Gauchos Host Open Practice Saturday; Intros, Autographs, Pictures For All
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The UC Santa Barbara men's basketball team will host an open practice for all season ticket holders and fans in general on Saturday, Oct. 26 beginning at 2:00 p.m. in the Thunderdome.
Following the conclusion of the actual practice, at approximately 3:00 p.m., the Gaucho players will change into game-day uniforms and then they and the coaches will be introduced to everyone in attendance.
After introductions, players and coaches will address the crowd and then break up into two stations, one for autographs and one where fans can have their picture taken with their favorite Gauchos. The players will then switch places so that every member of the team will be available for both autographs and pictures.
At the end of the festivities there will be a drawing for prizes.
"This is a great opportunity for our fans to get up-close and meet some of the outstanding young student-athletes that we have in our program," said head coach Bob Williams. "It's an exciting time of year and we really look forward to kicking things off with our fans."
Among the players in attendance at the open practice will be junior center Alan Williams who averaged 17.1 points and 10.7 rebounds per game in 2012-13. He was a First Team All-Big West choice last season and has already been given several honors this year, including First Team Lou Henson Mid-Major All-American and Preseason All-Big West.
In addition to Williams, UCSB also returns numerous other key players, including senior guard Kyle Boswell, the reigning Big West Sixth Man of the Year who averaged 13.0 points per game and made 78 three-point baskets. A pair of sophomore wings, Taran Brown and Michael Bryson, each had outstanding moments last season. Brown averaged 11.1 points and 5.3 rebounds per game while making a freshman record 58 three-point baskets. Bryson averaged 8.4 points and 3.5 rebounds per game and set a Gaucho record for points by a freshman when he poured in 29 against Pacific in the Big West Tournament.
UCSB will also add swingman John Green to the mix. One of the most talented players on the team, Green has missed the last two seasons with injuries, but is practicing at full strength. Another talented player, guard Aamahd Walker, redshirted the 2012-13 season but is in the mix for playing time in the backcourt in 2013-14.
Additionally, the Gauchos have added two outstanding point guards. UCSB will look to junior Zalmico Harmon and freshman Eric Childress to run the show this season. Harmon was the Western State Conference Player of the Year at Ventura College in 2013 and Childress was a First Team All-CIF selection out of Leuzinger High School.
UCSB will tipoff the 2013-14 season on Sunday, Nov. 3 when it hosts Cal State East Bay in an exhibition game that will begin at 2:00 p.m. in the Thunderdome.
Great season ticket packages are available for the Gauchos. The non-conference schedule includes Cal, which will be making its first appearance in Santa Barbara since it helped christen the Thunderdome in 1979, as well as old rival Utah State and 2013 NCAA Tournament participant South Dakota State.
For more information or to purchase season tickets, drop by the Ticket Office in the Intercollegiate Athletics Building on campus, call 805-893-UCSB (8272) or click here.