December 5, 2006

UCSB to Renew Old Rivalry and Host Unbeaten Fresno State Wednesday

Dec. 5, 2006

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The Schedule
Game No. 8
Wednesday, December 6, 2006 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Fresno State Bulldogs
at UCSB's Thunderdome

Game No. 9
Sunday, December 17, 2006 at 2:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at University of San Francisco Dons
at USF's War Memorial Gymnasium

NCAA Champion Soccer Team Honored At Halftime Wednesday
The UC Santa Barbara men's soccer team, which won the 2006 NCAA National Championship on Sunday, will be honored at halftime of the Gauchos' basketball game against Fresno State on Wednesday. UCSB Athletics Director Gary Cunningham will present the National Championship Trophy to head coach Tim Vom Steeg, and every player on the roster will be introduced. The halftime event will be the first of two events scheduled to honor the school's first National Championship team in 27 years. The team will also be celebrated at a stand-alone event at Harder Stadium on Saturday, Dec. 9 beginning at noon.

On The Radio
All UC Santa Barbara basketball games are broadcast live in Santa Barbara on KTMS, 990-AM. KEYT-TV Sports Director Gerry Fall is in his third 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 Bob Williams Show
The Bob Williams show will be aired each Tuesday night from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on KTMS 990-AM in Santa Barbara. Coach Williams will talk about past and upcoming games, interview Gaucho players and welcome guests from the Santa Barbara sports community.The Gaucho Record
UC Santa Barbara will enter its Wednesday night home game against Fresno State with a record of 5-2. The Gauchos opened the season with four straight wins for the first time since the 1992-93 season and then lost consecutive home games against San Diego State and Loyola Marymount to fall to 4-2. On Saturday, however, UCSB ended its brief two-game losing streak with a 75-67 win at the University of Portland.

UCSB, Unbeaten Fresno State Renew Old Rivalry
The Gauchos and Fresno State have been going at it on the basketball court since 1937. The programs have met as opponents in a number of different conference, most recently the Big West and the Pacific Coast Athletic Association. This year, FSU will arrive at the Thunderdome with a gaudy 7-0 overall record, including a win on Saturday afternoon at Oregon State. After the game against the Bulldogs, UCSB will take 10 days off for final examinations before resuming play at San Francisco on Sunday, Dec. 17.

Been There, Done That
The Gauchos' record of 5-2 equals the best seven game start under head coach Bob Williams. UCSB was also 5-2 through seven games during the 2001-02 season and the 2003-04 season. In 2001-02, the start ultimatly became 8-2. In 2003-04, after their 5-2 start, the Gauchos dropped three of five games and fell to 7-5.

The Usual Suspects Lead Gauchos Past Portland
Juniors Alex Harris and Chris Devine, and freshman James Powell combined for 61 points, including 40 in the second half, to lead visiting UCSB past the University of Portland, 75-67, on Saturday night. Sophomore forward Tom Garlepp also chipped-in 11 points as the Gauchos ended a two-game losing streak. Harris, the Big West Conference's leading scorer, led all scorers with 24 points. It was the seventh time in seven games this season that he has scored 20 or more points. Devine, coming off of a sub-par game in a loss to Loyola Marymount, rebounded with 20 points and six rebounds. Powell finished with 17 points and five assists. UCSB trailed 30-25 in the closing seconds of the first half, but Harris hit a long three-pointer at the halftime buzzer to pull his team within two, 30-28, and he and the Gauchos kept it going in the second half. A jumper by Powell with 16:10 left in the game gave UCSB the lead for good, 38-36. A three-pointer by Ben Sullivan pulled the Pilots to within one, 42-41, with 12:26 remaining, but they would get no closer. After making just 40.0% of their shots in the first half, the Gauchos made 18-of-29 second half field goal attempts, 62.1%. Overall, they finished at 51.9%, including 64.3% (9-of-14) from three-point range. Powell and Harris combined to make 8-of-11 shots from beyond the three-point arc. The loss was Portland's first home defeat of the season.

