Men's Basketball Travels To USF In Search Of First Win

Nov. 26, 1999

Santa Barbara, Calif. -

The Schedule
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

Gaucho Offensive Struggles Continue
From a basketball standpoint, UC Santa Barbara had little to give thanks for after Thursday's 62-41 loss at San Jose State. For the second game in a row, the Gauchos struggled mightily on the offensive end of the floor, shooting only 27.3% for the game. In their opener on November 20, UCSB had a good defensive outing, but lost to Stanford , 62-49. That game, however, was not without its highlights for the Gauchos. Granted, none 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, sending 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. There was less to be pleased with at San Jose as the Spartans shot 48.9% and led by as many as 33 points before the Gauchos closed the gap in the closing minutes.

What About Bob?
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 two games this season, Williams' Gaucho record is now 15-15 and his overall record as a college coach is 204-115. His teams have won either a league, division or National Championship in five straight seasons.

Probable Starters - Notes
G - Derrick Allen - Has attempted only five shots in 43 minutes of play.
G - Erick Ashe - Has made only 2-of-16 shots from the field in two games.
G - Mark Hull - After scoring 13 vs. Stanford, had only two at SJSU.
F - Adama Ndiaye - Tied for team-lead in rebounds with nine at SJSU.
F - Juliano Jordani -Has made only 1-for-11 from the field in two games.

Probable Reserves - Notes
G - Brandon Payton - Has yet to make a three-pointer in 39 minutes.
G - LaRon Bryant - Scored his first points as a Gaucho in closing minutes at SJSU.
G - B.J. Ward - Made his first FG as a Gaucho in last seconds at SJSU.
F - Mike Vukovich - Scored a career-high 13 points at SJSU.
F - Ross Carmichael - Transfer from Texas Tech eligible at end of Fall Quarter.

The Opponents
San Francisco leads its 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
With its loss at San Jose State on Thursday, the Gauchos are 0-1 on the road this season. 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.

Hull's Rollercoaster
Freshman win Mark Hull's first two games of activity have been a rollercoaster. In game one against Stanford, he scored 13 points and had seven rebounds, making 5-of-9 shots from the floor, including a three-pointer. In the loss at San Jose State, he experienced the other end of the stick, playing 25 minutes, making only 1-of-6 shots from the field and finishing with two points and one rebound. Despite his subpar outing on Thursday, Hull remains the team's second leading scorer at 7.5 points per outing and its fourth leading rebounder at 4.0 per contest.

Ndiaye Rebounds
Junior forward Adama Ndiaye got bounced around a bit in the loss at San Jose State, hitting the hardwood on several occasions after being pushed. Still, Ndiaye remained on his feet enough to produce his second highest rebounding total as a Gaucho, nine. In addition, for the second consecutive game, the native of Dakar, Senegal played a career-high 30 minutes. In fact, his two-game total of 60 minutes played is the highest total of any Gaucho player this season and it is six more than the next closest frontcourt regular, Juliano Jordani, who has logged 54.

Rim Denting
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 the first two games, UCSB is having BIG TIME shooting and scoring woes. In their opener against Stanford, the Gauchos 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? The Gauchos' shooting on Thursday. UCSB made only 15-of-55 field goal attempts, 27.3%. In fact, it took a late second half surge to kick them over the 25.0% mark. The Gauchos hit only 5-of-19 shots in the first half of the loss to San Jose State, 19.2%. In two games, UCSB has now made only 28-of-100 field goal attempts, 28.0%. Not coincidentally, they have scored a grand total of 90 points in their first two games, an average of 45.0 points per outing. UCSB's worst single-game percentage last year was the 34.4% they made in a loss at New Mexico State.

Three-Pointers: More Of The Same
If you are shooting lousy from the field overall, it is to be expected that you are equally as lousy or worse from beyond the three-point line. That fact is resoundingly true after two games for the Gauchos. As if their 28-for-100 field goal effort wasn't bad enough, they have made only 3-of-33 shots from three-point range. At San Jose State on Thursday, they hit 1-of-18 (05.6%). What makes that performance even worse is the fact that Erick Ashe hit the team's first attempt of the game and then the Gauchos proceeded to reel off 17 straight misses, a statistic that is believed to be a school record. Not one Gaucho player has made more than one three-pointer. Ashe, Mark Hull and Derrick Allen have each made one. Those struggling the worst? Ashe (1-for-11), LaRon Bryant (0-for-6) and Juliano Jordani (0-for-6).

Vukovich Gives The Gauchos A Bright Spot
Sophomore forward Mike Vukovich actually gave UCSB one bright spot in the loss at San Jose State. He recorded career-highs of 13 points and nine rebounds in 24 minutes of play. Through two games, Vukovich has averaged 17.5 minutes of play and he is leading the team in scoring (9.5 points per game) and he is tied for the team-lead in rebounding (6.5 per outing). The 6-foot-9 graduate of Mater Dei High School has made 6-of-8 shots from the field, a solid 75.0%. Without his field goal numbers included, the Gauchos have actually only hit 22-of-92 from the floor, 23.9%. In addition to his scoring and rebounding, Vukovich has two of the Gauchos three blocked shots through the first two games.

Gaucho Notes
The 41 points scored by UCSB on Thursday was their lowest total since the 1984-85 campaign when the scored 40 points in an exciting 41-40 loss to Boyd Grant's Fresno State Bulldogs...UCSB's first two opponents have each scored 62 points...At one point in the first half on Thursday, the Gauchos went without a field goal for nearly 11 minutes...Nobody on the team has more than three assists...UCSB's two game total of 28 field goals is only eight more than it had in its worst field goal effort last year (20 in the season opener at Pepperdine)...The 21-point loss to San Jose State was the worst defeat by the Gauchos since their 22-point loss at New Mexico State in the regular season last year.

On The Horizon
UCSB travels to USC on Wednesday, December 1 for a 7:30 p.m. game. They return home on Saturday, December 4 to host Westmont at 7:00 p.m. in the Thunderdome.