UCSB Hosts Big West Rival Utah State for the Final Time on Saturday in the Thunderdome
Feb. 4, 2005
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: KIST 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: KIST 1340 AM
Game No. 22
Wednesday, February 15, 2005 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at University of the Pacific Tigers
at UOP's Spanos Center
Radio: KIST 1340 AM
The Gaucho Record
UC Santa Barbara enters Saturday's game against Utah State with an overall record of 8-11 and a Big West record of 5-6. On Thursday night, the Gauchos ended a three-game losing streak with a 54-40 win over visiting Idaho. The game marked the final time that UCSB and Idaho would meet as Big West opponents at the Thunderdome. The Vandals move into the Western Athletic Conference for the 2005-06 campaign. Santa Barbara had dropped its previous three games at Cal State Fullerton (68-59), at UC Riverside (54-50) and at home against Pacific (58-43). Prior to that three-game streak, the Gauchos had put together a three-game winning streak, their longest of the season, with victories over Cal State Northridge, Cal Poly and UC Davis.
The Gauchos Get Defensive In 54-40 Win Over Idaho
On Thursday night, UCSB used a 19-0 second half run to pull away from visiting Idaho and cruise to a 54-40 win. The Gauchos, trailing 37-35 with just under 11 minutes to play in the game, held the Vandals scoreless for nearly 10 minutes and turned the two-point deficit into a 17-point lead, 54-37. Forward Cameron Goettsche led the assault with six of his 13 points during the 19-0 run. Guard Chrismen Oliver, who led both teams in scoring with 17 points, had five, to go with a pair of steals, during the 19-0 rally. UCSB had 10 steals, seven in the second half, and it held Idaho to just 35.6% shooting for the game, 30.0% in the second half. As a team, the Gauchos made a respectable 47.6% of their shots, outrebounded the Vandals 32-25, and had just three turnovers in the second half. Freshman guard Alex Harris had eight points, four rebounds and a career-high four steals in the victory. Idaho was paced by guard Dandrick Jones who had 15 points.
Good News On The Roster Front
When UCSB took the floor for Thursday's game against Utah State, it had 10 players in uniform and available for the first time since it had ten players available for the third game of the season, at San Francisco, on November 27. The total of players available could balloon to a season-high 11 for the Gauchos' game against Utah State on Saturday night. Freshman guard Derek Rasp, sidelined the past five 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, missed Thursday's game against Idaho, but it is possible that he could return to the active roster for Saturday's game against Utah State. 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 on January 27 at UC Riverside giving Santa Barbara eight players. On Friday, January 28, freshman forward Chris Moore regained his academic eligibility and he was in uniform for Saturday's game at Cal State Fullerton, giving the Gauchos nine players. On Monday, junior forward Derek Wheeler, who last played for UCSB during the 2002-03 season, was certified to play by the NCAA and was added to the roster. Now, a few words about those who remain sidelined. 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
As mentioned above, 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. On Thursday night, he played a career-high 14 minutes.
Possible Starters - Notes
G - Chrismen Oliver - Has scored in double-figures a team-high 12 times this season.
G - Alex Harris - Had a career-high four steals in Thursday's win over Idaho.
G - Josh Davis - Has five or more rebounds in six consecutive games.
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 three consecutive games for first time this year.
Possible Reserves - Notes
G - Joe See - Has nine assists and just two turnovers in the last three games.
G - Michael Chambers - Has made one of his last 15 three-point attempts
F - Derek Rasp - Has missed last five games. Could return for Utah State.
F - David Kennedy - Has not attempted a shot in 30 minutes this season.
F - Chris Moore - Regained eligibility and has played 12 minutes in the last two games.
F - Derek Wheeler - Played a career-high 14 minutes in Thursday's win over Idaho.
The Sideline - Notes
G - Cecil Brown - Stress fracture in lower left leg has sidelined him for the season.
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 104-90 (.536) overall record and a 71-42 (.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 293-190 (.607) at four-year schools.
The Gauchos & Aggies
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 7-2 at home this season and they have won seven of their last eight Thunderdome games. UCSB had a six-game home winning streak snapped January 22 at the Thunderdome. Pacific ended the Gaucho streak with a 58-43 win. UCSB has gone 5-1 in Big West home games this season. The Gauchos have posted wins over Idaho, 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 63-23 at home under head coach Bob Williams.
