December 27, 1999

Men's Basketball Hosts BYU In Final Game Of 1999

Dec. 27, 1999

Santa Barbara, Calif.

The Schedule
Game No. 9
Wednesday, December 29, 1999, 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. BYU Cougars at UCSB's Thunderdome

Game No. 10
Wednesday, January 5, 2000, 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at Loyola Marymount Lions at LMU's Gersten Pavilion

The Gaucho Record
UC Santa Barbara enters its game against Brigham Young with an overall record of 2-6. The Gauchos have been off for a week following a heartbreaking 60-57 loss on December 22 at San Diego State. UCSB's last win was on Monday, December 20 when they defeated Concordia University of Oregon by a score of 72-65. After an 0-4 start, UCSB has gone 2-2.

The Last Game
Playing without starting forward Juliano Jordani (10.3 points and 7.0 rebounds per game), who sat out with a sprained right ankle, the Gauchos lost a tough one at San Diego State. UCSB piled up a 14-point lead with 12:53 remaining in the game, but ten turnovers in the final 11:23 allowed the Aztecs back into the game and ultimately gave them the three-point win. In the end, the Gauchos turned the ball over 28 times, including 17 times in the second half. UCSB was led by Brandon Payton who scored a season-high 18 points in the defeat. The Gauchos outrebounded the Aztecs, 43-27.

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 seven games this season, Williams' Gaucho record is now 17-19 and his overall record as a college coach is 206-119. His teams have won either a league, division or National Championship in five straight seasons.

Probable Starters - Notes
G - Derrick Allen - Has averaged 7.2 rebounds in last four games.
G - Erick Ashe - Made only 1-for-11 from floor at San Diego State.
G - Mark Hull - After 4 double-figure games, he has had single digits in last two.
F - Adama Ndiaye - Has taken over the team-lead in rebounding at 7.8 per game.
F - Juliano Jordani - Missed last two games with ankle injury.

Probable Reserves - Notes
G - Brandon Payton - Scored a season-high 18 points in loss at SDSU.
G - LaRon Bryant - Averaging 8.5 ppg in last two games.
G - B.J. Ward - Had career-highs of eight rebounds and five assists vs. Concordia.
F - Mike Vukovich - Had eight points and seven rebounds at SDSU.
F - Ross Carmichael - Has played 22 minutes in 2 games since he became eligible.
G - Matt Long - Walkon reserve who has yet to play this season.

The Gauchos At Home
UCSB has recorded a 2-2 record at the Thunderdome this season. Their losses have come to top-ranked Stanford (62-49) and to Pepperdine (66-64) and their wins came over Westmont College (73-57) and Concordia University (72-65). Last season, the Gauchos posted an 8-6 record at home, winning eight of their final ten after opening the year at 0-4 at home.

The Gauchos Rebound
With their 43-27 advantage on the boards in the loss at San Diego State, the Gauchos have now passed their opponents in the rebounding category. UCSB is averaging 40.5 rebounds per game and their opponents are at 36.8 per game, an advantage of 3.7 per game for the Gauchos. After being outrebounded in each of its first three games, the UCSB has outrebounded five straight opponents. In the first three contests, opponents outrebounded the Gauchos by an average of 6.3 boards per game and in the last five games, UCSB has outrebounded its opponents by an average of 10.0 per game.

Ashe Continues To Struggle
While others have seemingly started to emerge from their shooting slumps, senior guard Erick Ashe, probably the most important shooter on the team, has remained mired in a horrible shooting slump. At San Diego State, he hit only 1-for-11 shots from the field, dropping his percentage on the season to 22.3%. Ashe has yet to have a good shooting game this season. His best game was the 5-for-13 (38.5%) performance he had against Westmont. In the last three games, he has made only 7-of-41 shots from the field, 17.1%.

Still A Percentage Problem
Santa Barbara continues to have trouble shooting the basketball. In the loss at San Diego State, the Gauchos made only 20-of-55 shots, 36.4%. Actually, the 36.4% they shot at SDSU was better than their season numbers as a whole. Shooting problems almost cost them all of a 14-point second half lead in a win over Concordia. In eight games this season, UCSB has shot 37.7% or worse seven times. The only time they made better than 37.7% was in a win over Westmont when they hit exactly 50.0%. In addition, the Gauchos have been outshot in all but two games, the Westmont game and the season-opener against Stanford. On the bright side, UCSB opponents are having some troubles shooting the ball as well, hitting only 40.4% for the campaign. In the last four games, UCSB's opposition has made 90-of-252 shots, a meager 35.7% from the field. With the exception of Ross Carmichael (1-for-2 from the floor) UCSB does not have a player shooting 50.0% from the field and, in fact, they have six regulars shooting below the 40.0% mark.

