UCSB Hopes to End Three-Game Losing Streak, Returns Home to Face Idaho, Utah State

UCSB Hopes to End Three-Game Losing Streak, Returns Home to Face Idaho, Utah State

Feb. 1, 2005

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The Schedule
Game No. 19
Thursday, February 3, 2005 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. the University of Idaho Vandals
at UCSB's Thunderdome
Radio: KTLK 1340 AM

Game No. 20
Saturday, February 5, 2005 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Utah State Aggies
at UCSB's Thunderdome
Radio: KTLK 1340 AM

Game No. 21
Thursday, February 10, 2005 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at UC Davis Aggies
at UCD's Pavillion
Radio: KTLK 1340 AM

The Gaucho Record
UC Santa Barbara enters this week's games with an overall record of 7-11 and a Big West record of 4-6. With last weekend's losses at UC Riverside (54-50) and at Cal State Fullerton (68-59), the Gauchos have now lost three games in a row, one shy of their longest losing streak of the season. UCSB dropped a 58-43 decision to Pacific to start the streak. Prior to the current three-game losing streak, the Gauchos had put together a three-game winning streak, their longest of the year, with wins over Cal State Northridge, Cal Poly and UC Davis.

The Week That Was
UCSB dropped both of its games on the road last weekend. On Thursday night, the Gauchos overcame a 13 point UC Riverside lead, tied the score at 50-50 on a three-point basket by Josh Davis with less than two minutes to play, then things dried up. The Highlanders scored the final four points of the game and handed UCSB a 54-50 loss. On Saturday night, the Gauchos and Cal State Fullerton played a see-saw game for about 26 minutes, but the Titans used a 13-0 run midway through the second half to take an insurmountable 55-38 lead with 8:57 remaining. UCSB could never get closer than nine points the rest of the way, losing 68-59. The one bright spot in the loss to Fullerton was freshman guard Alex Harris. Harris scored a career-high 16 points in the game.

The Week Ahead
The Gauchos will host two teams that they have already played this season. UCSB hosts Idaho on Thursday. The Vandals topped UCSB by a score of 61-50 in Moscow on January 8. Santa Barbara dropped an 80-70 game at Utah State on January 6. The Gauchos played both games on that road trip with just seven players, one of whom was taller than 6-foot-6. This weekend will mark the final Big West visits ever to the Thunderdome by Idaho and Utah State. Beginning next season, both schools will play in the Western Athletic Conference.

Good News On The Roster Front
When UCSB took the floor for Saturday's game at Cal State Fullerton, it had nine players in uniform and available. The total of nine available players was the highest since the January 2 when the Gauchos had nine players available for their game at Cal State Northridge. Sophomore forward David Kennedy missed the first seven game of the year with a stress fracture in his right leg, played two minutes against Long Beach State in game eight, and then was sidelined for the next eight games. He returned to action last Thursday at UC Riverside giving Santa Barbara eight players. On Friday, freshman forward Chris Moore regained his academic eligibility and he was in uniform for Saturday's game, giving the Gauchos nine players. Freshman guard Derek Rasp, sidelined the past four games after suffering a lung contusion when he fell down hard in the first half of UCSB's January 15 home win over UC Davis, is likely to miss the games against Idaho and Utah State. The Gauchos hope to have him back for next week's ame at UC Davis. Senior forward Casey Cook fractured a bone in his right foot in the game at Cal State Northridge on January 2, and he is out for at least another three weeks and possibly longer. Junior guard Cecil Brown missed the first six games of the year with a torn medial collateral ligament in his right knee and he mas missed the last 12 with a stress fracture in the left ankle. He is out for the season. Freshman forward Chris Devine had knee surgery before the start of practice and was expected to be ready in late-January. Now, Devine will miss the remainder of the year because while the knee is healing, it has not healed fast enough. Freshman forward Todd Follmer is redshirting the 2004-05 season and will not be activated.

