Dec. 9, 1999
Game No. 6
Saturday, December 11, 1999, 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Pepperdine Waves
at UCSB's Thunderdome
Game No. 7
Monday, December 20, 1999, 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Concordia University Cavaliers
at UCSB's Thunderdome
The Gaucho Record
UC Santa Barbara enters Saturday's game against Pepperdine with a record of 1-4. The Gauchos snapped their four game losing streak on December 4 with a 73-57 win over crosstown foe Westmont College. UCSB had lost its first four games of the year prior to the victory over the Warriors.
The Last Game
UCSB produced its best offensive performance of the season in a 73-57 Thunderdome victory over Westmont College. As a team, the Gauchos made 50.0% of their shots for the first time this year. In the second half, they hit a season-best 60.0%, the first time in five games that they shot better than 50.0% in a half, let alone an entire game. For the first time this season, UCSB had five players score in double-figures, led by freshman Mark Hull who tallied 15.
The Next Game
The Gauchos will host Pepperdine on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. in the Thunderdome. UCSB will try to win its second consecutive game, but it will not be easy. The Waves have opened the season with an impressive 5-2 record, including an easy 96-63 thrashing of Cal State Fullerton.
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 five games this season, Williams' Gaucho record is now 16-17 and his overall record as a college coach is 205-116. His teams have won either a league, division or National Championship in five straight seasons.
Probable Starters - Notes
G - Derrick Allen - Had a double-double vs. Westmont, ten points and ten rebounds.
G - Erick Ashe - Has averaged 17.0 ppg and made five three-pointers in last two.
G - Mark Hull - Scored a career-high 15 points vs. Westmont.
F - Adama Ndiaye - Had double-double vs. Westmont with 13 points, ten boards.
F - Juliano Jordani -Making 39.1% of his three-pointers, 16.7% of his twos.
Probable Reserves - Notes
G - Brandon Payton - Scored 11 points, all in second half, vs. Westmont.
G - LaRon Bryant - Played a season-low eight minutes vs. Westmont.
G - B.J. Ward - Hit 9-of-12 shots from the field in the last three games.
F - Mike Vukovich- Had the flu and did not play against Westmont.
F - Ross Carmichael - Transfer from Texas Tech eligible at end of Fall Quarter.
Pepperdine leads the series with the Gauchos by a 31-28 margin. The Waves defeated UCSB in the season-opener for both teams last year, 71-51. The Gauchos have lost four straight games to Pepperdine with their last win coming in December of 1994. The matchup against Concordia will be a first between the schools. Incidentally, the Concordia that the Gauchos will play is from Portland, not Irvine.
The Gauchos At Home
UCSB has played only two home game this season, losing to powerful Stanford on November 20, 62-49 and then defeating Westmont last Saturday. Last season, after opening the year with a four game home losing streak, the Gauchos closed the year by going 8-2 over the final ten home games to finish with an overall home record of 8-6.
Junior forward Adama Ndiaye recorded the first double-double of his career in Saturday's win over Westmont. Ndiaye had 13 points and ten rebounds in the win. He tied for team-high honors in rebounding against Westmon, marking the third time in five games that he has either led or tied for the team-lead in rebounds. He ranks fourth on the team in scoring at 7.2 points per game and he is tied with Jordani for the team-lead in rebounding at 6.8 per contest. In the last two games he has averaged 9.0 boards per game. In addition, in the win over Westmont, Ndiaye had a career-high with four blocked shots.
Allen's Quiet Double-Double
Senior guard Derrick Allen quietly had a double-double all his own in the win over Westmont, scoring ten points and pulling down ten rebounds. The ten boards tied his career-high. While he had a good game against Westmont, Allen is another Gaucho player who is struggling to get on track this season. He has attempted only 17 shots in 107 minutes, but prior to his 3-for-8 performance on Saturday, he had attempted only nine shots. In addition, Allen, who had an outstanding assist to turnover ratio last year, has started off slowly in that category. Through five contests he has only 12 assists and 16 turnovers.
