Gauchos Embark on Big West Season With Road Games at UC Riverside, Cal State Fullerton

Gauchos Embark on Big West Season With Road Games at UC Riverside, Cal State Fullerton

Jan. 1, 2006

The Schedule
Game No. 11
Monday, January 2, 2006 at 7:05 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at UC Riverside Highlanders
at UCR's Student Recreation Center
Radio: KIST 1340 AM

Game No. 12
Wednesday, January 4, 2006 at 2:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at Cal State Fullerton Titans
at CSUF's Titan Gymnasium
Radio: KIST 1340 AM

The Gaucho Record
UC Santa Barbara enters the Big West season with its books balanced. The Gauchos are 5-5 after their 76-53 win over the University of Portland on Dec. 28. After opening the season with consecutive home wins over San Francisco and the University of San Diego, UCSB dropped three straight road games. The Gauchos, however, have won three of their last five games, all at home.

UCSB, Picked To Finish Third In Preseason Poll, Opens Big West Play
UCSB, which was picked to finish third in the Big West by the coaches and the media, will open Big West play on the road. The Gauchos travel to UC Riverside to open the league season on Monday, Jan. 2 at 7:05 p.m. The Highlanders were selected to finish eighth by the coaches and seventh by the media. On Tuesday, UCSB will play at Cal State Fullerton, which was selected to finish first by the coaches and the media. The Gauchos will play their first home game of the league schedule on Saturday, Jan. 7 when they host Long Beach State in a 2:00 p.m. game at the Thunderdome.

Time Changed For Jan. 4 Game At Cal State Fullerton
The game time for UCSB's Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2006 game at Cal State Fullerton has been switched from 7:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. The time change was made by agreement between Gaucho head coach Bob Williams and Titan head coach Bob Burton. The move will allow fans the opportunity to attend the basketball game, if they can get the day off of work, and then return home in time to watch that night's National Championship football game at the Rose Bowl.

UCSB Shoots Its Way Past Portland In Preseason Finale
The Gauchos used a season-best shooting performance and a season-best defensive performance to easily defeat the University of Portland in the final preseason game of the year. UCSB made season-high 54.7% of its field goal attempts and limited the Pilots to a season-low 31.1% on their field goal attempts. In addition, after allowing Portland's Pooh Jeter to make a pair of three-point baskets early in the first half, the Gauchos restricted the Pilots to just one more three-point basket in the final 37 minutes of the game. Sophomore forward Chris Devine made 8-of-11 from the field to lead Santa Barbara with 19 points, including 13 in the second half. Senior guard Cecil Brown had 16 points, including a trio of three-point baskets in the first six minutes of the game. Senior guard Joe See had 11 points and a season-high five assists. See's first basket of the game, a lay-up that turned into a three-point play when he was fouled, came with 12:37 remaining in the first half. After he made the free throw, the Gauchos led 14-13 and never trailed or were tied again.

Possible Starters - Notes
G - Cecil Brown - Has scored 10 or more in nine straight games, averaging 15.1 over that span.
G - Alex Harris - Has averaged 4.5 assists and 5.5 rebounds in his last four games.
G - Joe See - Started last two games and made 9-of-11 (81.8%) shots over that span.
F - Chris Devine - Career-high 19 vs. Portland. Averaged 15.0 in last three going 18-of-24, 66.7%.
F - Cameron Goettsche - Averaging 6.7 rebounds in his last four games.

Possible Reserves - Notes
G - Lance Hurdle - Has played 23 minutes combined in the last two games.
G - James Powell - Freshman guard will redshirt the 2005-06 season.
G - Derek Rasp - Tied his season-high with three assists in win over Portland.
G - Michael Chambers - Scored a season-high eight points, making all three shots, vs. Portland.
G - Josh Davis - Sprained left ankle is improving. Could return for Big West opener at UCR.
F - Chidi Ajufo - Played one minute against Portland, missing his only field goal attempt.
F - Tom Garlepp - Played 18 minutes vs. Portland, his highest total since season opener (22).
F - Glenn Turner - After missing two games, he returned and had five rebounds vs. Portland.
F - Chris Moore - Made both of his field goal attempts in win over Portland.
C - David Massey - At 7-foot-3 his the tallest player in program history. Will redshirt the year.

