Gauchos Tangle With Cal State East Bay in Sunday Afternoon Exhibition, Open Regular Season Nov. 8

Alan Williams (Photo by Matt Brown)

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• This Week
Exhibition Game
Sunday, November 3, 2013 at 2:00 p.m.  
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Cal State East Bay Pioneers

at UCSB's Thunderdome - Santa Barbara, Calif. 
Radio: AM 1290 KZSB in Santa Barbara
On-Line Audio: UCSBgauchos.com
Livestats: UCSBgauchos.com

Game No. 1
Friday, November 8, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Hawaii-Pacific Sea Warriors

at UCSB's Thunderdome - Santa Barbara, Calif.
Radio: AM 1290 KZSB in Santa Barbara
On-Line Audio: UCSBgauchos.com
On-Line Video: BigWest.tv
Livestats: UCSBgauchos.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 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.

• 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. This season also marks the second in a two-year celebration of #Thunderdome35 and the season tickets will recognize that. Each ticket will commemorate a memorable moment in the history of the storied Thuderdome.

UCSB Opens With Exhibition Nov.3, Regular Season Tips Nov. 8
UCSB will preview its 2013-14 season with a Sunday matinée exhibition game on Nov. 3 against Cal State East Bay, the Cal State formerly known as Hayward.  Five days after playing the Pioneers, the Gauchos get things going for real when they host Hawaii-Pacific on Nov. 8.   

The Gaucho Record
UCSB enters its game against Cal State East Bay with an overall record of 0-0 and a Big West record of 0-0. Neither of those records will change as a result of the exhibition game against the Pioneers. The Gauchos suffered through an injury-marred 2012-13 season and their record reflected it as they finished with an uncharacteristic 11-20 overall mark and a 7-11 record in the Big West Conference.  

Williams Enters 16th Season At UCSB
2013-14 will be Bob Williams' 16th season at the helm of the UCSB basketball program, equaling the longest tenure of any coach in program history.  Willie Wilton guided the Gauchos from 1937-43, 1946-51 and 1952-57, a total of 16 seasons. Jerry Pimm was in charge from 1983-98, 15 seasons.  Williams is the school's all-time leader in coaching victories with 248. His overall record is 248-201 and his teams have qualified for three NCAA Tournaments and six total postseason tournaments. 

Gauchos Picked 2nd In Big West Preseason Media Poll 
UCSB has been picked to finish second in the Big West Conference in a poll of the league's media. The Gauchos received six first-place votes and 167 total points while UC Irvine was awarded nine first-place votes and 183 points. Cal Poly was third in the poll with three first-place votes and 165 points and Long Beach State, the three-time defending regular season champion, got five first-place votes and 164 points.

• UCSB Faces Another Tough Schedule
After their exhibition against Cal State East Bay and regular season opener against Hawaii-Pacific, the schedule will start to get a little more hairy for the Gauchos. Beginning on Nov. 12 at UNLV, UCSB will embark on a stretch of six games that will include five teams that advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2013. In addition to the Runnin' Rebels, the Gauchos will play at Colorado (Nov. 21) and UCLA (Dec. 3) while hosting South Dakota State (Nov. 29) and Cal (Dec. 6). The only opponent over that period that did not advance to postseason play is Utah State (Nov. 16) which is a traditional rival and perennial postseason team. After the Dec. 6 game against Cal, UCSB will travel to the University of San Diego (Dec. 15) and then to the Basketball Travelers Classic at Utah State where its opponents will be Troy (Dec. 19), Utah State (Dec. 20) and Western Illinois (Dec. 21). The Gauchos close the year with a Dec. 30 game at Seattle University and then they will close the non-conference season with a home game on Jan. 4 against The Master's College.

Possible Starters - Quick Fact (Note: These are almost completely guesses.)
G 3 Zalmico Harmon - Ventura College transfer is a defensive stalwart.
F 15  Alan Williams - Preseason Mid-Major All-American, All-Big West choice.
G 24 Michael Bryson - In season finalé in 2013, set UCSB freshman record with 29 points. 
F 31  John Green - Missed last two seasons with foot injuries.
G 35 Taran Brown- Set freshman record last year with 58 three-point baskets.

Possible Reserves - Quick Fact
G 0   Hunter Ford - Walk-on guard redshirted the 2012-13 season.
G 3 Eric Childress - Freshman point guard will compete for playing time.
G 4 Aamahd Walker - Played two games last year before back injury forced him out.
G 10 Kyle Boswell - Big West's Sixth Man of the Year should come off the bench again.
F 11 T.J. Taylor- Had surgery on both hips during offseason and may sit out 2013-14.
F 12 Alex Hart - Canadian sharpshooter will likely redshirt his first year at UCSB
F 20 Logan Louks- Walk-on transfer from Santa Barbara City College adds depth.
F 21 Mitch Brewe - Missed end of freshman season with fractured finger but is now healthy.
G 34  Shawn Moore - Will once again add depth to the Gaucho frontcourt. 
G 43  Duke DaRé - Walk-on guard gives UCSB energy boost.
F 44  Sam Beeler - Hand injury limited him in practice, but should be a bigger factor.

