UCSB Win Streak Snapped At Pepperdine, Gauchos Head To Cal
Game No. 7
Tuesday, December 10, 2002 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at Cal Bears
at Cal's Haas Pavilion
Wednesday, December 18, 2002 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Westmont College Warriors
at UCSB's Thunderdome
The Gaucho Record
UC Santa Barbara enters Tuesday's game at 3-3 on the season. After opening the year by losing their first two games at the BP Top of the World Classic in Fairbanks, the Gauchos put together a three-game winning streak, defeating Centenary, the University of San Francisco and USC. The three-game streak was snapped on Saturday in a 72-68 loss at Pepperdine.
UCSB Streak Ended In Tough One At Pepperdine
Coming off of one of a 16-point victory over USC, one of its most satisfying wins in recent memory, UCSB lost its toughest game of the year at Pepperdine on Saturday. After jumping out to a 6-0 lead, the Gauchos lost a 72-68 decision to the Waves. In the defeat, Santa Barbara had two of its top three, Mark Hull and Branduinn Fullove, foul out, and overall they committed season-highs of 30 fouls and 23 turnovers. In fact, Pepperdine was whistled for just 18 fouls and the Waves outscored the Gauchos from the free throw line by a 21-8 margin. UCSB fell behind by as many as 11 points, but despite the loss of Fullove, who fouled out with eight minutes left, the Gauchos rallied and actually cut the deficit to two with possession, but they could not get any closer. Hull scored a team-high 18 points, including four three-point baskets, before fouling out. Nick Jones had 17 points and nine rebounds, and Cecil Brown added 13 points, including a trio of three-pointers.
What About Bob?
Bob Williams is in his fifth season as the head coach at UC Santa Barbara. Last year, he guided the Gauchos to a 20-11 overall record and an 11-7 mark in Big West Conference play. It was the school's first 20-win season since 1992. Most importantly, however, Williams led UCSB to its first Big West Conference Tournament Championship ever and first NCAA Tournament appearance in 12 years. In his first four-plus seasons in Santa Barbara, Williams' teams have posted a 65-56 overall record and a 42-24 record in Big West games. In 1998-99, his first year, the Gauchos went 15-13 overall and 12-4 in the Big West, winning the league's Western Division championship. That year, they closed the campaign by going 15-5 and Williams was selected Big West Coach of the Year. 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 each of his last four seasons, the Aggies advanced to the NCAA Tournament and in 1997-98, Williams' final season, they 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 254-156 at four-year schools.
Possible Starters - Notes
G - Jacoby Atako - In his last five games, he has had 23 assists and nine turnovers.
G - Nick Jones - Has averaged 9.3 rebounds per game in the last three.
G - Branduinn Fullove - Against Pepperdine, he fouled out for first time in career.
F - Mark Hull - With 18 vs. Pepperdine, he moved into seventh-place on UCSB list.
F - Bryan Whitehead - Has eight blocked shots in the last four games.
Probable Reserves - Notes
G - B.J. Ward - Has not attempted a shot in any of the last three games.
G - Chrismen Oliver - Had a season-high three assists at Pepperdine.
G - Cecil Brown - Scored a career-best 13 points at Pepperdine.
G - Josh Davis - Has gone scoreless in each of the last two games.
F - Bray Skultety - Torn ACL in left knee will sideline him for the season.
F - Casey Cook - Has made at least half his shots in five of six games.
F - Scott Rainey - Played a career-high eight minutes at Pepperdine.
F - Derek Wheeler - Has played in three of the last four games.
Big Three: Game-By-Game
The combination of Mark Hull, Nick Jones and Branduinn Fullove has been a potent one or the Gauchos this season. Their performance against USC a week ago was particularly outstanding, but it was also fairly typical. Here is a game-by-game rundown of the stats the trio has produced this season.
