Gauchos Travel to UCI Before Playing Six of Final Seven at Home
Feb. 6, 2009
Game No. 22
Saturday, February 7, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. (PST)
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at UC Irvine Anteaters
at UCI's Bren Events Center
Radio: KIST 1490-AM in Santa Barbara
Game No. 23
Saturday, February 14, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. (PST)
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Cal Poly Mustangs
at UCSB's Thunderdome
Radio: KIST 1490-AM in Santa Barbara
Game available on Gametracker
On The Radio
All UC Santa Barbara basketball games are broadcast live in Santa Barbara on KIST 1490-AM. KEYT-TV Sports Director Gerry Fall is in his fifth year as the play-by-play voice of the Gauchos. Former Los Angeles Lakers and UCSB star Don Ford handles the color commentary for the majority of games, home and road. When Ford is not available for road games, Bill Mahoney, yours truly, will handle the task. Steve Wendt, the voice of the UCSB women's basketball team, will handle the play-by-play for a handful of men's games.
Gauchos Play Final Road Game Before Returning Home For Six Of Seven
UCSB will play at UC Irvine on Saturday, Feb. 7. It will be the seventh road game out of the first 10 Big West contests for the Gauchos. Following the game against the Anteaters, Santa Barbara will return home for six of its final seven regular season games beginning with a Valentine's night match-up against Cal Poly. For "Date Night at the Thunderdome," fans can purchase two tickets for the price of one and the first 1,000 fans in attendance will receive commemorative "I Love You" teddy bears. Tickets for all Gaucho games can be purchased from the Ticket Office in the Intercollegiate Athletics Building on campus, by calling 805-893-UCSB, or online by clicking here.
The Gaucho Record
UCSB enter Saturday's game at UC Irvine with an 8-13 overall record and a 2-6 mark in Big West games. The Gauchos, who lost at Cal State Fullerton on Thursday by a score of 72-65, have a four-game losing streak, their longest since the 2006-07 season. Three of the four losses have come on the road.
The Gauchos and UC Irvine have played 70 times in a series that began in 1968. UCSB holds a 42-28 all-time edge. On Jan. 8, the Gauchos posted a 68-61 win over the Anteaters at the Thunderdome. The victory ended UCI's four-game winning streak in the series, a streak that included Big West Tournament wins in each of the last two seasons. UCSB and Cal Poly have played 91 times in a series that dates back to 1938. The Gauchos have won the last three games, including a 72-62 decision in San Luis Obispo on Jan. 17. Santa Barbara won both of the games between the schools during the 2007-08 campaign.
Devine Climbs Gaucho Scoring, Rebounding Lists
Senior forward Chris Devine continued to climb UCSB's career scoring and rebounding lists on Thursday night. The 20 points he scored against Fullerton broke a tie with Lucius Davis for fifth on UCSB's all-time scoring list and helped him move past Doug Rex. Devine now has 1,440 career points, the fourth most in school history. His next target, Mark Hull, will be a tough task. Hull finished his career with 1,580 points. In addition, the 12 rebounds gives Devine 658 for his career, moving him out of a tie with John Tschogl for seventh all-time. He needs seven to move into fifth all-time. Already one of just five players to appear on the top-10 lists for rebounds and points, Devine stands to become one of two players - Doug Rex is the other - to rank among the top-five in both categories.
Possible Starters - Notes
G - 1 - D.J. Posley - Has had three or more assists in five of last seven games.
G - 4 - Paul Roemer - Tied his career-high with five assists at CSUF.
G - 20 - Will Brew, Jr. - Had two steals vs. CSUF and is tied for second on the team with 22.
F - 0 - Jaimé Serna - Had career-highs of 20 points and eight rebounds vs. CSUF.
F - 10 - Chris Devine - Had fourth double-double of season with 20 points, 12 boards vs. CSUF.
Possible Reserves - Notes
G - 2 - Nick Quick - Played a career-high seven minutes on Jan. 24 at Pacific.
G - 3 - Jordan Weiner - Ranks second on the team with 19 three-point baskets.
G - 21 - James Nunnally - Has averaged 7.2 points per game in the last four.
G - 42 - James Powell - Was scoreless, missing all six of his shots, at CSUF.