The Bob Williams File
Bob Williams is in his eighth season as the head coach at UC Santa Barbara. Last year his team struggled with injuries and finished 11-18 overall and 7-11 in the Big West Conference. It marked the first time that a Williams-coached UCSB team finished below the .500 mark in league play. During the 2004-05 season, however, Williams became the fifth UCSB coach to record 100 wins. Prior to last season, he had guided the Gauchos to three straight winning seasons, the first time the program accomplished the feat since 1987-88 through 1989-90. In 2002-03, Williams' Gauchos went 18-14 overall and 14-4 in league. The 2002-03 Big West mark earned Santa Barbara its first-ever Big West regular season championship along with a postseason trip to the National Invitation Tournament. Additionally, the success earned Williams his second Big West Coach of the Year award, his first coming after an impressive 1999 campaign. In 2001-02, Williams guided UCSB to its first Big West Conference Tournament Championship ever and first NCAA Tournament appearance in 12 years. Including this season, Williams' UCSB teams have posted a 112-102 (.523) overall record and a 73-47 (.608) record in Big West games. Prior to his arrival at UCSB, he spent eight years at UC Davis and in those eight years, his teams recorded 20 or more wins five times and a 158-76 record. In Williams' final season, the Aggies went 31-2, won the NCAA Division II National Championship and he was named NABC Division II Coach of the Year. Including two seasons at Menlo College, Williams has a record of 301-202 (.598) at four-year schools.

Williams Gets 300th Career Win
Bob Williams' 300th career win wasn't pretty, but at least it was. Get it? The Gauchos' eighth-year head coach posted the 300th win of his career on Tuesday, Dec. 20, when UCSB narrowly topped visiting Sonoma State, 67-66. Last season, Williams posted his 100th career win as head coach of the Gauchos. In all, he has won 112 games since arriving at UCSB for the 1998-99 season.

Turner Returns, Davis Could Be Back This Week
Senior guard Josh Davis and junior forward Glenn Turner were each injured in UCSB's Dec. 17 game at San Diego State. In the case of Turner, he was actually re-injured. Davis suffered a severely sprained left ankle and missed UCSB's games against Sonoma State, Fresno State and Portland. He has improved and could return at some point this week. Turner returned in the Gauchos' win over Portland, playing 13 minutes and grabbing five rebounds.

The Opponents
The Gauchos and UC Riverside have played 13 times in a series that dates back to 1955. UCSB holds a decisive 13-3 edge all-time, but the Highlanders have given the Gauchos fits in Riverside, winning two straight. Last year, each team won on its own court, UCR posting a 54-50 in Riverside and the Gauchos winning 58-54 at the Thunderdome. UCSB and Cal State Fullerton have played 59 times in a series that dates back to 1977. The Gauchos hold a 31-28 lead, but the Titans won all three games played between the schools last season. Fullerton won on its home floor (68-59), at the Thunderdome (66-57) and in the quarterfinal round of the Big West Tournament (66-55). The last time UCSB won in the series was near the end of the 2003-04 season when it won a double-overtime affair at Titan Gym, 98-95.

The Gauchos On The Road
The road was a scary place for UCSB in 2004-05 and the trend has continued into the 2005-06 campaign. With losses at North Carolina, Arizona State, San Diego State, Fresno State and Loyola Marymount, the Gauchos are 0-5 on the road this season. UCSB was 2-13 in true road games last season and 1-1 in neutral site games. After opening the 2004-05 regular season with an overtime win at San Diego State, UCSB rattled-off 11 straight losses away from home. The 11 consecutive road losses was the longest streak since the final two games of the 1995-96 season and the first 10 of the 1996-97 season. The Gauchos' only other road win last season came at Cal Poly. Including the first three road games this season and the final road game of the 2003-04 season, UCSB has lost 19 of its last 21 and 17 of its last 18 true road games.

Gaucho Shooters Seem To Hit Their Stride
There were times during UCSB's games at Arizona State and Loyola Marymount that one had wonder if the Gauchos would ever make another shot. At one point in the loss at LMU, UCSB missed 17 of 18 shots. Well, rest easy, Santa Barbara not only can, but has started to make some shots. The Gauchos have shot better than 40.0% in five straight games, a season-first. In fact, UCSB has shot better than 45.0% in three consecutive games for the first time this year. The Gauchos made a season-best 54.% of their shots in the last game against Portland. On Dec. 23 at Fresno State, they made 45.6%, their highest road percentage of the year. In the second half of the game at Fresno, UCSB hit 59.3%, its best shooting percentage for a half all season. In fact, in the last three halves, one at Fresno and two against Portland, the Gauchos have made 45 of their 80 field goal attempts, 56.2%. Overall, in the last three games, two wins and one loss, UCSB made 78-of-160 shots, 48.7%.

