Feb. 11, 2004
Game No. 21
Saturday, February 14, 2004 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Cal Poly Mustangs
at UCSB's Thunderdome (6,000)
Radio: KTLK 1340 AM
Game No. 22
Thursday, February 19, 2004 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. University of the Pacific Tigers
at UCSB's Thunderdome (6,000)
Radio: KTLK 1340 AM
UC Santa Barbara enters the week with an overall record of 12-8 and a Big West record of 6-5. The Gauchos have lost their last two games. Last weekend, UCSB dropped road encounters at Idaho (57-45) and at 23rd-ranked Utah State (63-54). The Gauchos have lost three of their last five games and are currently in third-place in the Big West, one game ahead of Idaho and Cal State Northridge. UCSB has won four consecutive home games.
UCSB Loses Tough One At Utah State
UCSB played a solid first 30 minutes on Saturday night, before losing to 23rd-ranked Utah State, 63-54. The Gauchos led by as many as six points in the first half and when Bryan Whitehead hit a short jumper with 15:29 remaining in the game, they led 41-36. UCSB, however, did not score again until Casey Cook made a pair of free throws with 7:16 to go in the game and by then the Aggies had taken a 49-41 lead. The Gauchos did not get closer than five the rest of the way. Santa Barbara was paced by forwards Cameron Goettsche and Casey Cook who each scored ten points. Senior guard Nick Jones had nine pints, on a trio of three-pointers, and senior guard Branduinn Fullove had seven points to go along with a team-high seven rebounds and three assists. Utah State was led by guard Cardell Butler who had 19 points and five rebounds and guard Mark Brown who had 11 points and seven assists.
Home Stretch Begins With Rival Mustangs
With the annual trek to Moscow, Idaho and Logan, Utah behind them, UCSB will play its final seven Big West Conference games in California. Not only will the Gauchos play the remainder of their games in California, they will play all seven either in Santa Barbara (four) or in Southern California (three). UCSB will open the stretch drive on Saturday night when it hosts Central Coast rival Cal Poly.
Lou Cvijanovich, Kids To College Night Set For Pacific Game
UCSB's February 19 home game against Pacific will be Lou Cvijanovich Night and Kids To College Night at the Thunderdome. Cvijanovich, the boys basketball coach at Santa Clara High School in nearby Oxnard for 41 years, is the winningest prep coach in California history. He coached current UCSB guard Nick Jones and former Gaucho B.J. Ward. He will be honored at halftime. The game against the Tigers will also be Kids to College Night with three kids admitted free for every adult who purchases a ticket.
Possible Starters - Notes
G - Joe See - Has made a three-pointer in 16 of 20 games. G - Jacoby Atako - His 357 career assists ranks him seventh all-time. G - Branduinn Fullove - Seventh player in school history to score 1,300 points. F - Cameron Goettsche - Has scored in double-figures in seven of the last ten games. F - Bryan Whitehead - Has had three or more rebounds 18 times in 20 games.
Possible Reserves - Notes
G - Cecil Brown - UCSB is 7-0 when he scores in double-figures. G - Josh Davis - Has had at least one steal in each of the last three games. G - Nick Jones - After not making a three-pointer in five games, made three at USU. G - Chrismen Oliver - Eight of his 14 field goals have come from three-point range. F - Bray Skultety - Has had three or more rebounds in five straight games. F - Casey Cook - Has scored in double-digits nine times, seven times on the road. F - Glenn Turner - Had career-highs of four rebounds and two blocks at Utah State. F - Derek Wheeler - Has yet to play in a game this season. F - David Kennedy - Has played in four of the last seven games.
In a series that dates back to 1938, UCSB holds a 54-27 edge on Cal Poly. In the first meeting between the schools this season, on January 17, the Gauchos defeated the Mustangs in San Luis Obispo, 78-59. The victory by UCSB snapped Cal Poly's two-game winning streak in the series. The Mustangs, won two of three games from the Gauchos last season. After UCSB won at the Thunderdome, 70-61, Cal Poly won at Mott Gymnasium, 66-63, snapping a ten-game Santa Barbara winning streak in the series. Cal Poly then knocked the Gauchos out of the Big West Tournament, 67-52 in the second round.
UCSB At Home
With its wins over Cal State Fullerton and UC Riverside on the last homestand, UCSB is now 7-1 at the Thunderdome this year. The Gauchos' lone defeat came at the hands of Utah State on January 8. In addition to Cal State Fullerton and UC Riverside, UCSB has defeated Cal State Northridge, Idaho, Pepperdine, San Diego and Westmont. Last year, UCSB posted a 10-2 record at home, losing an overtime game to Cal State Fullerton and a non-conference game to Detroit. In 2001-02, the Gauchos also posted a 10-2 home record. The 10-2 mark that Santa Barbara has recorded each of the past two seasons is the best home mark for the program since the 1989-90 team went 11-2. Dating back to the end of the 2000-01 season, the Gauchos have gone 29-5 at home over the last 34 games.