Wheeler Also Added To Roster
Derek Wheeler, a member of UCSB's 2002-03 that won the Big West regular season title, has also been added to the Gaucho roster, effective immediately. Wheeler, who has been practicing with team since a rash of injuries whittled the roster to just eight players, was approved to play in games by the NCAA on Monday. The 6-foot-8 native of Irvine, Calif., played a total of 25 minutes in 16 games during the 2002-03 season.

Possible Starters - Notes
G - Chrismen Oliver - Had seven assists and just one turnover in games at UCR and CSUF.
G - Alex Harris - Scored a career-high 16 points in the loss at Cal State Fullerton.
G - Josh Davis - Has averaged 12.0 points and 7.0 rebounds per game in the last five.
F - Glenn Turner - His 43 career blocked shots ranks ninth on the school's all-time list.
F - Cameron Goettsche - Scored in double-digits in consecutive games, first time this year.

Possible Reserves - Notes
G - Joe See - Had three three-pointers at CSUF, his highest total since eight at Utah State.
G - Michael Chambers - Has made one of his last 14 three-point attempts.
F - David Kennedy - Has not attempted a shot in 22 minutes this season.
F - Chris Moore - Regained eligibility and played seven minutes at CSUF.
F - Derek Wheeler - Member of team in 2002-03 returns to the active roster this week.

The Sideline - Notes
G - Cecil Brown - Stress fracture in lower left leg has sidelined him for the season.
F - Derek Rasp - Will not play against Idaho, but could play against Utah State.
F - Casey Cook - Injured tendon in right foot has him out at least three more weeks.
F - Chris Devine - Knee injury has not healed enough. Will miss remainder of year.
F - Todd Follmer - The seven-footer will redshirt his freshman campaign.

The Bob Williams File
Bob Williams is in his seventh season as the head coach at UC Santa Barbara. On December 30, when the Gauchos defeated UC Irvine, he became the fifth UCSB coach to record 100 wins. Last year, he guided the Gauchos to a 16-12 overall record and a 10-8 mark in Big West Conference play. He has also guided UCSB to three straight winning seasons, the first time the program has 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. In addition, 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 103-90 (.534) overall record and a 70-42 (.625) 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 292-190 (.606) at four-year schools.

The Opponents
UCSB and Idaho have played 17 times in a series that dates back to 1963. The Gauchos have gone 10-7 against the Vandals, but Idaho has won the last two games in the series, including a 61-50 decision at Moscow, Idaho, on January 8. The last time the teams played at the Thunderdome, the Gauchos posted a 59-47 win. UCSB and Utah State have played 58 times in a series that dates back to 1970. The Aggies hold a 36-22 advantage in the series and they have won the last three in a row, including an 80-70 win in Logan, Utah, on January 6. The last time Santa Barbara won a game in the series was during the 2002-03 season when it logged a 62-50 win at the Thunderdome.

UCSB At Home
The Gauchos are 6-2 at home this season and they have won six of their last seven Thunderdome games. UCSB had a six-game home winning streak snapped in its last appearance at the Thunderdome. Pacific ended the Gaucho streak on January 22, with a 58-43 win. UCSB has gone 4-1 in Big West home games this season. The Gauchos have posted wins against Cal State Northridge, UC Irvine, Long Beach State and Cal Poly. UCSB was 10-2 at the Thunderdome last season. In fact, the Gauchos have gone 10-2 at home in each of the last three seasons. Santa Barbara went 7-2 in Big West home games last year, losing to Pacific and Utah State. UCSB is 62-23 at home under head coach Bob Williams.

