Gauchos Put Two-Game Winning Streak on the Line, Host San Diego on Saturday
Dec. 12, 2003
Game No. 6
Saturday, December 13, 2003 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. The University of San Diego Toreros
at UCSB's Thunderdome (6,000)
Radio: KTMS 990 AM
Game No. 7
Wednesday, December 17, 2003 at 7:30 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at UCLA Bruins
at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion (12,800)
Radio: KTLK 1340 AM
TV: Fox Sports Net 2
Bring A Can, Park For Free
In keeping with the spirit of the holidays, anyone who brings one or more cans of food to UC Santa Barbara's basketball game against the University of San Diego, will receive a free parking pass. UCSB Parking Services representatives will be stationed in the Thunderdome parking lot to accept the donations and distribute parking passes, which normally cost $2.00. Holders of season parking passes are also encouraged to bring cans of food, which will be given to the Santa Barbara Food Bank.
UC Santa Barbara enters Saturday's game with a two-game winning streak and a 3-2 record. After dropping consecutive games at the Doubletree Montana Holiday Classic, the Gauchos have returned home to post back-to-back wins. On December 3, UCSB used a three-point basket by Casey Cook with less than a second remaining in the game to defeat Pepperdine, 65-62. On Wednesday night, the Gauchos overcame a sluggish start and used a outstanding second half effort to blast Westmont College, 66-36.
Sizzling Second Half Gives Gauchos 66-36 Win Over Westmont
UCSB parlayed a decisive 28-8 run over the final 10:30 on Wednesday night to post a 66-36 win over visiting Westmont College. The Gauchos, who led by just seven after a sluggish first half, shot 58.6% in the second half and held the Warriors to a mere 24.1%, to win going away. Sophomore guard Cecil Brown paced both teams with 16 points, including 11 in the second half. Senior forward Bryan Whitehead had ten points. Sophomore Josh Davis scored nine points and added a game and career-high six assists, and sophomore forward Cameron Goettsche had eight points and a career-best 11 rebounds. Another sophomore, guard Joe See, scored nine points, all on three-point baskets during the Gauchos' game-deciding second half run.
Fullove Is A Possible Go On Saturday
Senior guard Branduinn Fullove, the 2002-03 Big West Player of the Year, an Associated Press Honorable Mention All-American and a Preseason All-Big West selection, injured his left ankle midway through the first half of UCSB's exhibition loss to Ratiopharm Ulm on November 12. He did not make the trips to Hawaii or Montana and did not play in either the home opener against Pepperdine or Wednesday night's game against Westmont. Fullove has started taking part in some portions of UCSB's practices and his return is now just a matter of time. There is an outside chance that he will be in uniform for the game against San Diego and a better chance that he will make the trip to UCLA. Last year, Fullove led UCSB in scoring at 14.6 points per game. He also averaged 3.7 rebounds per game, shot 46.3% overall, 41.4% from three-point range and a team-leading 83.7% from the free throw line. Fullove is the first Gaucho player in history to earn some level of All-Big West honors in each of his first three seasons. As a freshman in 2000-01 he was Honorable Mention All-Big West, as a sophomore in 2001-02 he was Second Team All-Big West and then last year he was Player of the Year. He entered the season with a career total of 1,167 points, 13th on the school's all-time list.
Jones Passes The Midway Point
Senior guard Nick Jones was suspended for UCSB's first eight games of the 2003-04 season after playing the same number of games in an unsanctioned summer league in Mexico. Wednesday's game against Westmont moved him past the halfway point in the suspension. Jones, who averaged 12.4 points and 4.3 rebounds per game as a junior, will resume play on December 21 against Alabama State at the Wolf Pack Classic in Reno.
The Gauchos have played the University of San Diego 15 times and they hold an 11-4 edge. UCSB and USD last played in December of 1996 with the Toreros winning a 72-70 game at the Thunderdome. The last time the Gauchos won in the series was in December of 1995, 76-73. UCSB and UCLA have met 18 times and the Bruins have won all 18. The last time the two programs met was in 2000-01 and UCLA won that one, 83-77 at Pauley Pavilion.