The Williams File
Bob Williams is in his sixth season as the head coach at UC Santa Barbara. Last year, he guided the Gauchos to an 18-14 overall record and a 14-4 mark in Big West Conference play. The Big West mark earned Santa Barbara its first-ever 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 led UCSB to its first Big West Conference Tournament Championship ever and first NCAA Tournament appearance in 12 years. In his five-plus seasons in Santa Barbara, Williams' teams have posted an 92-73 overall record and a 61-30 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 281-173 at four-year schools.
Gauchos Get Single-Digit Fever
In 2002-03, UCSB had three players who averaged 12.4 points per game or more. This season, the Gauchos leading scorers, junior forward Casey Cook and senior guard Branduinn Fullove are averaging 9.9 points per game apiece. If we reach the end of the season and that statistic or something close remains the team's leading scorer, it would be the lowest scoring average to lead the team in more than 40 years. The lowest in the last 40 seasons was when Doug Muse paced the team with 11.2 points per game in 1993-94. There is a bright side to the story. While UCSB has just two players averaging double-figures, the Gauchos have six averaging 7.4 points per game or more and three others who are averaging 4.3 per game or more. By contrast, last year's squad had three players over 12.4, but nobody else on the team averaged more than 5.2 per game.
Consecutive League Losses A Rarity Under Williams
Back-to-back losses to Idaho and Utah State over the weekend mark the first time in quite some time that the Gauchos have dropped two consecutive league games. At no point last season did UCSB lose two straight Big West games. You have to go back to February 21 and February 23, 2002, when the Gauchos lost at Long Beach State and UC Irvine. The last time Santa Barbara dropped three straight Big West games was in January of 2001 when it lost four in a row. In that instance, the Gauchos followed-up the four straight losses with five straight victories and eight wins in nine games.
Take Me To Your Leaders
Along with the scoring balance has come several scoring leaders. Cameron Goettsche and Casey Cook led the way at Utah State with ten points apiece and when Nick Jones scored 14 points on January 24 at Pacific, he became the seventh different player to lead the Gauchos in scoring this season. In 2002-03, the Gauchos had just four different players lead the way in scoring and one, Cecil Brown, turned the trick just once. This year, nine different UCSB players have scored in double-figures and all nine have scored in double-figures two or more times. Six players have scored 15 or more points in a game. The highest single scoring total by a Gaucho this season was the 23 points scored by Branduinn Fullove on December 21 in a win over Alabama State. Joe See's 21-point outing against Cal State Fullerton on January 31 was the only other 20-point performance by a Gaucho player this season.
UCSB opened the Big West season with a 1-2 record. None of the first three games was decided by more than seven points and the combined margin was 15 points, an average of 5.0 points per game. The last eight games have been a completely different story. Seven of the last eight games, of which UCSB has won five, have been decided by at least 12 points and the combined margin in the eight is 131 points, an average of 16.4 points per game. In fact, the nine-point margin at Utah State on Saturday night snapped a string of seven straight games in which the victory margin was 12 or more. In UCSB's most recent home game, the Gauchos recorded a 77-44 win over Cal State Fullerton and the 33-point margin was the largest of the year. Overall, 12 of Santa Barbara's 20 games have been decided by ten or more points with the Gauchos posting an 8-4 record in those contests.
Turning Over A New Leaf
Turnovers have been a problem for UCSB this season. The Gauchos have had 15 or more turnovers 11 times this season and they are averaging 15.1 per game. On Saturday, however, UCSB had just 11 turnovers in the loss at Utah State. The last time Santa Barbara had as few as 11 turnovers was on January 10 in a home victory over Idaho when they also had 11. The 11 turnovers against the Aggies was one of the four best performances by the Gauchos this season. In the last three games, UCSB has averaged 13.0 turnovers per game.
60-Point Magic Comes To An End
As UCSB embarked on what seemed like its three-week trip to Moscow and Logan, the Gauchos took with them an 9-0 record in games in which they held opponents to 60 points or less. With their 57-45 loss at Idaho last Thursday, UCSB is now 9-1 in those games.
The New Magic Number!
With the 60 points in a game magic number going by the wayside, the new UCSB magic number is 40.0% shooting by the opposition. The Gauchos have limited nine opponents to below 40.0% shooting and they have won all nine games. In fact, UCSB has limited its last four opponents at the Thunderdome to below 40.0% and in those four games the opponents have made a combined 64-of-192 from the field, 33.3%.