F - 15 - Sam Phippen - Played four scoreless minutes at CSUF.
F - 44 - Jesse Byrd - Has hit 7-of-11 - 63.6% - in two games since his return from injury.
C - 55 - Greg Somogyi - His 29 blocked shots are second most by a freshman in UCSB history.
The Bob Williams File
Bob Williams is in his 11th season as head coach at UC Santa Barbara. In 2007-08, Williams guided the Gauchos to a 23-9 overall record. The 23 wins were a school record, and UCSB also won its second Big West regular season title with a 12-4 conference record. Following the campaign, the Gauchos were awarded a bid to the National Invitation Tournament. It was the third time that a Williams-coached UCSB team advanced to postseason play. The 2002 Gauchos won the school's first Big West Tournament title, advancing to the NCAA Tournament, and in 2003, they won the league's regular season championship and played in the NIT. Williams has been selected Big West Coach of the Year twice, in 1998-99 and 2002-03. In 1998-99, he took over a UCSB program that had not recorded a winning season in five years, and after seeing his team lose its first eight games that year - extending a two-season losing streak to 16 straight games - the Gauchos turned things around, winning 15 of their final 20 games and finishing on top in the Big West's Western Division. Williams has a UCSB record of 171-144. He guided the program to eight winning seasons in his first 10 years, and a pair of 20 win seasons. He has a career record of 102-71 in Big West games. Prior to his arrival at UCSB, Williams 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's 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 an overall career record of 360-244 (.592) at four-year schools.
UCSB Set To Host Montana State In Feb. 21 ESPNU BracketBuster Match-Up
UCSB will host Montana State in an ESPNU BracketBuster game. The Gauchos will play the Bobcats on Saturday, Feb. 21 at 7:00 p.m. in the Thunderdome. Montana State entered the week with an overall record of 9-9 and a Big Sky Conference mark of 3-4. The Gauchos and Bobcats have played eight times in a series that dates back to 1972. The last time the teams met was on Nov. 24, 2007, when UCSB recorded a 76-61 victory in Santa Barbara.
Byrd, Roemer Return To Gaucho Lineup
Junior forward Jesse Byrd and junior guard Paul Roemer returned to the UCSB lineup for its Jan. 29 game against Cal State Northridge. While Roemer was expected to return that early, the early return of Byrd was a nice surprise for the Gauchos. Byrd injured his knee at San Diego State on Dec. 20 and had surgery to repair cartilage on Dec. 31, was expected to be out until mid-February. Early last week, however, the transfer from San Francisco was cleared to play limited minutes and he did against the Matadors. Byrd was allowed to play about 10 minutes, and he played 10 on the button. On Thursday, his minutes increased to 15 and he contributed eight points and four rebounds. It is expected that Byrd will see his playing time limit increase in the coming games. Roemer, who missed three games with a sprained shoulder, was in the starting lineup for each of the last two games. On Thursday at Fullerton, he tied his career-high with five rebounds, but missed the final 10 minutes when his legs cramped. He is expected to play at UC Irvine. The return of Byrd and Roemer means that the only UCSB player left on the injured list is junior point guard Justin Joyner. Joyner, the team's starting point guard in each of his first two seasons, is redshirting the 2008-09 season as he recovers from wrist surgery.
The End Of The Road...Almost
UCSB's trip behind the Orange Curtain this weekend is the team's final long road trip of the 2008-09 season. The Gauchos will play at UC Irvine Saturday, then return home. When they board the Santa Barbara Airbus for the return-trip home from Irvine on Saturday night, the Gauchos will have played 14 of their last 19 games away from home, including five of their last six and seven of their first 10 Big West Conference games. UCSB will play six of its final seven games this season at the Thunderdome. The only road trip remaining during the regular campaign is a Wed. Feb. 25 game at Cal State Northridge
The Gaucho frontcourt had an outstanding game on Thursday night at Cal State Fullerton. Chris Devine, Jaimé Serna, Jesse Byrd, Sam Phippen, and Greg Somogyi combined to score 48 points on 19-of-33 from the field, 57.6%. Also, the frontcourters had 28 rebounds, led by Devine who tied his season-high with 12 and Serna who set a career-high with eight. The UCSB backcourt, on the other hand, really had its problems against the Titans. The six players who played in the backcourt for the Gauchos on Thursday night scored a combined 17 points, hitting just five out of 30 field goal attempts, 16.7%.
