Men's Basketball Travels To Idaho & Utah State For Big West Games

Jan. 7, 2003

The Schedule
Game No. 13
Big West Game No. 3
Thursday, January 9, 2003 at 7:00 p.m. (PST)

UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at University of Idaho Vandals
at Idaho's Cowan Spectrum

Game No. 14
Big West Game No. 4
Saturday, January 11, 2003 at 7:00 p.m. (PST)
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Utah State Aggies
at Utah State's Smith Spectrum

Utah State Game On ESPN
Saturday's 2002 Big West Tournament Championship game rematch between UCSB and Utah State will be televised on ESPN.

The Gaucho Record
UC Santa Barbara enters this week's Big West games with an overall record of 4-8 and a league mark of 1-1. The Gauchos split their games the first weekend of the Big West season, defeating UC Riverside 65-49 and losing to Cal State Fullerton in overtime, 57-55. The win over UCR snapped a five-game Gaucho losing streak, but the loss to Cal State Fullerton gives UCSB six losses in seven games.

UCSB Blows 15-Point Lead, Loses To Cal State Fullerton
UCSB had a very good opportunity to open Big West play with a pair of wins. The Gauchos took a 15-point lead into halftime of their home game against Cal State Fullerton. In fact, after trailing 2-0, UCSB led virtually the entire game. Until, that is, Ralphy Holmes made a three-pointer at the buzzer to end regulation, tying the score at 49-49 and sending the game into overtime. In the overtime, Titans outscored the Gauchos 8-6 to post a 57-55 win. The loss was, with little question, one of UCSB's most disappointing in some time and instead of 2-0 in league, the Gauchos are 1-1.

Fullove Remains Questionable With Groin Pull
Junior guard Branduinn Fullove, Santa Barbara's leading scorer at 16.1 points per game, remains questionable for this weekend's Big West games at Idaho and Utah State. Fullove has a strained groin, an injury he originally suffered in a road game at BYU on December 21 and then re-injured at the end of a December 28 game against Bucknell. Fullove missed last weekend's games against UC Riverside and Cal State Fullerton. In addition to his 16.1 points per game, he is averaging 2.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game. Fullove also leads the Gauchos in field goal percentage at 50.9% and three-point field goal percentage at 48.9%.

The Williams File
Bob Williams is in his fifth season as the head coach at UC Santa Barbara. Last year, he guided the Gauchos to a 20-11 overall record and an 11-7 mark in Big West Conference play. It was the school's first 20-win season since 1992. Most importantly, however, Williams led UCSB to its first Big West Conference Tournament Championship ever and first NCAA Tournament appearance in 12 years. In his first four-plus seasons in Santa Barbara, Williams' teams have posted a 66-60 overall record and a 43-25 record in Big West games. In 1998-99, his first year, the Gauchos went 15-13 overall and 12-4 in the Big West, winning the league's Western Division championship. That year, they closed the campaign by going 15-5 and Williams was selected Big West Coach of the Year. 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 each of his last four seasons, the Aggies advanced to the NCAA Tournament and in 1997-98, Williams' final season, they 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 255-160 at four-year schools.

Possible Starters - Notes
G - Jacoby Atako - Played a season-high 33 minutes against Cal State Fullerton.
G - Nick Jones - Tied a season-best by going 4-for-5 from three-point range vs. CSUF.
G - Cecil Brown - Has averaged 7.0 points per game in his three starts.
F - Mark Hull - Has hit 16 three-point baskets in his last four games.
F - Casey Cook - After making all three FG attempts vs. UCR, he was 0-for-3 vs. CSUF.

Probable Reserves - Notes
G - B.J. Ward - Played a season-low one minute against CSUF.
G - Chrismen Oliver - Has averaged 16.5 minutes in his last two games.
G - Branduinn Fullove - Questionable with groin injury. Missed last two games.
G - Josh Davis - After season-high 14 vs. UCR, he was scoreless vs. CSUF.
F - Bray Skultety - Torn ACL in left knee will sideline him for the season.
F - Bryan Whitehead - Has scored just six points in last four games, 76 total minutes.
F - Scott Rainey - Played season-high ten minutes with three rebounds vs. Bucknell.
F - Derek Wheeler - Has played in four of 12 games this season.

Skultety's Season Ends With Knee Injury
For the first couple weeks of practice, senior forward Bray Skultety was making a very strong bid for the starting nod at the five spot. Skultety emerged over the final 25 games last season, becoming one of the Gauchos' top rebounders and a sparkplug off the bench. He was a great story. In only his second year of organized basketball, Skultety, a walk-on, had become a regular on a team that advanced to the NCAA Tournament. Awarded a scholarship prior to this season, Skultety's story kept getting better and better, but on November 1, the tale took a turn for the worse. In practice on that Friday, Skultety tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, ending his season and most likely his collegiate career. As a fifth-year senior, an injury redshirt year is a very remote possibility. In 2001-02, Skultety played in 26 games, starting one, averaging 2.5 points and 4.4 rebounds per game. He easily led the team in rebounds per 40 minutes played at 16.2, and despite his 6-foot-6 height, he ranked second on the team in blocked shots with 13.

