Men's Basketball, Off To Best Start Since 1992, Travels To LMU, Hosts Pepperdine

Dec. 5, 2001

The Schedule
Game No. 6
Wednesday, December 5, 2001 at 7:00 p.m. at LMU's Gersten Pavilion

Game No. 7
Saturday, December 8, 2001 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Pepperdine University Waves
at UCSB's Thunderdome

Pepperdine Game Moved To 7:00 PM
UCSB's December 8 home game against Pepperdine, originally scheduled for 5:00 p.m. to accommodate television, has been moved to 7:00 p.m. Fox Sports Net, which was to televise the game originally has changed its schedule and will not be carrying the Gaucho-Wave clash.

The Gaucho Record
UC Santa Barbara enters Thursday's game at Loyola Marymount with an overall record of 4-1. After opening the season with back-to-back wins over Westmont College (51-42) and the University of San Francisco (69-49), the Gauchos dropped a 73-62 road decision at USC, before bouncing back with consecutive home wins over BYU (68-58) and St. Mary's (62-51).

Quick Start Is The Best In A While
UCSB is off to a 4-1 start to the 2001-02 season, the programs best start since the 1992-93 season when it opened with a 6-0 record. That year, the Gauchos finished 18-12 and were invited to the National Invitation Tournament. The 4-1 start is easily the best five game start by UCSB during the Bob Williams Era. Previously, the Gauchos have opened at 0-5 (1998), 1-4 (1999) and 1-4 (2000).

Bob Williams Show To Debut On KEYT Newsradio Tuesday
The Bob Williams Show makes its debut on KEYT Newsradio 1250 on Tuesday, December 4 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The show will be dedicated in part to the UCSB men's basketball team, but it will also have segments dedicated to other Gaucho athletes and coaches. The show will be broadcast live from the Paradise Cafe at 702 Anacapa Street in downtown Santa Barbara. Randy Lee, the voice of the Gauchos, will join Coach Williams as the co-hosts of the program.

What About Bob?
Bob Williams is in his fourth season as head coach at UCSB. Last year he guided the Gauchos to a 13-15 overall record and a solid 9-7 mark in Big West play. In his first three-plus seasons, Williams has led the team to a 46-43 record. The 46 victories are the most by any UCSB coach over that period of time. In addition, the 42 wins in the first three campaigns were 12 more than the team had in the three seasons prior to his arrival. Each season under Williams, the Gauchos have progressively gotten better and better, playing their best basketball late in the season. In fact, in three years under his guidance, UCSB has logged a 31-17 record in Big West games, a winning percentage of .646, and among the top three in league over that span. In his first season, Williams guided UCSB to the Big West's Western Division championship, a 15-13 record overall and a 12-4 record in league. He was named Big West Coach of the Year in 1999. Two years ago, they went 14-14 overall, and 10-6 in league. In his career at four-year schools, which includes stops at UC Davis and Menlo College, he now has a 235-142 (.623) record.

UCSB Renews Two Rivalries Before Layoff
Following its games against two traditional non-conference rivals this week, the Gauchos will take 11 days off before opening Big West play at UC Riverside on December 20. UCSB and Loyola Marymount have played 76 times and the Lions hold a 43-33 advantage. The Gauchos have won the last two meetings between the schools, including an 85-69 win in Santa Barbara last season. UCSB and Pepperdine have played 61 times and the Waves have recorded a 33-28 record. Pepperdine has won the last six meetings, including last year when they won in Malibu by a score of 64-53. Last year's game was UCSB's season-opener.

The Gauchos On The Radio
All UC Santa Barbara basketball games are broadcast live on KEYT radio, 1250 AM in Santa Barbara. Randy Lee is back for his fifth season as the play-by-play announcer and Don Ford returns for his sixth year as the primary color announcer. Much to the disgust of the listening public, UCSB Director of Athletic Media Relations Bill Mahoney will handle the color for selected road broadcasts.

UCSB On The Internet
The Official Athletic Site of UC Santa Barbara is Game recaps, weekly releases, boxscores, statistics and the occasional feature can all be found on the web. UCSB is proud member of the FANSonly network.

The Bob Williams Show
The Bob Williams show will air Tuesday nights from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on KEYT NewsRadio 1250 AM. The Voice of the Gauchos, Randy Lee, will co-host the show with Williams. In addition to men's basketball, the show will feature other Gaucho athletes and coaches. The Bob Williams show will be carried twice in December (4th and 11th), three times in January (8th, 22nd and 29th), four times in February (5th, 12th, 19th and 26th) and three times in March (5th, 12th and 19th).