Rebounding Troubles Continue
UCSB was outrebouded in its last game, a 68-59 loss at Cal State Fullerton. The Gauchos dropped the rebound battle to the Titans by a 44-35 margin. The nine-point rebound deficit was actually an improvement over the previous game, a 54-50 loss at UC Riverside. In the game against the Highlanders, Santa Barbara was obliterated in the rebound category by a 44-24 count. UCSB has now been outrebounded in four straight games, the longest such streak of the season. Overall, the Gauchos have outrebounded just six opponents. The 20-rebound deficit at UC Riverside was the second largest of the season. On January 6, Utah State walloped the Gauchos on the boards by a 44-21 margin. On four occasions overall this season, UCSB has been outrebounded by 13 or more. The Gauchos largest rebound edge this season was 11 in a January 15 win over UC Davis.

The Well Runs Dry
After a run of three pretty good offensive games, all at home, UCSB's offense has started to run dry. During their three-game winning streak, the Gauchos shot 46.4% or better and they made 77-of-160 shots, 48.1%. Prior to the three-game run, UCSB had not made more than 42.9% of its shots in ten straight games, thus, the three straight games at 46.4% or better was quite a breakthrough. It has been a different story during the current three-game losing streak. Despite making a passable 43.6% of their shots in Saturday's loss at Cal State Fullerton, the Gauchos have shot just 36.4% in the last three games, scoring an average of just 50.7 points over that span. On the year, UCSB is averaging just 59.6 points per game and shooting just 40.6% from the field. The Gauchos scored a season-high 80 points in an overtime win at San Diego State in November. That was the first game of the season, and since then UCSB has scored 70 or more in a game just twice, and 60 or more just seven times.

Their Better Half
My wife is certainly my better half. As for the Gauchos, second half is just as clearly their better half. UCSB scored 26 points in the first half of its loss at Cal State Fullerton last Saturday. In the two previous games, the Gauchos had piled-up 18 and 17 points in games against Pacific and UC Riverside. On the year, UCSB has scored more points in the second half than the first half 15 times in 18 games, including the last five in a row. The Gauchos have scored fewer than 20 points in four first halves this season. By comparison, UCSB's lowest scoring second half is 25 points. The Gauchos have scored 25 or fewer points in 10 first halves this season. Overall, UCSB has scored 460 points in the first half this season, an average of 25.6 per half, and 612 in the second halves (and one overtime), an average of 34.0 per half.

They're Anything But Free
UCSB has not only been struggling with its shooting from the field, it has also had its problems at the free throw line in recent games. The Gauchos shot a season-low 33.3% in the loss at Cal State Fullerton, making just 3-of-9 attempts. While UCSB is making 66.2% of its free throws this season, they have made just 56-of-99 in the last six games, 56.6%.

No Close Encounters For UCSB
UCSB has had few close encounters this season. Last Thursday, the Gauchos lost UC Riverside 54-50 and the four-point spread was the smallest of the season. Prior to the four-point loss to the Highlanders, the smallest margin in any UCSB game this season was the five-point spread in a 67-62 win over UC Davis on January 15. There have been ten double-digit margins in Gaucho games this season with the largest margin being 20 points. UCSB dropped a 70-50 decision at Cal State Northridge on January 2, and won a 76-56 contest over Cal Poly on January 13.

Take Me To Your Leader(s)
If you include the injured Casey Cook, UCSB has three players averaging 10.0 per game or more. For better or worse, the Gauchos have spread the scoring around this season and each of their top seven scorers have led the way at least one time. Chrismen Oliver has led the team in scoring more than anyone else, doing so on six occasions. Also, six different players have led the team in rebounding with Glenn Turner leading the way seven times.

Turning Over A New Leaf
Through its first eight games, UCSB never had fewer than ten turnovers in a game and they averaged 14.7 over that span. In the last 10 games, the Gauchos have had five games with fewer than ten turnovers, including a season-low five lasts Thursday at UC Riverside. In the last 10 games, UCSB has had 110 turnovers, 11.0 per game. Of those 110, 36 came in two games against Cal State Northridge, which leads the nation in turnovers forced. In the other seven games the Gauchos had 74, 9.2 per game.