Opponent Points Rbds. Assists Weber State 52 17 11 Jacksonville St.46 16 3 Centenary 38 10 6 USF 44 19 8 USC 55 25 10 Pepperdine 39 11 1 Averages 45.7 16.3 6.5
Note: Hull, Jones and Fullove have also combined to make 40-of-79 shots from three-point territory, 50.6%.
The Gauchos On The Road
After its 72-68 loss at Pepperdine, UCSB is 0-1 on the road this season. Actually, the Gauchos are 1-3 away from home, having lost two out of three on a neutral court at the BP Top of the World Classic in Fairbanks. Last season, UCSB posted a 6-7 record in true road games and a 4-1 record in neutral court games.
The Gauchos & Bears
UCSB and Cal have met six times over the years, but not since the 1981-82 season. Cal holds a 6-0 advantage over Santa Barbara. The last time the teams met, on December 5, 1981, the Bears defeated the Gauchos 74-62 in Berkeley.
Career Scoring Leaders
1. Carrick DeHart 1,687 2. Doug Rex 1,434 3. Lucius Davis 1,420 4. York Gross 1,399 5. Scott Fisher 1,351 6. Richard Anderson 1,247 7. Mark Hull 1,238 8. Conner Henry 1,236 9. Ricky Walker 1,235 10. Gary Gray 1,227
Career Three-Point Leaders
1. Carrick DeHart 196 2. Idris Jones 190 3. Mark Hull 162 Mark Flick 162 5. Brian Johnson 150 6. Erick Ashe 99 7. Branduinn Fullove 98
These Turnovers Aren't Sweet
As we all know since the publication of the book Fast Food Nation, turnovers, particularly those from fast foot joints and those committed in basketball games, can be quite harmful to ones health. If you eat to many of the former, you get fat and your arteries clog. If you commit too many of the latter, your won-loss record suffers. That is a really wordy way of saying that UCSB's season-high of 23 turnovers on Saturday, many of which came via the offensive foul, were a, if not the, primary reason for the loss to Pepperdine. The Gauchos are averaging 15.2 turnovers per game and their previous single-game high this season was 18, suffered, and I mean suffered, in wins over USC and Centenary.
Skultety's Season Ends With Knee Injury
For the first couple weeks of practice, senior forward Bray Skultety was making a very strong bid for the starting nod at the five spot. Skultety emerged over the final 25 games last season, becoming one of the Gauchos' top rebounders and a sparkplug off the bench. He was a great story. In only his second year of organized basketball, Skultety, a walk-on, had become a regular on a team that advanced to the NCAA Tournament. Awarded a scholarship prior to this season, Skultety's story kept getting better and better, but on November 1, the tale took a turn for the worse. In practice on that Friday, Skultety tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, ending his season and most likely his collegiate career. As a fifth-year senior, an injury redshirt year is a very remote possibility. In 2001-02, Skultety played in 26 games, starting one, averaging 2.5 points and 4.4 rebounds per game. He easily led the team in rebounds per 40 minutes played at 16.2, and despite his 6-foot-6 height, he ranked second on the team in blocked shots with 13.
Versatile Hull Continues To Scale Top-Ten Lists
Senior forward Mark Hull has become even more versatile this season. He is doing more of the Gauchos' ballhandling and playmaking, and despite a season-low one rebound against Pepperdine, his efforts on the boards have generally been outstanding. In the defeat in Malibu on Saturday, Hull scored a team-high 18 points, giving him a career total of 1,238 and moving him past Ricky Walker, Conner Henry and Gary Gray and into seventh-place on UCSB's all-time career scoring list. If you look just to your left, down a few inches and you can do simple match, you will notice that Hull needs just ten points to move past Richard Anderson and into sixth-place all-time. In addition to the 18 points he scored on Saturday, he hit four three-point baskets, giving him 162 and moving him into a tie with Mark Flick for third on the school's all-time list. In last Tuesday's win over USC, Hull scored 17 points, but more impressively, he tied for the team lead in rebounding with nine and he tied his career-high with six assists. The nine rebounds was Hull's season-high and it tied his second-best total ever. In fact, he has had six or more rebounds in four of the six games this season and is averaging 5.5 per game, second on the team and better than his average of 5.1 per game last season. He has scored in double-figures five times in six games and his 23-point effort in the opener against Weber State is tied for the highest total by a Gaucho through five games. Hull has made at least one three-point basket in each of the six games and three or more four times. In the last two games, the Glendale, Calif. native has made 7-of-14 shots from three-point range, 50.0%. In an NCAA Tournament game against Arizona last year, he drained a career-best eight three-point baskets.
