Men's Basketball Returns Home For Five Of Final Seven Regular Season Games, Pacific Is Up First
Feb. 7, 2002
Game No. 21
Thursday, February 7, 2002 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. the University of the Pacific Tigers
at UCSB's Thunderdome
Game No. 22
Saturday, February 9, 2002 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Cal State Northridge Matadors
at UCSB's Thunderdome
The Gaucho Record
UC Santa Barbara enters enters this week's games with an overall record of 12-8 and a Big West mark of 6-5. The Gauchos have lost two games in a row and three of their last four. They were swept on last weekend's two-game road trip to Utah State and the University of Idaho. They dropped a 72-64 decision to the Aggies on Thursday and then they lost 40-37 at Idaho on Saturday. The back-to-back losses mark the first time this season that UCSB has dropped consecutive games.
The Gauchos On The Radio
All UC Santa Barbara basketball games are broadcast live on KEYT radio, 1250 AM in Santa Barbara. Randy Lee is in his fifth season as the play-by-play announcer and Don Ford is in his sixth year as the primary color announcer. Much to the disgust of the listening public, UCSB Director of Athletic Media Relations Bill Mahoney will handle the color for selected road broadcasts.
UCSB On The Internet
The Official Athletic Site of UC Santa Barbara is www.UCSBgauchos.com. Game recaps, weekly releases, boxscores, statistics and the occasional feature can all be found on the web. UCSB is proud member of the FANSonly network.
The Bob Williams Show
The Bob Williams airs Tuesday nights from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on KEYT NewsRadio 1250 AM. The Voice of the Gauchos, Randy Lee, co-hosts the show with Williams. In addition to men's basketball, the show will feature other UCSB athletes and coaches. The Bob Williams show will air every Tuesday night for the remainder of the season.
Gauchos Go Ice Cold In Loss At Idaho
The clanging noises that were ringing through the streets of Moscow, Idaho on Saturday night were coming from the Cowan Spectrum on the University of Idaho campus. Idaho defeated UC Santa Barbara on Saturday by a score of 40-37. For once, that wasn't a typo, the score was 40-37. The Gauchos made just 11-of-38 shots from the field, a dismal 28.9%. Amazingly, Idaho shot even worse from the field, making just 9-of-41 attempts, 22.0%. So, just how do you lose when your opponent shoots 22.0%? Well, of the nine shots that the Vandals did make, five were three-pointers, and they made 17-of-23 free throws. In addition, Idaho outrebounded UCSB by a 35-29 margin. Also, for the first time this season, the Gauchos did not have a player score in double-figures as they were led by Nick Jones and Mark Hull who each scored eight.
What About Bob?
Bob Williams is in his fourth season as head coach at UCSB. The Gauchos enter this week's games with a 12-8 overall record. Last year Williams guided the Gauchos to a 13-15 overall record and a solid 9-7 mark in Big West play. In his first three-plus seasons, Williams has led the team to a 54-50 record. The 54 victories are the most by any UCSB coach over that period of time. In addition, the 42 wins in the first three campaigns were 12 more than the team had in the three seasons prior to his arrival. In three years-plus under Williams' guidance, UCSB has logged a 37-22 record in Big West games, a winning percentage of .627, and among the top three in league over that span. In his first season, Williams guided UCSB to the Big West's Western Division championship, a 15-13 overall record and a 12-4 mark in league. After an 0-8 start that first year, the Gauchos went 15-5. He was named Big West Coach of the Year in 1999. Since that 0-8 start in 1998-99, Williams' Gauchos have gone 54-42. Two years ago, they went 14-14 overall, and 10-6 in league. In his career at four-year schools, which includes stops at UC Davis and Menlo College, he now has a 242-150 (.617) record.
Casey Cook Out Indefinitely
Sophomore forward Casey Cook remains sidelined indefinitely with ligament damage in his right thumb. Cook originally suffered the ligament damage during the preseason. He sat out the team's two exhibition games, but played in the first six games of the season. Prior to UCSB's December 8 win over Pepperdine, Cook re-injured the thumb and did not play in the victory. Doctor's have determined that the thumb has not sufficiently improved and that Cook should not take part in practice or games for an indefinite period of time. If, as expected, he misses the two games this weekend, Cook will have missed 16 successive contests.
The Gauchos At Home
UCSB enters this week's games with a record of 6-2 at home. Since a 5-0 start at home, the Gauchos have gone 1-2. On January 5, the Gauchos dropped a 60-56 decision to Utah State, snapping a seven game Thunderdome winning streak. In their last home outing, UCSB bombed Long Beach State, 82-50.