The Blockheads
UCSB had six blocked shots in last Saturday's game at Cal State Fullerton. It tied the Gauchos second highest total of the season. On January 15, in a win over UC Davis, UCSB had a season-high nine blocked shots, tying the fifth-highest total in school history. The Gauchos also had six, all by Glenn Turner, at Idaho on January 8. UCSB has gone without a blocked shots just twice this season, including in its last home game, a 58-43 loss to Pacific on January 22. Through 18 games this season, the Gauchos have 69 blocked shots as a team, 10 more than the total they had in 28 games last season. Prior to the game against Pacific, UCSB had produced at least one blocked shot in 14 straight games and three or more in 11 straight. The Gauchos have now swatted three or more shots 14 times this season, including 13 times in the past 14 games. On the year, UCSB is averaging 3.8 blocked shots per game, a figure that leads the Big West. While the 3.8 blocks per game is a modest figure, it is an increase over last year's average of 2.0 per game. Nine of the 11 players who have suited-up for the Gauchos this season have produced at least one blocked shot. Turner, a sophomore forward who had three blocked shots at Cal State Fullerton on Saturday, is leading the block parade with a team-high 34, an average of 1.9 per game. Turner tied a school record when he swatted six shots on January 8 at Idaho. In fact, in consecutive games, against Utah State and Idaho, Turner had 11 blocked shots, the most ever by a UCSB player over a two-game span. He and Cameron Goettsche have combined for 56 of the team's 69 blocked shots.

Oliver's Story
Senior point guard Chrismen Oliver is UCSB's leading active scorer at 10.6 points per game, but since averaging 14.8 points per game while scoring ten or more in five straight games, he has struggled somewhat in the last three games. In the last three, Oliver has tallied a total of 23 points, 7.7 per game, and over that span he has made just 9-of-37 shots from the field overall, 24.3%, and 5-of-20 from three-point range, 25.0%. Still, Oliver has led the team in scoring six times this season, the most of anyone on the team. He has scored in double-figures 11 times in 18 games, and UCSB has gone 6-5 in those 11 games. When Oliver scores fewer than ten points, the Gauchos have won just one of seven games. Oliver entered the 2004-05 season never having scored in double-figures in a game. In the Gauchos January 20 win over Cal State Northridge, Oliver scored a career-high 21 points. His previous career-high of 19 points had been set in the previous game, a win over UC Davis. He has made a career-high three three-point baskets in three of the last five games, including a perfect 3-for-3 performance on January 15 against UC Davis. Not only does he lead the team in scoring, but Oliver also paces the team in assists with 55, 3.1 per game, steals with 33, 1.8 per game, three-point baskets with 29, and free throw percentage at 85.7%. He has also made at least one three-point basket in eight straight games, 12 of the last 13, and 16 of 18 games this season. Not bad for a guy who originally walked-on in 2000-01. Oliver is averaging 31.0 minutes per game, second on the team, and he has played 30 or more 10 times. In his first three seasons, Oliver totaled 71 games, 595 minutes and 168 points. This year, he has scored 191 points in 18 games and 558 minutes. He has also made 29 three-pointers this season after entering the year with a career total of 27, and his 33 steals are two more than his total for the previous three seasons combined. Finally, Oliver has not missed a free throw in 2005. The last time he missed one was when he went 3-for-4 in UCSB's December 28 game against Long Beach State. Since then, he has gone 8-for-8. In fact, despite playing 120 minutes and attempting 52 shots in the last four games, he has not tried a free throw.

