|High School:||De La Salle HS|
As a sophomore, guard Brandon Payton made a successful switch from playing primarily the point guard position to playing primarily the two guard spot. As a junior, the Gaucho coaching staff hopes that Payton, one of the team's most potent offensive weapons, can make the same progress on the defensive end of the court. If he can achieve that level of progress defensively and gain greater consistency on the offensive end, Payton will become an even more important part of the Gaucho scheme.
In his two seasons, Payton has proven to be a pretty adept clutch shooter at times. As a freshman, it was his jumper as time ran out that gave the Gauchos a home victory over New Mexico State. Last year, his last-second heroics played a part in at least two key UCSB wins. On January 20, Payton hit a jumper with 20 seconds remaining and a pair of free throws with two seconds left to help the Gauchos win at Cal Poly, 78-75. On March 4, in the first round of the Big West Tournament, Payton's 16-foot jumper with seven seconds remaining gave UCSB a 75-74 win over Utah State, its first tournament victory since 1993.
Payton The Sparkplug
Payton began his sophomore season the way he ended his freshman season, in the starting lineup. After starting six of the first eight games, however, he was removed from the starting lineup. In fact, Payton came off the bench for 19 of the final 20 games of the season and over that span, UCSB recorded a 14-5 record. Despite coming off the bench for the majority of his time in 1998-99, Payton still averaged 22.5 minutes per contest and he was often in the lineup at key junctures towards the end of games. In 13 of the 20 games in which he came off the pine, Payton played 20 or more minutes and seven times he played 24 or more.
Driving The Mustangs Crazy
Not a Ford Mustang, but rather the Cal Poly Mustangs. In his first two seasons as a Gaucho, Brandon Payton has had some pretty good games and two of the best have come on the road at Cal Poly. As a freshman, Payton burned the Mustangs with a career-best 23-point game. In that one, he canned 8-of-12 shots from the field, including a school-record 5-for-5 from three-point range. Last season, he scored 17 points, including a jumper and two free throws in the final 20 seconds, to help the Gauchos to a come-from-behind 78-75 victory.
Improving With Age
Although he only averaged about a minute per game more as a sophomore than as a freshman, most of Payton's statistical averages took significant jumps. His scoring average went from 7.9 to 9.1, his rebounding average went from 1.9 to 2.9 and his steals went from 0.5 to 1.0. The only category that took a fairly steep drop was assists which went from 2.3 to 0.9, coinciding with Payton's shift from point guard to two guard.
Brandon Payton Notes
1999-2000: Brandon Payton will again be looked to as one of the team's primary two guards...He is one of the Gauchos' best outside shooters and all-around offensive players, but he needs to continue working hard to improve his defense...
1998-99: After playing almost exclusively at the point during his freshman season, Payton made the conversion to the off-guard spot as a sophomore...Finished fourth on the team in scoring at 9.1 points per game...Also averaged 2.9 rebounds and 1.0 assists per game...His 28 steals were 15 more than he had as a freshman...Started seven of the team's 28 games...The Gauchos recorded a 14-7 mark with Payton coming off the bench...Scored in double-figures 12 times on the year...Had a season-best 18 points on the road at Portland...Had 17 points in a win at Cal Poly...Produced three 15-point games, two of which came in one-point wins over Utah State...His 15 points off the bench also helped to key an overtime win at Utah State...Had a rollercoaster year shooting the ball, finishing the year at 35.9%...He finished third on the team with 22 three-point baskets...Hit two three-pointers in six games...Had at least one three-pointer in 16 games...Recorded a season-high six boards in games against USF, San Jose State, Idaho and Pacific...
1997-98: Payton finished his freshman season as the team's third leading scorer (7.9 ppg) and he ranked second in assists (2.3 apg)...He also finished second on the team in total three-pointers made (25), but he led the team's regulars in three-point field goal percentage (36.8%)...Started the final 21 games of the season...Statistically, his season ranked him in the top-ten of several UCSB freshman categories...Scored a career-high 23 points at Cal Poly, making all five of his three-point attempts in the game, a Gaucho record...Overall he had ten or more points nine times...Averaged 9.4 ppg in 16 Big West games, shooting 42.3% overall in league play and 42.6% from beyond the three-point line...Payton had one 15-point game (at Cal State Fullerton) and two 14 point games (at Loyola Marymount and at Idaho)...Had two or more treys six times and three or more three times...Had a career-best eight rebounds against San Francisco State...Passed off for a season-best five assists three times...Made 76.0% of his free throws and at one point he hit 19-of-21 (90.4%)...
High School: Payton attended De La Salle High School in Concord, CA...Averaged 22.6 points, 4.2 assists, 6.1 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game during the 1996-97 season...Shot 50.0% from the field, 42.0% from three-point range and 87.0% from the free throw line...Payton was named All-State by Cal-Hi Sports Magazine...Selected All-Northern California, All-Bay Area, All-Bay Valley Athletic League, All-Metro Area and All-City following his junior and senior seasons...Named high honorable mention All-American by Street & Smith's Basketball Yearbook as well as honorable mention All-American by Blue Ribbon Yearbook, Bob Gibbons Sports and McDonald's...Named Best in the West by the Long Beach Press-Telegram...Scored a career-high 38 points in a game against Antioch HS during his senior season...Poured in 28 points in the California State championship game against Crenshaw HS in 1996...As a junior, Payton averaged 21.3 points, 5.0 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game...Set a school record 94.0% from the free throw line during his junior year...Payton led De La Salle to the Northern California Division I Championship in 1995-96...Coached in high school by Lou Reynaud...
Personal: Brandon H. Payton was born August 30, 1979 in Berkeley, CA...Nicknamed Bee Pee... Payton enjoys playing pool and video games...Maya Angelou is his favorite writer...His favorite sports teams are the Seattle Supersonics, Chicago Bulls and Dallas Cowboys...His favorite athletes are Michael Jordan, Damon Stoudamire, Penny Hardaway and especially his brother, Gary Payton of the Seattle Supersonics...Would someday like to play professional basketball...He is the son of Alfred Payton and Maxine Harris...Majoring in Communication Studies.