A Rebounding Bright Spot
There were some bright spot in Thursday night's loss at Cal State Fullerton. Obviously the play of the starting frontcourt - Chris Devine and Jaimé Serna - was one of the brightest spots. That duo had a lot to do with one of the other bright spots. The Gauchos had their largest rebounding margin of the season in the game against the Titans. After a rough go of it in recent games, UCSB crushed Fullerton on the boards, 49-32. In four games prior to Thursday night, the Gaucho opponents had outrebounded the Gauchos by an average of 6.7 per game. Santa Barbara's average rebound margin entering the game was a measly 0.4 per game. Following the 17-rebound margin the average margin through 21 games is now a more respectable 1.2 per game.
Shooting Struggles Continue
UCSB shot just 38.1% overall in Thursday's game at Cal State Fullerton. The Gauchos made 43.2% of their shots in the first half, but just 30.8% in the second half. On the season, they are now shooting 44.0%, but in the last three games that figure has taken a significant hit. In losses to Pacific, Cal State Northridge, and Fullerton, Santa Barbara made just 58-of-158 field goal attempts, 36.7%. On Jan. 24 at Pacific, the Gauchos shot a season-low 28.6%. In nine Big West Conference games, the Gauchos are shooting 42.5%.
A Fresh Approach
When UCSB played four freshmen in the season-opener against Cal State Los Angeles, it was the first time that four freshmen had played in the same game for the Gauchos since the 2000-01 season. The four freshmen, guards James Nunnally and Will Brew, Jr., forward Jaimé Serna, and center Greg Somogyi have each played in all 20 games. In the Big West Conference opener at Long Beach State, they started three of the freshmen - Nunnally, Brew and Somogyi - also a first since the 2000-01 season. In 2000-01, the Gauchos started Branduinn Fullove, Jacoby Atako, and Nick Jones together on several occasions. Brew, Nunnally, and Serna have been in the starting lineup together four times this season.
Freshmen Block Party
The Gauchos have blocked 52 shots on the season, an average of 2.5 per game. Freshman Greg Somogyi leads the way with 29, 55.8% of the team total. Somogyi, however is not the only freshman getting into the shot-blocking act. Jaimé Serna ranks second on the team with eight, while James Nunnally has three, and Will Brew, Jr., has two. Combined the first-year foursome has 42 of the team's 52 swats, an impressive 80.8%.
A New Start
Last season, only seven UCSB players started games and the Gauchos had just three different starting lineups. In 2008-09, 11 different players have started games while UCSB has trotted out eight different starting fives.
Chris Devine had two of his best games of the season in the last two games. On Thursday night at Cal State Fullerton he had his second straight double-double with 20 points and 12 rebounds. The 12 rebounds tied a season-high, set in the previous game on Jan. 29 when he had 16 points and 12 boards against Cal State Northridge. Devine now has four double-doubles this season - he had 17 points and 11 rebounds vs. Cal State Los Angeles and 12 points and 10 rebounds vs. Winston-Salem State - and the 13th of his career. On the year, Devine is now averaging 14.9 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. The 20 points he scored against Fullerton broke a tie with Lucius Davis for fifth on UCSB's all-time scoring list and helped him pass Doug Rex. He now has 1,440 career points, the fourth most in school history. Devine's next target, Mark Hull, will be a tough task. Hull finished his career with 1,580 points. In addition, the 12 rebounds gives Devine 658 for his career, moving him out of a tie with John Tschogl for seventh all-time. He needs seven to move into fifth all-time. Already one of just five players to appear on the top-10 lists for rebounds and points, Devine stands to become one of two players - Doug Rex is the other - to rank among the top-five in both categories. While he is averaging 14.9 points per game overall, Devine has tallied 209 in the last 13 games, 16.1 per game. Over that span he scored in double-figures 11 times, including a stretch of eight straight games. He has also scored 20 or more five times this season, including four times during the current 13 game run. He had a season-high 27 points on Jan. 22 at UC Davis. Devine opened league play with back-to-back 20 point games for the only time this season. He tallied 20 on Jan. 2 at Long Beach State and he went for 24 on Jan. 4 at UC Riverside. The Eagle River, Alaska-native has had seven or more rebounds in eight of the last 10 games, averaging 8.0 per game over that span.
