and drilled a three-pointer to give his team the lead at 47-44. The Gauchos never trailed again. In his one season at Oregon State, See ultimately heated-up from three-point range, finishing with a team-high 43 on the year and shooting a solid 34.7%. After the 0-for-12 start, he closed the 2001-02 year by making 38.4% of his threes and he averaged 6.1 points per game for the Beavers.

Three-Point Diet
UCSB attempted just eight three-point baskets in the win at Hawaii. In 2002-03, the fewest the Gauchos attempted in any game was 11 and they did that twice. The last time they attempted fewer than the eight they launched at Hawaii was on February 9, 2002, when they attempted seven in a home victory over Cal State Northridge.

Gauchos On The Rebound
Last season, UCSB was outrebounded by a count of 31.5 to 30.8. It marked the first time in five seasons under Bob Williams, that the Gauchos were outrebounded. In Friday's opener at Hawaii, Santa Barbara recorded a solid 36-31 rebounding edge against a taller Rainbow Warrior team. Casey Cook led the way with a game-high 12 rebounds, but in all, six UCSB players had at least three rebounds and four had at least four. In fact, two of the Gauchos' starting guards, Jacoby Atako and Cecil Brown, had four rebounds apiece.

The Defense Never Rests
After a slow start on the defensive end last season, UCSB settled-in and finished the year with opponents shooting just 41.0% from the floor. In 18 Big West games a year ago, that opponents field goal percentage was even lower at 39.8%. In their opener, despite playing without two backcourt starters, the Gauchos played at a high defensive level. UCSB limited Hawaii to 39.6% shooting from the field overall, 37.9% in the second half. During the game's decisive second half stretch, when the Gauchos outscored the Rainbow Warriors 14-2 over eight minutes, they limited Hawaii to 1-for-10 from the field and forced four turnovers. In all, UCSB forced 16 turnovers and had eight steals. Jacoby Atako, the Big West's Defensive Player of the Year in 2003, had three of the steals.

The Post Committee
While Casey Cook was clearly the standout among the frontcourt players in the opener at Hawaii, several others made their contributions as well. Sophomore Cameron Goettsche, who was the team's leading scorer and rebounder in the two exhibition games, started at the four spot. He was limited to 17 minutes because of foul trouble, but did have three points, three rebounds, two assists and a steal. Senior Bryan Whitehead came off the bench to log 19 minutes and he chipped-in two points, four rebounds and a steal. Redshirt freshman Glenn Turner played a productive six minutes scoring two points, pulling down three rebounds, passing off for one assist and coming up with a spectacular block of an attempted dunk. Senior Bray Skultety, making his first appearance in a regular game since the 2002 NCAA Tournament, played just six minutes and committed four fouls.

The Opposition
UCSB and St. Mary's have played 32 times over the years with the Gauchos holding a 21-11 edge. The last time the teams met was December 1, 2001, with UCSB winning in Santa Barbara by a score of 62-51. The Gauchos have played Montana four times and each team has posted two victories. UCSB last played the Grizzlies on December 21, 1985, with Montana winning by a score of 78-67. Santa Barbara and Southeast Missouri State have never played.

UCSB On The Road
UCSB opened the season with a win at Hawaii. Last yer, the Gauchos recorded an 8-12 record away from the Thunderdome. 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 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.

UCSB Inks Three To NLIs
UCSB signed three high school players to National Letters of Intent during the early signing period. Gaucho head coach Bob Williams announced the signing of Alex Harris, a 6-foot-5 guard from St. Joseph's Notre Dame High School in Alameda, Calif., Todd Follmer, a 6-foot-10 center/forward out of Rancho Santa Margarita High School in Santa Margarita, Calif., and Chris Moore, a 6-foot-9 forward out of St. Edwards High School in Lakewood, Ohio.

On The Horizon
Following its appearance in the Montana Holiday Classic, UCSB will return home for three consecutive games. The Gauchos will play their home opener on Wednesday, November 3 when they host Pepperdine at 7:00 p.m. in the Thunderdome. UCSB will then host Westmont College on Wednesday, December 10 and the University of San Diego on Saturday, December 13. Santa Barbara will hit the road again on Wednesday, December 17 for a game at UCLA.