December 8, 2011

Gauchos Open Long Road Trip Tuesday in San Diego

• The Schedule 
Game No. 7
Tuesday, December 13, 2011 at 6:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at the University of San Diego Toreros

at USD's Jenny Craig Pavilion
Radio: AM 1290 KZSB in Santa Barbara
On-Line Audio: UCSBgauchos.com
Livestats available at USDToreros.com

Game No. 8
Friday, December 16, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at University of Washington Huskies

at UW's Alaska Airlines Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion
Radio: AM 1290 KZSB in Santa Barbara
On-Line Audio: UCSBgauchos.com
Livestats available at gohuskies.com

On The Radio
All UC Santa Barbara basketball games are broadcast live in Santa Barbara on AM 1290 KZSB and will stream live online at UCSBgauchos.com and NewsPress.com. Gerry Fall is in his seventh year as the play-by-play voice of the Gauchos. Former Los Angeles Lakers and UCSB star Don Ford  and Santa Barbara News-Press legend Mark Patton handle the color commentary.

• The Gaucho Record
UC Santa Barbara is 4-2 after losing a double overtime thriller to UNLV on Nov 30, 94-88.  The Gauchos have a two-game losing streak after opening the year with four consecutive wins, all by double-digits.  

• The Long And Winding Road...
Hopefully the Gauchos enjoyed their month-long homestand in November.  UCSB never once had to venture on the road, playing all six regular season games and one exhibition at the Thunderdome.    December?  Ah, that's a different story my friends.  While the team could relax a little with no games over a 13-day span (if final exams can be considered relaxing), things become a little more dicey when games resume.  The Gauchos will travel to the University of San Diego on Dec. 13 for a 6:00 p.m. game to start the longest road trip of the Bob Williams era.  They will remain on the road for a Dec. 16 game at Washington, a Dec. 19 game at Cal and a Dec. 22 game at BYU.  When they return on Dec. 23, they will have spent 12 days and 11 nights on the road.  After opening Big West play on Jan. 2 at Cal Poly, UCSB returns home for a Jan. 5 game against Cal State Fullerton, the first home game after a 35-day break. 

• Gauchos Now At 14th In Mid-Major Poll
UCSB has moved to 14th in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Poll.  Creighton has jumped to No. 1 in the poll while Harvard is now No. 2.  Long Beach State is ranked one spot ahead of the Gauchos at 13.  UCSB, incidentally, received one vote in the Dec. 5 Associated Press poll.

• Williams Remains One Away From Tying Wins Record
Bob Williams is in his 14th season at the helm of the UCSB basketball program and his 23rd overall.  Including wins in four of the first six games this season,  Williams has led his Gauchos to a 221-172 record.  The 221 wins are the second most in school history and he needs just one more to tie the all-time victory leader, Jerry Pimm.  Overall, Williams is 410-272.  

• Gauchos Drop Double OT Affair To UNLV
Orlando Johnson scored 36 points and collected 10 rebounds for his third double-double in the last four games, but UCSB dropped a double overtime decision to No. 18 UNLV on Nov. 30.  The Gauchos, trailing by 10 with less than 1:50 remaining in regulation, sent the game into the first OT when Greg Somogyi scored on a put-back at the buzzer after Johnson intentionally missed the second of two free throws.  Three free throws by James Nunnally put UCSB up by three as time dwindled in the first extra session, but UNLV's Chace Stanback chased down a long rebound after a missed three-point attempt, took one dribble, backed up to three-point range and made a three with 1.5 seconds left to push the game to a second overtime.  In the second overtime, Nunnally and T.J. Taylor, who finished with a career-high 10 points, both fouled out and the Gauchos ran out of gas and the Runnin' Rebels went on to a 94-88 win.  Mike Moser had 34 points and 10 rebounds for Las Vegas while Stanback added 19.  Nunnally had 14 points and eight rebounds for UCSB while Jaimé Serna made all five of his shots to finish with 13 points.

• The Opponents
The Gauchos and San Diego have played 19 times in a series that began in 1964.  UCSB holds a 13-4 all-time edge in the series.  The teams last played on Dec. 22, 2006 with the Toreros posting an 81-63 victory.  The last Gaucho win in the series was on Nov. 21, 2005 and it came by a score of 67-65.  UCSB and Washington have played just twice and the Huskies won both games.  The teams met on Dec. 17, 1981 in Santa Barbara and the score was 71-62 and then again in Seattle on Dec. 21, 1982 and the final was 76-55.  