Brown Returns, Turner Remains Sidelined
After missing the two exhibition games and the first five regular season games, senior guard Cecil Brown has played in each of the last two games. After scoring two in the loss to Loyola Marymount, he came back with two more, both on free throws, in the win at Portland. Against the Pilots, Brown also had a rebound and two assists in 15 minutes. He had missed the first five regular season games and both exhibitions with a stress fracture in his right foot. Senior forward Glenn Turner, who had a hernia repaired on November 9, remains sidelined. He has started lightly working out but no date has been set for his return.

Probable Starters - Notes
G - James Powell - Has scored in double-figures in each of the last six games.
G - Alex Harris - First Gaucho to score 20 or more in seven straight games to open a season.
G - Justin Joyner - After having just one assist in previous two games, had four at Portland.
F - Chris Devine - Scored 20 points at Portland, his third 20-point performance of the year.
F - Tom Garlepp - Had season-high 11 points in win at Portland on Saturday.

Probable Reserves - Notes
G - Cecil Brown - Has played 36 minutes in two games since his return.
G - Paul Roemer - Has not played in either of the last three games.
G - Trevor Bing - Has missed his last three three-point attempts. Made 4-of-5 to start season.
F - Ivan Elliott - Committed four fouls in just 13 minutes at Portland.
F - Emmanuel Bidias a Mouté - Committed two fouls in two minutes at Portland.
F - Beau Gibb - Scored his first basket of the year against Loyola Marymount.
F - David Massey - Scored his only points and had his only rebound at Montana State.
F - Sam Phippen - Freshman forward will redshirt the 2006-07 season.

The Infirmary - Notes
F - Glenn Turner - Repaired hernia has him out indefinitely.

The Bob Williams File
Bob Williams is in his ninth season as the head coach at UC Santa Barbara. Last year his team overcame a slow start to finish over the .500 mark for the fourth time in five seasons. UCSB was 15-14 overall and 6-8 in the Big West. Prior to the 2004-05 season, when an injury-ravaged Gaucho team finished below .500, Williams had guided the program to three straight winning seasons for the first time since the late 1980s. In 2002-03, Williams' Gauchos went 18-14 overall and 14-4 in league. The 2002-03 Big West mark earned Santa Barbara its first-ever Big West regular season championship along with a trip to the postseason National Invitation Tournament. Additionally, 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 guided UCSB to its first Big West Conference Tournament Championship ever and first NCAA Tournament appearance in 12 years. Including this season, Williams' UCSB teams have posted a 128-113 (.531) overall record and a 79-55 (.590) 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 316-213 (.597) at four-year schools.

The Opponents
The Gauchos and Fresno State were long-time PCAA and Big West rivals before the Bulldogs departed and joined the Western Athletic Conference. The rivalry was renewed last year with Fresno State recording a 79-76 home victory on Dec. 23, 2005. The programs have met 96 times in the series that dates back to 1937. UCSB holds a 50-46 lead all-time and it won the last meeting at the Thunderdome, 75-55, on January 20, 1992. Santa Barbara and San Francisco have played 32 times in a series that dates back to 1961. The Dons hold a decisive 23-9 edge, but the Gauchos won the last meeting between the schools, 82-59 at the Thunderdome last season. The last time the programs played in San Francisco, during the 2004-05 campaign, USF posted an easy 72-56 decison. UCSB has not won at War Memorial Gymnasium since the 2001-02 season.

The Gauchos At Home
UCSB is 1-2 at home in 2006-07. The Gauchos defeated San Jose State on Nov. 10 and have since lost consecutive games to San Diego State and Loyola Marymount. UCSB went 9-4 in home games during the 2005-06 season and it was a perfect 6-0 in non-conference home games last season. Since Bob Williams became head coach in 1998-99, Santa Barbara has gone 74-31 in home games overall and 30-12 in non-conference home games. Since the 2000-01 season, UCSB has gone 22-6 in non-conference games at the Thunderdome. The Gauchos went 8-4 in home games in 2004-05, but in each of the three years before that, they finished 10-2 at the Thunderdome.

