December 2, 2013

Gauchos Travel South to Face UCLA Tuesday, Return Home Friday for Showdown With Cal

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• This Week
Game No. 6
Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 8:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at UCLA Bruins

at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion - Los Angeles, Calif.
Radio: AM 1290 KZSB in Santa Barbara
On-Line Audio: UCSBgauchos.com
TV: Pac 12 Network 

Game No. 7
Tuesday, December 6, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Cal Golden Bears

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. 

• The Return Of The Cinco Pack!
UCSB Athletics is pleased to announce the return of the popular "Cinco Pack" for men's basketball. For one low price, the Cinco Pack allows fans to purchase a ticket to the Gauchos' highlight matchup against Cal on Dec. 6th as well as any four Big West games of their choice. The Golden Bears will be playing at the Thunderdome for the first time since the two programs played the first-ever basketball game in the facility in 1979. In addition to the Cal game, fans can choose from any of UCSB's eight Big West contests, including showdowns with rivals Long Beach State and Cal Poly. For as low as $50, Gaucho fans can enjoy 5 of the most exciting and important games on this year's schedule. For Cinco Pack information or to purchase the exclusive ticket package, drop by the Ticket Office in the Intercollegiate Athletics Building on campus, call 805-893-UCSB (8272) or click here.

• Tickets Available
Great season ticket packages remain available for UCSB basketball. The remaining home schedule includes Cal, South Dakota State, Long Beach State, Cal Poly and the rest of the Big West Conference. For more information drop by the Ticket Office in the ICA Building on campus, call 805-893-UCSB (8272) or online by clicking here.  

It's An All Pac-12 Week As Gauchos Travel To UCLA, Host Cal
UC Santa Barbara will play consecutive games against Pac-12 opponents this week, traveling to UCLA on Dec. 3 and hosting Cal on Friday, Dec. 6. It will mark the first time the Golden Bears will play at the Thunderdome since they helped the Gauchos open the building on Nov. 30, 1979. That was back in the day when the arena was known by the catchy-name "The Campus Events Center." It will also mark the first time that a Pac-12 team will play in Santa Barbara since Dec. 3, 2002 when UCSB defeated USC, 69-53.

Alan Williams Named Big West Player Of The Week
Junior Alan Williams was named Big West Player of the Week for the third time in his career after he tied UCSB records with 39 points and eight blocked shots in an 83-64 win over visiting South Dakota State. Williams also had nine rebounds, three steals and two assists. He scored 26 of his points in the decisive second half against the Jackrabbits.

The Gaucho Record
UCSB enters the week with a 3-2 overall record. After opening the year with wins over Hawaii-Pacific and at UNLV, the banged-up Gauchos dropped a 71-64 decision to visiting Utah State on Nov. 16 and then a tough 76-68 game at Colorado on Nov. 21. In the game against the Buffaloes, UCSB actually had a 54-52 lead with a little more than five minutes to play despite playing without Alan Williams and John Green. The return of Williams was a key factor as the Gauchos ended their two-game losing streak on Friday, Nov. 29 with an 83-64 win over visiting South Dakota State.

Alan Williams Returns In A Big Way, Green Remains Sidelined
UCSB's leading scorer and rebounder Alan Williams missed games against Utah State and Colorado while dealing with back spasms. His back initially went into spasm during warm-ups for the Nov. 16 game against Utah State and while he was on the trip to Colorado, Williams did not suit-up for the game against the Buffaloes. He did return on Friday, Nov. 29 against South Dakota State and showed no lingering effects of the spasms. That may be the understatement of the decade. Williams tied two school records in the win over the Jackrabbits, scoring 39 points and blocking eight shots. He also had nine rebounds, two assists and three steals. John Green, who played in the regular season opener, is out with a very small fracture in his left foot. He is likely out until early-January.

Williams' Record Performance, Harmon's Career Best Lead UCSB Past South Dakota State
Alan Williams tied school records with 39 points and eight blocked shots, and he added nine rebounds, three steals and a pair of assists to lead UCSB to an 83-64 win over visiting South Dakota State on Nov. 29. After the Jackrabbits made a three-pointer to start the second half, giving them a 33-32 lead, Williams led the Gauchos back with 26 of his points in the final 19 minutes of the game. He made 10-of-12 shots in the second half. Junior point guard Zalmico Harmon played his best game at UCSB as he posted career-highs of 14 points, eight assists and four rebounds. Just as importantly, Harmon did not have a turnover in 32 minutes of play. He and freshman point guard Eric Childress combined for 14 assists and just two turnovers against South Dakota State. Michael Bryson added 12 points, nine of which came on three three-pointers, and Taran Brown had 10 for the Gauchos. Santa Barbara made 55.2% of its shots in the game and hit a blistering 18-of-26, 69.2%, in the second half. In addition, UCSB had a season-low seven turnovers in the win.   