• The Gauchos On The Road 
Through one full month of the season, UCSB remains unbeaten on the road.  Of course, the Gauchos are also winless on the road and tote a 0-0- record to San Diego.  In 2010-11, they were 5-8 in true road games and 9-10 in all games away from the Thunderdome.  UCSB lost its last three true road games last season, dropping decisions at Long Beach State, Cal State Northridge and UC Irvine.   

• Probable Starters - Quick Fact
F 0  Jaimé Serna - Averaged 11.6 points and shot 76.0% in the last five games.
G 1   Nate Garth - Has just six turnovers in 136 minutes. 
F 21 James Nunnally - Has eight rebounds in four of the last five games.
F 24 Christian Peterson - Averaging 5.5 rebounds in the last two games.
G 33 Orlando Johnson - Scored 36 vs. UNLV, second-highest total of his career.

• Probable Reserves - Quick Fact
F 5  Keegan Hornbuckle - Saw his first action as a Gaucho, playing nine minutes vs. UNLV.
G 10 Kyle Boswell - Scored season-low two points in double-overtime loss to UNLV.
G 11 T.J. Taylor - Scored a career-high 10 points before fouling out vs. UNLV.
F 12 Lewis Thomas - Had high of four points vs. UNLV, also tied his high with five rebounds.
F 15 Alan Williams - Did not play in the game against UNLV.
F 20 Shawn Moore - Walk-on from Butte College has yet to play.
F 32 John Green - Injury to left foot could sideline him for most, if not all, season.
F 35 Taran Brown - Is expected to redshirt the 2011-12 season.
C 55  Greg Somogyi - His put-back at the buzzer to end regulation sent UNLV game to OT. 

• This Overtime Stuff Has Got To Stop
UCSB entered the 2011-12 season having won nine of its last 10 overtime games.  Actually, the Gauchos had won nine consecutive OT contests before dropping a 78-76 decision to Boise State on Feb. 19, 2011.  This year, they have extended their losing streak in overtime games to three in a row.  On Nov. 26, UCSB lost a 76-75 overtime game to visiting San Diego State.  On Nov. 30, their last game, the Gauchos lost to No. 18 UNLV in two overtimes, 94-88.  The game against the Runnin' Rebels was just the third multi-overtime game that a Bob Williams-coached Santa Barbara team has played and the first since an 89-80 win at Pepperdine on Nov. 21, 2006.  On Dec. 6, 2000, UCSB defeated San Diego State in three overtimes, 80-67.  That game was the longest in school history.  Others have seemed longer, but that one truly was.

• Points Of Contention
Through six games, the Gauchos are averaging 81.8 points per game.  They scored 88 in their Nov. 30 loss to UNLV marking the fourth time this season, and in the last five games, that they have scored 80 or more points in a game.  In 2010-11, UCSB scored 80 or more points four times in 32 games with the fourth occasion coming in the 30th game of the season.  Also, last season, the Gauchos scored 70 or more 13 times and they have done so in all six games this season.

• Road Blocking
After blocking 17 shots in its first four games, UCSB has blocked 17 in the last two.  In its Nov. 26 game against San Diego State the Gauchos blocked a season-high 11 shots, the sixth most in school history.  Senior Greg Somogyi had six of the blocks in just 15 minutes of action, two short of his career-high and school record of eight.  Additionally, Orlando Johnson tied his career-high with three blocks. In the game against UNLV, Santa Barbara blocked six more shots.  Johnson had two and now has five in his last two games, and freshman Lewis Thomas also had a career-high two.

• Something Is Amiss
After shooting 47.3% or better in their first four games, the Gauchos have made just 38.1% and 41.7% in their last two games.  They shot a season-low 38.1% against San Diego State and 41.7% against UNLV.  Overall, UCSB has made 54-of-135 in its last two games, 40.0%.  This season, the Gauchos are making 46.1% of their shots.  On the other side of the coin, or court, UNLV made 45.8% of its shots on Nov. 30, the highest mark by an opponent this season.  The effort by the Runnin' Rebels ended a streak of four straight games in which the opposition made 39.0% or below.  Through six games, Santa Barbara's opponents have made 39.4% of their shots.

