Men's Basketball Splits Road Trip, Plays At Cal Poly & Hosts Idaho

Feb. 1, 2000

The Schedule
Game No. 18
Thursday, February 3, 2000, 7:00 p.m.

UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at Cal Poly Mustangs
at Cal Poly's Mott Gymnasium

Game No. 19
Saturday, February 5, 2000, 7:00 p.m.

UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. University of Idaho Vandals
at UCSB's Thunderdome

The Gaucho Record
UC Santa Barbara enters the week with a 6-11 overall record and a 2-4 mark in Big West play. After opening the league schedule with an 0-3 mark, the Gauchos have won two of their last three. They trampled Nevada at home and Pacific in Stockton before losing at Long Beach State on Saturday night.

UCSB Splits Crucial Trip
UC Santa Barbara split its two crucial road games last weekend, winning on national television at Pacific, 69-54 and then losing at Big West frontrunner Long Beach State, 86-68. In the win over UOP, the Gauchos trailed 3-0 on an early three-pointer by Clay McKnight, but that was the last time they were behind as they jumped out to a lead of as many as 18 points before coasting home for the 15 point win. In the loss at Long Beach, UCSB sizzled in the first half, making 8-of-9 shots from three-point range and building a 13-point lead. In the second half, however, it was all 49ers as they came back to win their 13th straight game.

What About Bob?
Bob Williams is in his second season as head coach of the Gauchos. Last year he guided the Gauchos to a 15-13 overall record and an outstanding 12-4 mark in Big West play. After guiding the squad to the league's Western Division Championship, Williams was selected Big West Coach of the Year and National Association of Basketball Coaches District 15 Coach of the Year. After 17 games this season, Williams' Gaucho record is now 21-24 and his overall record as a college coach is 210-124. His teams have won either a league, division or National Championship in five straight seasons.

Probable Starters - Notes
G - Derrick Allen - Scored a season-high 16 points in loss at Long Beach State.
G - Erick Ashe - Has had at least two three-pointers in eight straight games.
G - Larry Bell - Has averaged 5.5 assists in the last four games.
F - Mark Hull - In last three games: 16.3 ppg and 72.7% of threes (8-of-11).
F - Adama Ndiaye - Has blocked eight shots in last three games.

Probable Reserves - Notes
G - Brandon Payton - Averaged 10.2 ppg in the last four games.
G - B.J. Ward - Tied career-high with two steals at Long Beach State.
G - Matt Long - Freshman walkon played two minutes and scored two vs. Nevada.
G - LaRon Bryant - Has made at least two three-pointers six times.
F - Juliano Jordani - His seven points at LBSU were most since ankle injury.
F - Mike Vukovich - Has been scoreless in three of his last four games.
F - Ross Carmichael - Has attempted only 12 shots in 98 minutes this season.

Allen's Antics
Senior point guard Derrick Allen scored a season-high 16 points in Saturday's game against Long Beach State and in the process, he got into the three-point act, making a career-high four treys. In fact, on the season, Allen has made 11 three-pointers, five of which have come in the last two games. In the last four games, Allen has averaged 10.0 points per game, a jump over his season average of 5.7 per contest. The native of New Orleans continues to lead UCSB in assists (3.7 per game) and steals (25). In fact, in his one-and-a-half seasons, Allen has come up with a five-finger basketball discount (that's a steal) on 93 occasions, moving him into ninth place on UCSB's all-time career list, three ahead of former Gaucho and current Los Angeles Laker, Brian Shaw.

For Whom Bell Toils
Senior point guard Larry Bell does make a difference for the Gauchos. While the team is 6-11 on the season, they are 4-4 since his return. While Bell is posting modest numbers overall (5.4 points, 3.5 assists, 1.9 steals and 2.9 rebounds per game), he gives the team the emotional leader it lacked early in the season. Bell helped to set the defensive tone in last week's win at Pacific. He had three steals and a career-high two blocked shots in the win. In addition, he has led the team in assists three times in the last four games, averaging 5.5 per game over that span.

Turnover Bug Returns
For UCSB, the turnover bug returned in the loss at Long Beach State. Not unlike that flu bug that has been going around, the Gauchos thought they were rid of the turnover bug, only to have a relapse at Long Beach. The 25 turnovers were the third most the Gauchos have had this season and it was more than they had produced in the previous two games combined. In fact, in the four games prior to Saturday's game against the 49ers, UCSB had not had more than 13 turnovers and they had averaged only 12.2 per game, a major drop from their overall season average of 17.2 per game. The 11 turnovers that the Gauchos had in Thursday's win over Pacific were the fewest they have had against an NCAA Division I opponent this season. Their season-low was the ten they had in a win over Westmont College, an NAIA team.