Just Joshing
Junior guard Josh Davis has been UCSB's jack-of-all-trades this season. With the numerous injuries, particularly to frontcourt players, Davis has been forced to play out of position on more than one occasion. He is the only player on the team to have started all 18 games and he leads the team in minutes played with 585, an average of 32.5 per game. He has played 32 or more in each of the last eight games, and in the last four games, he has averaged 36.0 per game. In UCSB's January 22 home loss to Pacific, David started at the small forward position, the spot he was expected to start at before the onslaught of injuries. He responded well to the start at the three spot scoring a career-high 21 points, making a career-high 5-of-7 shots from three-point range, and 7-of-13 overall. It marked the second time this season that Davis scored 20 or more points. His previous high of 20 came on November 27 at San Francisco. Davis is third on the team at 10.2 points per game, but in the last five games he is averaging 12.0 per game. He opened the season on an offensive roll, scoring in double-figures in each of the first four games, including 18 in a season-opening overtime win over San Diego State. His performance against SDSU earned Davis his first Big West Player of the Week honor ever. In addition to his 10.2 points per game, Davis is averaging 4.8 rebounds per game and he collected a career-high nine rebounds on January 15 against UC Davis. He has had six or more rebounds in each of the last five games, averaging 7.0 per game over that span. He has had five or more rebounds 10 times this season, including six times in the last eight games. Last year, he had 18 steals in 27 games, and his two-year total entering the 2004-05 campaign was 40 steals in 59 games. He has 31 steals in 18 games this year and he has had a career-high four steals three times this season, most recently in the January 13 win over Cal Poly. Davis' total of 20 three-point baskets are seven more than he had in his first two seasons combined. He has also taken over the team-lead in three-point percentage at 45.5%. He has made 9-of-15 in the last five games, 60.0%, and he actually has a higher three-point percentage than he does two-point percentage (45.5% to 42.3%).

Junior guard Joe See continues to have his ups-and-downs this season. He is second on the team in three-point baskets with 27, and after back-to-back games without a three-pointer, he made three in last Saturday's game at Cal State Fullerton. The trio of three-pointers were the most See has made in a game since he drained a career-high eight in a January 6 game at Utah State. Not only did See make eight three-point baskets against the Aggies, he scored a career-high 26 points and almost single-handedly kept the Gauchos in the game. The eight three-point baskets tied for the second most ever by a UCSB player. Prior to See's eight three-point basket barrage, the last Gaucho to make that many in a game was Mark Hull, who did so against Arizona in the first round of the 2002 NCAA Tournament. Overall, See is shooting just 30.0% from three-point range, but since an 0-for-16 start, he has gone 27-of-74, 36.5%. Also, since opening the year at 2-for-20 overall from the floor, he has gone 41-of-108, a modest 38.0%. See has made two or more three-point baskets eight times this season, all eight have come in the last 14 games. He is now averaging 7.3 points per game, not bad since he scored a total of four points in the season's first three games. In the last 15 contests he has scored 128 points, 8.5 per game. See ranks second on the team in assists with 44, an average of 2.4 per game. He has had two or more assists in 14 games this season, including eight of the last nine.

The Harris Poll
After missing all four of his field goal attempts and scoring just one point in last Thursday's loss at UC Riverside, freshman guard Alex Harris bounced back with his best offensive performance of the season at Cal State Fullerton. Harris scored a career-high 16 points against the Titans, one more than he scored in the season opener at San Diego State. He made a career-high three three-pointers in the game at Fullerton. In fact, Harris was 3-of-4 from beyond the three-point line and 6-of-9 from the field overall. The six field goals was also a personal best. When he scored 15 points in the season's first game at San Diego State, Harris set a UCSB record for points by a freshman in his debut, and in a season opener. He has now scored in double-figures five times this season, including four times in the last nine games. Harris is now averaging 7.2 points per game, his highest average since he was at 8.0 per game after the season's fifth game. Also, while he is averaging 2.6 rebounds per game, he has averaged 4.2 per game in the last six, including back-to-back games of six rebounds, a career-high, against UC Davis and Cal State Northridge. He has had three or more rebounds in six straight games.