• The Good Hands Guys 
UCSB had just 12 turnovers in its Nov. 30 game against UNLV, not bad when you consider the game went double overtime.  In general this season, the Gauchos have been proficient at protecting the basketball.  Through six games, they have 65 turnovers, 10.8 per game.  They had a season-high 15 on Nov. 18 against Westmont College and a season-low seven on Nov. 11 against Chapman.  UCSB has had 10 or fewer turnovers three times, including games San Diego State (eight) and Santa Clara (10).  The Gauchos assist-to-turnover ratio, a concern for much of last season, has been solid this year.  With 98 assists to go along with the 65 turnovers, their ratio is almost exactly 1.5-to-1.0.

• The Honorable Orlando Johnson
Orlando Johnson has accumulated a laundry list of preseason honors. In early October, he became the first Gaucho ever named to the John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top-50 list.  In November, Johnson earned three more accolades.  He was one of 21 players in the nation named to the Lute Olson Preseason All-America Team, one of 30 candidates announced for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award and was named to the Naismith Player of the Year Preseason Watch List.  As is the case with the Wooden Award, Johnson is the first Gaucho in history to earn his way on to any of the lists. 

• Johnson Makes His Points
Orlando Johnson scored a season-high 36 points in the Gauchos' Nov. 30 game against UNLV.  The total was just three shy of his school record 39, scored against UC Davis last season.  Johnson also had 10 rebounds, four assists, three steals and a pair of blocked shots in his career-high 47 minutes.  For his efforts, he earned Big West Player of the Week honors.  The double-double was Johnson's third of the season and third in the last four games.  In those four games, he is averaging 27.0 points, 10.2 rebounds, 3.7 assists 1.5 blocked shots and and 1.7 steals per game.  Overall, his average of 23.8 points per game not only leads the Big West Conference, but ranks fourth nationally.  The 36 points that Johnson tallied against UNLV, pushed his UCSB career total to 1,357 and moved him into ninth on the school's career scoring list.  If the 383 points that Johnson scored as a freshman at Loyola Marymount are factored in, he has now tallied 1,740 in his collegiate career.  Johnson has scored in double-figures in all six games this season and has now done so 67 times in his 68 games at UCSB.  In addition to his scoring exploits, he leads the team in rebounds at 7.7 per game.  Finally, in the last two games, one of which went overtime and the other double overtime, the Seaside, Calif., native played 92 of a possible 90 minutes.  The 47 minutes he logged against UNLV were a school record.

• The Flying Nunnally
Senior James Nunnally has been one of the most dependable scorers in UCSB history since late in his freshman season.  Last year, he averaged 16.3 points per game and teamed with Orlando Johnson to form the most potent scoring combinations in the Big West.  In the season-opener against Chapman, Nunnally scored a game-high 20 points and in doing so moved past the 1,200 point mark for his career.  His 14 points on Nov. 30 moved him past the 1,300 point plateau.  In the Nov. 15 win over Santa Clara, Nunnally scored a season-high 24 points.  Despite struggling with his shooting touch in the last three games, Nunnally has scored 14 or more points in all six games this season.  After making 24-of-38 (63.2%) shots in the first three games, he has made 13-of-40 (32.5%) in the last three.  He enters UCSB's lengthy road trip with 1,302 career points, 11th all-time, and needs just 50 to move into the top-10.   When Nunnally scored 20 and 24 in the first two games of the season, it marked the first time he has scored 20 in back-to-back games since mid-February of last season.  He also ranks second on the team in rebounding with an average of 6.3 per game.  Nunnally had eight rebounds in each of the last two games and four of the last five.

• Making A DisSERNAble Difference
When he is on the court, Jaimé Serna makes a more than a discernible difference for UCSB.   Last year at the Big West Tournament, with Serna making the All-Tournament team, the Gauchos won three in a row and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year.  In the team's last game, a double overtime loss to UNLV, Serna played a career-high 39 minutes, scored 13 points, collected five rebounds had three steals and blocked one shot.  He also made all five of his field goal attempts.  It marked the third time in the last four games that Serna has been perfect from the field.  On Nov. 22 he also went 5-for-5 in a win over Portland and on Nov. 18 he was 4-for-4 vs. Westmont.  In the Portland game, he tied his career-high with 10 rebounds and had 15 points to record his second career double-double.  Serna is third on the team in scoring at 9.8 points per gmae, but he has had 10 or more in four of the last five, the only exception being Nov. 26 vs. San Diego State when he was limited to 18 minutes because of foul trouble.  He is also third in rebounding at 4.7 per game and he easily leads the team in field goal percentage at 75.0%.  In the last four games, Serna has made 16-of-19 shots, 84.2%. 