Possible Starters - Notes
G - Jacoby Atako - Produced a career-high three steals in the win over St. Mary's.
G - Branduinn Fullove - Has made 24 consecutive free throws over the last four games.
G - Mark Hull - Since scoring ten points in the opener, he has averaged 17.5 points in the last four.
F - Mike Vukovich - Scored a season-high ten points vs. St. Mary's, making all five field goal attempts.
F - Adama Ndiaye - Has blocked six shots in the last two games, both victories.

Possible Reserves - Notes
G - Nick Jones - Led the team with a season-high seven rebounds in 21 minutes against St. Mary's.
G - B.J. Ward - Has had nine assists, four steals and just two turnovers in the last two games.
G - Chrismen Oliver - Played one minute in each of the first two games. Did not play in last three.
G - Chris Newell - Played one minute at USF, his first career action.
F - Bray Skultety - Played two minutes at USF, his first career action.
F - Casey Cook - After averaging 18.7 minutes in first three games, he has played total of ten in last two.
F - Bryan Whitehead - Has scored just five points in 52 minutes of action.
F - J.J. Todd - Herniated disk in his back has him sidelined indefinitely.

UCSB Gets Defensive Early
While the Gauchos have yet to light-it-up on the offensive end of the court, their work on the defensive end has generally been solid. When BYU made 14-of-26 (53.8%) shots in the first half on November 28, it was the first time this season that an opponent had made 50.0% of its shots in any half. In the second half, the Cougars made just 6-of-26, a meager 23.1%, to finish at 38.5% for the game. In Saturday's win over St. Mary's, the Gaels made 47.8% in the first half, but only 33.3% in the second half, finishing at 40.4%. In ten halves of basketball, UCSB has limited the opposition to below 30.0% five times. On the season, opponents are making just 34.4% of their shots against the Gauchos. In the second half of games, the opposition has made 41-of-133 shots from the field, 30.8%. Finally, UCSB has limited four out of five opponents to fewer than 60 points and two to fewer than 50 points.

Turning Over A New Leaf
In each of the first three games this season, UCSB produced more turnovers than assists. They had 20 turnovers and just ten assists against Westmont, 17 turnovers and 12 assists at USF, and then 18 turnovers and 13 assists at USC. In the last two games, however, they have turned the tables. Against BYU, they turned that around, producing 15 assists and just 11 turnovers, they followed that performance up with an 18 assist, 17 turnover performance against St. Mary's. On the season, the Gauchos have now piled up 83 turnovers and 68 assists.

Playing The Percentages
As long as UCSB is limiting its opposition to 34.4% shooting from the field overall, it should generally be in games. At the other end of the spectrum, the Gauchos are shooting 42.8% as a team, not a figure worthy of a national holiday. In Saturday's win, however, they shot a season-best 54.5% en route to victory. Prior to the performance against St. Mary's, the Gauchos' best outing was a 44.4% performance in a road win at San Francisco.

Santa Barbara Is Two-Point Territory
On the season, UCSB is shooting just 42.8% from the field. From three-point range, they are hitting at a 34.4% clip. Interestingly, the Gauchos have had much more success shooting three-pointers on the road than they have at home. On Wednesday, in the win over BYU, UCSB hit just 3-of-16 shots from beyond the arc, 18.8. On Saturday against St. Mary's, they attempted only five, making two. In the season-opener against Westmont, they made just 3-of-14, 21.4%. In three home games, the Gauchos have combined to make 8-of-35 shots from three-point territory, 22.9%. By contrast, in road games at USF and USC, the Gauchos drilled 14 of their 29 three-point attempts, an outstanding 48.3%.

On The Rebound
Since being outrebounded in the season-opener against Westmont, UCSB has had a rebounding edge. In the first game against the Warriors, the Gauchos had a rebound deficit of two. In the last four games, they outrebounded their opponents by a margin of 22. UCSB has outrebounded USF, USC and St. Mary's and they fought to a rebounding draw against BYU. On the season, UCSB is outrebounding the opposition by exactly four rebounds per game, 36.4 to 32.4. Senior forward Adama Ndiaye leads the team at 9.0 boards per outing. Mark Hull is second on the team at 6.0 per game. UCSB has four players, Branduinn Fullove and Nick Jones in addition to Ndiaye and Hull, who are averaging at least 4.0 rebounds per game.

The Gauchos At Home
With its win over St. Mary's, UCSB is now 3-0 at home on the season. Last year, the Gauchos were 9-5 at the Thunderdome. In Bob Williams' coaching tenure, they have posted a 29-16 overall record at home and a 21-7 mark in Big West play.

The Gauchos On The Road
UCSB will enter its game at Loyola Marymount with a road record of 1-1 on the season. Last year, the Gauchos went 4-10 away from the Thunderdome, including a true road record of 4-9. In Bob Williams' three-plus years as head coach, UCSB has gone 16-26 in games away from home and 15-23 in true road games.

