UCSB Opens Big West Play at Home Against Rivals Long Beach State, UC Irvine
Dec. 27, 2004
Game No. 8
Tuesday, December 28, 2004 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Long Beach State 49ers
at UCSB's Thunderdome
Radio: KTLK 1340 AM
Game No. 9
Thursday, December 30, 2004 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. UC Irvine Anteaters
at UCSB's Thunderdome
Radio: KTLK 1340 AM
Game No. 10
Sunday, January 2, 2005 at 4:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at Cal State Northridge Matadors
at CSUN's Matadome
Radio: KTLK 1340 AM
UCSB Opens League Action With Tough 12-Day Run
UC Santa Barbara will open Big West Conference play this week with a pair of home games against rivals Long Beach State and UC Irvine. The Gauchos will play their first league game of the season on Tuesday, December 28 at 7:00 p.m. against Long Beach. The game against the 49ers will open a very difficult five-game in 12-days stretch for UCSB. Over the first 12 days of the league season, the Gauchos will host Long Beach State and UC Irvine, and travel to Cal State Northridge, Utah State and Idaho.
The Gaucho Record
UCSB enters Tuesday's Big West Conference opener against Long Beach State with a record of 2-5. The Gauchos lost their last game, a 71-63 decision at the University of San Diego on December 22. Since opening the season with an overtime win on November 19 at San Diego State, UCSB has lost five out of six games. Following the win over the Aztecs, the Gauchos dropped consecutive games at Wisconsin, at San Francisco, at Pepperdine and at home against San Diego State. After snapping the four game losing string with a December 18 home win over Montana, Santa Barbara dropped the game at San Diego. In 2003-04, Santa Barbara posted an overall record of 16-12 and a Big West mark of 10-8. The Gauchos finished third in the league's regular season standings and lost to Cal State Northridge in the second round of the Big West Tournament.
UCSB Struggles Early, Can't Catch-up In Loss At San Diego
In last week's loss at the University of San Diego, UCSB missed two shots on its first possession and then turned the ball over on its next four possessions, falling behind 11-1 in the process. The Gauchos never caught-up, pulling to within one late in the first half, but never closer, losing 71-63. The Toreros sizzled from the perimeter, making 6-of-7 shots from three-point range in the first half, and finishing at 7-for-9, 77.8%. Santa Barbara shot just 42.9% overall and 30.8% from three-point territory. A significant positive note for the Gauchos was the play of junior guard Joe See. See, who struggled through the early portion of the season, scored a season-high 17 points against San Diego, making 5-of-10 shots overall and 2-of-6 from three-point range. Senior guard Chrismen Oliver also had a solid game with 12 points, making 5-of-7 shots from the field and both of his three-point attempts. Junior forward Cameron Goettsche had his first double-double of the season with ten points and 11 rebounds.
Williams Nears 100 Victory Mark At UCSB
The Gauchos' 55-46 win over the University of Montana on Saturday, pulled head coach Bob Williams to within two wins of the 100 win plateau since arriving at UCSB for the 1998-99 season. With two more wins, Williams will become the fifth head coach in the school's history to hit the 100 win mark, joining Jerry Pimm (222), Willie Wilton (205), Ralph Barkey (169) and Art Gallon (122).
The Injury Update
Junior guard Cecil Brown had a false start last week. His right knee, which had recovered from a partially torn medial collateral ligament, was willing, but his left ankle was not. Prepared to make his 2004-05 debut at San Diego, Brown sprained his ankle in practice the day before the game and he is back on the injured list. A timetable for his return has not been determined. Brown is one of three Gauchos sidelined by injury. Reserve sophomore forward David Kennedy has a stress fracture in his right leg, and is expected to remain on the sidelines until some point in early January. Redshirt freshman forward Chris Devine had surgery on his right knee prior to the opening of practice in October and he will be sidelined until late January. Junior forward Cameron Goettsche has played in the last five games. Goettsche missed four weeks, including all practices, two exhibition games and the first two regular season games, with a severely strained groin. Overall, including exhibition games, Gaucho regulars, or projected regulars, have missed 32 games due to injury this season.
Possible Starters - Notes
G - Chrismen Oliver - His 24 assists and 13 turnovers give him the best ratio on the team.
G - Alex Harris - Scored a season-low two points in each of the last two games.
G - Josh Davis - Equaled his career-high with four steals in the loss at San Diego.
F - Cameron Goettsche - Had the third double-double of his career in game at USD.
F - Casey Cook - Produced a career-high four steals against San Diego.
Possible Reserves - Notes
G - Joe See - Scored season-high 17 at USD and has averaged 11.7 ppg in the last three.
G - Michael Chambers - Played six minutes after his first DNP of season vs. Montana.