On The Road Again...
After a brief stopover in Santa Barbara, the Gauchos will hit the road again. UCSB has played eight of its 12 games away from home this season. In fact, when they play at Utah State on Saturday, it will mark the second time this season that the Gauchos have played in Utah. On December 21, they played at BYU. UCSB is 0-3 in true road games this season, losing at Pepperdine, Cal and BYU. The Gauchos are also 1-4 in neutral court games this season, going 1-2 at the BP Top of the World Classic in Fairbanks, Alaska, and 0-2 at the azcentral.com/ASU Hoops Classic in Tempe, Arizona.

Gauchos Struggle To Make Their Points
UCSB scored more than 80 points in two of their first three games this season. The Gauchos scored more than 70 in three of their first four games. In the last eight games, however, they have not crossed the 70-point threshold. On the year, the Gauchos are averaging 66.0 point per game, but in the last eight games they have averaged just 61.2 per game. Taking it a step further, in the last five games, four of which have been losses, UCSB has tallied just 293 points, an average of 58.6 per game. The Gauchos scored a season-low 55 points in their overtime loss to Cal State Fullerton on Saturday. On the other side of the coin, UCSB has stayed in games with defense, allowing just 64.5 points per game this year, 60.1 over the last nine games.

Gaucho Three-For-All Continues
It is no secret that the Gauchos have been unable to muster much of an inside game this season and thus they have become very dependent on three-point shooting for a major portion of their offense. Through 12 games, UCSB has been consistently solid and at times outstanding from beyond the three-point arc. The Gauchos have made 99 three-point baskets, an average of 8.2 per game. Last year, UCSB made a school-record 201 three-point baskets, an average of 6.5 per game. At their current pace, assuming the Gauchos play at least one game in the Big West Tournament, they would make somewhere between 240 and 250 three-point baskets. In addition, they are shooting a solid 41.8% from beyond the arc, a slight improvement over the 40.6% they shot last season. UCSB's reliance on three-point baskets was emphasized in Saturday's loss to Cal State Fullerton when, for the first time this year, they made more three-point baskets (ten) than two-point baskets (nine). The Gauchos were 10-of-19 from beyond the arc against the Titans marking the third time this year that they've made 50.0% or better. The Gauchos best effort from three-point territory, in terms of percentage, was a 9-of-12 (75.0%) outing against Centenary. Santa Barbara has made ten or more three-pointers four times, once each against Cal (11), Pepperdine (ten) and Bucknell (ten) in addition to the game against Cal State Fullerton. In fact, UCSB has made nine or more three-point baskets eight times in its 12 games. Nine different Gaucho players have made three-pointers this season and seven different UCSB players, Mark Hull, Branduinn Fullove, Nick Jones, Cecil Brown, Jacoby Atako, Josh Davis and Chrismen Oliver, have made at least two in a game.

Win Big, Lose Small
Even at 4-8, UCSB has outscored its opponents by 18 points this season, a margin of 1.5 per game. In their four wins, the Gauchos have outscored opponents by 70 points, an average 17.5 per game. UCSB's eight losses have come by a total of 52 points, an average of 6.5 points per game. All four Gaucho wins have come by double-digit margins, but only one loss has been a double-digit defeat. UCSB dropped a 13-point game at BYU on December 21.

The Opponents
UCSB is 9-5 all-time against the University of Idaho. The Gauchos and Vandals split a pair of games last season with UCSB winning in Santa Barbara 76-53, and losing in Moscow 40-37. The 40 points allowed by the Gauchos in the game at Idaho last season were the sixth fewest in program history and the 37 points scored was the fourth lowest total ever. UCSB has never won at Moscow, Idaho, the only current Big West road venue in which the Gauchos have never won. Utah State leads the all-time series between the Gauchos and the Aggies by a 29-21 margin. USU won two out of three games played between the schools last year, winning 72-64 in Logan, and 60-56 in Santa Barbara. UCSB defeated the Aggies in the Big West Tournament Championship game in Anaheim, 60-56.