No Close Encounters For UCSB
UCSB has had few close encounters this season. On Thursday, Santa Barbara defeated Idaho 54-40. It was the 11th time in 19 games that the Gauchos either won or lost by a double-digit margin. On January 27, the Gauchos lost to 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. The largest margin in a Gaucho game this season has been 20 points. They have lost one by 20, and won one by 20. 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 two 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 seven occasions. Also, six different players have led the team in rebounding with Glenn Turner leading the way seven times.
Turning Over A New Leaf, But Not Much Else
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 11 games, the Gauchos have had five games with fewer than ten turnovers, including a season-low five on January 27 at UC Riverside. In the last 11 games, UCSB has had 122 turnovers, 11.1 per game. On Thursday night, it was a tale of two halves for the Gauchos. In the first half, UCSB had nine turnovers, but in the decisive second half they had just three, finishing with 12 for the game.
While UCSB has had its problems offensively this season, the Gauchos have given opponents fits as well. UCSB is limiting opponents to just 41.1% shooting and a scoring average of 61.1 points per game. The Gauchos restricted Idaho to 35.6% shooting on Thursday night, and a season-low 40 points. In 19 games this season, Santa Barbara has held four opponents under 50 points and 11 opponents under 40.0% shooting from the field, including the last three in a row and six of the past eight.
Rebounding Troubles Take A Day Off
On Thursday night, not only did UCSB win the game over Idaho, the Gauchos also won the rebounding battle. In outrebounding the Vandals by a 32-25 margin, UCSB snapped a streak of four straight games in which it was outrebounded. In last weekend's losses at UC Riverside and Cal State Fullerton, the Gauchos were outrebounded by a total of 29 boards, an average of 14.5 per game, including 20 at Riverside. Also, after allowing its last two opponents to combine for 34 offensive rebounds, UCSB allowed Idaho just nine offensive rebounds on Thursday night. On the season, the Gauchos have allowed 233 offensive rebounds, an average of 12.3 per game. Overall, UCSB is being outrebounded on the season by an average of 3.6 boards per game. The Gauchos have outrebounded just seven opponents this season, going 5-2 in those games. Finally, UCSB's worst rebounding game of the year came on January 6 at Utah State, when the Aggies won the rebound battle by 23.
Shooting Is Up, Scoring Is Still Down
Although the shooting was better on Thursday night, UCSB still struggled on the offensive end, scoring just 54 points. The Gauchos did make 47.6% of their shots, their highest mark in five games, but they also tied their season-low with just 42 field goal attempts. UCSB is shooting just 40.9% on the season and it has been over the 40.0% barrier just 10 times in 19 games. The Gauchos have, however, been above 40.0% in each of the last two games and five times in the last seven games. In fact, in the last seven, Santa Barbara has made 163-of-356, a modest 45.8%. Included in the last seven games was UCSB's worst offensive game of the season. On January 22, the Gauchos lost to Pacific, and in the process, they scored a season-low 43 points and made a season-low 27.8% of their shots. In all, UCSB has been under 60 points 11 times this season, including each of the last four games. The Gauchos scored a season-high 80 points in the opener at San Diego State, an overtime game. The highest Santa Barbara point total in regulation was the 76 it scored on January 13 against Cal Poly.
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 just 23 points in the first half of its win over Idaho on Thursday. 26 points in the first half of its loss at Cal State Fullerton last Saturday. In the three previous games, the Gauchos had piled-up 26, 18 and 17 points in the first halves of games against Cal State Fullerton, UC Riverside and Pacific. On the year, UCSB has scored more points in the second half than the first half 16 times in 19 games, including the last six 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 11 first halves this season. Overall, UCSB has scored 483 points in the first half this season, an average of 25.4 per half, and 643 in the second halves (and one overtime), an average of 33.8 per half.
They're Anything But Frew
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 last Saturday's loss at Cal State Fullerton, making just 3-of-9 attempts. While UCSB bounced back a bit with a 62.5% mark on Thursday against Idaho, the Gauchos are still making just 66.0% of their free throws this season, and they have made just 66-of-115 in the last seven games, 57.4%.
