Wednesday, December 18, 2002 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Westmont College Warriors
at UCSB's Thunderdome
Game No. 8
Saturday, December 21, 2002 at 4:00 p.m. (PST)
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at BYU Cougars
at BYU's Marriott Center
The Gaucho Record
UC Santa Barbara will enter Saturday's game at BYU with an overall record of 3-4. The Gauchos have lost their last two games, dropping tough ones on the road at Pepperdine (72-68) and at Cal (67-60).
The Gauchos On The Radio
All UC Santa Barbara basketball games are broadcast live on KEYT radio, 1250 AM in Santa Barbara. Brock Bowling is in his first season as the play-by-play announcer and Don Ford is in his sixth year as the primary color announcer. Much to the shock of the listening public, UCSB Director of Athletic Media Relations Bill Mahoney will handle the color for selected road broadcasts.
Slow Start Dooms Gauchos At Cal, 67-60
UCSB went scoreless for nearly eight minutes to open its game at Cal on December 10. The Golden Bears piled-up a 13-0 lead before Branduinn Fullove hit a jumper to make the score 13-2. With 4:57 to go in the first half, Cal had a 19-point lead, its biggest of the game, 32-13. The Gauchos, however fought back, ending the first half on a 10-3 run and trailing 35-23. UCSB opened the second half as it had ended the first, and when Mark Hull made a three-point basket with 17:35 remaining in the game, the Gauchos had gone on a 17-3 run to trail 35-30. The Golden Bear lead would hover between five and nine for the next several minutes, but UCSB made another run midway through the half and when Fullove made a short leaner with 4:02 remaining, it was a one-point game at 50-49. The lead never got larger than seven the rest of the game, and that is where it ended up. The usual suspects led the Gauchos with Fullove scoring 15, Nick Jones chipping in with 13 and Hull notching 12. Hull and Jones tied for the team-high in rebounds with four.
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 65-57 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 254-157 at four-year schools.
Possible Starters - Notes
G - Jacoby Atako - In his last six games, he has had 28 assists and 11 turnovers.
G - Nick Jones - Has led or tied for the team-lead in rebounds five times.
G - Branduinn Fullove - Is the sixth Gaucho ever to eclipse 100 three-pointers.
F - Mark Hull - With 1,250 career points, he now ranks sixth all-time.
F - Bryan Whitehead - Has had at least one blocked shot in each of the last five.
Probable Reserves - Notes
G - B.J. Ward - Has taken just one shot .
G - Chrismen Oliver - Had eight points and five assists at Cal.
G - Cecil Brown - Scored a career-best 13 points at Pepperdine.
G - Josh Davis - Has gone scoreless in two of the last three games.
F - Bray Skultety - Torn ACL in left knee will sideline him for the season.
F - Casey Cook - Has fouled out of two of the last four games.
F - Scott Rainey - Has played in five of the last six games.
F - Derek Wheeler - Has played in four of the last five 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. Here is a game-by-game rundown of the stats the trio has produced this season.
Opponent Points Rbnds. 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 Cal 40 11 5 Averages 44.8 15.6 6.3
Note: Hull, Jones and Fullove have also combined to make 49-of-100 shots from three-point territory, 49.0%.
The Gauchos On The Road
After its 67-60 loss at Cal, UCSB is 0-2 on the road this season. Actually, the Gauchos are 1-4 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 & Cougars
UCSB and BYU have played five times over the years. Until last season, the Gauchos had never won in the series. UCSB defeated BYU on November 28, 2001 in Santa Barbara by a score of 68-58. The Cougars still hold a 4-1 edge overall.
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. Mark Hull 1,250 7. Richard Anderson 1,247 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 165 4. Mark Flick 162 5. Brian Johnson 150 6. Branduinn Fullove 101 7. Erick Ashe 99
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 has committed 56 turnovers in its last three games, an average of 18.7 per game. On the year, the Gauchos are now turning the ball over at a rate of 15.1 per game, an increase of nearly two turnovers per game over last season.
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.