UCSB At Home
With its win over Westmont on Wednesday night, UCSB is now a perfect 2-0 in the Thunderdome this year. Last year, UCSB posted a 10-2 record at the Thunderdome, losing an overtime game to Cal State Fullerton and a non-conference game to Detroit. In 2001-02, the Gauchos also posted a 10-2 home record. The 10-2 mark that Santa Barbara has recorded each of the past two seasons is the best home mark for the program since the 1989-90 team went 11-2. Dating back to the end of the 2000-01 season, the Gauchos have gone 24-4 at home over the last 28 games.
UCSB Re-Enters Mid-Major Top-20
After back-to-back losses at the Doubletree Montana Holiday Classic, UCSB dropped out of The CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top-25 poll. Actually Santa Barbara dropped out of the top-20, they remained at number 23. The Gauchos' 65-62 win over Pepperdine, however, vaulted them back into top-20 at number 19. Gonzaga remains the top-ranked team in the poll and fellow Big West member, Utah State, has moved to number 14.
UCSB Inks Three To NLIs
UCSB signed three high school players to National Letters of Intent during the early signing period. Gaucho head coach Bob Williams announced the signing of Alex Harris, a 6-foot-5 guard from St. Joseph's Notre Dame High School in Alameda, Calif., Todd Follmer, a 6-foot-10 center/forward out of Rancho Santa Margarita High School in Santa Margarita, Calif., and Chris Moore, a 6-foot-9 forward out of St. Edward's High School in Lakewood, Ohio.
The Williams File
Bob Williams is in his sixth season as the head coach at UC Santa Barbara. Last year, he guided the Gauchos to an 18-14 overall record and a 14-4 mark in Big West Conference play. The Big West mark earned Santa Barbara its first-ever regular season championship along with a postseason trip to the National Invitation Tournament. In addition, 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 led UCSB to its first Big West Conference Tournament Championship ever and first NCAA Tournament appearance in 12 years. In his five seasons in Santa Barbara, Williams' teams have posted an 83-69 overall record and a 56-28 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 272-169 at four-year schools.
Possible Starters - Notes
G - Jacoby Atako - Had 23 points against Southeast Missouri State, 16 in other four games combined.
G - Cecil Brown - Has tied his career-high of 16 points in each of the last two games.
G - Josh Davis - Contributed a career-high six assists in Wednesday's win over Westmont.
F - Cameron Goettsche - Pulled-down a career-high 11 rebounds against Westmont.
F - Casey Cook - Has had five or more rebounds in each of the first five games.
Probable Reserves - Notes
G - Nick Jones - Suspended for first eight games of 2003-04 season. Five down, three to go.
G - Branduinn Fullove - Injury to left ankle is improving and he could be in uniform vs. San Diego.
G - Joe See - Scored his Gaucho-high of 13 points in the win over Pepperdine.
G - Chrismen Oliver - Had season-highs of four assists and two steals vs. Westmont.
F - Bryan Whitehead - Tallied a season-high ten points vs. Westmont.
F - Bray Skultety - All three of his field goals this season have come in the last two games.
F - Glenn Turner - Suffered a slight concussion against Westmont, doubtful for San Diego.
F - David Kennedy - Walk-on forward saw his first action vs. Westmont. Had three points, two rebounds.
F - Derek Wheeler - Has yet to play in a game.
In two games since allowing Southeast Missouri State to shoot 52.0%, UCSB has tightened-up defensively. In wins over Pepperdine and Westmont, the Gauchos allowed a total of 98 points, 49.0 per game, and a combined 37-of-117 from the field, 31.6%. On Wednesday night, UCSB limited Westmont to 36 points, the lowest total ever allowed by a Bob Williams-coached Gaucho team and the lowest total allowed by any Gaucho team since they allowed 33 points to Utah State on January 10, 1994. Not only did the Warriors score 36 points, they shot a just 24.1%, the lowest mark by a UCSB opponent since Idaho shot just 22.0% on February 2, 2002.
UCSB Records A Three-Point Shutout
Might as well keep piling on with the defensive numbers. In the win on Wednesday, the Gauchos allowed Westmont exactly zero three-point baskets. The Warriors were 0-for-5 from beyond the three-point arc and, in fact, they didn't even attempt one in the second half. Last year, UCSB allowed Pacific to make just one three-point basket, but never did they blank an opponent. The last time a Gaucho opponent failed to hit a three-point bucket in a game was on January 17, 1998, when Utah State went 0-for-1 from beyond the arc. This marked the first time that UCSB had turned that defensive trick since Bob Williams became head coach in the spring of 1998.