• Who's The Bos?
Guard Kyle Boswell is averaging 8.5 points per game, but in his last three games things have not come as easily as they did in the first three.  Boswell scored in double-figures in each of the first three games, averaging 12.7 per game and setting a new career-high in each.  He had 15 on Nov. 18 vs. Westmont, an all-time best mark for him.  Also over that span, he made 12-of-22 shots overall, 54.5%, and 7-of-13 from three-point range, 53.9%.  In the last three games, Boswell has totaled just 13 points, 4.3 per game, while making 5-of-11 shots overall, 45.5%, and 3-of-8 from three-point territory, 37.5%.  Boswell actually seems to be struggling more to get shots off than anything else.  In the first three games, he played 71 minutes and attempted 22 field goals.  In the most recent three games, he played 71 minutes and attempted just 11 field goals. 

• Somogyi Nears No. 2 On Block List
Senior Greg Somogyi blocked six shots in just 15 minutes in UCSB's loss to San Diego State on Nov. 26, he followed that up with one block on Nov. 30 vs. UNLV.  Somogyi also had five in UCSB's Nov. 15 win over Santa Clara and now has 148 swats in his career, third all-time.  Somogyi needs just seven to pass Doug Muse and move into second all-time.  Also, with two games of five or more blocks this season, Somogyi has now done so 10 times in his career.  Finally, while he is averaging just 3.5 points per game, his two most recent points were two of the most exciting in a long time.  It was Somogyi's put-back of an intentionally missed free throw by Orlando Johnson at the buzzer that sent the game against UNLV into overtime.

• Taylor Made 
T.J. Taylor has shown a maturity this season that belies his freshman status.  On Nov. 30, in UCSB's double overtime loss to UNLV, Taylor scored a season-high 10 points, had three assists and collected a pair of rebounds in 29 minutes before fouling out.  He hit a big three-point basket late in the game and finished with two for the game.  In six games, Taylor is averaging 5.2 points, 2.8 assists and 2.2 rebounds in an average of 20.7 minutes per game.  He played a career-high 29 minutes in the game against the Runnin' Rebels and, for the second game in succession, made two three-point baskets.  Also, perhaps most importantly, Taylor has 17 assists and just five turnovers, a 3.4-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio.

• The Other Committee Member 
Junior Nate Garth, a transfer from New Mexico who redshirted in 2010-11, is the other half of UCSB's point guard committee.  Garth has started all six games and has played 136 minutes, 22.7 per game.  He had his best game against Santa Clara when he had season-highs of seven points and five rebounds to go along with five assists.  In the win over Portland, he had a career-high six assists and he leads the team with 20, an average of 3.3 per game.  Garth's 3.3-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio is nearly as glossy as Taylor's.  Combined, the tandem has 37 assists and just 11 turnovers.   

• Long And Short Of It At The Four Spot
UCSB has used a tag team at the four spot as well.  At times James Nunnally has played the spot, but 6-3 senior Christian Peterson and 6-8 freshman Lewis Thomas are getting their share of time.  A walk-on, Peterson has started all six games and scored 18 points, eight coming on Nov. 26 vs. San Diego State.  He is averaging 3.8 rebounds per game and had a high of seven vs. SDSU.  Thomas had his best game when he scored four points and had five rebounds on Nov. 30 vs. UNLV.  He is averaging 9.5 minutes per game.

• Williams Makes His Minutes Count...When He Gets Them
Freshman forward Alan Williams is making his on-court minutes count for UCSB.  The Phoenix native did not play in the loss to UNLV and has logged just 42 minutes this season, an average of 8.4 per game in his five appearances, but he has scored 20 points and collected 25 rebounds in those 42 minutes.  He is averaging 4.0 points and 5.0 rebounds.  In his last appearance, a Nov. 26 loss to San Diego State, Williams played a mere 12 minutes but had six rebounds.  In the last three games combined, he has 16 rebounds in just 27 minutes.  In the Gauchos' Nov. 22 win over Portland, Williams set career-highs with eight points and eight rebounds in just a 12 minutes, also a career-high.  Despite his limited playing time, he has attempted 13 free throws, tied for the fourth highest total on the team.  Finally, Williams had his first two career steals vs. SDSU and has blocked at least one shot in three straight appearances.