February 16, 2007

Gauchos Look to End Two-Game Losing Streak, Host Eastern Washington

Feb. 16, 2007

The Schedule
Game No. 24
O' Reilly's BracketBusters
Saturday, February 17, 2007 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Eastern Washington Eagles
at UCSB's Thunderdome

Game No. 25
Thursday, February 22, 2007 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at Cal State Fullerton Titans
at CSUF's Titans Gymnasium

The Gaucho Record
UC Santa Barbara enters its Saturday night's non-conference game against Eastern Washington with an overall record of 15-8 and a Big West mark of 6-4. Considering that the Eagles are out of the Big Sky, the league record is not likely to budge on Saturday. The Gauchos will also be trying to end a two-game losing streak. UCSB has dropped consecutive games for just the third time this season. On Saturday, Feb. 10, Long Beach State topped the Gauchos 68-67 in a heartbreaker and on Wednesday, Feb. 14, Santa Barbara lost at Cal Poly, 86-79. Saturday's game will be the final non-Big West game of the season for UCSB. Next week, the Gauchos play their final two league road games, traveling to Cal State Fullerton on Feb. 22, and to UC Riverside on Feb. 24.

March 3 Home Finale Moved To 4:00 PM For Fox Sports Prime Ticket
UCSB's regular season finale against Cal State Northridge, scheduled for Saturday, March 3 at 7:00 p.m. in the Thunderdome, has been moved to 4:00 p.m. to accommodate Fox Sports Prime Ticket, which will televise the game live. Two of UCSB's final four basketball games have been added to the Big West Conference's television package, it was announced in late January. As part of the league's best game available provision in its television contracts, the Big West decides on late-season games based on record and impact on the conference standings. In addition to the game against Cal State Northridge, the Gauchos' games on Feb. 22 at Cal State Fullerton will be aired by KVMD-TV in Southern California.

Stuckey Leads Eastern Washington To Santa Barbara
Sophomore guard Rodney Stuckey will lead Eastern Washington into the Thunderdome on Saturday. The Eagles will bring with them a 12-14 overall record to Santa Barbara, including 4-11 on the road. They have played five games against teams that the Gauchos have faced. EWU has lost at UNLV (82-79), defeated Cal State Fullerton (110-100), lost at Cal State Northridge (102-98) and been swept by Montana State (82-79 at home and 84-67 on the road). Stuckey, a 6-foot-4 native of Kent, Wash., is one of the top backcourt players in the nation. He enters Saturday's game with an overall scoring average of 24.7 points per game and a 26.5 mark against Big Sky opponents. Stuckey, projected as first round NBA draft pick, is also averaging 4.8 rebounds and a team-leading 5.4 assists per game. In fact, he has 141 assists in his 26 games and just 85 turnovers. While he is not a great three-point shooter (27.2%), he shoots 45.7% overall and he has attempted 222 free throws, making 85.1%. Senior center Paul Butorac is averaging 14.2 points and a team-leading 6.6 rebounds per game. The 6-foot-10 Butorac is shooting 63.1% from the field. Junior guard Omar Krayem ranks third on the team in scoring at 9.5 points per game. He leads the Eagles in three-point field goal percentage at 38.3%. As a team Eastern Washington is averaging 85.0 points per game and allowing just a bit over 83 per game.

Probable Starters - Notes
G - Cecil Brown - Has averaged 18.0 points per game in the last three games.
G - Alex Harris - With 455 points on the year, he needs 22 to move into 10th all-time.
G - James Powell - Has made 17-of-33 shots in the last five games, 51.5%.
F - Chris Devine - Has scored 10 or more points in 21 of 23 games this season.
F - Ivan Elliott - Has had five or more rebounds in seven of the last nine games.