Three For All
The shooting improvement has not been limited to the overall field goal percentage. In the Dec. 23 loss at Fresno State, UCSB had one of its best three-point shooting performances this season and easily the best since the first game of the season. The Gauchos, who made just 15-of-65, 23.1%, from beyond the arc in the four games prior to the outing against the Bulldogs, made 10-of-20, 50.0%, at Fresno. They followed that performance with another good effort against Portland. In last week's win over the Pilots, UCSB made 9-of-21, 42.9%, from three-point territory. In the first half of the game, the Gauchos actually drained 7-of-11 three-point attempts. In the last two games, the Gauchos have made 19-of-41 three-point attempts, 46.3%. The 19 three-point baskets that Santa Barbara has made in the last two games are four more than it made in the previous four games combined. UCSB has made 10 or more three-pointers three times this season.

Double The Pleasure
Although senior guard Cecil Brown and sophomore forward Chris Devine are the only UCSB players averaging in double-figures, the Gauchos do have three other players averaging 7.5 points or better. In addition, when senior forward Cameron Goettsche scored a career-high 21 points on Dec. 20 against Sonoma State, he became the ninth Gaucho player to score in double-figures this season. Brown, who scored in single-digits in the season-opener against San Francisco, has scored 10 or more in nine straight games since. Also, five different UCSB players have either led, or tied for the team-lead in scoring.

General Assistance
UCSB made a season-high 29 field goals in its win over Portland last week and fittingly, the Gauchos had a season-high 23 assists. In fact, five different players had at least three assists against the Pilots. Joe See, making his second straight start, had a season-high five assists. Alex Harris, who leads the Gauchos with 29 assists on the season, had four in the win. It was the fourth straight game that Harris had contributed four or more assists.

The Defense Returns
After allowing its previous three opponents to make 71-of-151 field goal attempts, 48.3%, the Gauchos bounced-back with a season-best defensive effort in the win over Portland. UCSB limited the Pilots to a season-low 53 points and just 19-of-61 from the field, 31.1%. Additionally, in the two games prior to Wednesday night's win, Santa Barbara's opponents made 19-of-39 shots from three-point territory, 48.7%, but Portland made just 3-of-16, 18.8%. Also, after making their first two attempts of the game, the Pilots missed 13 of their last 14 attempts from beyond the three-point stripe.

Help, Cecil! Help!
Senior guard Cecil Brown has seized control of UCSB's scoring lead at 14.0 points per game. Brown had 16 points in the Gauchos' home win over Portland, second on the team to Chris Devine. He has led or tied for the team-lead in scoring five times this season. Brown has now scored 10 or more points in nine straight games and since scoring just four points in the season-opener, he has averaged 15.1 per game. He has averaged 17.6 per game in the last five. Last season, the longest streak of double-figure scoring by any UCSB player was five consecutive games by Chrismen Oliver. The last time a Gaucho had a longer streak was near the end of the 2001-02 season when Branduinn Fullove scored in double-figures in 10 consecutive games. On Dec. 20 against Sonoma State, Davis scored 18 points, the second-highest total of his career. He scored six of the points on a pair of clutch three-pointers in the final 51 seconds, including one at the buzzer that gave the Gauchos a one-point win. Brown scored a career-high 28 points in a Dec. 7 home win over Pepperdine. It was the highest scoring game by a UCSB player since Mark Hull had 28 in overtime against San Diego State in a National Invitation Tournament game in 2003. Brown, who made just 2-of-10 shots in the opener against USF, has made 53-of-116 since, 45.7%. Also, since going 2-for-11 from three-point range through the first three games he has made 16-of-36, 44.4%. In the last three games he has gone 7-of-13 from beyond the arc, 53.8%. He has made a three-pointer in nine straight games, the longest streak of his career. Finally, in the Dec. 23 game at Fresno State, Brown had a career-high eight rebounds and a season-high five assists. He has had four or more rebounds in five straight games.

The Harris Poll
Sophomore guard Alex Harris is struggling with his shooting, but he has become the team's best playmaker. Harris has taken-over the team-lead in assists with 29, an average of 2.9 per game. On three occasions this season he has tied his career-high with five assists, including two of the last four games. In fact, after Harris had only 11 assists in the first six games, including five in the opener against USF, he was averaging just 1.8 per game. In the last four games, however, he has produced 18 assists, 4.5 per game. Harris has also taken over the team-lead in rebounding at 5.3 per game. He had a team-high eight in the win over Portland and he has had five or more seven times in 10 games. On Nov. 21 against San Diego, he became the first UCSB guard to record a double-double (14 points, 10 rebounds) since the 2002-03 season. While much of his game is picking-up, Harris' shooting has fallen off. He started the season by making 11-of-19 shots, 57.9%, in the first two games, but he has had his problems since then. In the last eight games Harris has made just 18-of-66 shots, 27.3%. Also, since making 5-of-8 from three-point territory in the first two games, he has hit just 8-of-34, 23.5%. Interestingly, in the first three games of the season, 21 of Harris' 35 field goal attempts were two-pointers. In the most recent three games, three of his 14 shots were two-pointers.