The Opposition
UCSB and UCLA have played 19 times since the first meeting between the schools in 1946. The Bruins pieced together an 18-game winning streak in the series but that ended in the last meeting between the schools on Dec. 17, 2003 when the Gauchos recorded a 61-60 win in Westwood. UCSB hopes to avoid maintaining its perfect record against the UC system's flagship campus, Cal, on Friday. The Gauchos are 0-9 against the Golden Bears in a series that began in 1948. Most recently, Cal defeated UCSB on Dec. 18, 2012 by a score of 68-59.

The Gauchos On The Road
The Gauchos are 1-1 in road games this season having walloped UNLV in Las Vegas on Nov. 12.  and then dropping a tough 76-68 game at Colorado on Nov. 21. The loss to the Buffaloes ended a modest two-game true road game winning streak that stretched to last season. UCSB struggled in true road games in 2012-13. The Gauchos were 3-13 on the road last season and 3-14 in all games away from home. 

Possible Starters - Quick Fact (Note: These are almost completely guesses.)
G 3 Zalmico Harmon - Leads the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio at 8.0-to-1.0.
G 10 Kyle Boswell - Leads the team with 12 3-pointers and now has 155 in his career.
G 24 Michael Bryson - Scored in double-figures in 4 out of the 5 games. 
F 15  Alan Williams - Tied school records with 39 points, 8 blocked shots vs. So. Dakota St.
F 34  Shawn Moore - Made 7-of-9 shots in the last three games, 77.8%. 

Probable Reserves - Quick Fact
G 0   Hunter Ford - Walk-on guard logged 2 minutes vs. Hawaii-Pacific.
G 1 Eric Childress - Averaging 6.0 assists in the last two games.
G 4 Aamahd Walker - Scored his first 4 career points in game vs. Utah State.
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 and has yet to enter a game.
F 20 Logan Louks- Scored a basket in his one minute stint vs. Hawaii-Pacific.
F 21 Mitch Brewe - Played 28 minutes in 2 games since his return from sprained knee.
F 31  John Green - Injury to left foot has him sideline, most likely, until early January.
G 35 Taran Brown- After attempting 12 shots in first 3 games, he has 22 in the last 2.
G 43  Duke DaRé - Has played 7 minutes in the last 3 games.
F 44  Sam Beeler - Played a season-low 5 minutes in win vs. So. Dakota St.

Turning Over A New Leaf, Not The Basketball
Through five games, the Gauchos have committed 51 turnovers, an average of 10.2 per game. In fact, 17 of the 51 turnovers came in a Nov. 21 game at Colorado and in the other four games they have just 34 total turnovers, 8.5 per game. In Friday's win over South Dakota State, UCSB had a season-low seven and it was the fourth time this season they have had 10 or fewer in a game, a feat they accomplished just three times all of last season. Finally, the trio who tend to handle the ball the most are doing  so very efficiently. Zalmico Harmon, Eric Childress and Kyle Boswell have combined for 68 assists and just 18 turnovers, a 3.8-to-1.0 assist to turnover ratio. Harmon leads the Gauchos, the Big West AND THE NATION in that category with 24 assists and just three turnovers, an 8-to-1 ratio. As a team, UCSB is sixth nationally at 1.82-to-1.0.  

On The Mark
UCSB is shooting the ball well this season. Last year, as a team, the Gauchos struggled with their shooting, making 41.9% of their shots for the season and hitting 50.0% or better just twice. They made a season-high 50.8% in a game at Cal State Northridge. This season has been a different story. UCSB is hitting 50.2% of its shots through five games and twice it has made 55.0% or better in a game. The Gauchos shot a season-best 55.8% on Nov. 12 at UNLV. In their last game, they hit 55.2% against South Dakota State, including a mind-numbing 69.2% in the second half. Well, maybe not mind-numbing, but still it was a season-best for one half.