Keeping Up With Jones
For the first time in his career at UCSB, junior guard Nick Jones opened the season as a starter. In each of his first two years, Jones began the season as a spark off the bench and he ended each campaign as a spark in the starting lineup. Jones is taking advantage of his early starting opportunities. After six games, Jones is the only Gaucho player to have scored in double-figures in every game. The six game streak equals the longest double-figure scoring streak of his career, which, by the way, came in the last six games of last season. So, in reality, Jones has a 12 game streak of scoring in double-figures, a streak that spans an amazing eight months. With 17 points in the loss to Pepperdine, he has also taken over the team-lead in scoring at 16.3 points per game, and he leads the team in rebounding at 7.2 per contest. In each of the last two games, against Pepperdine and USC, Jones has had nine rebounds, and in the game before that, a win over USF, he had ten. The ten rebounds was the third-highest total of his career and Jones has, in fact, had seven or more rebounds in five of the six games and he has also scored 15 or more points in five of the six. He has now had 14 career games with seven or more rebounds, including nine in 59 games entering the season and five in the first six games this year. Jones also leads the team in three-point field goal percentage at 59.1%, improving his career mark to 40.8%. Although UCSB went just 1-2 at the BP Top of the World Classic, Jones was a standout. In each of the first two games of the tourney, against Weber State and Jacksonville State, he scored 20 points and had seven rebounds. It marked the first time in his career that he had scored 20 or more points in back-to-back games, and the 20 points rank as Jones' fourth-highest scoring efforts ever.
Fullove's Roll Hits A Bump In The Road
Junior guard Branduinn Fullove was coming off of one the best games of his career, a season-high 23-point, seven-rebound and three-assist outing in a win over USC. In the game against the Trojans, Fullove made all four of his three-point attempts. On Saturday at Pepperdine, with some help from the officials, he came back to Earth. For the first time in his career, a total of 61 games, Fullove fouled out. He was hamstrung by three fouls in the first half and a quick fourth foul in the second half. He fouled out with about eight minutes remaining, finishing with just four points, one rebound and no assists. And, after making all of his three-pointers in the win over USC, Fullove was 0-for-3 against Pepperdine. The four-point performance snapped a streak of four straight double-digit games for Fullove and, prior to Saturday, he had made at least one three-point basket in every game. After opening the season with a nine-point, 1-for-8 field goal performance against Weber State, he went on a roll. In the four games prior to Saturday's loss at Pepperdine, Fullove averaged 20.0 points per game, made 26-of-42 shots from the field, 61.9%, and 11-of-17 from three-point range, 64.7%. Fullove now leads the team in scoring at 17.8 points per game. In the last four games, Fullove has averaged 20.0 points per game, made 26-of-42 shots from the field, 61.9%, and 11-of-17 from beyond the three-point arc, 64.7%. His 4-for-4 effort from beyond the three-point half moon against USC was a personal best. Also, his 23 points against the Trojans tied the second-best total of hsi career and pushed him past the 800 point mark for his career. Fullove enters Tuesday's game at Cal with 821 career point. He also enters the game at Berkeley with 98 career three-point buckets and he is threatening to become the sixth Gaucho in history to hit the 100 three-pointer mark. It would seem to be a serious threat.