UCSB and Pacific have played 83 times in a series that dates back to 1947. The Tigers hold a 43-40 advantage over the Gauchos and they have won the last two games. Pacific knocked UCSB out in the first round of the Big West Tournament last season and this year, on January 12, they beat the Gauchos in Stockton, 73-70. UCSB and Cal State Northridge have played 21 times with the Gauchos holding a decisive 17-4 advantage. On January 10, in the first meeting between the programs as Big West opponents, the Gauchos edged the Matadors 57-54.
Possible Starters - Notes
G - Jacoby Atako - Has made 11-of-21 from three-point range in the last six games, 52.3%.
G - Nick Jones - Has led the Gauchos in scoring in three of the last four games.
G - Branduinn Fullove - Has scored in single-digits in four of his last five games.
F - Mark Hull - Needs 15 points to become second junior in school history to hit 1,000 point plateau.
F - Adama Ndiaye - Has scored in double-figures in five of the last six games.
Probable Reserves - Notes
F - Mike Vukovich - Played 14 minutes at Idaho, the most since his return from knee injury.
F - Bryan Whitehead - Has gone scoreless in each of his last three games.
G - B.J. Ward - Played just 12 minutes at Idaho, his lowest total in.
F - Casey Cook - Thumb injury on shooting hand will sideline him indefinitely.
F - Bray Skultety - Has made 12 of his last 13 shots over a nine game span, nine of which were dunks.
G - Chrismen Oliver - Played a season-high seven minutes, with four points and two assists vs. Detroit.
G - Chris Newell - Played one minute at USF, his first career action.
F - J.J. Todd - Played a season-high three minutes in win over Long Beach State.
UCSB Finds It Tought To Make A Point
In Saturday's loss at Idaho, UC Santa Barbara suffered through its worst offensive game in quite some time. The 37 points was the lowest single-game output since the 1977-78 version of the Gauchos scored just 34 points in a loss to Fresno State. The 37 points was, however, the fewest points scored by UCSB since the shot clock became part of college basketball.
A Different Type Of Balancing Act
In a January 26 win over Long Beach State, UCSB had all five starters score in double-figures for the first time this season. Now that was the type of balance any coach would love to see. In Saturday's loss to Idaho, the Gauchos produced a different type of offensive balance and it was the type that every coach dreads. For the first time this season, UCSB failed to have any player score in double-figures. All six players who scored had fewer than ten points. Nick Jones and Mark Hull led the way with eight points apiece. Even more telling is the fact that no Gaucho player had more than two successful field goals. Five different Gaucho players hit a pair of field goals.
On The Flip Side
After scoring 37 points in a game, it is tough to look at the bright side, but that is what I do for a living. While Idaho won the game, it wasn't as if they lit it up offensively. They made just 9-of-41 shots from the floor, a dismal 22.0%, the lowest mark by a Gaucho opponent this season. Also, the 40 points were the fewest scored by a UCSB opponent since Pacific scored 38 points during the 1998-99 season. The 12 points that the Vandals scored in the first half equaled the fewest points ever scored by a Gaucho opponent in a half. Finally, Idaho had one player with more than one field goal.
While the lack of offense that UCSB displayed on Saturday was a bit surprising, the defensive effort was not. After limiting Idaho to 22.2% shooting from the field, the Gauchos are limiting opponents to a Big West-leading 36.8% field goal percentage. UCSB has held two of its last three opponents to below the 30.0% plateau. In addition to Idaho, the Gauchos held Long Beach State to 27.1% shooting on January 26. The Gauchos have limited 12 of 20 opponents to less than 40.0% shooting and six opponents (Idaho, Long Beach State, Cal State Northridge, Pepperdine, USF and Westmont) have shot below the 30.0% mark. UCSB has allowed opponents to shoot better than 50.0% just one time this season. UC Irvne made a season-high 53.7% and scored a season-high 82 points in a January 24 game against the GAuchos. UCSB has allowed opponents to make 50.0% or better in just five halves this season. In 40 halves this season, UCSB has limited the opposition to below 20.0% two times, below 30.0% 12 times, below 40.0% 25 times, below 45.0% 29 times and below 50.0% 35 times. In the NCAA statistics as of January 28, the Gauchos ranked second in the nation in field goal percentage defense.
Gauchos Go Swatless
In last Thursday's loss at Utah State, the Gauchos went without a blocked shot for the first time this season. They bounced back with there blocks against Idaho. UCSB has produced as few as one blocked shot on three occasions this season, but Thursday was the first and only blockless game this year. In the last three games, the Gauchos have just four blocked shots.
Win Big, Lose Small
Of UCSB's eight losses this season, just two have come by double-digit margins. The Gauchos dropped 11-point games to USC and UC Irvine, every other loss has been under ten points. Several of the 12 wins, on the other hand, have come by hefty margins. The Gauchos have recorded eight wins of ten or more points, five of 15 or more points, four of 20 or more points and one of 30 or more points. UCSB's last win was a 32-point victory over Long Beach State. The 32 points are more than the combined total margin of the Gauchos' last six losses. The last six losses have come by a total of 31 points.