Devine Is Fine
After suffering through his worst offensive game of the season in a loss at San Diego State, sophomore forward Chris Devine has bounced back with three of his best games. In last week's win over Portland, Devine scored a career-high 19 points, making 8-of-11 shots. In the last three games, he has averaged 15.0 points per game and made 18-of-24 shots from the field, 66.7%. Devine now ranks second on the team in scoring at 10.4 points per game. He has scored in double-figures in each of the last three games, a career-first, and six times this season. Devine also ranks second on the team in rebounding at 5.2 per game, but he went without a rebound against Portland and he had just two in the previous game against Fresno State. Prior to the last two games, he had at least five rebounds in seven of eight games. Devine has made at least half of his shots in eight of the 10 games and he is shooting 60.9% on the season. He has been particularly adept at shooting in home games as he has made 26-of-39 shots at the Thunderdome, 66.7%. Due in part to his aggressive style, Devine has fouled out of three games this season. Last year, no UCSB player fouled out more than two times.

No Ordinary Joe
After getting off to a sizzling start to the 2005-06 season, senior guard Joe See hit a slump. In three games prior to the San Diego State game on Dec. 17, See was scoreless, missing all 12 of his shots overall and all eight of his three-point attempts. In the last four games, beginning with the game at SDSU, his shooting eye returned and in the last two, both starts, he scored in double-figures. In the last four games, See made 12-of-16 shots overall, 75.0%, and 5-of-9 from three-point range. In the last two, he scored 14 and 11 points, 12.5 per game, and he made 9-of-11 shots overall, 81.8%, and 4-of-6 from three-point range, 66.7%. The last two games marks the first time this season that See has been in double-figures in consecutive games. Also, in the win over Portland, See had a season-high five assists, the same total he had amassed in the five previous games combined. With his two three-point baskets in the last game, See has now made 101 in his UCSB career, eighth on the school's all-time list. His next target, Nick Jones, had 119 in his career.

Cam I Am
Senior forward Cameron Goettsche continued his rebound resurgence in last week's win over Portland. Despite playing just 15 minutes before fouling out, Goettsche had six rebounds. It was the fourth straight game that he had collected at least six rebounds. In three straight games prior to Wednesday, he had seven rebounds. On the season, Goettsche ranks third on the team at 4.8 rebounds per game, but in the last five games he has averaged 6.4 per outing. In addition to his improved rebounding, he is also scoring more. While Goettsche is averaging 7.5 points per game, he has scored 10.2 per game in the last five games, including a career-high 21 points on Dec. 20 against Sonoma State. Finally, he leads the Gauchos with 11 blocked shots, including a season-high two on four occasions, and he has swatted at least one shot in the last four consecutive games. His 49 career blocked shots ties him for ninth on UCSB's all-time list.

Grasping His Opportunity
Sophomore swingman Derek Rasp returned four games ago after missing the first six games of the regular season. He has made an impact. Rasp is averaging 8.3 points per game and he has made eight three-pointers in his first four games. He has scored 10 or more points twice in his first four games, going for 11 at San Diego State and 10 at Fresno State. Dating back to last season, the walk-on has scored in double-figures in seven of the last 10 Gaucho games and over that span he has averaged 10.2 points per game. Also, in his last 10 games he has made 23-of-47 shots from three-point range, 48.9% and 34-of-68 overall, 50.0%. In his career, Rasp has now made 38-of-91 from beyond the arc, 41.8%, second in school history.

Around The Key - Notes
Freshman guard Lance Hurdle has played 23 minutes in the last two games, the most he has played in back-to-back games. He had a career-high seven points in 12 minutes at Fresno State.

Sophomore forward Chris Moore made both of his field goal attempts and had a season-high five points vs. Portland.

Senior guard Michael Chambers played just four minutes vs. Portland but he scored a season-high eight points, making all three of his field goal attempts, including a pair of three-pointers.

Glenn Turner returned after missing two games. He collected five rebounds and a blocked shot in 13 minutes against Portland. He now has 58 career blocked shots, eighth all-time. He needs four to move into sixth.