F - Derek Rasp -One of just two Gauchos at 50.0% from the field. Has gone 9-of-18.
F - Chris Moore - Has had 11 boards in last three games after having three in first four.
F - Glenn Turner - Committed four fouls in a season-low eight minutes at USD.
The Infirmary - Notes
G - Cecil Brown - Knee seems healed, but sprained left ankle has him sidelined indefinitely.
F - Chris Devine - Knee injury has sidelined him until late January, at the earliest.
F - David Kennedy - Stress fracture in right leg has him sidelined until early January.
F - Todd Follmer - The seven-footer will redshirt his freshman campaign.
The Bob Williams File
Bob Williams is in his seventh season as the head coach at UC Santa Barbara. Last year, he guided the Gauchos to a 16-12 overall record and a 10-8 mark in Big West Conference play. He has also guided UCSB to three straight winning seasons, the first time the program has accomplished the feat since 1987-88 through 1989-90. 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 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 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 98-84 (.539) overall record and a 66-36 (.647) 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 287-184 (.610) at four-year schools.
UCSB and Long Beach State have played 94 times over the years. In fact, the 94 games ranks as the third most for a UCSB opponent, trailing only San Jose State (100) and Fresno State (95). The 49ers hold a 49-45 advantage in the series. UCSB and LBSU split a pair of games last season with each team winning on its home court. Santa Barbara and UC Irvine have played 59 times with the Gauchos holding a 37-22 edge. UCSB swept the two games played between the school's last season and have now won five consecutive games dating back to the second round of the 2002 Big West Tournament. The Gauchos and Cal State Northridge have played 27 times in a series that dates back to 1960. Santa Barbara holds a 21-6 edge all-time, but after winning the first meeting between the school's last season, the Gauchos dropped two in a row, including a Big West Tournament quarterfinal game, 61-58. Prior to the Matadors two wins in the series last season, UCSB had won five in a row in the series.
UCSB At Home
The Gauchos are 1-1 at home this season after splitting their first two Thunderdome contests. UCSB was 10-2 at the Thunderdome last season. In fact, the Gauchos have gone 10-2 at home in each of the last three seasons. Santa Barbara went 7-2 in Big West home games last year, losing to Pacific and Utah State. UCSB is 57-22 at home under head coach Bob Williams.
Opponent Three-Point Barrage
In UCSB's last game, a 71-63 loss at the University of San Diego, the Gauchos allowed the Toreros to go 7-of-9 from three-point range. On the season, Santa Barbara opponents have made 53-of-135 from beyond the three-point arc, 39.3%, but in the last three games that figure is significantly higher. In the last three games, a loss to San Diego State, a win over Montana and a loss at San Diego, the Gaucho opposition has made 26 of its 46 three-point attempts, a sparkling 56.4%.
No Offense Intended
Since starting the season by scoring 80 points in an overtime win at San Diego State, UCSB has gone into an offensive slump. In the past six games, the Gauchos have not scored more than the 63 points that they recorded in the last game at the University of San Diego. The 63-point effort snapped a string of four straight sub-60.0% games. Through seven games, Santa Barbara has averaged 60.9 points per game, but in the last six outings, the Gauchos have averaged just 57.7 points per game. The 63-point game at USD also ended a streak of descending point totals for UCSB. After scoring 80 points in the season opener, Gaucho point totals either decreased or were equal to the preceding game in five straight. Does that make sense? In other words, UCSB scored, in this order, 80, 61, 56, 56, 55 and 55, before scoring 63 in the last games.
Forcing The Issue
While UCSB has struggled with turnovers this season, it has also forced its share. On the year, the Gaucho opponents are averaging 16.4 turnovers per game, but in the last two games, teams have committed 41 turnovers, an average of 20.5 per game. Montana had 23 turnovers against the Gauchos on December 18, the most by an opponent this season.
UCSB's 2-5 start ties the second worst seven-game start since Bob Williams became head coach for the 1998-99 season. The Gauchos went 2-5 through seven games in 2000-01, ultimately going 2-7 that year. The 2000-01 team finished the season at 13-15 overall and 9-7 in the Big West. The worst seven-game start in Williams' first six seasons came in his first year when Santa Barbara went 0-7 on its way to an 0-8 start. The 1998-99 Gauchos ultimately went 15-13 overall and 12-4 in the Big West.