Deck The Hull With Boughs Of Holly, Fa-La-La-La-La-La-La-La-La
Pardon the Christmas bit, but 'tis the season. With 12 points in the loss at Cal, senior forward Mark Hull vaulted into sixth-place on UCSB's all-time scoring list. Hull will enter the game at BYU with a career total of 1,250 points. So far this season, he has passed six players to move from 12th-place into sixth. His next target should take some time as he needs 102 points to pass Scott Fisher for the fifth spot on the list. While scoring is a major part of Hull's game, he proving even more versatile for the Gauchos this season. Hull has been one of the team's most valuable ball handlers against the press, he is one of the team's top rebounders and his defense has been consistently solid. Also, he is off to a good start distributing the ball and he ranks second on the team in assists at 2.4 per game. In fact, Hull's six-assist performance in a win over USC tied his career-high. Hull is also one of only two Gaucho players, Nick Jones being the other, who has made at least one three-point basket in all seven games. He paces the team with 18 three-point buckets, and on five occasions, he has made at least three, including the last three games. In his career, Hull has now hit 165 three-pointers, the third most in school history. He has scored in double-figures in six of seven games, including a season-high 23 points in the year's opener against Weber State. In addition, he has pulled down six or more rebounds four times, including a season-high nine against USC. In fact, in the win over the Trojans, Hull had 17 points, nine rebounds, six assists and one steal, his best overall performance of the year. He has also made ten of his 18 three-point baskets in the last three games, going 10-of-23 over that span. Hull has started all seven games this season and has now started all 94 games since his freshman season in 1999-2000. Finally, he leads the Gauchos in minutes played and if that statistic holds true through the end of the season, he would become the first UCSB player ever to lead the team in minutes played for four consecutive years.
Jolly Old St. Nicholas (Jones)
Actually, Nick Jones is not that old. Oh well. For the first time in his career at UCSB, junior guard 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 has taken advantage of his opportunity. After seven games, Jones is the only Gaucho player to have scored in double-figures in every game. The seven game streak is the longest double-figure scoring streak of his career. He has now reached double-digits in 13 straight games, dating back to last year. With 13 points in the loss at Cal, he has also taken over the team-lead in scoring at 15.9 points per game, and he leads the team in rebounding at 6.7 per contest. The 6-foot-4 guard out of Oxnard, Calif., has at worst tied for the team-lead in rebounding in five of seven games this season, including the last four. In the last four games, he has had 32 rebounds, an average of 8.0 per game, and the ten rebounds he had against San Francisco on November 30 was the third-highest total of his career. Jones has seven or more rebounds in five of the seven games and he has also scored 15 or more points in five of the seven. 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 seven games this year. Jones also leads the team in three-point field goal percentage at 54.7%, improving his career mark to 40.5%. Like Mark Hull, he is one of just two Gauchos to have made at least one three-point basket in each of the first seven games of the season. 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.
Ho, Ho, Ho, Merry Chrismen!
Sophomore guard Chrismen Oliver seems to have played his way into a more important role off the Gauchos bench. While he began the season as the team's third point guard and played few minutes, his last two games would seem to indicate he has made a successful push for more time. In UCSB's loss at Pepperdine, Oliver played just six minutes, but all six came during a rally that transformed an 11-point deficit into a one-point deficit. During the rally, Oliver had three assists, all on three-point baskets. In the defeat at Cal, he played an even bigger role, logging 20 minutes, a mark that tied his career-high, and posting career-highs of eight points and five assists. In his last two games, Oliver has eight assists in a total of 26 minutes. Additionally, the game at Cal, he became the sixth different UCSB player this season to make at least two three-point baskets in a game. He was 2-for-2 from beyond the arc.
In the Gauchos' three wins this season, their opponents have gone just 12-for-52 from three-point range, 23.1%. In UCSB's four losses, the opponent have made 31-of-70, 44.3%. Also, since allowing their first two opponents to make 17-of-32 from beyond the three-point arc, a lofty 53.1%, UCSB opponents have made just 26-of-90, 28.9%.
Three For All
When UCSB drained 11 three-point baskets against Cal on December 10, it was a season-high and it was the sixth time in seven 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 seven contests of the 2002-03 season, the Gauchos have made 60 three-point baskets, an average of 8.6 per game. Last year, Santa Barbara made 6.5 threes per outing. In seven games, UCSB is now hitting 45.5% 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 seven games. Interestingly, six different Gauchos, the three mentioned above plus Cecil Brown, Jacoby Atako and Chrismen Oliver, have hit two or more three-pointers in a game. Hull, Jones, Fullove and Brown have each made three or more in a game at least two times.