Senior guard Branduinn Fullove, who has struggled with injuries this season, continues to try to get on-track offensively. While he has made strides in other areas, his offensive game has been inconsistent. Fullove scored seven points in UCSB's loss at Utah State on Saturday. He has gone three straight games in single-digits, scoring nine in each of two games prior to the contest against the Aggies. While Fullove is tied for the team-lead in scoring, his average is 9.9 points per game, easily the lowest of his career. On the bright side, he did collect a season-high seven rebounds in the Utah State game and his average of 3.1 rebounds per game is at its highest point this season. Fullove also had three assists and is now averaging 2.3 per game on the year, tying him for the team-lead. He has, in fact, had three or more assists in each of the last four games. His season-high of six assists came in UCSB's January 17 game against Cal Poly. Fullove has scored in double-figures six times this season, but only twice in the last eight games. His 23-point outing against Alabama State on December 21 remains the highest scoring effort by a Gaucho this season. He has also had a pair of 19-point games. After making seven three-pointers in his first 11 games back from injury, Fullove has hit five in the last four games, shooting 42.0% over that span. Fullove enters the week with 1,316 points, the seventh highest total in school history, and he needs 36 points to move into sixth-place. He also 151 three-pointer in his career, fifth all-time.
Junior forward Casey Cook played 19 minutes at Utah State on Saturday night, his highest total since returning from a partially torn right quadriceps muscle. Cook tied for team-high honors with ten points against the Aggies and he is tied with Branduinn Fullove for the team-lead in scoring at 9.9 points per game. The ten-point performance marked the ninth time this season that Cook has scored in double-figures. He has done so twice in home games and seven times away from the Thunderdome. In his last three home games, however, Cook scored in double-figures twice and over that span he made 12-of-15 shots from the field, 80.0%. He currently leads the Gauchos in overall field goal percentage at 50.8% and he is tied for second on the team in rebounding at 4.9 per game. Cook has scored a career-high 16 points three times this season, each time coming away from home. He went for 16 in the season-opener at Hawaii and then in neutral court games against Kansas and Southeast Missouri State. In the win at Hawaii, Cook also had a career-high 12 rebounds and posted the first double-double of his career. On the year, he has had five or more rebounds nine times in his 17 appearances.
After scoring a total of eight points over a three game span, senior guard Nick Jones scored nine points in UCSB's game at Utah State on Saturday. All nine of Jones' points came on three-point baskets as he made 3-of-6 against the Aggies. He did, however, miss all seven of his two-point shots and in his last four games, Jones has gone 0-for-16 from two-point range. He made his first shot at Utah State and that snapped a string of 13 straight misses overall. On the year, Jones is shooting 35.4% overall, 37.5% from three-point territory and 34.0% from two-point range. One bright spot is that he is easily leading the team in free throw percentage at 95.0%, making 19-of-20 on the season. Jones is averaging 7.4 points per game overall, well below the 12.4 points per game he averaged last season and significantly below his career average of 10.4 per game. He has scored in double-figures three times this year, all coming away from home. He had 14 at Pacific on January 24 and he had 13 at Cal Poly on January 17. He is averaging 4.0 points per game at home and 9.8 per game on the road. Jones enters Saturday's game against Cal Poly with 1,064 career points. Earlier this season, he became the 20th player in school history to hit the 1,000 point mark and he now ranks 17th all-time. His trio of three-pointers at Utah State gives Jones 114 for his career, seventh all-time.
Sophomore guard Cecil Brown started the game at Utah State on Saturday and scored two points, both from the free throw line, before re-twisting his left ankle and going to the bench. For Brown, it was a tougher road trip than for the Gauchos as a team. In the loss at Idaho, he was elbowed in the head after only eight minutes and went the bench, never to return. On the year, Brown has battled through injuries, but he still ranks fifth on the team in scoring at 7.5 points per game. He has also been somewhat of a measuring stick for UCSB. In the seven games in which Brown has scored in double-figures, the Gauchos have gone unbeaten. He scored a career-high 16 points in consecutive home games against Pepperdine, Westmont and San Diego earlier in the season. Brown also ranks second on the team with 17 three-pointers. He has been UCSB's most dependable ball-handler, committing just 18 turnovers in 416 minutes. He had a pair of turnovers at Utah State and that snapped a streak of four straight games without one, a span of 73 minutes.
For the first time this season, senior guard Jacoby Atako came off the bench and played 20 minutes at Utah State. He continues to lead the Gauchos in assists at 2.3 per game and steals with a total of 24. Atako did not have a steal against the Aggies on Saturday, snapping a streak of seven straight games with at least one. In those seven games, he had 13 steals, including a season-high four on January 10 against Idaho. Atako is averaging 5.6 points per game, but he has scored just five total points in the last three games. He has scored in double-figures three times this season, including a career-high 23 points against Southeast Missouri State on November 30. All three of his double-figure performances came in the season's first six games and those three games account for 49 of his 112 total points. Atako is shooting 46.7% overall and 41.2% from three-point range and both of those figures are significant improvements over his career percentages of 35.9% and 27.6% entering the season. He enters Saturday's game against Cal Poly with 118 career steals and 357 career assists, numbers that rank him third and seventh on those respective career-lists at UCSB.