Senior point guard Chrismen Oliver is UCSB's leading active scorer at 10.9 points per game. He bounced back from a sub-par game at Cal State Fullerton with one of his best performances in Thursday's win over Idaho. Oliver scored 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting, and he had three steals. The 17 points tied for his third-highest total ever. He has now scored 10 or more points 12 times this season, the most on the team, and he has done so seven times in the last nine games, averaging 12.7 per game over that span. UCSB has a 7-5 record when Oliver scores in double-figures. 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 six 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 57, 3.0 per game, steals with 36, 1.9 per game, three-point baskets with 31, and free throw percentage at 82.6%. He has also made at least one three-point basket in nine straight games, 13 of the last 14, and 17 of 19 games this season. Not bad for a guy who originally walked-on in 2000-01. Oliver is averaging 31.1 minutes per game, second on the team, and he has played 30 or more 11 times. In his first three seasons, Oliver totaled 71 games, 595 minutes and 168 points. This year, he has scored 208 points in 19 games and 591 minutes. He has also made 31 three-pointers this season after entering the year with a career total of 27, and his 36 steals are five more than his total for the previous three seasons combined.
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 19 games and he leads the team in minutes played with 610, an average of 32.1 per game. Davis played just 25 minutes before fouling out in Thursday's win over Idaho. The 25 minutes tied his second-lowest total of the season and it snapped a string of eight straight games in which he had played 32 minutes or more. 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 9.9 points per game, but in the last six 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 9.9 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 five or more rebounds in each of the last six games, averaging 6.7 per game over that span. He has had five or more rebounds 11 times this season. 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 32 steals in 19 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 43.5%. He has made 9-of-17 in the last six games, 52.9%, and four the season he actually has a higher three-point percentage than he does two-point percentage (43.5% to 42.2%).
Cam I Am
Junior forward Cameron Goettsche scored 13 points and had a team-high nine rebounds in Thursday's win over Idaho. Goettsche has now scored in double-figures in three straight games for the first time this season. While he is averaging 8.2 points per game on the year, he has tallied an average of 13.0 per game in the last three games. His season-high of 15 points came on January 15 against UC Davis. In fact, in the last six games, Goettsche is averaging 11.3 points. Goettsche has also made 17-of-32 shots from the field in the last three games, 53.1%, to raise his field goal percentage on the season to 49.1%. Although he has battled a severe groin strain virtually all season, Goettsche is averaging 28.5 minutes per game, and he has played 31 or more in four straight and five of the last six. He has averaged 32.5 per game in the last six games. Also the team's leading rebounder at 7.5 per game, he has had six or more 11 times in 15 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 times in his 15 games this year.
Junior guard Joe See continues to have his ups-and-downs this season. He is second on the team in three-point baskets with 28, and after back-to-back games without a three-pointer, he made three in last Saturday's game at Cal State Fullerton and one in the win over Idaho. The trio of three-pointers See made at Fullerton were the most he 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 29.8% from three-point range, but since an 0-for-16 start, he has gone 28-of-78, 35.9%. Also, since opening the year at 2-for-20 overall from the floor, he has gone 43-of-114, a modest 37.7%. See has made two or more three-point baskets eight times this season, all eight have come in the last 15 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 16 contests he has scored 135 points, 8.4 per game. See ranks second on the team in assists with 46, an average of 2.4 per game. He has had two or more assists in 15 games this season, including nine of the last 10. In the last three games, See has had nine assists and just two turnovers.
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. On Thursday, he followed-up his career-best performance with eight points, four steals and four rebounds. The four steals was a career-high and it gave Harris 16 on the year, just three away from UCSB's all-time freshman top-10. 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 10 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 2.7 rebounds per game, he has averaged 4.2 per game in the last seven, 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 seven straight games. Finally, Harris' 81.6% mark from the free throw line would rank as the second best by a Gaucho freshman in school history.
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. On Thursday, he played 28 minutes against Idaho, the most he had logged in seven games, and although Turner had just one point, he did have five rebounds. 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 10 times this season, all in the last 14 games. Of his 34 blocks on the year, 33 have come in the last 14 games, 2.4 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 five or more in eight of the last 10 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.
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 five games after bruising a lung when taking a hard fall in the game against UC Davis, could return against Utah State. Rasp started his last four games before sitting out the last five. 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.
After missing ten games for academic reasons, freshman forward Chris Moore regained his eligibility and has played 12 minutes in the last two games. He was a welcome addition to a depleted UCSB frontcourt. Moore has three rebounds in his 12 minutes of action. 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, has played 28 minutes in his three games back. In fact, Kennedy played a career-high 13 in the game at Fullerton a week ago. He has yet to attempt a shot this season, but he has three rebounds in the last two games. 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. Finally, junior forward Derek Wheeler played in his first game in two seasons Thursday, piling-up career-highs of 14 minutes and three rebounds.