The Gauchos On The Road
UCSB is 4-0 in road games this season. The Gauchos opened the road portion of their schedule with an 88-56 win at Montana State on Nov. 13. On Nov. 17, they won at UNLV, 79-76 and on Nov. 21 they won at Pepperdine, 89-80 in double overtime. On Saturday, they won at Portland, 75-67. This marks the first 4-0 start in true road games since the 1992-93 campaign when the team jumped out of the gates with the same 4-0 road record. UCSB posted a 5-9 record in true road games in 2005-06 and a 6-10 mark in all non-home games. While the 5-9 doesn't seem like much, it includes an 0-7 start and a 5-2 finish. The Gauchos opened the 2005-06 season with seven straight road losses, extending a two-season streak to nine straight road defeats. However, since the end of that streak, UCSB has gone 9-2 on the road.

Newcomers Dominate 2006-07 Gaucho Roster
UCSB opened the 2006-07 season with a vastly different roster than it finished the 2005-06 season. Gone are eight of the 13 players from last season's team. In their place are two redshirt freshmen, a transfer from a four-year school, two junior college transfers and four true freshmen. In fact, due to injuries, the Gauchos have had only four returnees play in the season's first seven games. In all, through seven games, 712 of the 1,450 minutes played by UCSB players have been played by returnees, 49.1%. That figure is at its highest point this season.

Minimal Benchmark
In Saturday's win at Portland, the UCSB starting five of Alex Harris, Chris Devine, James Powell, Tom Garlepp and Justin Joyner combined for 73 of the Gauchos' 75 points, 97.3%. If you can do the math, and certainly I hope you can, that means the bench scored two points against the Pilots, 2.7%. Senior Cecil Brown's two second half free throws were the only points scored by Gaucho non-starters. As a group, they were 0-for-4 from the field in a combined 35 minutes. They did, however, claim seven of UCSB's 15 personal fouls, 46.7%. The significance of that? Who knows? Probably none.

Gauchos Return From Shooting Vacation
UCSB opened the season on November 10 with a 39.4% shooting performance against San Jose State. In each of the four games after the opener against the Spartans, the Gauchos made 49.2% or better from the field. On Nov. 13, Santa Barbara hit 57.9% at Montana State, a season-best. In three of the four games prior to the Loyola Marymount defeat, UCSB has been over the 50.0% plateau and, in fact, the Gauchos were shooting 50.2% for the season entering the the game against the Lions. In that game, however, they made a season-low 34.8% from the field, including a mere 33.3% in the decisive second half. UCSB rebounded from its one-game shooting vacation with a solid effort at Portland, particularly in the second half. On the strength of a 62.1% performance in the final 20 minutes, the Gauchos made 51.9% against the Pilots. It was the fourth time the team has shot 50.0% or better on the season and fifth time it has been at 49.0% or better.

25-Point Duo A Gaucho Rarity
In UCSB's November 21 double-overtime victory over Pepperdine, two Gaucho players eclipsed the 25-point mark. Junior forward Chris Devine poured in a career-high 28 points, while junior guard Alex Harris had a career-best 27. It was the first time in more than 18 years that two Gauchos had scored 25 or more points in the same game. Several duos came close during those 18 years, but none hit the mark. Prior to Nov. 21, the last time was at Long Beach State on Feb. 25, 1988, when sophomore forward Mike Doyle scored 31 points and senior guard Brian Shaw scored 26. Three times this season Harris and Devine have scored 20 or more points in the same game, the first time a UCSB duo has pulled that off since 1990-91 when Gary Gray and Lucius Davis did it three times.

Taking Offense To Rebounding
Gaucho opponents are averaging 15.8 offensive rebounds per game. Granted, UCSB is holding opponents to 39.3% shooting from the field, so there are plenty of offensive rebounds to be had, but through six games the opposition has had 12 or more offensive boards in each game and 16 or more in four of the six games.

Rebounding Blues
Rebounding has been one of the few areas of concern for UCSB in 2006-07. Through seven games, the Gauchos are being outrebounded by an average of 2.0 per game. They were outrebounded in Saturday's game at Portland 34-26 and have now had fewer rebounds than the opposition in three straight games and five times in seven games this year.