Probable Reserves - Notes
G - Justin Joyner - Will miss Saturday's game win a hamstring injury.
G - Paul Roemer - Played three minutes in Wednesday's game at Cal Poly.
G - Trevor Bing - Made a three-pointer vs. Cal Poly, his first basket since Jan. 4.
F - Tom Garlepp - Has logged just 37 minutes in 10 Big West games.
F - Emmanuel Bidias a Mouté - Has played five or more minutes in the last seven games.
F - Beau Gibb - Has played in just one of the last 11 games.
F - David Massey - Played in only game and had only points on Nov. 13 at Montana State.
F - Sam Phippen - Freshman forward is redshirting the 2006-07 season.
F - Glenn Turner - Averaged 5.0 rebounds in the last six games.

The Bob Williams File
Bob Williams is in his ninth season as the head coach at UC Santa Barbara. Last year his team overcame a slow start to finish over the .500 mark for the fourth time in five seasons. UCSB was 15-14 overall and 6-8 in the Big West. Prior to the 2004-05 season, when an injury-ravaged Gaucho team finished below .500, Williams had guided the program to three straight winning seasons for the first time since the late 1980s. 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 trip to the postseason National Invitation Tournament. Additionally, 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 137-119 (.537) overall record and an 83-58 (.593) 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 325-219 (.598) at four-year schools.

The Gauchos And Eagles
UCSB and Eastern Washington have played four times over the years. The teams have each won two of the four games. The Gauchos and Eagles have not played since the 1989-90 season when UCSB recorded a 72-67 victory at the Thunderdome.

The Gauchos At Home
UCSB is 6-5 at home in 2006-07. The Gauchos split their most recent pair of home games, defeating UC Irvine to end a two-game home losing streak, and then losing to Long Beach State. Santa Barbara defeated San Jose State on Nov. 10 and, after losing consecutive games to San Diego State and Loyola Marymount, they posted four straight wins, defeating Fresno State on Dec. 6 , Vanguard on Dec. 19, UC Riverside on Dec. 28 and Cal State Fullerton on Dec. 30. UCSB, however, then lost two home games, 70-66 to UC Davis on Jan. 13, and 71-61 to Cal Poly on Jan. 20, before bouncing back with the win over UC Irvine. UCSB went 9-4 in home games during the 2005-06 season. Since Bob Williams became head coach in 1998-99, the Gauchos have gone 79-33 at home.

Letting Their Defenses Down
The 86 points scored by Cal Poly on Wednesday night were the second highest total registered by a UCSB opponent this season. The only opponent to score more in a game was Long Beach State. On Jan. 4, the 49ers piled-up 101 points against the Gauchos.

Three-Point Frenzy
The good news is that UCSB set a season-high with 11 three-point baskets in the loss at Cal Poly on Wednesday. The bad news? The Mustangs made 15 of their 30 attempts, 50.0%. The 15 were the second most made by a Gaucho opponent this season. The most? Long Beach State made an all-time opponent record 17 in its Jan. 4 win. The 15 that Cal Poly hit rank second on the all-time opponent list. Previously the most three-pointers made in a game by UCSB this season were the 10 made in the season-opener against San Jose State. Incidentally, Santa Barbara opponents have attempted 163 more three-pointers this season, an average of 7.1 per game more than the Gauchos.

Playing The Percentages Outside
Although UCSB does not attempt nearly as many three-pointers as its opponents, it does make a higher percentage. The Gauchos are shooting 36.6% from beyond the arc as compared to the opponents 31.9%. In the last three games, Santa Barbara has made 25-of-55, 45.5%, and in the last five the Gauchos have made 35-of-83, 42.2%.

Lights Dim, Maybe Not Out
UCSB made 52.7% of its shots in the loss to Cal Poly on Wednesday. Last Saturday, against Long Beach State, the Gauchos hit 51.0%. In the last five games, they have made 121 out of 244 shots, 49.6%. On the year, UCSB is now shooting a stellar 48.2%, a significant increase over last year's figure of 44.1%. The Gauchos have hit 50.0% or better in each of the last two, three of the last five and 10 times this season.