Old Buddy, Old Powell
After scoring 14 and making all four of his three-point attempts in a Jan. 29 game against Cal State Northridge, junior guard James Powell had his troubles in Thursday's game at Cal State Fullerton. Powell missed all six of his shots, including all four of his three-point attempts, and was scoreless for the second time in the last three games. While he is averaging 10.6 points per game overall, the Pomona, Calif., native has really struggled in road games this season. Powell has scored 120 points in in eight home games, an average of 15.0 per game. In those games, he has made 41-of-105 field goal attempts overall, 39.1%, and 17-of-52 from outside the three-point line, 32.7%. In 13 games away from home, Powell has scored 103 points, 7.9 per game, and has made just 34-of-117 shots from the field overall, 29.1%. Finally, he has hit just 19-of-71 from three-point range in games away from home, 26.8%. Overall, Powell is averaging 10.6 points, 2.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. When he was scoreless for the first time on Jan. 24 at Pacific, it marked his first scoreless game since Dec. 28, 2006 - his freshman season. Powell has scored in double-figures 11 times this season, including five in a row at one point. He tallied his season-high of 22 on Nov. 24 at San Francisco and had back-to-back 19-point games on Jan. 8 and Jan. 10 against UC Irvine and Cal State Fullerton. On the year, he continues to lead the Gauchos in three-point baskets with 36 and he has made at least one in 17 of 21 games. He has made 153 career three-point baskets, seventh most in school history. He needs 11 to move into fifth all-time. Powell made a season-best six on Nov. 24 at San Francisco. He had a season-high five assists on Jan. 2 at Long Beach State and a career-high seven rebounds on Nov. 14 against Cal State Los Angeles. Finally, Powell enters the Cal State Fullerton game with 871 career points and needs 129 to become the 23rd Gaucho to hit the 1,000 point mark.
A Byrd In The Lineup Is Better Than One On The Mend
Junior forward Jesse Byrd injured his knee in the Dec. 20 game at San Diego State. He was expected to be out until mid-February, but he was cleared to play early last week and, although limited to 10 minutes, he played in the game against Cal State Northridge. Byrd made 3-of-4 shots and his only free throw attempt to finish with seven points. On Thursday night, he increased his minutes to 15 and his production to eight points, four rebounds, one assist, and two steals. Prior to the two games since his return, Byrd had five or more rebounds in every game in which he had played. Byrd is now averaging 8.2 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. The transfer from San Francisco paces the Gauchos in field goal percentage at 58.9%. Byrd has a pair of double-doubles this season. On Dec. 17 at Weber State he had 10 points and 14 rebounds. The 14 rebounds were the most by a Gaucho in five seasons. He also had 13 points and 12 rebounds on Dec. 4 at Utah Valley. In the five games prior to his injury, Byrd averaged 10.4 points and 9.8 rebounds per game.
Freshman forward Jaimé Serna had easily his best game as a Gaucho on Thursday at Cal State Fullerton. Serna had made 8-of-12 shots from the field, scoring a career-high 20 points. He also had a career-high eight rebounds. A native of nearby Laguna Beach, he set a career-high for scoring in each of the last two games and three times in the last four games. On Jan. 29 he had 11 against Cal State Northridge. By averaging 15.5 points in the last two games and 11.5 per game in the last four, Serna has increased his scoring average on the year to 6.2 points per game, a high-water mark. Also, with 13 boards in the last two, he is averaging 3.7 per game, third on the team. scored a career-high 11 points and added five rebounds on Jan. 29 against Cal State Northridge. Prior to Thursday, his personal-best in rebounds was seven, a figure Serna has achieved three times this season. Finally, while Serna is averaging 19.3 minutes per game, he has played 20 or more in seven of the last nine, averaging 23.3 per game over that span.