A Positive State Of Mind
With a pair of wins in California and one apiece in Nevada, Montana and Oregon, UCSB has won games in four different states this year. This marks the first time since the 1989-90 season that the Gauchos have won games in four different states. That season they won games in California (several), Iowa (Bradley in the Amana-Hawkeye Classic), Utah (Utah State) and Tennessee (Houston in the first round of the NCAA Tournament). Unless UCSB advances to the postseason, it will not have an opportunity for number five.

Gauchos Go With Triple-Punch
In 2005-06, UCSB's leading scorer, Cecil Brown, averaged 13.1 points per gamae. The Gauchos second-leading scorer, Chris Devine checked-in at 12.2 points per game. This year, Santa Barbara's third-leading scorer, James Powell, is averaging 14.7 points per game, 1.6 per game more than last season's leader. The three leading scorers in 2005-06 combined to average 33.6 points per outing. In 2006-07, the big three are combining for an average of 54.9 points per game, a jump of 21.3 points per game over 2005-06.

Working Overtime
UCSB defeated Pepperdine in double-overtime on November 21 in Malibu. It marked the fourth consecutive overtime victory for the Gauchos, a streak that dates back to the 2003-04 season.

The Harris Poll
Junior guard Alex Harris was named Big West Player of the Week after leading the Gauchos with 25 points in a season-opening win over San Jose State and he hasn't let-up in the six games since. In Saturday's win at Portland, Harris scored 24 points, including 13 in the second half, as the Gauchos improved to a perfect 4-0 on the road. In last Wednesday's loss to Loyola Marymount, Harris was one of the few bright spots as he overcame a bad cold to score 25 points and grab six rebounds. Harris has now become the first Gaucho to score 20 or more points in seven straight games since Raymond Tutt did so during the 1996-97 season. He is also the first player on record to score 20 or more in the first seven games of the regular season. The seven 20-point performances are the first seven of his career. He now leads the Big West Conference with an average of 23.3 points per game. In addition, Harris is shooting 55.2% from the field and he has made more than half of his shots in six of seven games, failing to achieve the feat only once, against San Diego State on November 25. By making 4-of-6 shots from three-point range on Saturday, he has now made at least one in every game this year and he has gone 19-of-40 for the season, 47.5%. On November 21, in a double-overtime win at Pepperdine, Harris scored a career-high 27 points and he played 48 of a possible 50 minutes. In fact, he has been a workhorse this season, averaging 36.7 minutes per game and never playing fewer than the 28 he played on November 13 at Montana State. In recent games, he has also started to diversify. At Portland, Harris had five rebounds and three assists. In the narrow defeat to Loyola Marymount, he had six rebounds, his second-best mark of the season. Also, while Harris is averaging 4.4 rebounds per game, he has averaged 5.5 per game in the last four contests. Against San Diego State, he had a career-high six assists and he is now averaging 2.7 per game overall. Through six games this season, Harris has set new career-highs in points (27), assists (six), steals (five at Montana State), three-point baskets (five vs. San Jose State), field goals (eight on three occasions), field goal attempts (19 vs. San Diego State), free throws (nine vs. San Diego State and Loyola Marymount) and free throw attempts (12 vs. San Diego State).

The Devine File
Junior forward Chris Devine bounced back from his first poor outing of the year with a solid game at Portland. On Nov. 29 against Loyola Marymount, Devine made just 1-of-7 shots and had five points. On Saturday at Portland, he made 9-of-16 shots and scored 20 points. He tallied 14 of his 20 points in the pivotal second half of the game. It was Devine's third 20-point performance of the season and it improved his overall scoring average to 16.9 points per game, second on the team. He also paces UCSB in rebounding at 7.7 per game. He has averaged 8.5 rebounds per game in the last four games. On November 21 at Pepperdine, Devine had a career-high 28 points and he added 13 rebounds, his second-highest total ever. It was also his first double-double of the season and fifth of his career. He is the only Gaucho to record one this season. Devine was named Big West Player of the Week on November 20 for his performances in the Gauchos' wins at Montana State and UNLV. It was his first such honor. In addition to achieving his career-high for points in a game this season, the Eagle River, Alaska, native had a career-high five steals on Nov. 10 against San Jose State. A Second Team All-Big West choice last season, Devine was selected to the league's preseason all-conference team this year.