Statistically Speaking
As a team, here is where UCSB ranks statistically among Big West Conference teams:

Category	Rank	Stat 
Scoring Defense 1st 54.6 ppg
Scoring Offense 9th 62.4 ppg
Scoring Margin 3rd +7.8
FG% Defense 1st 34.4%
FG% 6th 42.8%
Free Throw% 2nd 78.1%
3-PT FG% 3rd 34.4%
3-PT FG% Defense 1st 24.8%
3-PT FG Made 8th 4.40 pg
Rebounding Margin 3rd +4.0
Blocked Shots 2nd 3.40 bpg
Assists 5th 13.6 apg
Steals 6th 5.8 spg
Turnover Margin 6th -1.60 tpg

Statistically Speaking II
Here are where some Gauchos rank among Big West individuals:

Player	Category	Rank
Mark Hull Scoring 5th
Branduinn Fullove Scoring 6th
Branduinn Fullove FT% 9th
Mark Hull 3-PT FG% t-1st
Branduinn Fullove 3-PT FG% t-9th
Mark Hull 3-PT FG PG t-8th
Branduinn Fullove 3-PT FG PG t-8th
Adama Ndiaye Rebounding 1st
Mark Hull Rebounding 12th
Jacoby Atako Assists 4th
Adama Ndiaye Blocks 2nd

Another reason for UCSB's 4-1 start this season has been their advantage at the free throw line. As a team, the Gauchos are making 78.1% of their free throws. Four of the top five players in free throw attempts are also the top four in terms of percentage as well. Branduinn Fullove has made 90.0%, and since starting the season 3-for-6, he has nailed 24 in a row to improve to 27-of-30. B.J. Ward is shooting 90.0%, Jacoby Atako is at 83.3% and Mark Hull is making 82.4%. In addition, the Gauchos are defending the free throw line well. Opponents are making 68.5% of their charity attempts. UCSB has made 21 more free throws than the opposition.

Steady Hull Reclaims His Leadership Role
Junior Mark Hull has reversed a trend, and UCSB is thankful. In the first three games of the season, Hull did the bulk of his offensive work in the first half of games. Through three games, he had scored just 13 points in the second halves of games, going for 29 in the second halves. In the win over BYU, it took a major second half effort by Hull to push the Gauchos to victory. Against the Cougars, he scored a season-high 23 points, equaling the second highest total of his career, and of the 23 points, he scored 18 in the second half, 15 in the final nine minutes. On Saturday, he scored a game-high 15, including 11 in the second half and nine during UCSB's decisive 22-2 run that began with about 15 minutes to play. Hull struggled offensively for the Gauchos in the opener against Westmont, making just 3-of-11 shots and scoring ten point. In the last four games, however, he has found his stride, averaging 17.5 points per game and making 51.0% of his field goal attempts. Also, since going 1-for-6 from three-point territory in the first game of the year, Hull has made 7-of-14, 50.0%. Overall, the junior from Glendale is now averaging a team-high 16.0 points per game. As for the rebounding end of things, he has come up with at least five in four games and he is averaging 6.0 per game overall. In the loss at USC, he had eight boards, one more than he had in any game last season, and a figure that is just one fewer than his career-high. Hull piled up a season-high 38 minutes in the win over St. Mary's. He is now averaging 33.0 minutes per game and has played at least 30 in all five contests. With 80 points this season, Hull now has 759 in his career.

Fullove Takes A Step Forward
After making his first field goal attempt in the win over BYU, guard Branduinn Fullove missed his next 11, finishing 1-for-12, the worst shooting performance of his career. Included among the 11 misses were five three-point attempts. In Saturday's win over St. Mary's, Fullove made 4-of-9 shots overall, but missed both of his three-point attempts. His first miss of the night was a three-pointer, but he shot seven of his final eight shots from inside the arc, making 4-of-7 from two-point range. Still, Fullove is off to a good start this season, ranking second on the Gauchos in scoring at 15.4 points per game. He paced the team in each of the first two games with 19 against Westmont and 22 against USF, and he has been in double-figures in all five games. While he doesn't have the highest three-point percentage on the team, Fullove is tied for the team-lead with eight. Prior to going 0-for-7 from three-point range in the last two games, he had made 8-of-17. He is also picking up where he left off last season at the free throw line. After opening the year by making 3-of-6, he has made his last 24 in a row, pulling to within eight of the UCSB record of 32 in a row, set during the 1982-83 season by Frank Horwath. Fullove has now made 27-of-28 charity attempts, 89.3%. In fact, no other three Gauchos combined have made 30 free throws. He easily leads the team in free throw attempts and free throws made. In fact, Fullove's 30 attempts are the same as the total attempted by the next two most frequent free-throwers combined, Hull and Adama Ndiaye, and his 27 made are three more than the combined total of 24 made by Hull and Jacoby Atako. After leading the team in assist average last season, Fullove had just seven in the first four games this season, but on Saturday, he passed off for a season-high five in the win over St. Mary's tying the fourth-highest total of his career. Finally, Fullove is averaging 33.8 minutes per game and, along with Hull, is one of two players who has played at least 30 in all five games.