Free throws? Ha! For UCSB, they have been quite costly in the last two games. In losses to Pepperdine and Cal, the Gauchos have been outscored from the free throw line by a tally of 43-9. That's right, an imbalance of 34. Considering the two defeats came by a combined total of 11 points, those 34 points could have made a difference. Perhaps more amazing than the made free throw imbalance in the last two games is the attempt imbalance. In the last two games, the Gauchos have gone 9-of-15 from the line while their opponents went 43-of-57. Taking it a step further, in the last game at Cal, the Golden Bears went 22-of-30 from the free throw line while Santa Barbara went 1-for-2. The two free throw attempts in a game is the fewest on record at UCSB. On the year, the Gauchos have outscored their opponents by 27 total points, but they have been outscored from the charity stripe by 52 points, in other words, if basketball was a game that didn't include free throws, UCSB would have outscored its seven opponents by 79 points, an average of 11.3 points per game.
'Tis The Season Of Hope, Joy, And Fullove
Junior guard Branduinn Fullove bounced back from one of the worst games of his career with an outstanding effort at Cal. In a December 7 loss at Pepperdine, Fullove scored four points, making just 2-of-6 shots from the field, and he fouled out for the first time in his career. On December 10 at Cal, he led the team in scoring with 15 points, had three rebounds and a pair of assists. Fullove also made several key shots in a Gaucho comeback that cut a 19-point deficit to one. He now ranks second on the team in scoring at 15.4 points per game, and he is third on the squad with 15 three-point baskets. In fact, with three three-pointers at Cal, Fullove has become the sixth UCSB player in history to make 100 career three-point baskets. While the Pepperdine game was one of the worst of his career, 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. Fullove is shooting 51.5% overall and 48.4% from three-point territory. Since the season-opener against Weber State, when he made just 1-for-8 shots overall and 1-for-5 from three-point range, Fullove has gone 34-of-60 overall, 56.7%, and 14-of-26 from three-point territory, 53.8%. He now ranks second on the team in scoring at 15.4 points per game. Fullove has also become a barometer of sort. In three Gaucho wins, Fullove has averaged 21.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. Also in the three wins, he has made 21-of-33 shots from the field, 63.6%, and 9-of-13 from three-point territory, 69.2%. In four Gaucho losses, Fullove has averaged 11.0 points, 2.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game, while making 14-of-35 shots from the field, 40.0%, and 6-for-18 from three-point range, 33.3%.
I'm Dreaming Of A Whitehead (And Cook) Christmas
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. While his numbers were modest, Whitehead probably had his best all-around game in the recent game at Cal. He tied his season-high with 26 minutes played, made 2-of-3 shots for four points, tied for the team-lead in rebounds with four, and, for the fifth game in a row, blocked a shot. On November 30 against USF, Whitehead had season-highs of six points and five rebounds. He has nine of UCSB's 14 blocked shots this season. His nine blocked shots have come in a total of 145 minutes and, while a fairly modest number, it is a significant improvement over the five he swatted in 355 minutes last season. As for Cook, he fouled out in just 12 minutes at Cal, his second disqualification in the last four games. He had two points and three rebounds against the Bears and he had six points and four rebounds at Pepperdine. On December 3, 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. 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.
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 Cal 3-7 0-0 7 0 1 6 Totals 29-54 9-15 43 7 11 68 Avgs./Pcts. 53.7% 60.0% 6.1 1.0 1.6 9.7
Freshmen On The Rollercoaster
Guards Cecil Brown and Josh Davis are experiencing the ups-and-downs that all freshmen go through. Brown, who is averaging 5.7 points per game, has had two double-digit scoring efforts this season. He scored 12 in the opener against Weber State and a career-high 13 at Pepperdine, and each time he went scoreless in the following game. Still, Brown has the potential to become a potent offensive weapon and he can score in bunches. His 12-point outing against Weber State came in just ten minutes, and his 13-point total against Pepperdine came in just 15 minutes. Brown is one of four Gauchos this season to have hit three or more three-point baskets in a game, a feat he has accomplished twice, going for a trio of three-pointers in his two double-figure scoring games. Davis has been used in a variety of roles. He has literally played the one, two, three and four this season. He is averaging 2.9 points per game and seems to be feeling more comfortable with each outing. Davis has attempted just 15 shots in 96 minutes of play. Brown is not as shy, having launched 33 shots, including 17 three-pointers, in 94 minutes.
I'm Dreaming Of A Short Christmas
The Gauchos won't get a long Christmas break. UCSB will practice Christmas night and then leave on December 26 for the azcentral.com/Sun Devil Classic in Tempe, Arizona. On Friday, December 27, the Gauchos will take on Nebraska in the tournament opener at 4:00 p.m. (PST) and then they will meet either the winner or loser of the ASU-Bucknell game on Saturday, December 28.