Career Scoring Leaders

1.  Carrick DeHart         1,687
2.  Doug Rex               1,434
3.  Lucius Davis           1,420
4.  York Gross             1,399
5.  Scott Fisher           1,351
6.  Mark Hull              1,324
7.  Richard Anderson       1,247
8.  Conner Henry           1,236
9.  Ricky Walker           1,235
10. Gary Gray              1,227

Career Three-Point Leaders

1.  Carrick DeHart         196
2.  Idris Jones            190
3.  Mark Hull              181
4.  Mark Flick             162
5.  Brian Johnson          150
6.  Branduinn Fullove      109
7.  Erick Ashe              99
8.  Daniel Prince           89
    Raymond Tutt            89
10. Nick Jones              80

Career Scoring Average Leaders

1.  Raymond Tutt           21.5
2.  Doug Rex               18.4
3.  John Tschogl           15.3
4.  Lelan McDougal         14.7
5.  Carrick DeHart         14.2
6.  Branduinn Fullove      13.6
    Scott Fisher           13.6
8.  York Gross             13.5
9.  Mark Hull              13.4

Nick At Night
Junior guard Nick Jones bounced back from a sub-par pair of offensive games at the azcentral.com/ASU Hoops Classic with two solid efforts last weekend. In the two tourney games, Jones averaged 7.0 points and attempted just 11 shots. In the Big West games against UC Riverside and Cal State Fullerton, he averaged 14.5 points and 5.0 rebounds per game, making 11-of-25 shots from the field overall. In Thursday's win over UCR, Jones went without a three-point basket for the first time this season, missing all five of his attempts. On Saturday, however, he tied his career-high by making 4-of-5. With the four three-point baskets, Jones now has 80 in his career, ranking him tenth on UCSB's all-time list. Overall, against Fullerton, he made 6-of-11 shots from the field, snapping a streak of four games in a row in which he shot below the 50.0% mark. In the four games prior to Saturday, Jones made just 12-of-39 shots, 30.8%. The 6-foot-4 native of Oxnard is shooting 47.2% overall and 46.2% from three-point territory. Jones has led or tied for the team-lead in rebounding in six games this season. Overall, he leads the team in rebounding at 5.9 per game and he has had five or more rebounds seven times. He is the only Gaucho to pull down ten or more boards in a game this season, going for ten against San Francisco.

The Hull Truth, Nothing But
Senior forward Mark Hull has moved past Nick Jones and now ranks second on the Gauchos in scoring at 14.5 points per game. Since going just 2-for-8 from the field and scoring just four points in a December 21 loss at BYU, Hull has been outstanding. In the last four games, he has averaged 17.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. He scored 21 points on Saturday against Cal State Fullerton, the second time he has scored more than 20 in the last three games and the third time this season. In fact, the 21-point effort was his best since he went for 23 points in the season-opener against Weber State. Also, in the last four games, Hull has made 26-of-48 shots overall, 54.2%, and 16-of-28 shots from three-point range, 57.1%. On the season, he is now shooting 48.9% overall and 47.2% from beyond the three-point arc. Hull has scored in double-figures in ten of 12 games this year and he has made at least one three-point bucket in 11 of 12 games. He has made three or more three-point baskets nine times this season and he has made a season-high five twice, against Bucknell and Cal State Fullerton. With seven rebounds in each of the last two games, Hull is now averaging 5.5 rebounds per game, second on the team. He has had five or more rebounds in four straight games and eight times this year. He had his season-highs of nine rebounds and six assists in UCSB's December 3 win over USC. Hull has played 30 or more minutes in each of the last eight games and 11 times in 12 games this season. He played a season-high 40 minutes in the overtime game against Cal State Fullerton and he has played 154 of a possible 165 minutes in the past four games. Hull's 425 minutes are easily the most on the team. Finally, if he starts at Idaho, it would be Hull's 100th straight start.

Fulloving It, But Still Questionable
Junior guard Branduinn Fullove is questionable for Thursday's Big West game at Idaho and his status for the Utah State game on Saturday is also up in the air. Fullove is nursing a strained groin, an injury he originally suffered on December 21 at BYU. While the injury forced him to the sidelines for the final five minutes of the game at Provo, Fullove returned and played 61 minutes in two games at the azcentral.com/ASU Hoops Classic. In fact, Fullove was outstanding in the games against Nebraska and Bucknell, averaging 18.0 points per game and hitting six three-point baskets. At the very end of the game against Bucknell, however, felt tightness in the groin and he missed last weekend's games against UC Riverside and Cal State Fullerton. The injury to Fullove comes at a bad time for both he and the Gauchos. After suffering through one of the worst games of his career on December 7 at Pepperdine, Fullove responded with four straight outstanding efforts. In his last four games, at Cal, at BYU and vs. Nebraska and Bucknell, Fullove has made 26-of-52 field goals, 50.0%, and 11-of-22 shots from three-point range, also 50.0%. Over that span he averaged 17.0 points per game and led UCSB in scoring three times. Fullove leads Gaucho regulars in field goal percentage at 50.9%, and in three-point percentage at 48.9%. Since going 1-for-8 overall and 1-for-5 from three-point territory in the opener against Weber State, he has made 54-of-100 shots overall, 54.0%, and 22-of-42 from three-point territory, 52.4%. Fullove has scored in double-figures in eight of ten games, including a season-high 23 points in a win over USC. He also had 22 points in a win over Centenary. Finally, he has made at least one three-pointer in nine of ten games, two or more seven times and three or more four times. Fullove has made four three-pointers, one short of his career-high, three times this year, going a perfect 4-of-4 in the win over USC, 4-for-5 against Bucknell and 4-of-6 against Centenary at the BP Top of the World Classic.