Junior guard Brandon Payton had his best game of the year against Westmont as well. Actually, he had an outstanding second half. After going 0-for-3 in the first half and missing his first two shots of the second half, Payton made 4-of-5 to end the game, including a pair of three-pointers, on his way to a season-high total of 11 points.
Gaucho Offense Shows A Pulse
Offensively, UCSB showed that it does indeed have a breath of life in it with a decent showing against Westmont. The Gauchos, who had failed to make even 40.0% of their field goals in any single game this season, hit 50.0% in the win over the Warriors. In fact, when UCSB made 60.0% of its shots in the second half of the game, it was the first time all season that the team had made better than 50.0% in a half. Additionally, with two halves of better than 40.0% against the Warriors, the Gauchos have now made 40.0% or better in three of ten halves this season. After scoring fewer than 50 points in each of its first two games, UCSB has now scored 67 or more in each of the last three contests, nothing to set the world on fire, but at least a step in the right direction.
Finding The Three-Point Range
After two games this season, UCSB had made 3-of-33 shots from three-point range, a dismal 9.1%. After three games the percentage was only slightly better at 16.9% on 10-of-59. In the last two games they have been markedly better. At USC, they made 9-of-25 (36.0%) and against Westmont they drilled 9-of-23, 39.1%. Combined, they have made 18-of-48 in the last two games, 37.5%. On the season, they have improved to 26.2% by hitting 28-of-107.
What The Hull: Freshman Makes His Mark
The last time a freshman led the Gauchos in scoring was...never. It has never happened. There is a chance that a freshman is going to lead UCSB in scoring this season. First-year wing Mark Hull enters Saturday's game against Pepperdine as the team's leading scorer at 10.2 points per game. Hull scored a season-best 15 points in Saturday's win over Westmont, bettering his previous best of 13 points set against Stanford in the season opener. He is the lone Gaucho player to have scored in double-figures in four of the five games this season and in general he has been the most consistent player on the team. With the exception of a 1-for-6, two point, one rebound performance at San Jose State, Hull has been solid. He has made 48.8% of his shots on the season, including 30.0% from three-point range. In addition, the graduate of Hoover High School in Glendale is averaging 4.2 rebounds per game, fourth on the team, and he leads all wing players with 140 minutes played.
Jordani Prefers To Dial Long Distance
Brazilian forward Juliano Jordani, a junior transfer out of the College of Southern Idaho, has taken a liking to field goal attempts from beyond the three-point line and a slight disdain for attempts that come from inside the arc. Overall, Jordani is having some shooting problems, hitting 29.3% overall, but from three-point range he has made 9-of-23 (39.1%), including 9-of-18 (50.0%) over the last three games. On the season, he has made only 3-of-18 (16.7%) from two-point territory and over the last three games, Jordani has made only 2-of-12 (16.7%) from two-point territory. Actually, his shooting has been improving. After going 1-for-11 (9.1%) in the first two games, Jordani has made 11-of-31 overall in the last three games, good for 35.5%. On the season, he is averaging 9.8 points per game, second on the team, and in the last three he has averaged 13.3 per contest. His 19 point effort at USF was the second highest total by a Gaucho this year and his 11 rebounds in the same game were the highest total by a UCSB player this season. He is, incidentally, tied for the team lead in rebounding at 6.8 per game.
Rising From The Ashes
Through three games, senior guard Erick Ashe was in the thick of things when it came to UCSB's offensive struggles. He had made only 3-of-23 shots from the floor, a mere 13.1%, and he was averaging 3.7 points per game. In the last two games, Ashe has started to show signs of life. He has made 11-of-30 (36.7%) shots overall and 5-of-17 (29.4%) from three-point range. Over the last two games, Ashe has averaged 17.0 points per contest and his 20 points in the loss at USC was the most points scored by a Gaucho this year. In the win over Westmont, he had 14 points and he tied his caeer high with seven assists.
On The Horizon
UCSB will take finals week off before returning to the hardwood on Monday, December 20 for a 7:00 p.m. home game against Concordia University of Portland, Oregon.