Sophomore guard Joe See made his first start as a Gaucho in the loss at Utah State. See scored five points in the game and is now averaging 8.1 points per game, third on the team. See easily leads UCSB in three-point baskets with 38, 21 more than Cecil Brown. He has made at least one three-point bucket in four straight games and six times in the last eight games. On the year, See has had at least one three-pointer 16 times in 20 games, two or more 11 times, three or more seven times and season-high five twice, once each against Utah State and Cal State Fullerton. He is shooting 47.1% overall and 44.2% from three-point range. In league play, See is making 48.9% of his three-point attempts and in the last ten games he has gone 22-of-44 from beyond the arc, 50.0%. In UCSB's last home game, a win over Cal State Fullerton, See scored a career-high 21 points. The 21-point effort is one of just two 20-point games by Gaucho players this season. See has tallied ten or more points seven times, including five times in the last ten games.
Sophomore Cameron Goettsche tied for the team-lead with ten points in the game at Utah State. After scoring just two points and attempting just one shot at Idaho, Goettsche attempted eight shots, making five, in the game against the Aggies. It was the eighth time this year that Goettsche scored ten or more. In fact, it was the third time in the last four games and the fifth time this year that he scored exactly ten points. He is now averaging 7.9 points per game, fourth on the team, and 8.6 per game in league play. Overall, Goettsche is shooting 49.6%, but in Big West games he is at 57.6%. Since opening the year by making just 10-of-31 shots through the first four games, he has hit 48-of-86, 55.8%, in the last 16 contests. Goettsche also leads the Gauchos in rebounding (5.3 per game) and blocked shots (eight). He has had five or more boards ten times and six or more in three of the last four. He pulled-down a career-high 11 rebounds on December 10 against Westmont and one game later, he scored a career-high 17 points against San Diego. His second-highest scoring effort of the year came in the first encounter with Cal Poly when he scored 15 points.
Senior forward Bryan Whitehead is averaging 4.3 points and 4.9 rebounds per game. He is second on the team in rebounding and he has had three or more rebounds in 18 of 20 games this season. His season-high of nine rebounds came against UC Riverside in the team's last homestand. Whitehead has 98 rebounds on the year and 86 points, but the imbalance has narrowed a bit in the last three games. In the last three, he has 12 points and eight rebounds. He has scored a season-high ten points against Westmont and Cal State Northridge and he has scored five or more points nine times.
Senior forward Bray Skultety is fourth on the team in rebounding at 4.1 per game, despite averaging just 12.2 minutes per game, tenth on the team. He is averaging nearly 14.0 rebounds per 40 minutes played. In the last five games he has had 25 rebounds in 58 total minutes. Skultety had a season-high nine rebounds in 13 minutes at Cal Poly and in 16 minutes on January 29 against UC Riverside. Although he is averaging 3.6 points per game, and has averaged 5.0 per game in the last ten. Finally, since Skultety went 0-for-3 from the field in the first three games of the year, he has made 28-of-48 shots, 58.3%.
Sophomore guard Josh Davis has been struggling on the offensive end of the court since the beginning of league play. Overall he is at 4.4 points per game and he is shooting 38.8%, but in Big West play he is averaging just 1.9 points per game and he is shooting 28.0%. Davis, who is still one of the best defenders on the team, was scoreless in 25 minutes on the just-completed road trip. He does have at least one steal in each of the last three games, including a season-high three in the last home game against Cal State Fullerton.
Junior guard Chrismen Oliver is averaging 2.3 points and 1.2 assists per game. In UCSB's last home game, a win over Cal State Fullerton, he had three assists, his second-highest total of the year. On December 10 he had a high of four against Westmont.
Freshman forward Glenn Turner played a season-high 11 minutes at Utah State on Saturday and he responded with two points and career-highs of four rebounds and two blocked shots. In his last four outings, Turner has played a total of 27 minutes, grabbing 12 rebounds and blocking four shots.
On The Horizon
Following Saturday's game against Cal Poly, the Gauchos will play a split home-road weekend. UCSB will host one of the hottest teams in the Big West on Thursday, February 19 when Pacific comes to town for a 7:00 p.m. game at the Thunderdome. The game will be televised as part of the Big West's package with KVMD-TV in the Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino areas. On Saturday, February 21, the Gauchos travel to Cal State Northridge for a 3:00 p.m. game against the Matadors. That game will be carried live on Fox Sports Net 2.