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie! Oye, Oye, Oye!
Sophomore forward Tom Garlepp scored a season-high 11 points in Saturday's win at Portland. He also played a career-high 31 minutes. Garlepp has started the first seven regular season games and after never playing more than 22 minutes in any game last season, he has 22 or more in six of seven this season. In fact, Garlepp has played 179 minutes in seven games, an average of 25.6 per game. Last year, he played 241 in 26 games, 9.3 per game. Garlepp is averaging 5.9 points, 4.3 rebounds and a team-leading 1.3 blocked shots per game. He tied his career-high with three blocked shots on Nov. 29 against Loyola Marymount and despite not bocking a shot at Portland, he has nine in the last five games, 1.9 per game. Garlepp has set career-highs this season in rebounds (eight vs. San Jose State), assists (five at Montana State), blocked shots (three at Pepperdine and vs. Loyola Marymount) and steals (two vs. San Jose State). He has, however, struggled with his shooting this season. In the win at Portland, Garlepp made 5-of-11 from the field, one of his best performances of the year, but has still made just 14-of-42 shots through seven games, 33.3%. Interestingly, he is 3-for-17, 17.6%, in home games and 11-for-25, 44.0%, in road games. Finally, while he is averaging just over 4.0 rebounds per game, Garlepp has averaged 5.0 per game in the last three.

Old Buddy, Old Powell
Since scoring nine points in his first game as a Gaucho, freshman guard James Powell has scored in double-figures in six straight. On Saturday at Portland, he made 5-of-8 shots overall, including a career-best 4-of-5 from three-point range, and scored 17 points. The 17 points equaled Powell's second-best effort of the year and it improved his scoring average to 14.7 points per game. In the last six games, he has averaged 15.7 points per game and made 31-of-60 field goal attempts, 51.7%. By making 4-of-5 three-pointers on Saturday, Powell has now made 15-of-36 this season, 41.7%, but in the last five he has made 12-of-25, 48.0%. With 15 three-point baskets on the seson, he has already moved into a tie for 10th-place on UCSB's all-time freshman list. Chances are, with 21 regular season games to play, he will move up the list. Powell ranks second on the team in assists at 2.9 per game, but in the last four games he has averaged 3.5 per game and on Saturday at Portland he had a career-high five assists and no turnovers.

Help Cecil! Help!
Senior guard Cecil Brown had a modest return to action. Brown, who missed two exhibition games and the first five regular season games with a stress fracture in his right foot, played 21 minutes in his first game back, scoring two points. On Saturday at Portland, he played 15 minutes and scored two more points, on free throws. In each of the two games, Brown has had a pair of assists. When he gets back into the swing of things, Brown will give the Gauchos an even more potent backcourt. Last season, he led UCSB in scoring at 13.3 points per game and he was selected Second Team All-Big West following the year. His 42 three-point baskets were a career-high and second on the team. He has yet to attempt a three-point shot this season.

Justin Joins In
After scoring a season-high 11 points on Nov. 25 against San Diego State, freshman guard Justin Joyner has tallied just three in games against Portland and Loyola Marymount. However, after passing for just four assists and 11 turnovers in the three games prior to Portland, he had four assists and just one turnover against the Pilots. Joyner reamins UCSB's team-leader in assists with 23, 3.2 per game. Joyner has been a pleasant surprise in 2006-07. He has joined with James Powell to give UCSB it first all freshman starting backcourt since the 2000-01 season. Joyner is averaging 4.3 points and 2.8 rebounds per game. His seven assists on November 17 at UNLV were the most by a Gaucho since the 2004-05 season and the most by a UCSB freshman since 2000-01.

Around The Key - More Notes
Junior guard Trevor Bing has attempted 11 shots this season, eight from three-point range...Bing is a perfect 3-for-3 from two-point range on the year and he had a career-high four assists on November 25 against San Jose State...Emmanuel Bidias a Mouté had two fouls in two minutes at Portland...Since pulling down 10 rebounds in the win at Pepperdine, Ivan Elliott has had just nine in the last three games, a span of 53 minutes...UCSB has beaten teams from the Mountain West Conference, Western Athletic Conference, Big Sky and West Coast Conference this season.