Williams Adds To Preseason Honors
Junior forward Alan Williams was named Preseason All-Big West in a vote by the media that covers the conference. It was another in a series of preseason honors for the effervescent Phoenix native. Williams has also been selected to the Lou Henson Preseason Mid-Major All-America Team, the CollegeSportsMadness.com Preseason All-America Team and CollegeSportsMadness.com Preseason Big West Player of the Year.

Many Happy Returns
The cupboard is certainly not bare for the 2013-14 Gauchos. UCSB returns many of its key players from last season, including its top four scorers, top three rebounders and top three shot blockers. Leading the way is junior Alan Williams (17.1 ppg, 10.7 rpg, 2.3 bpg and 1.0 spg), who led the team in scoring, rebounding, blocked shots and steals in 2012-13. Senior Kyle Boswell (13.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 1.4 apg) and sophomores Taran Brown (11.1 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.0 bpg and 0.8 spg) also return. In addition, a pair of much-improved post players (Sam Beeler and Mitch Brewe) and two solid walk-ons (Shawn Moore and Duke DaRé). The one returnee who will most likely not play is junior guard T.J. Taylor. Taylor had off-season surgery on both of his hips and will probably sit out the year and apply for a medical redshirt.   

Addition By Addition
UCSB has a bunch of outstanding returning players, but the Gauchos will also depend on a handful of newcomers and semi-newcomers as well. The most important semi-newcomer is, undoubtedly, swingman John Green. Green has missed two full seasons in Santa Barbara with foot injuries. He was projected as a starter last year and will once again be expected to start. While he will be listed as a sophomore, the product of Oakland, Calif., could hypothetically apply for a sixth year because of the recurring injuries. Another semi-newcomer is freshman guard Aamahd Walker who played in two games last season before he was sidelined by a back injury. He had off-season back surgery and is good to go. UCSB also has a trio of real newcomers in junior point guard Zalmico Harmon (Washington, D.C./Ventura College), freshman point guard Eric Childress (Hawthorne, Calif./Leuzinger HS) and 6-foot-10 sharpshooting forward Alex Hart (Kelowna, B.C./Immaculata HS). Harmon and Childress are expected to make major contributions immediately, but the lithe Hart is a candidate to redshirt. The point guard duo could also see time together in the Gauchos' backcourt.

He'll Answer To The Name Dean
Bob Williams is not only UCSB's all-time winningest head basketball coach, he is now the Dean of Big West coaches and, with the retirement of Bob Thomason at the University of the Pacific, also has the longest tenure of any coach on the West Coast. Williams, a member of the NCAA Basketball Ethics Committee, also has the longest continuous run at one school of any coach west of the Mississippi, - 16 years - the same as Utah State's Stew Morrill and Texas's Rick Barnes.

Boswell Chosen As Senior CLASS Award Finalist
Senior guard Kyle Boswell has been chosen as one of 30 finalists for the NCAA Senior CLASS Award. CLASS is an acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School and Boswell made the finalist list based on his excellence in the areas of classroom, community, character and competition. As a junior, the Huntington Beach native  averaged 13.0 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game. He made a team-high 78 three-point baskets, the third most in school history, and hit as many as seven in a game. Boswell is also a Gaucho team captain, takes part in numerous charitable efforts and possesses a 3.81 grade point average as a mechanical engineering major. Following the 2013 campaign, he was named Honorable Mention All-Big West as well as the conference's Sixth Man of the Year.   

Gauchos Look To Get Back Into The Black
To say that last season's 11-20 record was uncharacteristic for a UCSB team coached by Bob Williams would be an understatement. Prior to last year, the Gauchos had posted a school-record seven consecutive winning records, winning 20 or more three times over that span and advancing to four postseason tournaments, including NCAA appearances in 2010 and 2011. In 2007-07, Santa Barbara won a school record 23 games.   

The Gauchos In Season Openers
UCSB has recorded a 10-5 record in season openers under Bob Williams. The 10-5 log includes last season's 77-63 loss at LSU. The loss in last season's opener in Baton Rouge ended a nine-game season-opener winning streak for the Gauchos. This will mark the eighth time under Williams that the team has opened the season at home and they have won seven in a row since losing to Stanford on Nov. 20, 1999.  Dating back to 1937-38, UCSB has gone 49-24 in 73 season-openers under seven different coaches.