The Honorable Alan Williams
Clearly junior forward Alan Williams was rusty after missing two games with back spasms. In the win over South Dakota State, he was limited to 13 points...in the first half. Williams then made 10-of-12 shots in the second half and finished with 39 points, tying a school record previously set by Orlando Johnson (2011) and Scott Fisher (1985). Williams also tied the school record with eight blocked shots against the Jackrabbits while adding nine rebounds, three steals and a pair of assists. The 39 points equals the fourth highest total scored by any Division I player this season and the 16 field goals (in 25 attempts) is tied for first. Although he won't show-up in the national or conference leaders because he hasn't played in 75% of UCSB's games, Williams is averaging 29.0 points, 11.7 rebounds, 4.3 blocked shots, 1.3 steals and 1.3 assists per game. The 39 points he scored against South Dakota State were seven more than his previous career-high of 32. In the season-opener against Hawaii-Pacific, he tied his career-high with 17 rebounds. Williams was a First Team All-Big West choice in 2012-13 after averaging 17.1 points, 10.7 rebounds and 2.3 blocked shots per game. Early this year, he has already accumulated a solid array of preseason honors. Williams has been named Preseason All-Big West by the league's media and virtually every publication, he was selected to the Lou Henson Preseason Mid-Major All-American Team and CollegeSportsMadness.com selected him First Team Mid-Major Preseason All-American as well as Preseason Big West Player of the Year. Needless to say, expectations are high for Williams and he is off to a fast start. Williams had 27 points and 17 rebounds in the regular season opener against Hawaii-Pacific. The 27 points were the most scored by a Gaucho in a season-opener since 2007 and the rebounds were a season-opening record. Williams followed-up that performance with an equally as impressive 21 point, nine rebound, three blocked shot game against defending Mountain West Conference Defensive Player of the Year Khem Birch and UNLV. A native of Phoenix, Williams has eclipsed the 500 rebound barrier with 530. Also, with 13 blocked shots in his first three games, Williams now has 118 in his career, fourth in school history. The double-double he posted in the first game of the season gives Williams 18 in his career. He had 15 double-doubles as a sophomore last season, the most by a Gaucho since Eric McArthur had 23 during the 1989-90 campaign. 

He's The Bos
Kyle Boswell had his quietest offensive game of the season in the win over South Dakota State. Boswell made just 1-of-4 shots, a three-pointer, and had three points. While he is averaging 9.6 points per game, he has totaled just eight in the last two games combined, making just 3-of-12 field goal attempts, 25.0%. Despite his troubles in the last two games, Boswell still leads UCSB with 12 three-point baskets. He had a season-high five and scored 19 points in a Nov. 12 win at UNLV. In fact, he scored in double-figures in each of the first three games of the year, hitting 12-of-25 shots overall (48.0%) and 10-of-20 from three-point range (50.0%) over that span. While Boswell's scoring is down in recent games, he has done an outstanding job as a playmaker. He is averaging 4.2 assists per game, fifth in the Big West, and has had four or more in four of the five games. He tied his season-high with five assists in the game against South Dakota State. Boswell had one of the best all-around games of his career in the Nov. 12 win at UNLV. He made 5-of-8 shots, including 5-of-7 from three-point range while adding four assists and three rebounds. At one point, he made three-point baskets on three consecutive Gaucho possessions, squelching a Runnin' Rebel rally. Boswell has 155 threes for his career, a figure that ranks 10th on UCSB's all-time career list. Also, he ranks second all-time in career percentage to .420. His next series of targets on the three-point list are Mark Flick (162) and Branduinn Fullove (163). Boswell is the reigning Big West Conference Sixth Man of the Year, but he has started all five games for the Gauchos this year. 

The Life Of Bryson
Despite being limited to 24 minutes because of foul trouble, sophomore Michael Bryson had 12 points in the Gauchos' win over South Dakota State. He tied his season-low with five field goal attempts, but he made three, all from three-point range. Bryson is second on the team in scoring at 12.2 points per game and he's been in double-figures in four of five, including the last three in a row. He is also second in three-pointers with 11. He scored a season-high 15 and played a season-high 33 minutes on Nov. 16 vs. Utah State. He also tied a career-high with four assists and had a pair of blocked shots against the Aggies. Bryson, along with Kyle Boswell, are the only Gauchos to make at least one three-pointer in each of the five games. Last year, in the season finale against Pacific at the Big West Tournament, Bryson made seven three-point baskets and scored a UCSB freshman record 29 points. As a freshman in 2012-13, the Sacramento native averaged 8.4 points and 3.5 rebounds overall, but his late-season surge saw him average 12.7 points while shooting 47.8% overall and 35.4% from three-point range over the final 11 games of the year. In the final 12 games, Bryson averaged 4.7 rebounds per game. 