Cam I Am
Junior forward Cameron Goettsche has hardly been eased back into the rotation after missing games at Utah State and Idaho. Goettsche has played in the last six games, but since playing `just' 21 minutes on January 13 against Cal Poly, he has played 164 minutes in the last five games, 32.8 per game. In UCSB's last home game, January 22 against Pacific, he played a season-high 36 minutes. Goettsche is now averaging a season-high 7.9 points per game and, for the first time this season, he has scored in double-figures in consecutive games. He tallied 14 last Thursday at UC Riverside and then on Saturday at Cal State Fullerton, he added 12 more. His season-high of 15 points came on January 15 against UC Davis. In fact, in the last five games, Goettsche is averaging 11.0 points. He leads the team in rebounding at 7.4 per game. He had seven in the game at Cal State Fullerton and he has now had seven or more nine times in his 14 games this season. On December 22 at San Diego, he had the third double-double of his career with ten points and 11 rebounds. The game against USD also started a streak of three straight double-figure rebound performances by Goettsche, including a career-high 14 on December 30 against UC Irvine, the most by a Gaucho since the 2001-02 season. Goettsche is also becoming a defensive presence inside. He is second on the team with 22 blocked shots, eight more than he had last season. He had a career-high four blocked shots on January 15 against UC Davis. He had three more last Saturday at Cal State Fullerton and he has had two or more eight time in his 14 games this year.

As The World Turners
Although still hampered by a sprained right ankle, sophomore forward Glenn Turner tied his career-high with eight rebounds in 20 minutes at Cal State Fullerton last Saturday. He also had four points and three blocked shots. Turner is second among active players with an average of 4.9 rebounds per game, and he leads not only the Gauchos, but the Big West with 34 blocked shots. In fact, with 41 career blocked shots, Turner has moved into a tie for ninth-place on UCSB's all-time career list. He needs just six more to move into eighth on the single season list. On January 8, in a game at Idaho, Turner tied the school's record for blocked shots in a game with six. In fact, in the two games on that road trip, Utah State being the other game, he had 11 blocked shots, the most ever by a Gaucho player in consecutive games. Turner has now had two or more blocked shots ten times this season, all in the last 13 games. Of his 34 blocks on the year, 33 have come in the last 13 games, 2.5 per game. In addition to blocking shots, Turner is starting to become one of the team's most dependable rebounders. He is not only averaging 4.9 per game, but he has led the team in rebounding eight times, more than anyone else. He has had six or more in seven of the last nine games. He has had a career-high eight rebounds three times this season. Turner scored a career-high 12 points on January 13 against Cal Poly. He is now averaging 4.2 points per game, and while he is shooting 47.8% for the year, he has made 16-of-31 shots over the past 10 games, 51.6%.

Grasping His Opportunity
While UCSB's season has been filled with numerous bad surprises, walk-on freshman guard Derek Rasp represents a pleasant surprise. Rasp, who has missed the last four games and will miss at least two more game after bruising a lung when taking a hard fall in the game against UC Davis, started his last four games before sitting out the last four. In his four starts, he averaged 9.2 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists. In the January 13 win over Cal Poly, Rasp had a career-high 14 points and made 4-of-5 three-pointers. Over a two-game span, including the Idaho and Cal Poly games, Rasp hit 7-of-13 shots from beyond the three-point arc. Also in those two games, he had his career-high of six rebounds.

The Moore The Better
After missing ten games for academic reasons, freshman forward Chris Moore regained his eligibility last Friday and was back in uniform for Saturday's game at Cal State Fullerton. Although he played just seven minutes, he was a welcome addition to a depleted UCSB frontcourt. Moore had two rebounds in his seven minutes of action, and he has now had two or more rebounds in each of his last four games. The 6-foot-9 Moore was not the only welcome return last week. Sophomore forward David Kennedy, who had played in just one game this season before last weekend, played 20 minutes in the games against UC Riverside and Cal State Fullerton. In fact, Kennedy played a career-high 13 in the game at Fullerton. The 6-foot-6 Kennedy suffered a stress fracture in his left leg during the exhibition season, returned to play two minutes on December 28 against Long Beach State, and was then sidelined for another eight games when the pain resurfaced.