In its three wins this season, UCSB's opponents have gone just 12-for-52 from three-point range, 23.1%. In fact, despite the win, Pepperdine made just 5-of-20 from beyond the arc on Saturday. In the last four games, Gaucho opponents have made just 17-of-77 three-point attempts, 22.1%. In the Gauchos' first two defeats, the opposition made 17-of-32 shots from beyond the three-point arc, 53.1%. Last year, Santa Barbara was one of the best teams in the nation at preventing three-point baskets as they limited opponents to just 202-of-644, 31.4%.
Three For All
When UCSB drained ten three-point baskets against Pepperdine on Saturday night, it was a season-high and it was the fifth time in six games this season that they had made at least nine threes. The only time the Gauchos did not make nine or more three-pointers was in a win over USF when they made three. Although they made just 3-of-11 shots from three-point territory against San Francisco, UCSB seems to have picked-up where it left off last season from beyond the arc. The Gauchos ended last year by making 16 three-point baskets in an NCAA Tournament loss to Arizona. The 16 threes in the game against the Wildcats gave UCSB a school-record 201 for the season. In their first six contests of the 2002-03 season, the Gauchos have made 49 three-point baskets, an average of 8.2 per game. Last year, Santa Barbara made 6.5 threes per outing. In five games, UCSB is now hitting 46.2% from three-point territory and they have three players, Nick Jones, Mark Hull and Branduinn Fullove, who are each averaging at least 2.0 three-pointers per game and Hull and Jones have made at least one three-pointer in all six games.
Committee No. 1: The Post
Early in the 2002-03 season, the Gauchos are calling on a committee of two, sophomore Casey Cook and junior Brian Whitehead, for their post play. The season-ending knee injury to Bray Skultety has forced Bob Williams to use Whitehead for more minutes than expected and Cook at a relatively unfamiliar position. After a slow start, the duo has done a better job in the last few games. On November 30 against USF, Whitehead had his best all-around game, equalling his season-highs with six points and five rebounds, and setting a new personal-best with three assists. He also had a pair of blocked shots, one short of the total he had in the previous game against Centenary. With three more blocked shots in the last two games, he has swatted eight shots in 83 minutes over the last four games after blocking a total of five in 355 minutes all of last season. As for Cook, he had six points and four rebounds at Pepperdine. Against USC, he had a season-high five rebounds and a blocked shot in 20 minutes. Just as importantly, he played well defensively as the Trojans' post tandem of Kostas Charissis and Rory O'Neil combined for just five points on 2-of-6 shooting from the field, and five rebounds. On November 24, against Centenary, Cook set a career-high of 16 points, making 6-of-7 shots from the field, in just 18 minutes. The most impressive thing about the 16-point effort was how Cook scored the points. He made a variety of shots, including short jumpers, jump hooks and even a three-pointer. Last year, Cook partially tore ligaments in his right thumb and after he played in the season's first six games, it was decided that he just couldn't function well with the injury and the Gauchos petitioned the NCAA for an injury redshirt season. Whitehead, on the other hand, played in 29 games, starting 11 in the middle of the season, but he saw his playing time dwindle late in the year. Both were presumed backups this season, Whitehead at the five and Cook at the four, but the injury to Skultety changed all of that and the duo seems to be making progress.
Committee No. 2: Rebounding
It is no secret that rebounding is going to be a challenge for UCSB all season. The Gauchos were outrebounded in each of the three games at the BP Top of the World Classic, but they weren't killed on the boards. Santa Barbara was outrebounded by margins of two, four and one, a total of seven rebounds over three games. In the two games prior to the loss at Pepperdine, they outrebounded the opposition. In a win over San Francisco, the Gauchos had easily their best performance of the season, outrebounding the Dons by a 46-31 margin and then a week ago, they outrebounded a much bigger USC team, 41-33. Against USF, five different Gauchos had five or more rebounds and two others had four. Against USC, three Gauchos had seven or more rebounds, four had five or more boards and five had four or more. The committee system didn't work as smoothly against Pepperdine as Nick Jones had nine rebounds and no other player had more than three. Still, the Gauchos are outrebounding the opposition on the season by a narrow margin of 1.7 rebound per game and seven players are averaging at least 2.0 rebounds per contest, led by Jones who, despite his 6-foot-4 height, is averaging 7.2 per game.