Through two games, a win over Hawaii and a loss to St. Mary's, UCSB was struggling with its shooting. In the win over the Rainbow Warriors, the Gauchos shot 39.6%, making 21-of-53 shots from the field. The shooting, like the weather, cooled down even more in Montana. In the tourney opener against the Gaels, Santa Barbara shot a miserable 19-of-58 overall, 32.8%, and just 11.8% from three-point territory. So, after two games, UCSB had made just 40-of-111 shots, 36.0%, not too hot for a team that made a solid, if not spectacular 44.2% in 2002-03. In the last three games, however, things have started to turn around for the Gauchos. In a loss to Southeast Missouri State, a win over Pepperdine and a win over Westmont, UCSB combined to make 80-of-171 shots from the field, a decent 46.8%. On the season, the Gauchos have now edged above the 40.0% mark at 42.6%.
Through five games, sophomore guard Cecil Brown has proven to be a bit of a measuring stick for the Gauchos. In the season's first game at Hawaii, he scored 13 points, including 11 in the second half, and UCSB won. In the next two games, he scored a total of 11 points and the Gauchos lost twice. In the each of the last two games, a 65-62 win over Pepperdine and a 66-36 blowout of Westmont, Brown tied his career-high with 16 points. In the game against Pepperdine, he scored 13 of the 16 points in the second half and on Wednesday, he scored 11 in the second half. In UCSB's three wins, Brown has averaged 15.0 points per game and he has made 19-of-43 shots, 44.2%. In the second halves of the Gauchos' three wins, he has averaged 11.7 points and made 15-of-26 shots from the floor overall, 57.7%. Overall he is averaging 11.2 points per game, second on the team. He remains the team's leader in minutes played at 153, an average of 30.6 per game, up significantly from his average of 16.2 per game last year. Including his season-low 23-minute performance in the game against Southeast Missouri State, Brown has recorded five of the eight highest minute totals of his career in the first five games. In fact, his 35-minute performance at Hawaii was the second most of his career and the 34 minutes against Westmont was his third-highest total. In Wednesday night's win over Westmont, in addition to his game-high 16 points, Brown had a season-high five rebounds, tying the second best mark of his career.
Junior forward Casey Cook has slowed down offensively in the last two games, but he continues to be a major contributor. In the first three games, Cook scored in double-figures each game. In the Gauchos' win over Pepperdine ten days ago, Cook's streak ended, but he sent it out with a bang. While he finished with seven points, his final three were the difference. Cook attempted and made his first three-point basket of the season, a 22-footer from just to the right of the top of the key with less than a second to play, giving UCSB a 65-62 come-from-behind win over the Waves. On Wednesday, he scored a season-low five points while playing a season-low 19 minutes and attempting a season-low six shots against Westmont. Cook did, however, collect six rebounds against the Warriors and he remains the only UCSB player to have had at least five rebounds in all five games. He leads UCSB in scoring (11.4 points per game), rebounding (7.0 rebounds per game) and free throw percentage (12-for-15, 80.0%). Cook has equaled his career-high twice this season, going for 16 points in a win at Hawaii and then in the loss to Southeast Missouri State. In fact, in the victory over Hawaii, he recorded the first double-double of his career, going for a career-high 12 rebounds in addition to the 16 points. Cook entered the season having scored in double-figures a total of six times in his career and he has already done so three times in five games this year. Finally, through four games, Cook had made all 11 of his free throws, extending a two-season streak to 23 in a row. On Wednesday, however, he made just 1-of-4, missing his first and snapping his two-season streak. Still, in the last 22 games, dating to last year, he has made 49 of his last 57 from the line, 86.0%.
Pointing The Way
Senior Jacoby Atako has had a feast or famine year on the offensive end. Through five games, he is averaging 7.8 points per game, tied for third on the team, but in two of the games he has either tied or set a career-high in scoring and in the other three games he has combined for a total of three points. In the opener at Hawaii, Atako scored 13 points, tying his career-high. In the following game, a loss to St. Mary's, he missed both of his field goal attempts and scored just one point. Against Southeast Missouri State, he scored 23 points, easily a career-high, on 9-of-11 shooting. Then, in the win over Pepperdine, he played 24 minutes and attempted just one shot, a miss, and he went scoreless. On Wednesday against Westmont, he was 1-of-3 from the field and he scored just two points. So, in games one and three, Atako made 12-of-17 shots from the field, 70.5%, and averaged 18.0 points per game. In games two, four and five, he made 1-of-6 shots from the field and averaged 1.0 point per game. On the bright side, in the game against Pepperdine, Atako passed-off for a season-high six assists and eight of his 12 assists on the season have come in the last two games. In his career, he now has 322 career assists, seventh all-time, and 97 career steals, tenth all-time and just one behind Mark Hull for ninth-place.