The loss to Idaho on Saturday marked only the second time this season that UCSB had lost while attempting 15 or fewer three-point shots. The Gauchos made a season-low two three-point baskets in the defeat, attempting just 13. UCSB had attempted 22 or more in three consecutive games prior to Saturday's contest. In the two road losses last weekend, the Gauchos made just 10-of-38 three-point attempts, 26.3%. UCSB was coming off of an outstanding run of making at least 40.0% in five successive games. On the year, the Gauchos have hit 40.0% or better from three-point land in 12 of 20 games. On the season, UCSB is shooting a solid, if not spectacular, 38.0% from from three-point territory.
The Hull Truth, Nothing But
Junior Mark Hull remains UCSB's leading scorer with a scoring average of 15.3 points per game. He is on the verge of becoming the second Gaucho in history to hit the 1,000 point mark during his junior season. With eight points in Saturday's game at Idaho, Hull now has a career total of 985 points, just 15 points shy of becoming the 18th Gaucho to hit the 1,000 point plateau. Of the previous 17, only Carrick DeHart (1986-90) was able to reach 1,000 as a junior. While Hull nears 1,000, he does so in a shooting slump. Although he paced the team in scoring at Idaho (eight points), he made just 2-of-12 shots. On the season, he is now shooting 39.9% from the field overall and 39.6% from three-point territory. In his last five games, Hull has hit just 15-of-51 shots, 29.4%. From three-point range in the last four games, he has made just 10-of-33, 30.3%. In Saturday's game at Idaho, he went 0-for-4 from three-point range, marking the first time this season he has not hit a three-point basket in a game. in fact, Hull had made at least two three-pointers in six straight games prior to Idaho and in ten of 11. In the first game of the road trip, at Utah State, he made five field goals, all from three-point range, and led the team with 19 points. Of his 99 baskets on the season, 53 are three-pointers. Hull has also attempted more three-pointers (134) than two-pointers (114) this season. His 53 three-point baskets this season rank ninth on UCSB's single-season list and his 122 career three-point buckets rank him fifth all-time. Interestingly, Hull has had two distinct seasons this year, the one he has had at home and the one he has had away from home. In eight home games this season, Hull has made 32-of-92 shots from the field overall, 34.8%, and he has hit 13-of-36 from three-point range, 36.1%. In those eight games, he has scored 95 points, an average of 11.9 per game. In road games, on the other hand, the junior out of Glendale's Hoover High School has made 67-of-156 shots from the field overall, 43.0%, 40-of-98 from three-point range, 40.8%, and he has scored a total of 211 points in 12 games, an average of 17.6 points per game. Seven of Hull's eight highest scoring efforts have come away from home. Hull opened the season by scoring in double-figures in 11 straight games, the longest stretch of his career. He has now tallied ten or more points in 16 of 20 games and he had a streak of five in a row snapped at Idaho on Saturday. He drained a career-high seven three-pointers in a December 22 win at Cal State Fullerton, finishing with a career-high 32 points, 29 of which were scored in the second half. Hull also went 6-of-15 from three-point territory on December 29 at Santa Clara. The 15 three-point attempts in a game tied a school record also held by former Gaucho guards Brian Johnson and Carrick DeHart. Hull has been over the 20 point plateau five times this season, going for 27 on December 5 at Loyola Marymount, 23 on November 28 against BYU, 22 at Cal Poly on January 19 and 20 on December 29 at Santa Clara. Finally, on the rebounding front, Hull has really started to come on. He is second on the team at 5.3 per game and in the last four games he has pulled down 29, an average of 7.2 per game. On January 24 against UC Irvine, he tied his career-high with nine boards.
Ndiaye Becomes An Offensive Force
Adama Ndiaye had a career-best streak of five consecutive double-figure performances snapped in Saturday's loss at Idaho. Ndiaye attempted just four shots in the defeat, scoring two points. Still, the Dakar, Senegal native is averaging 11.5 points per game, third on teh team. In Big West games, Ndiaye is second on the team at 13.2 points per game. Ndiaye has posted four double-doubles this season, two of which have come in the last five games. On January 19, in a win at Cal Poly, he had the best game of his career pouring in a personal-best 31 points and pulling down 13 rebounds. Ndiaye leads the Gauchos in rebounding at 8.0 per game and has had ten or more seven times. He also paces the team in field goal percentage at 53.7% and in his last six games, he has made 36-of-57 shots, 63.2%, and averaged 15.7 points. In 11 Big West games, Ndiaye is shooting 60.7% from the field. Ndiaye is shooting 73.7% from the free throw line, but on Saturday at Idaho, he missed both of his attempts, snapping a streak of 21 in a row. Still, he has made 40 of his last 47 from the charity stripe, 85.1%. Finally, he has blocked at least one shot in 18 of 20 games. Ndiaye has blocked a career-high five shots twice, both times during his junior season. In his career, he has now swatted 105 shots. He is one of just three Gauchos with more than 100 in his career.