Taran It Up
Sophomore forward Taran Brown set career-highs with 23 points and seven three-point baskets in the  Nov. 21 game at Colorado. The 23 points were three more than he had scored in the first three games of the season and the seven three-pointers (in 10 attempts) were one more than his previous career-high of six. On Friday vs. South Dakota State, he scored 10 points on 5-of-11 from the field and is now averaging 10.6 points per game, third on the team. Last season, Brown averaged just under 11 field goal attempts per game, but in the first three games this season he attempted a total of 12. In the last two games, Brown has gotten back to his roots, attempting 11 in each of the games. In the last two, he has gone 13-of-22 overall, 59.1%, and 7-of-13 from three-point range, 53.8%. He is also second on the team in rebounding at 6.6 per game. He had five boards in the last game and has had five or more in all five games. Brown's season-high of eight rebounds came in the opener against Hawaii-Pacific, but he also had seven in games at UNLV and vs. Utah State.

Harmonious
Junior Zalmico Harmon had his best game as a Gaucho in the win over South Dakota State. Harmon set career-highs in points (14), assists (eight) and rebounds (four). He made the first two three-point baskets of his career, going 2-for-3, and hit 5-of-8 field goal attempts overall. Perhaps the most impressive stat that Harmon produced against the Jackrabbits was the zero under the turnover column. He had eight assists and no turnovers. For the season, Harmon has 24 assists and just three turnovers, an 8-to-1 assist to turnover ratio, not only ranking him at the top of the Big West in that category, but also at the top of the national chart as well. Harmon ranks second in the Big West in assist average at 4.8 per game. Also, since scoring two points in the season opener, he has averaged 8.2 per game

Chillin' With Eric
Freshman Eric Childress was scoreless in 22 minutes against South Dakota State, but his presence was still felt. Childress tied his career-high with six assists and added a pair of steals against the Jackrabbits. With two turnovers against SDSU, he now has 23 assists and six turnovers on the season, a 3.8-to-1.0 assist to turnover ratio, second to only Zalmico Harmon among Big West players. In UCSB's Nov. 21 game at Colorado, Childress scored a career-high 10 points and also had six assists. In the last three games, he is averaging 5.7 assists per game. He also leads the Gauchos with 10 total steals, nine of which have come in the last four games. 

Sam He Is
In two games since scoring a season-high 14 points against Utah State, Sam Beeler has played a total of 22 minutes and scored four points. Beeler played a season-low five minutes on Nov. 29 vs. South Dakota State, going scoreless. On Nov. 21 at Colorado, he fouled out in 17 minutes with four points and no rebounds. In the previous game, vs. Utah State on Nov. 16, he played a career-high 28 minutes and scored 14 points, one shy of his career-high, and added five rebounds. One game earlier, a win at UNLV, Beeler had a career-high seven rebounds. Despite going without a rebound in the last two games, Beeler is averaging 3.4 boards per game to go along with 5.2 points. An area of major improvement this season has been Beeler's performance at the free throw line. As a freshman, he hit just 11-of-32 from the line, 34.4%, but this season he is 12-of-16, 75.0%.

We Want Moore! We Want Moore! 
Senior Shawn Moore has had four straight solid games for UCSB. Moore is averaging 4.0 points  and 2.6 rebounds per contest. In his last outing, vs. South Dakota State, Moore made both of his field goal attempts and had four points. Since going scoreless in the opener, he has averaged 5.0 points per game, making 10-of-14 field goal attempts, 71.4%. He had a career-high six points on Nov. 12 at UNLV and again on Nov. 21 at Colorado. 

Something's Brewing
Sophomore Mitch Brewe made his return to the lineup when UCSB played at Colorado on Nov. 21. Brewe missed the first three regular season games after spraining his left knee in the exhibition game against Cal State East Bay. Before fouling out in 18 minutes at Colorado, Brewe scored four points, had two assists, one rebound and a steal. He made 2-of-3 field goal attempts, missing only from three-point range. On Friday against South Dakota State, he played 10 minutes with one point and two rebounds. He missed his only field goal attempt.

Green Sidelined With Foot Injury
John Green scored eight points and had a pair of rebounds in his season debut against Hawaii-Pacific on Nov. 8. It was Green's first regular season game in nearly two years. However, on Tuesday, Nov. 12, just a few hours before UCSB was slated to tip-off at UNLV, It was learned that Green had suffered a setback in his return after missing two full seasons with foot injuries. An x-ray, taken Nov. 7, showed a very small fracture of a bone in his left foot, sidelining him, most likely, until late-December or early-January. 

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