Wednesday night's win over Westmont marked the second game in a row in which sophomore guard Joe See sparked UCSB when it needed it most. On Wednesday, with the Gauchos maintaining a ten-point lead, but struggling, See keyed a 28-8 game-ending with a trio of three-point baskets. He finished with nine points in the game. A week earlier, in a win over Pepperdine, UCSB opened the game by missing eight of its first nine shots. Enter See, who made three three-point baskets in the first half and helped the Gauchos out of their offensive doldrums. He finished with 11 points in the half, 13 in the game and he assisted on Casey Cook's game-winning three-pointer. See has pulled into a tie for third on the team in scoring at 7.8 points per game. In the last three games, he has averaged 10.0 points per game and shot 47.8% overall. See's 13-point performance against Pepperdine was a season-high and it was just three-points off of his career-high, set against Southern Utah while he played as a freshman at Oregon State. The team's leader in three-point baskets with ten, See has made 3-of-6 from beyond the arc in each of the last two games. He has also drilled two or more three-point baskets in four of the first five games and ten of his 14 baskets on the year have been three-pointers. In fact, 30 of See's 39 points through five games are a result of three-point baskets. In addition to his offensive exploits, he had four assists in the win over Westmont, a season-high.
Sophomore guard Josh Davis thought he was going to redshirt the 2003-04 season, but an injury to Branduinn Fullove and the suspension of Nick Jones forced the UCSB coaching staff to call an audible. Obviously, Davis is not redshirting. In fact, he has been in the starting lineup for all five games and his 141 minutes played ranks second on the team. Since having his problems shooting the ball in the season-opener at Hawaii, Davis has gotten better and better. On Wednesday, he had arguably his best all-around game of the season, scoring nine points, collecting three rebounds and passing-off for a career-high six assists. Davis is now averaging 6.2 points per game for the season and 7.7 per game in the last four. In the last two games, he has averaged 7.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game. Finally, while Davis is shooting 36.1%, since missing all eight of his field goal attempts in the win at Hawaii, he has hit 13-of-28 overall, 46.4%, and 3-for-7 from three-point range, 42.9%.
Cam I Am
Hey, I like to grab rebounds, I like them Cam I Am! I will grab them here, or there. I will grab them above the rim, I will grab them in the key, so coach, you let me be! Alright, enough of the Green Eggs and Ham bit. I know it was a stretch. Either way, sophomore forward Cameron Goettsche has really come on in recent games. His offense continues to get better and better, but even more impressive is his rebounding. Goettsche collected a career-high 11 boards in just 18 minutes on Wednesday night against Westmont. He is now second on the team in rebounding at 6.6 per game. In the last three games, Goettsche has averaged 9.0 rebounds per game and over that span, ten of his 27 have come on the offensive end. Offensively, Goettsche is averaging 6.4 points per game, but in the last two games he has hit 7-of-14 shots, 50.0%, and he has averaged 8.0 points per outing.
The Life Of Bryan
Senior forward Bryan Whitehead has become a pretty dependable cog in the UCSB machine. While he is averaging just 4.4 points per game overall, he is scoring at a 6.7 per game clip in his last three outings. On Wednesday against Westmont, he scored a season-high ten points, the third-highest total of his career. Whitehead made 5-of-6 shots against the Warriors to improve his field goal percentage on the season to 56.2%. In the last two games, he has made 7-of-9 shots from the floor, 77.8%. In addition, he is third on the team in rebounding at 5.6 per game and in the last three games, he has averaged 6.7 per game while pulling-down at least five in each.
On The Horizon
Following the game against San Diego, UCSB will hit the road again for its final three non-conference games of the year. On Wednesday, December 17, the Gauchos will travel to UCLA for a 7:30 p.m. contest. On Saturday, December 20, UCSB will take on Kansas in a 5:00 p.m. game at The Dodge Holiday Classic in Reno, Nevada. The following night, the Gauchos play Alabama State in another 5:00 p.m. game in Reno.