UCSB-Long Beach State Game Time Changed
The time has been changed for UCSB's March 2 home game against Long Beach State. The contest, originally slated for 7:00 p.m., has been moved to 5:00 p.m. to accommodate television. Fox Sports Net has added the game to its schedule.

Gauchos vs. The Opposition
UCSB and Cal Poly have played 70 times with the Gauchos holding a 45-25 record against their Central Coast opponent. Last year, UCSB swept the two games that the schools played. They narrowly defeated the Mustangs in San Luis Obispo by a score of 78-75 and then they defeated them 82-74 in Santa Barbara. The teams have traded sweeps the last two years. In 1997-98, Cal Poly swept the Gauchos. UCSB and Idaho have played eight times with the Gauchos holding a 5-3 advantage. The Gauchos topped the Vandals in Santa Barbara last season, 74-62. Because of a quirk in the schedule, they will once again meet in Santa Barbara. The the last time Idaho defeated UCSB was in January of 1998 and they did so in Moscow, Idaho.

Gauchos Set Up Camp In Three-Pointville
Since they opened the season by making only 3-of-33 shots from three-point territory, a dismal 9.1%, the Gauchos have turned things around. In Saturday's loss at Long Beach State, they made 12-of-20 (60.0%), including a sizzling 8-of-9 (88.9%) in the first half. The 12 three-pointers were the most made by a UCSB team since they made 13 in a game against Cal State Northridge on December 19, 1995. Last season, the most three-pointers they made in any single game was seven. This year they have made seven or more nine times and nine or more five times. Since they opened the campaign by going 3-for-33, they have made 106-of-294, a respectable 36.1%. In six Big West games, UCSB has gone 47-of-113 from three-point territory, 41.6%. On the season they have improved to 33.3%, a jump of 1.3% over last season. In addition, after averaging only 4.4 three-point baskets per game last year, the Gauchos are clicking to the tune of 6.8 per game this season. If they could average 6.0 per game the rest of the season, playing 27 games, they would finish with 169 and that would break the school record of 164 set in 1994-95.

Ashe Continues To Lead
Senior guard Erick Ashe continues to lead the Gaucho offensive charge. He paces the team in scoring at 12.8 points per game overall and 15.2 per game in league play. Ashe has scored in double-digits in eight of the last nine games, averaging 16.0 points over that span while shooting 42.7%. In the last eight games, he has really come alive from three-point territory, making at least two in each of the eight games and hitting 25-of-54, a sparkling 46.3%. In fact, in Big West games, Ashe is making 40.8% of his field goals overall and 47.5 from three-point range. With 38 three-pointers on the season, Ashe is just one short of his total of 39 from last year. In his one-and-a-half seasons, the Los Angeles native has made 77 treys, tying him with Josh Merrill for eighth on the all-time Gaucho list.

What The Hull?
Freshman swingman Mark Hull has been feeling his oats lately as well. Hull is now second on the team in scoring overall (10.1 points per game) and in Big West play (12.7 points per game). He has been in double-figures in three straight games and over that span he has taken his offensive game to another level. In averaging 16.3 points per game over the last three, Hull has made 17-of-31 (54.8%) of his shots overall and a startling 8-for-11 (72.7%) from three-point range. In addition, the pride of Glendale is second on the team in rebounding at 4.9 per game and if things continue to go in their current direction, Hull would be the first Gaucho freshman to lead the team in minutes played. He currently has a 15-minute edge (475-460) over the next closest Gaucho, Adama Ndiaye. In addition, Hull's statistics are starting to move him up the freshman top-ten ladder. He is ninth in scoring (172), he would be fourth in scoring average (if he can maintain the 10.1 ppg), he is tied for ninth in rebounds (83), second in rebounding average (if he can maintain the 4.9 rpg), ninth in field goals (59), fourth in three-point field goals (17), tenth in field goals attempted (35), tenth in free throws (37) and fifth in free throw percentage (if he can maintain the 78.7%).

On The Horizon
Following this weekend's games, the Gauchos will remain home for two more. They will host Cal State Fullerton on Thursday, February 17 at 7:00 p.m. at the Thunderdome. On Saturday, February 19, they will host UC Irvine in a 7:00 p.m. Thunderdome game that will also be UCSB's Intercollegiate Athletic Hall of Fame game. Ten new members of the Gaucho Hall of Fame will be introduced at halftime of the UCI game.