Help Cecil, Help!
Freshman guard Cecil Brown has been a big help to the Gauchos this season, showing flashes of offensive brilliance while at the same time playing better defense than expected. Brown is fourth on the team in scoring at 5.4 per game, but he has had a couple of offensive explosions that bode well for the future. In the opener against Weber State, Brown scored 12 points in just ten minutes, making 4-of-5 shots from the floor and 3-of-4 from three-point territory. On December 7 at Pepperdine, he scored a season-high 13 points in just 15 minutes, making 3-of-5 three-pointers. Brown has started the last three games, averaging 7.0 points per game over that span and shooting 45.0%. In Saturday's loss to Cal State Fullerton, he played a career-high 37 minutes, 13 more than his previous high. In his three starts, Brown has averaged 28.0 minutes per game.

Just Joshing
Freshman guard Josh Davis had mixed results last weekend. On Thursday against UC Riverside, he made all five of his field goal attempts, including two three-pointers, and scored a career-high 14 points in 24 minutes. On Saturday, against Cal State Fullerton, Davis missed all three of his field goal attempts and went scoreless. On the year, Davis is now averaging 3.5 points per game. The 14 he scored against UCR are the same total that he scored in the one game since and the seven before...combined. In the last three games, Davis has averaged 19.3 minutes per game, a signficant jump over his season average of 14.2 per game.

Atako Points The Way
After coming off the bench for one game, junior guard Jacoby Atako returned to the starting lineup for the games against UC Riverside and Cal State Fullerton. When he did not start UCSB's game against Bucknell, it snapped a streak of 60 straight starts for the point guard. On Saturday, against Cal State Fullerton, Atako played a season-high 33 minutes, scoring six points and passing off for four assists. He continues to lead the Gauchos in assists at 3.3 per game and the four he had on Saturday was his highest total since he passed off for five on December 10 at Cal. He has had four or more assists five times this year and he had a season-high eight on November 24 against Centenary. Atako scored a season-high ten points against Nebraska at the azcentral.com/ASU Hoops Classic on December 27.

The Life Of Bryan
After starting the first nine games this season, junior forward Bryan Whitehead has come off the bench in each of the last three. He is averaging 2.9 points and 3.4 rebounds per game. Over the past four games, Whitehead has scored just six total points, 1.5 per game. In 76 minutes over those four contests, he attempted just six shots from the field. On the year, he has attempted just 29 shots in 240 minutes, one every 8.3 minutes. Whitehead did have a season-high six rebounds in Thursday's win over UC Riverside and he had a season-high two steals against Fullerton.

What's Cooking?
Sophomore forward Casey Cook had a mixed weekend. On Thursday against UC Riverside, he had eight points, his highest total since he scored a career-high 16 on November 24 against Centenary, and he had a season-high eight rebounds. On Saturday, against Cal State Fullerton, he missed all four of his field goal attempts and finished with three points and three rebounds. Prior to his eight-point outburst against UCR, Cook had scored a total of six points over a four game stretch, going 3-for-14, 21.4%, over that span. Still, he is shooting 46.0% from the field for the year. Cook is fourth on the team in rebounding at 3.3 per game overall and 5.0 in the last three games.

Ward Of The Court
Senior guard B.J. Ward played a total of just five minutes in the first two Big West Conference games against UC Riverside and Cal State Fullerton. In the last game against the Titans he played a season-low one minute. Ward has been scoreless in three games since scoring a season-high seven against Nebraska in the first round of the azcentral.com/ASU Hoops Classic. After averaging 11.7 minutes per game in the first four games of the season, Ward has averaged just 6.5 per game.

Oliver's Twist
After playing just one minute in two games at the azcentral.com/ASU Hoops Classic, sophomore guard Chrismen Oliver played 33 in Big West games last weekend. On Thursday against UC Riverside, he tied his career-high with five assists in a career-high 21 minutes. Oliver, a walk-on, is now averaging 1.5 points and 1.8 assists per game. He has played in 11 of 12 games. In addition to the five assists he had against Riverside, he also had five on December 10 at Cal. In the game at Cal, Oliver scored a career-high eight points.

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