Youthful Gauchos Debut in Thursday Night Exhibition Game at Thunderdome

UCSB Thunderdome Crowd (Photo by Vince Agapito)
UCSB Thunderdome Crowd (Photo by Vince Agapito)

• This Week

Exhibition Game
Thursday, November 1, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. 
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. La Verne University Leopards

at UCSB's Thunderdome
Radio: AM 1290 KZSB in Santa Barbara
On-Line Audio:
On-Line Video: BigWest.TV

Game No. 1
Friday, November 9, 2012 at 5:00 p.m. (PST)
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at LSU Tigers

at LSU's Maravich Center - Baton Rouge, La.
Radio: AM 1290 KZSB in Santa Barbara
On-Line Audio:

Game No. 2
Monday, November 12, 2012 at 5:00 p.m. (PST)
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at Illinois State Redbirds

at ISU's Redbird Arena - Normal, Ill.
Radio: AM 1290 KZSB in Santa Barbara
On-Line Audio: 

Season Tickets Still Available
Season tickets for both the men's and women's teams are available from the Ticket Office in the Intercollegiate Athletics Building on campus, by calling 805-893-UCSB (8272) or online by clicking here for men's season tickets and here for women's season tickets.  Also, for the nest two seasons, the season tickets will commemorate 35 years of the Thunderdome and the tickets will reflect that.  This year, the commemorative tickets will celebrate some of the greatest players to ever play in the storied arena and next year the greatest moments will be remembered.

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 and Gerry Fall is in his ninth 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.

Talk'n Gauchos
UCSB Athletics' weekly radio show, Talk'n Gauchos, airs every Tuesday from 6-7 p.m. on AM 1290 KZSB. The show is broadcast live from The Beachside Café, located on Goleta Beach and it features UCSB coaches and athletes.  Hosted by Gerry Fall, the voice of the Gauchos. 

Two-Year Thunderdome Celebration Begins 
In 2012-13, UC Santa Barbara will begin a two-year 35th anniversary celebration of the Thunderdome. The #thunderdome35 celebration includes commemorative 2012-13  season tickets that feature some of the greatest players to ever compete on the Thunderdome court.  The players will also be remembered during Gaucho men's and women's basketball home broadcasts as well as the Gauchos in Thirty television show and online at

UCSB Hosts La Verne In Exhibition Game 
UCSB will host La Verne in its only exhibition game of the 2012-13 season on Thursday, Nov. 1 at 7:00 p.m. at the Thunderdome.  The Gauchos and Leopards will play eight days before they take-on Louisiana State University (henceforth referred to as LSU) in Baton Rouge (literally translated: Stick Red). 

Those Aren't Your Father's Gauchos
The coaching staff, a few players and the uniforms.  Those are essentially the only similarities between the 2011-12 Gauchos and the 2012-13 Gauchos.  If you include walk-ons, possible redshirts and players who are sidelined by injury, the 2012-13 UCSB roster includes nine, that's right NINE freshmen, three sophomores, four juniors and one, that's right ONE senior.  In a survey of other programs, the Gauchos are one of the two youngest teams in the nation.  The other?  Navy.

Williams Enters 15th Season In Santa Barbara
The 2012-13 season will mark Bob Williams' 15th at UCSB.  The 15-year tenure equals Jerry Pimm for the second longest in school history, one fewer than Willie Wilton, who guided the program for 16 years.  Last year Williams surpassed Pimm as the program's all-time leader in coaching victories.  He enters this season with a Gaucho record of 237-181 and an overall record of 427-281.  Last year Santa Barbara advanced to the College Insider Tournament and it marked the third straight season and fourth in the last five that the team advanced to postseason play.  The 2010 and 2011 Gauchos won the Big West Tournament and advanced to the NCAA Tournament, while in 2008 they won the league's regular season title and went to the National Invitation Tournament.  Also last season, UCSB won 20 games for the fourth time under Williams' guidance and the 11th time in school history.  

The Gaucho Record
UCSB will enter and exit its exhibition game against La Verne with an overall record of 0-0 and a Big West mark of 0-0.  The Gauchos were 20-11 overall and 12-4 in the Big West in 2011-12.

Probable Starters - Quick Fact (Note: These are almost completely guesses.)
G 0 Dalanté Dunklin - True freshman seems to have inside track to start at the point.
G 10 Kyle Boswell - Top returning scorer, he made 54 three-pointers in 2011-12.
F 15 Alan Williams - Averaged 9.3 points, 8.1 boards in Big West games last season.
G 24 Michael Bryson - Sacramento-native averaged 20.3 ppg as senior.
F 35 Taran Brown - Redshirt freshman was Wyoming Player of the Year in 2011.

