UCSB Travels to LSU to Open 2012-13 Regular Season Friday

UCSB Travels to LSU to Open 2012-13 Regular Season Friday

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• This Week

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: UCSBgauchos.com

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: UCSBgauchos.com 

• 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 UCSBgauchos.com and NewsPress.com. 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.  Head coach Bob Williams can also be heard every Thursday on "Bob and the Baron" at 8:50 a.m. on AM 1290. 

• 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 UCSBgauchos.com.

UCSB Opens With Exhibition 
It wasn't always pretty, but UC Santa Barbara opened the 2012-13 campaign with a 74-50 exhibition win over visiting La Verne University on Nov. 1.  The Gauchos trailed the hot-shooting Leopards by as many as nine points midway through the first half, but parlayed an 18-0 run at the end of the half to seize control of the game.  La Verne narrowed the lead to single-digits early in the second half, but never really threatened.  Sophomore forward Alan Williams led UCSB with 17 points and seven rebounds.  He was the only player in double-figures. 

Regular Season Opens With A Cat Of A Different Stripe
UCSB will go from tangling with Leopards in an exhibition game to battling Tigers in the regular season opener.  The Gauchos travel to Baton Rouge, La., for a first-ever meeting with Louisiana State on Friday, Nov. 9.  The last time UCSB played a team from the SEC was in the first round of the 2011 NCAA Tournament when it dropped a decision to Florida.  Baton Rouge will be the first of a two-leg journey to open the season.  The Gauchos will travel from Louisiana to Illinois on Saturday and they will play Illinois State in Normal, Ill., on Monday night.

The Gaucho Record
UCSB will enter and exit its regular season opener at LSU 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 Conference in 2011-12.  Following the year, they took part in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament.  It was the program's third straight postseason appearance and the fourth in the last five years.  In 2010 and 2011, Santa Barbara won the Big West Tournament and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.

These Aren't Your Fathers 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 three youngest teams in the nation.  The only two programs in these United States with more youthful rosters are the Naval Academy and Dartmouth.

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. 

Probable Starters - Quick Fact (Note: These are almost completely guesses.)
G 0 Dalanté Dunklin - Had four assists and one turnover in 19 minutes vs. La Verne.
G 10 Kyle Boswell - Top returning scorer, he made 54 three-pointers in 2011-12.
F 15 Alan Williams - Scored 17 points and had seven rebounds in just 18 minutes vs. La Verne.
G 24 Michael Bryson - Made one of UCSB's four three-point baskets in exhibition game.
F 35 Taran Brown- Came off the bench in exhibition game but played a team-high 25 minutes.

Probable Reserves - Quick Fact
G 1   Nate Garth - Led the team with five assists in 22 minutes vs. La Verne.
G 4 Aamahd Walker - Freshman could be a candidate to redshirt, but had five points vs. La Verne.
F 5 Keegan Hornbuckle- Ankle injury will keep him home from the road trip.
G 11 T.J. Taylor- Sophomore made 14 starts at the point last season.
F 12 Lewis Thomas - Started exhibition game vs. La Verne and had nine points.  
F 21 Mitch Brewe - Productive debut for freshman with seven points, six rebounds in 13 minutes.
G 32  John Green - Broken bone in his foot has him sidelined indefinitely.
F 34  Shawn Moore - Had eight points and seven rebounds in just 10 minutes vs. La Verne.
G 43  Duke DaRé - Redshirt freshman guard will see time at the point, did not play vs. La Verne.
F 44  Sam Beeler - At 6-foot-10, he is the tallest player on the team.

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.  

Injured Hornbuckle Will Remain At Home
Junior forward Keegan Hornbuckle will not accompany the Gauchos on their trip to LSU and Illinois State.  Hornbuckle had been nursing a sore ankle and it didn't seem to be making much progress so the coaching staff decided to hold him out of the exhibition game against La Verne and now they've opted to keep him home instead of taking him on the trip.  Hornbuckle severely sprained his ankle in July and it was slow to improve.  It did improve to the point that he was able to take part in most practices, but then the recovery seemed to hit a wall and it was decided to shut him down.

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. 

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.

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.  The games at LSU and Illinois State will be the first 16 true road games that UCSB will play in 2012-13.

The Kids Are Alright...We Hope
As mentioned on page one, the Gauchos are statistically one of the three 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. 

Mr. Experience
Junior guard Kyle Boswell is the only UCSB player to have played more than one year in the program.  Boswell is in his third season and every other player on the roster has played either one or zero seasons as a Gaucho.

Senior Citizen
Point guard Nate Garth is the Gauchos' only senior.  As a redshirt senior, he is a virtual grizzled veteran compared to the five true freshmen on the roster.  Garth, who started most of the first half of last season, had a solid 2012-13 debut when he tallied five points and five assists in 22 minutes vs. La Verne.