Ndiaye Continues To Rebound From Fractured Finger
Senior forward Adama Ndiaye is rebounding from the fractured finger that sidelined him last season, literally. While Ndiaye has had problems on the offensive end of the court (7.0 points per game and a 38.9% mark from the field), he has done an outstanding job rebounding, recording three of his seven best marks ever in the first five games. In the opener against Westmont, he had 14 boards. Foul trouble limited Ndiaye to five rebounds in 17 minutes at USF, he bounced back with 13 rebounds at USC on Monday and then 11 in the win over BYU. On Saturday, Ndiaye had his troubles, playing 21 minutes and coming up with just two rebounds. Despite his two-rebound performance against the Gaels, he leads the Gauchos and the Big West with an average of 9.0 rebounds per game. In addition to his rebound feats, Ndiaye has blocked a team-high ten shots on the season, including three in each of the last two games. With the three blocks on Saturday, Ndiaye now has 83 in his career, moving into third place on the all-time list.

The Nick Of Time
Sophomore guard Nick Jones has yet to catch fire on the offensive end this season, but he has been a major contributor anyway. In the comeback win over BYU, he had three steals, all in the second half, and in the win over St. Mary's, he led the team in rebounding with seven. He is averaging 6.6 points and 4.0 rebounds per game this season. But he has chipped in 7.3 per since. While he is shooting 42.9% for the season, since going 1-for-7 in the opener against Westmont, Jones has made 11 -of-21 shots, 52.4%.

Atako Comes Of Age
Sophomore point guard Jacoby Atako is coming of age. In the win over St. Mary's he played a season-high 35 minutes and tied his season-high with 11 points. Atako is averaging 28.8 minutes per game, up from 23.3 per game last year. While he is averaging 6.2 points per game, Atako went scoreless in the opener against Westmont and since then has averaged 7.7 points per game and shot 47.4% from the field. He had his best game as a Gaucho in the win at USF (11 points and five assists) and in addition to his 11 points against St. Mary's, he tied a career-high with three steals. Atako and B.J. Ward have become a pretty potent defensive tandem in the backcourt, playing together for long stretches in the each of the last two games. Each time the Atako-Ward combo has been on the court, the Gauchos have cut into, and ultimately erased, significant opponent leads. Atako also leads UCSB in assists, averaging 3.8 per game. Finally, since missing his first two free throws this season, he has made his last ten in a row and is now shooting 83.3% from the charity stripe.

Just Re-Wards
Junior B.J. Ward has emerged in the last two games. After struggling in road games at USC and USF (four turnovers, one assist and no points in 19 combined minutes), he responded with his two best games in a long while. In the win over BYU, he had a season-high nine points, making 2-for-2 from the field, four assists and three steals. In the win over St. Mary's, he had four points, making 2-of-3 from the floor, five assists, and just two turnovers. After not playing more than 16 minutes in any of the first three games, Ward played 41 in the games against BYU and St. Mary's, and more than the statistics, his defensive efforts were outstanding. He and Atako played significant roles in each of UCSB's comeback wins and probably spent more time on the court together than they had combined last season and in the first four games this season. Additionally, while Ward is averaging 2.8 assists per game, he averaged 4.5 per game in the last two outings.

Vukovich Shoots Back
The early going this season has not been easy for senior forward Mike Vukovich. Through the first four games, he had scored a total of nine points, going 4-of-14 from the field, and he had pulled down a total of nine rebounds. While Vukovich didn't straighten out his rebounding troubles in Saturday's game at St. Mary's, he did seem to get back on the beam offensively, scoring a season-high ten points on 5-for-5 from the field. He also played a season-high 19 minutes, but for the third time in four games, he had four fouls and saw limited playing time down the stretch. Last season, it took Vukovich a few games to really feel his oats. This year, playing at the same time as UCSB's other 6-foot-9 post player Adama Ndiaye, Vukovich has had to make major adjustments, and to this point he is struggling to do so. Perhaps Saturday's game will be a starting point for him. The Gauchos certainly hope so.

On The Horizon
Following the games this week at Loyola Marymount and at home against Pepperdine, the Gauchos will take 11 days off for final exams. Following the tests, UCSB will, for the first time in recent years, open Big West play before Christmas, traveling to UC Riverside on December 20 and then to Cal State Fullerton on December 22. The Gauchos will play in the Cable Car Classic in Santa Clara on December 28 and 29.