Cook-Whitehead Post Combo
Opponent FG-FGA FT-FTA Reb. Ast. BS Pts. Weber State 5-8 0-0 3 0 0 10 Jacksonville St.2-8 2-4 4 0 1 6 Centenary 8-10 4-4 7 1 3 21 USF 5-8 0-1 9 3 2 10 USC 2-5 1-2 7 1 2 5 Pepperdine 4-8 2-4 6 2 2 10 Totals 26-47 9-15 36 7 10 62 Avgs./Pcts. 55.3% 60.0% 6.0 1.2 1.7 10.3
Help Cecil, Help!
Freshman guard Cecil Brown was a pivotal player in the Gauchos' comeback on Saturday at Pepperdine. Playing 15 minutes, the second highest total of his career, Brown scored a career-high 13 points, making 3-of-5 shots from three-point range and all four of his free throws. Brown is becoming a pretty valuable weapon for UCSB. He scored five points in 12 minutes in the win over USC, including a key old-fashioned three-point play late in the second half. His 13-point effort on Saturday was one-point better than the 12 points he put together in ten minutes in the season-opener against Weber State. In each of his double-figure outings, Brown has hit a trio of three-point baskets and his six on the season rank fourth on the squad. Finally, since missing four of his first five free throws, he has hit nine in a row over five games.
Field Goal Percentage: Chapter One
UCSB is shooting the ball well this season. In six games, the Gauchos have made 157-of-310 shots from the field, 50.6%. Only once has UCSB shot below 45.0%, going for 44.9% against Jacksonville State. In their last four games, the Gauchos have hit 106-of-207 shots, 51.2%. In the first win of the season, over Centenary, UCSB hit 27-of-42 shots from the floor, 64.3%. Seven of nine Gaucho regulars are shooting 50.0% or better with guards Jacoby Atako and Cecil Brown as the only exceptions.
Field Goal Percentage: Chapter Two
For the first three games of the season, the defensive side of the court was not as kind to UCSB as the offensive end. In the three games at the BP Top of the World Classic, the Gauchos allowed the opposition to make 73-of-144 shots, 50.7%. In the fourth game, a win over USF, things turned around. The Gauchos limited the Dons to a mere 17-of-58, 29.3%. In fact, UCSB held USF below 30.0% in each half. Last Tuesday, Santa Barbara continued to turn-the-tables on the defensive end, allowing USC to make just 19-of-58 shots overall, 32.8%, and just 8-of-33, 24.2%, in the second half. Additionally, despite the loss at Pepperdine, the Gauchos limited the Waves to 38.3% from the floor for the game. Overall, in the last three games, UCSB opponents have made 59-of-176 shots from the field, 33.5%. In the season-opener, Weber State made 59.3% from the field, a higher percentage than the Gauchos allowed in 31 games last year. On the year, the opposition's field goal percentage has drifted down to 41.2%, a bit more in line with what Santa Barbara became used to last season when opponents shot just 38.3% against the Gauchos, the sixth best mark in the NCAA.
UCSB Picked To Win Big West By Coaches & Media
For the first time ever, UCSB was selected to win the Big West regular season title by both the coaches and the media. In the annual poll taken at the league's Media Day, the Gauchos were selected first, followed by Utah State and UC Irvine. Utah State has either won or tied for each of the last two regular season league titles. UC Irvine tied for last year's regular season crown. UCSB won its first Big West Conference Tournament ever following a third-place regular season finish last year.
On The Horizon
Following Tuesday night's game at Cal, the Gauchos will take a week off for final exams. UCSB will host crosstown opponent Westmont College on Wednesday, December 18, in a 7:00 p.m. game at the Thunderdome. The game against the Warriors will be an exhibition for the Gauchos. UCSB will then travel for another difficult road game, play at Brigham Young on Saturday, December 21 at 6:30 p.m. (PST).