Freshmen Of Steal
As a team, UCSB has produced 141 steals this season, including 63 by freshmen, 44.7%. Point guard Justin Joyner has a team-leading 30 steals through 23 games and another freshman, James Powell, is second with 52. Joyner ranks second on the school's all-time list while Powell is tied for seventh.

Alex Harris
By scoring 19 points in Wednesday's loss at Cal Poly, junior guard Alex Harris has now scored in double-figures 22 times in 23 games...He opened the season by scoring in double-figures 21 straight times...Leads the team at 19.8 points per game and with 48 three-point baskets he needs seven to move into the single-season top-10...Had a career-high 32 points on Dec. 28 against UC Riverside...Made 7-of-16 shots at Cal Poly...In three games prior to that game, Harris was just 7-of-31...Has scored 20 or more points 12 times this season...After attempting 71 free throws over a seven game span, Harris has attempted just four in the last two games...He has been named Big West Player of the Week twice this season.

Chris Devine
Junior Chris Devine is second on the tam in scoring at 14.9 points per game and first in reobunding at 6.7 per game...He has scored 10 or more points in 21 of 23 games...Had 13 points and eight rebounds on Wednesday at Cal Poly...His eight rebounds were two more than his previous two games combined...Devine scored a career-high 28 points on Nov at Pepperdine...He has had five double-doubles this season, including four on the road...He has nine double-doubles in his two seasons, seven on the road.

Cecil Brown
Senior Cecil Brown has improved his scoring average to a season-high 9.6 points per game...He had 13 at Cal Poly and has now scored 54, 18.0 per game, in the last three...Scored a season-high 23 on Feb. 8 against UC Irvine...In addition to his 18.0 points per game, Brown has made 17-of-29 shots in the last three games, 58.6%, including 9-of-16, 56.2%, from three-point range...Overall, he has scored in double-figures 10 times this season, all in his last 15 games...Has taken over the team-lead in assist average at 3.1 per game...His 111 three-pointers rank eighth all-time.

James Powell
After a prolonged slump, freshman guard James Powell seems to be back on the beam...He is averaging 9.0 per game, third on the team, but he has been in double-figures in each of the last three games and has averaged 11.3 per game over that span...Had 13 points on Wednesday at Cal Poly, his highest total since he had 17 on Dec. 2 at Portland...Has scored 24 in the last two games, all in the second half...Powell has made 17 out of 33 field goal attempts in the last five, 51.5%...In the last three, he has made 6-of-12 from three-point range, 50.0%...Powell has also made 18 consecutive free throws...His 27 three-pointers rank fifth.

Justin Joyner
Freshman Justin Joyner will not play in Saturday's game against Eastern Washington...Nursing a sore hamstring...Had six points, six assists and five rebounds at Cal Poly...The six assists per the most he has had since he went for a career-high 10 on Dec. 30 against Cal State Fullerton...He now has 70 assists on the season, the sixth most by a freshman in school history...His 30 steals rank second among freshmen...Has scored a total of 13 points in the last three games after averaging 12.3 in the previous three...He leads UCSB in assists but is second in assist average at 3.0 per game...Scored a career-high 15 points on Jan. 25 at Cal State Northridge.

Ivan Elliott
Junior forward Ivan Elliott had six points and five rebounds on Wednesday at Cal Poly...He is second on the team in rebounding at 5.6 per game and he has collected five or more seven times in the last nine games and nine times in the last 11...Elliott had a career-high 12 rebounds on Feb. 1 at UC Davis...Ranks fifth on the team in scoring and has had 10 or more six times, but just once in the last 10 games...Had a high of 14 points on Nov. 13 at Montana State.

Glenn Turner
Senior Glenn Turner had six points and four rebounds on Wednesday at Cal Poly...The six points were his second highest total of the year...He has had four or more rebounds in three straight and five of the last six games...He is now averaging 3.1 points and 3.6 rebounds in his 14 games...Had season-bests of eight points, nine rebounds and five blocked shots on Dec. 28 against UC Riverside...Leads the team with 18 blocked shots and needs just one to hit the 100 block mark for his career.

View: Mobile | Desktop