Jordani Expected To Return For BYU Game
Junior forward Juliano Jordani is expected to return to action for Wednesday's game between UCSB and BYU. Jordani, the team's second leading scorer (10.3 points per game) and its second leading rebounder (7.0 rebounds per game) missed the last two games with a badly sprained right ankle. In addition to his points and rebounds, Jordani is the top three-point shooting threat on the team. After opening the season by missing his first five from three-point range, he has hit 10-of-21, an outstanding 47.6%. In addition, after averaging 4.5 points and 5.5 rebounds in the first two games, the 6-foot-7 Brazilian averaged 13.3 points and 7.8 rebounds in the four games prior to his injury. In his six games, Jordani is shooting 32.0% from the field overall. Interestingly, he has made 38.5% of his three-point attempts and only 25.0% of his two-point attempts. When he was 3-for-6 from two-point range in a December 11 loss to Pepperdine, it was the first time he had made half or more of his two-point attempts in any game this season.

Ndiaye Makes His Mark
Junior forward Adama Ndiaye has started to emerge in the last four games. For the first time in his career, Ndiaye scored in double-figures in three straight games, prior to his eight point performance at San Diego State, and, more importantly, he has started to produce the type of rebound numbers that the Gauchos need from him. In the last four contests, Ndiaye has averaged 11.0 points and 9.5 rebounds per game while making 18-of-26 shots from the floor, a solid 69.2%. The 6-foot-8 native of Dakar, Senegal has had a pair of double-doubles this year, both in the last four games. In last week's win over Concordia, he had 12 points and a career-high 16 rebounds. Of his 16 boards, ten came at the offensive end, the second highest single game total in school history. Fueled by his recent run, Ndiaye has claimed the team-lead in rebounding at 7.8 per game. Ndiaye has produced seven or more rebounds in four of the last five games and in six of the eight contests this season. Finally, on the season he has come up with 33 offensive rebounds as compared to his total of 29 defensive boards.

What The Hull?
Freshman swingman Mark Hull is off to a good start in his career and his last name makes for some pretty easy headlines. While he has gone back-to-back games with single digit scoring totals, Hull is still having a good season. The 6-foot-6 product of Glendale's Hoover High School scored a career-high 19 points and had a career-high-tying seven rebounds in last week's loss to Pepperdine. He enters the game against BYU with a team-leading average of 11.6 points per game. He is the lone Gaucho to have scored in double-figures in five of eight games this season. In addition, in the last four games he has made 6-of-12 shots from three-point range, 50.0%. In the game at San Diego State, Hull was limited to 21 minutes due to foul trouble and he attempted only four shots from the field, making two.

Payton Place
Junior guard Brandon Payton was without question a bright spot in the loss at San Diego State, scoring a season-high 18 points. On the night, Payton hit 6-of-10 shots from the field, easily his best performance of the season. In fact, while he is shooting only 35.2% overall, Payton has made 9-of-16 shots in the last two games, good for 56.3%. The 18 points he scored at San Diego was Payton's second double-digit scoring effort of the season (he had 11 vs. Westmont) and it tied the second-highest scoring output of his career (he also had 18 points in a loss at Portland last season).

These Turnovers Taste Lousy
During the Holidays, one should enjoy turnovers. Whether they are cherry or apple, they go great after a meal of turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes. However, the turnovers UCSB has been producing this season have probably done more to ruin Bob Williams' appetite than anything else. With 28 turnovers in the loss at San Diego State, UCSB has now produced 150 turnovers in only eight games, an average of 18.7 per game. Gaucho opponents have turned the ball over 111 times, an average of 13.9 times per game and nearly five fewer times per game than the Gauchos. UCSB has had fewer turnovers than its opponent only one time this season (at USF) and they have 53 more turnovers than assists. The Gaucho season-high for turnovers is the 31 they had at USC and the season-low is the ten they had against Westmont.

On The Horizon
Following its game at Loyola Marymount on January 5, the Gauchos will host St. Mary's College on Saturday, January 8. The game between UCSB and the Gaels will be the team's final non-conference event of the season. The following week, the Gauchos travel to New Mexico State and North Texas in Big West play.