UCSB In The Big West
Since Bob Williams became head coach at UCSB in 1998, the Gauchos have tended to get healthy in Big West Conference games. Santa Barbara has finished at least two games over the .500 mark in all six of Williams' seasons. In fact, UCSB and Utah State are the only programs in the league to be over the .500 mark in each of the last six Big West seasons. In his first six years, Williams' Gauchos have gone 66-36 in league games, a solid .647 winning percentage. Only twice in the past six seasons has UCSB had a better non-conference record (not including postseason games) than league record. Last season the Gauchos were 6-3 in non-conference games and 10-8 in the Big West. In 2001-02, Santa Barbara was also 6-3 in non-conference games and 11-7 in league. The biggest differences in the opposite direction were in 1998-99 when UCSB was 2-8 in non-conference games and 12-4 in the Big West, and in 2002-03, when it went 3-8 in non-conference games and 14-4 in the league.
The Gauchos have 56 steals through seven games this season, an average of exactly 8.0 per game. In the last two contests, UCSB has had a combined total of 23 steals, tying its season-high in the win over Montana with 13, and then producing ten in the loss at San Diego. Last season, Santa Barbara averaged 6.82 steals per game, and had a total of 191, the ninth highest total in school history. At their current rate, the Gauchos would have 216 steals in 27 games this year, a figure that would rank second on the all-time single-season list. Leading the way through seven games this season has been junior guard Josh Davis, who has 15, an average of 2.1 per game. Davis had four in the loss at San Diego, tying the career-high he set in the season-opening win at San Diego State.
General Assistance Starts At Home
UCSB is averaging just 10.6 assists per game this season. The Gauchos collected 28 assists in the first two games of the year, an average of 14.0 per game, but since then they have had just a total of 46, an average of 9.2 per game. In two home games this season, Santa Barbara has 26 assists, passing-off for exactly 13 in each of the two games. In five road games, the Gauchos have a total of 48 assists, 9.6 per game. In the last three road games, however, the figure is even lower. UCSB has 20 assists in the last three road games, an average of 6.7 per game.
Last season, Santa Barbara finished the season with just one player, Branduinn Fullove, averaging in double-figures. This year, although only seven games have been played, the Gauchos have three, count `em, three players averaging ten or more points per game. With his 12-point effort in the game at San Diego, senior guard Chrismen Oliver has boosted his scoring average to exactly 10.0 points per game. Junior guard Josh Davis (11.9 ppg) and senior forward Casey Cook (11.7 ppg) are the other two Gauchos averaging ten or more per game.
Is assist to turnover ratio an indicator of anything? Who knows? But UCSB's assist to turnover ratio this season has been poor. In the game at San Diego on December 22, the Gauchos had seven assists and 16 turnovers. The loss to the Toreros marked the fifth straight game that the Gauchos did not have a positive assist tot turnover ratio. Over that span, Santa Barbara had more turnovers than assists four times and broke even another time. In the road loss at Wisconsin, UCSB had 13 assists and a season-low 11 turnovers, the only time this season in which the Gauchos were in the black in the assist-to-turnover category. For the season, Santa Barbara averages 15.4 turnovers and 10.6 assists. In the last five games, the Gauchos are averaging 16.0 turnovers and 9.2 assists per game, a -6.8 margin.
Just In Casey
Senior forward Casey Cook is second on the Gauchos in scoring at 11.7 per game. In the last game at San Diego, however, he struggled with eight points and just one rebound in 26 minutes. Cook did post a career-high four steals, but he made just 2-of-8 shots from the field. The sub-par game against the Toreros came on the heels of one of Cook's best games of the year. In a December 18 win over Montana, he had his first double-double of the season and the second of his career with 14 points and a career-high tying 12 rebounds. Cook has now scored eight points in four of the last five games. He opened the season with back-to-back double-figure scoring efforts, including a career-high 21-points in a November 23 loss at Wisconsin. In the first two games of the year, Cook made 15-of-21 shots from the field, 71.4%. In the last five games, he has struggled with his shooting, making 16-of-55 from the floor, 29.1%. The one rebound he had at USD snaps Cook's streak of having at least four boards in every game this season. Finally, the 26 minutes was a season-low for Cook, although he has still played 26 or more in all seven games this season.
Junior guard Josh Davis remains the Gauchos' leading scorer at 11.9 points per game, but he has gone three straight games in single-digits. At San Diego, Davis had eight points on 3-of-7 shooting. Like his teammate Casey Cook, however, he had four steals, tying his career-high. Davis has been in double-figures in four of the seven games. While he is shooting 46.3% for the season, Davis has gone just 12-of-32 from the field in the last four games, 37.5%. He is one of two Gauchos to have scored at least 20 points in a game, scoring a career-high 20 at San Francisco. In the season-opener at San Diego State, he scored 18 points, including a career-high four three-point baskets. Davis is tied for the team-lead with nine three-point baskets and he paces the team with 15 steals. The nine three-pointers that he has made equals his total for all of last season. Entering the year, Davis' career-high was 32 minutes and he had played 30 or more just twice. Through seven games this season, he has played 32 or more six times.