Probable Reserves - Quick Fact
G 1   Nate Garth - Only senior on the team.  Gauchos were 10-1 when he had three or more assists.
G 4 Aamahd Walker - Freshman guard could be a candidate to redshirt.
F 5  Keegan Hornbuckle - If healthy, he would likely start.  Nursing sore ankle and may not play. 
G 11 T.J. Taylor - Sophomore made 14 starts at the point last season.
F 12 Lewis Thomas - Nursing a sore leg, but should play vs. La Verne.  
F 21 Mitch Brewe - Could be the first frontcourt player off the bench.
G 24  John Green - Broken bone in his foot has him sidelined indefinitely.
F 34  Shawn Moore - Redshirt junior played two seasons at Butte College.
G 43  Duke DaRé - Redshirt freshman guard will see time at the point.
F 44  Sam Beeler - At 6-foot-10, he is the tallest player on the team.

UCSB Aims For Another Winning Season
UCSB's 20-11 record last year was the program's seventh straight  winning season, the longest stretch in school history.  Previously, the most consecutive winning seasons was six in a row beginning in 1970-71 and running through the 1975-76.  The Gauchos have the longest run of consecutive winning seasons of any Big West Conference school.  The next closest is Long Beach State, which has winning records in its last four seasons.

It Isn't Easy Being Green
Just ask Kermit the Frog, but from a basketball perspective, it hasn't been too easy by John Green either.  Green, a 6-foot-5 guard who UCSB was depending on this season, broke a bone in his foot in August and is sideline indefinitely and possibly for the season.  Last year, in an exhibition game, the Oakland, Calif., native gave an inkling of what he was capable of when he had 17 points and nine rebounds.  In the season-opener he scored five points, but in the second half of that game against Chapman, he fell to the floor with the same broken bone, in the same foot.  He missed the entire season but was awarded a medical redshirt.   

The Kids Are Alright...We Hope
As mentioned on page one, the Gauchos are statistically one of the two youngest teams in the country, but its not the first time UCSB has relied on a bevy of freshmen to help carry them.  In 2000-01, by the end of the season, the starting lineup included junior Mike Vukovich, sophomore Mark Hull and freshmen Branduinn Fullove, Jacoby Atako and Nick Jones  That group ultimately won the program's first Big West Tournament and advanced to two postseasons.  In 2007-08, the starting lineup included senior, Chris Devine, junior James Powell and freshmen James Nunnally, Jaimé Serna and Will Brew.  That group ultimately won the UCSB's second and third Big West Tournament championships and advanced to two more NCAA Tournaments.

A Point Guard Frenzy 
UCSB will have four players battling for playing time as the team's point guard.  Senior Nate Garth and sophomore T.J. Taylor split time at the position for much of last year, but this year they are getting a run for their money from freshmen Dalanté Dunklin and Duke DaRé.  It must be something about the initials D.D. with one of the names ending in an accent, but the two first-year players (although DaRé is a walk-on from Concord De La Salle High School who redshirted the 2011-12 season) are definitely going to be part of the mix.  Dunklin could become the fourth freshman to start at point for a Bob Williams-coached Gaucho team, joining Jacoby Atako, Will Brew and T.J. Taylor.

The Opponents
UCSB has played games against Louisiana Tech, Northwestern State, Centenary, Southwest Louisiana and Nicholls, all of which are located in Louisiana.  Heck, the Gauchos have also played Louisville, which is in Kentucky, but they have never played LSU.  As for Illinois State, Santa Barbara played the Redbirds AND Nicholls in Normal, Ill., early in the 2008-09 season.  The Gauchos dropped the game in the World Vision Invitational and are 0-1 lifetime against Illinois State.  

Traveling Men 
I don't want to spend too much time on it, but in 2011-12, the Gauchos were traveling fiends.  By the end of the season they had played 14 road games, the same as they played at home, but it was how they fit those 14 games in that was impressive.  UCSB played just four games in December, but they were all on the road and all on the same trip.  The Gauchos played at San Diego, Washington, Cal and BYU during a 12-day odyssey that finally brought them home two days before Christmas.  Including that span of time, there was a period of 45 days when UCSB played just one home game.  In the end, the Gauchos went 7-7 in true road games and 9-8 in all games away from home.

Dome, Sweet Dome 
UCSB went 11-3 at home last season with the losses coming to Long Beach State, San Diego State (in overtime) and UNLV (in double overtime), all teams that advanced to the NCAA Tournament. In the last five years, the Gauchos have gone 52-16.

The Gauchos In Season Openers
UCSB has recorded a 10-4 record in season openers under Bob Williams. The 10-4 log includes last season's 74-48 win over Chapman at the Thunderdome. The Gauchos have won nine consecutive season-opening games. This will mark the seventh time under Williams that the team has opened the season away from the Thunderdome.  On four occasions UCSB has opened with a true road game and three other times at a neutral site.  Overall the Gauchos have gone 4-3 in those games, including 2-2 in true road games.  The last time they opened on the road, on Nov. 19, 2004, they won at San Diego State, 80-72.  Dating back to 1937-38, UCSB has gone 49-23 in 72 season-openers under seven different coaches.