Sophomore guard Branduinn Fullove is really struggling right now. While he is averaging 13.3 points overall, he has slumped since returning from a one-game absence due to injury. In the five games since his return, Fullove has averaged just 8.8 points and shot just 35.3% from the field. During that same span, he made 7-of-19 from three-point range, 36.8%. In addition, during the five games, he committed 15 turnovers, an average of 3.0 per game, as opposed to his average of 1.6 per game in the first 14 games of the season. He also produced a career-high six assists in last week's game at Utah State. Still, all is not amiss. Fullove has moved into second on the team in assists at 3.1 per game. In the last five, he has averaged 4.2 per game. Fullove has had a season-high six assists twice, against Long Beach State and against Idaho, and each time UCSB has won. In fact, he has had five assists or more five times this season and the Gauchos are 4-1 in those games. Also, despite having his streak of 26 consecutive free throws snapped at Idaho, he has improved his free throw percentage to 87.7%. In his last 13 games, including the four-game slump, Fullove has made 53-of-110 shots from the field, 48.2%, and 27-of-59 from three-point range, 45.8%. Fullove has scored in double-figures 13 times in 19 outings. He has scored 20 or more points in four games this season and, for the first time in his career, he scored 20 or more in two consecutive games, doing so in games against Idaho and Utah State in early January. His total of 37 threes are eight more than he made all of last year. Fullove has now made 65-of-163 three-pointers as a Gaucho, 39.9%, a mark that would place him sixth on the school's career list. In addition to his scoring exploits, the Simi Valley High School graduate is the only Gaucho player this year to record at least one point, one rebound and one assist in every game he has played.
Keeping Up With Jones
After coming off the bench in the first 15 games of the season, sophomore guard Nick Jones has been in the starting lineup in each of the last five. On the year, he is averaging 8.7 points per game, but as a starter, he is chipping in 12.6 per game. In three of the five games, Jones has either led the team or tied for the team-lead in scoring. On Saturday at Idaho, he tied for the team lead with eight points and he played a season-high 34 minutes. In his last two home games Jones was outstanding offensively. On January 24 against UC Irvine, he scored a career-high 23 points and he followed that up with a 19 point effort against Long Beach State. In that two game span, he made 6-of-12 shots from three-point range. In last weekend's road games, however, he really strugged from beyond the three-point arc, missing all seven of his attempts. Overall, last weekend, he was just 5-of-17 from the field, 29.4%. His 56 points in the last four games are 12 more points than he had scored in the previous seven games combined. With his recent offensive spurt, Jones has improved his scoring average in Big West games to 9.6 per game. Finally, with a pair of steals in the loss at Idaho, he now has 18 on the season, one more than he had all of last year.
The Atako Factor
Sophomore Jacoby Atako struggled with his shot and his offense for most of the first 14 games of the season, but in his last six games, he has become both a better shooter and a pretty solid offensive threat. In the last six games, Atako has scored in double-figures three times and averaged 8.7 points per game. Most impressively, however, over the six game span, Atako has hit 19-of-34 shots overall, an impressive 55.9%. His improvement from three-point range has been just as impressive. In the last six, Atako has not only hit at least one three in all six, but he has nailed 11-of-21, 52.4%. Last Thursday at Utah State, he had his best-ever showing from beyond the three-point arc, making 3-of-4. The three three-point baskets equaled Atako's career-high, set previously in a January 12 game at the University of the Pacific. The 11 three-point baskets he has made in the last six games are just five fewer than he had hit in his previous 42 games. Atako is averaging 28.2 minutes per game, a sizable increase over his average of 23.3 minutes per game last year. In addition, he is becoming somewhat of an ironman and has played 30 or more in five straight. He is now shooting a season-best 40.7% from the field. Atako is averaging 5.4 points and a team-leading 3.8 assists per game. Atako has passed off for five or more assists in three of the last five games.
A Rebounding Nut
Walk-on forward Bray Skultety enters the week averaging 4.6 rebounds per game. Despite never playing more than 16 minutes in a game, he has produced five or more rebounds seven times in his 15 games. He is averaging a rebound every 2.3 minutes of play. In addition, Skultety has become a decent offensive player in recent games. He is averaging 2.7 points per game and in the last nine contests he has made 12-of-14 shots from the field, an outstanding 85.7%. Of Skultety's 16 field goals this season, 12 have come via the slam dunk.
On The Horizon
Following this weekend's games at home against Pacific and Cal State Northridge, the Gauchos will remain at home for one more. UCSB hosts Cal Poly for a 7:00 p.m. game on Saturday, February 16.