Senior point guard Chrismen Oliver scored 12 points in the loss at San Diego and he is now averaging 10.0 per game on the season. He is one of two Gauchos who has scored ten or more points in four of UCSB's seven games this year. Oliver is also the only Gaucho to have a positive assist to turnover ratio. He enters the week with 24 assists and 13 turnovers. The 24 assists leads the team. Oliver is also tied for the team-lead in three-point baskets with nine. In the last game at USD, he made 5-of-7 shots overall and both of his three-point attempts. In the Gauchos' win over Montana ten days ago, Oliver had ten points and career-highs of seven assists and five steals. He scored a career-high 17 points in the season-opener at San Diego State and he had a 14-point outburst off the bench against Pepperdine on December 1. Finally, last season, in 26 games, Oliver attempted 70 shots, an average of 2.7 per game. This year, in seven games he has attempted 61 shots, an average of 8.7 per game.
Freshman guard Alex Harris has slowed down some since he began his career with a 15-point game at San Diego State. While he is still having a solid freshman season, he is struggling in recent games. Although he is averaging 6.3 points per game, Harris has scored just 4.8 per game in the last five games and 2.3 per game in the last three Also, since making 8-of-12 shots in the first two games, he has been in lock-step with the rest of the team offensively, going 7-of-28 in the last five games, 25.0%.
Cam I Am
Junior forward Cameron Goettsche was not in the starting lineup for UCSB's game at San Diego. The day prior to the game, Goettsche suffered a bout of food poisoning and he was pretty weak heading into the match-up against the Toreros. So, how did he do? He had a very solid game, posting his first double-double of the year and the third of his career with ten points and a season-high 11 rebounds. Also, because of foul trouble suffered by other Gaucho frontcourt players, he was forced to play 24 minutes. Goettsche missed both of UCSB's exhibition games and its first two regular season games, but he has now played in five straight games, starting three, and he has moved into fourth on the team in scoring at 7.2 points per game, and first in rebounding at 6.6 per game. He is also the only player averaging more than ten minutes per game who is also shooting better than 50.0%. Goettsche is shooting a stellar 55.6% and he is the only UCSB player to make at least half of his shots in all of his appearances. In the last two games, he has collected 20 rebounds and he has now had eight or more in three of his five games. Goettsche has averaged 23.6 minutes in his five appearances and since logging 19 minutes in his first game at San Francisco, he has played at least 21 in the last four.
Wait And See
Junior guard Joe See struggled mightily with his shooting in the first three games of the season. In the first three, he hit just 2-of-20 shots overall and he missed all 16 of his three-point attempts. In game four, at Pepperdine, See took the first step back to the level he had played at last season, making 2-of-3 shots overall and his only three-point attempt. At the time, the modest five points he scored against the Waves was a season-high. In the next game, against San Diego State, he had nine points, making 3-of-4 shots, all from beyond the three-point arc. In a home victory over Montana, he made just 3-of-10 shots, but he was 2-of-7 from three-point territory and had nine points. In the game at USD, he seemed to take another big step back. In 31 minutes, his highest total since logging 36 in the opener at San Diego State, he made 5-of-10 shots overall, 2-of-6 from three-point territory, and 5-of-6 free throws, for a season-high 17 points. It was See's second-highest scoring game as a Gaucho. In the last four contests, he has made 13-of-27 shots overall, 48.1%, 8-of-18 from three-point range, 44.4%, and 6-of-9 from the free throw line, 66.7%. Over that span, he has averaged exactly 10.0 points per game. Overall, See is now averaging 6.3 points per game, tied for fifth on the team.
Turner's Brief Stints
Sophomore Glenn Turner has been in foul trouble almost from the word go this year. Although he missed the exhibition season with a severely sprained ankle, he returned for the opener at San Diego State and played a career-high 22 minutes, scoring four points and pulling-down a career-high seven rebounds. He did, however, have four fouls in his 22 minutes. While he continued to be a fairly productive rebounder through the first six games, collecting at least four in each game, he also continued committing fouls. Turner fouled out in 21 minutes at Wisconsin, his only DQ of the season. In the game at San Diego, Turner did not foul out, but he had four fouls in just eight minutes of action, his shortest stint of the season. The 6-foot-9 native of San Jose, Calif., has scored 17 points on the year, an average of 2.4 per game, and he has attempted 15 field goals, an average of 2.1 per game. On the other hand, he has recorded 24 fouls, an average of 3.4 per game, while playing an average of 15.3 minutes. On the bright side, Turner is averaging 10.7 rebounds per 40.0 minutes of action, second on the team to Camereon Goettsche's 11.2 per 40.0 minutes of play.