The Hungary Hunter
Since scoring a career-high 14 on Jan. 22 at UC Davis, freshman center Greg Somogyi has struggled offensively. In the last three games, the native of Budapest has totaled two points. He was 0-for-1 in eight minutes on Thursday night at Cal State Fullerton. In two games prior to the last three, Somogyi tallied 22 points, 11.0 per game. On the year, he is averaging 4.0 points and 2.7 rebounds per game. While he was scoreless on Thursday, Somogyi did have four rebounds in eight minutes. Somogyi continues to lead the Gauchos in blocked shots with 29, the second most by a UCSB freshman ever. He had a career-high five on Dec. 20 at San Diego State, and he has blocked at least one shot in 10 of the last 11 and 17 of 21 overall.
The Flying Nunnally
Freshman James Nunnally came off the bench and had nine points and four rebounds at Cal State Fullerton. The nine points equaled his third-highest total of the year. Nunnally has scored nine or more six times, including twice in the last three games. He set career-highs of 22 points and seven rebounds on Nov. 21 against North Carolina. While he is shooting 40.2% for the season, he has not been up-to-par with his shooting in recent games. In the last seven games, Nunnally has made 12-of-41 shots overall, 29.3%. Over that same span, he made 3-for-13 from thee-point range, 23.1%. He is now averaging 6.4 points and 3.2 rebounds per game overall. Nunnally has had three or more rebounds in six of the last seven games and he has had five or more five times this season. Also, while he has attempted 51 free throws this season, 37 have come in the last 10 games.
Strike A Posley
Senior guard D.J. Posley tied his career-high by playing 31 minutes on Jan. 29 against Cal State Northridge and he followed that up by playing 30 at Cal State Fullerton. It marks the first time in his UCSB career that Posley has played 30 or more in back-to-back games. He is now averaging 6.3 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. He had a great poker hand against the Titans with three points, three assists, and three rebounds. He made just 1-of-7 shots on Thursday and has hit just 5-of-19, 26.3%, in the last three games. Posley scored a career-high 17 points on Jan. 17 at Cal Poly, making 6-of-9 shots from the field. He also had a career-high seven rebounds against the Mustangs.
Where There's A Will, There's A Way
Freshman guard Will Brew, Jr., scored two points, on 1-of-3 shooting, and had a pair of steals on Thursday night at Fullerton In six games since scoring a career-high 18 points against UC Irvine on Jan 8, Brew has scored a total of 10 points. However, in the last six games, a span of 135 minutes, Brew has attempted just 15 shots, one every 9.0 minutes of action. Brew has started 13 of the last 14 games. On the year, he is averaging 3.7 points, 1.7 assists, 2.0 rebounds, and 1.1 steals per game. He has scored in double-figures twice, going for 11 on Dec. 4 at Utah Valley in addition to his outburst against UCI. Brew has 77 points on the year, 29 coming in those two games. In the game against UCI, he made 6-of-7 three-point attempts, including six in a row to start the game. He now has 12 three-pointers on the year, tied for third on the team.
Roemer Wasn't Healed In A Day
Junior guard Paul Roemer returned to the lineup on Jan. 29. He had missed three games with a shoulder injury. Roemer has been in the starting lineup in each of the two games since his return. While he has not scored in the two games, missing all six of his field goal attempts, he did tie his career-high with five rebounds on Thursday night at Cal State Fullerton. He was limited to 16 minutes against the Titans because his legs cramped. Roemer is averaging 3.3 points, 1.7 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game. He scored a season-high 11 on Nov. 28 against Winston-Salem State.
Sophomore guard Jordan Weiner had three points, on a three-point basket, in Thursday's game at Cal State Fullerton. Weiner has now made 22 baskets on the year, 19 from three-point range. He has made at least one three in five straight games and his last 12 buckets have been from beyond the arc. He scored a career-high 14 on Jan. 17 at Cal Poly, making four three-pointers in the process. He also had 11 on Dec. 29 against Ball State.
Sam He Is
Sam Phippen played four minutes on Thursday night, going scoreless. On Jan. 24, at Pacific, he scored three on a three-pointer and is now 5-for-10 from three-point range this year. Phippen is averaging 2.3 points and 1.5 rebounds per game and has scored 46 points in 20 games after tallying just seven points in 15 games last year.