February 25, 2005

UCSB Completes Home Schedule With 4:00 P.M. Game Against UC Riverside on Saturday; Game Will be Televised by Fox Sports

Feb. 25, 2005

The Schedule
Game No. 25
Saturday, February 26, 2005 at 4:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. UC Riverside Highlanders
at UCSB's Thunderdome
Radio: KIST 1340 AM
TV: Fox Sports Net 2

Game No. 26
Thursday, March 3, 2005 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at UC Irvine Anteaters
at UCI's Bren Events Center
Radio: KIST 1340 AM

Game No. 27
Saturday, March 5, 2005 at 5:05 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at Long Beach State 49ers
at LBSU's Pyramid
Radio: KIST 1340 AM

The Gaucho Record
UC Santa Barbara enters Saturday game against UC Riverside with an overall record of 9-15 and a Big West record of 6-9. On Thursday night, the Gauchos dropped a 66-57 home decision to Cal State Fullerton. The loss was the Gauchos' fourth in the last five games, and their seventh in the last nine games. Last Saturday, UCSB ended a three-game losing streak with a 78-66 victory at Cal Poly. The win over the Mustangs not only ended a three-game losing streak overall, it snapped an 11-game road losing streak.

The Week To Come
Saturday's home finale against UC Riverside will tip-off at 4:00 p.m. to accommodate Fox Sports Net 2. Following the game against the Highlanders, the Gauchos will hit the road for their final two games of the 2004-05 regular season. Next weekend, Santa Barbara travels to UC Irvine on Thursday and Long Beach State on Saturday.

Seniors Take Part In Final Home Game
It would be nice to say that the UCSB seniors are going to play in their final home game, but only one will actually play. Guard Chrismen Oliver, who is averaging 10.2 points per game and leads the Gauchos in assists with 71 will play in his final game in a UCSB uniform. Forward Casey Cook, on the other hand, will not play. Cook, who averaged 10.8 points and 5.5 rebounds per game, fractured a bone in his right foot in the first half of a January 2 loss at Cal State Northridge, and he will be out the remainder of the season.

Second Half Run Helps Titans Top Gauchos, 66-57
UCSB trailed by four points at halftime of its game against Cal State Fullerton on Thursday night. The Gauchos scored the first five points of the second half to take a one-point lead, 30-29, but they couldn't hold on. With the score tied at 47-47 and just under 12 minutes to play, the Titans went on an 11-0 run over a four minute span to take a commanding 58-47 advantage with seven minutes remaining in the game. UCSB was able to muster one final rally, scoring seven in a row to pull to within 58-54, but the Gauchos troubles at the free throw line didn't allow them to pull any closer. Cal State Fullerton was paced by Jamaal Brown and Bobby Brown who each had 14 points. Ralphy Holmes had 12 points, 13 rebounds, and six assists. Freshman Derek Rasp led the Gauchos with a game-high and career-high 15 points. Chrismen Oliver and Joe See each added 10 points in defeat. As a team, UCSB struggled from the field overall at 36.4%, from beyond the three-point line at 21.7%, and at the free throw line at 57.1%. The Gauchos were also outrebounded by the Titans, 42-33.

The Active Roster Remains In Flux
The UCSB roster is an ever-changing thing. In its own way, it has taken-on a life of its own. On February 15, just before the team boarded a bus to go to Stockton, it was decided that junior forward Cameron Goettsche would not make the trip. Goettsche, who had missed four games earlier in the season with a severely strained groin, an injury that continues to hamper him, strained his back in the February 10 game at UC Davis, and he was not ready to go against Pacific. He also missed last Saturday's game at Cal Poly, Thursday's game against Cal State Fullerton, and he is doubtful for the game against UC Riverside. In the second half of the game at Pacific, sophomore forward Glenn Turner, who has struggled with a gimpy ankle all year, fractured the middle finger on his right hand when he tried to block a shot on a breakaway. His hand hit the backboard. Turner, with his middle finger taped to his ring finger, has played despite the injury and should continue to do so. Senior forward Casey Cook fractured a bone in his foot on January 2 at Cal State Northridge, and the injury has not healed completely yet. He will miss the remainder of the season. Junior guard Cecil Brown, who missed all of the early games this season with a partial tear in his right medial collateral ligament, has missed the rest of the games with a stress fracture in his right ankle. He is out for the year. Freshman Chris Moore, who missed two games after suffering a concussion on February 5 against Utah State, has played his best basketball in the last two games and could be a key player the rest of the way. Freshman forward Chris Devine had surgery on his left knee prior to the season and he will not return this year. Freshman forward Todd Follmer is sitting out the season as a redshirt. Sophomore forward David Kennedy, who missed 15 games earlier in the season with a stress fracture in his leg, injured a toe on his right foot in practice this week and, although available if needed on Thursday, he missed the game against Cal State Fullerton. Freshman guard Derek Rasp, and junior forward Derek Wheeler have each missed games because of injury this year, but they are back. In all, UCSB players have missed 94 regular season games because of injuries.

Possible Starters - Notes
G - Chrismen Oliver - Four assists vs. CSUF tied his high vs. a Big West opponent this year.
G - Alex Harris - Had his streak of double-figure games stopped at four on Thursday.
G - Josh Davis - Leads all active players in scoring average 10.3 points per game.
F - Derek Rasp - Scored a career-high 15 points in Thursday's game against CSUF.
F - Glenn Turner - Has not attempted a shot in either of the last two games.

Possible Reserves - Notes
G - Joe See - Has made at least one three-pointer in seven straight games.
G - Michael Chambers - Has made 8-of-16 shots in the last four games, 50.0%.
F - David Kennedy - Missed game vs. CSUF with injured toe. Could play vs. UCR.
F - Chris Moore - Has scored career-high six points in each of the last two games.
F - Derek Wheeler - Had a career-high five rebounds vs. CSUF.

The Sideline - Notes
G - Cecil Brown - Stress fracture in lower left leg has sidelined him for the season.
F - Cameron Goettsche - Back strain sidelined him for the last three games. Doubtful this weekend.
F - Casey Cook - Injured tendon in right foot has sidelined him for remainder of season.
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 104-94 (.526) overall record and a 71-45 (.615) 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 293-194 (.603) at four-year schools.

So Much For The Hot Streak
After a one-game respite from its shooting woes, UCSB once again struggled on the offensive end in Thursday's loss to Cal State Fullerton. A week ago, in a win over Cal Poly, UCSB made 22-of-40 shots from the field. While the 40 field goal attempts were a season-low, the 55.0% field goal mark was the Gauchos highest of the season. In fact, it was just the second time all year that UCSB had made 50.0% or better of its field goal attempts. In the season-opener, an overtime win at San Diego State, the Gauchos made 30-of-60, 50.0%, of their shots. The 55.0% from the field ended a streak of 21 straight games under the 50.0% mark for UCSB. On Thursday against the Titans, the Gauchos made just 20-of-55 shots from the field, 36.4%. Overall, Santa Barbara is shooting just 40.7% from the field this season, and the Gauchos have been under 50.0% 22 times in 24 games and under 40.0% 12 times, exactly half of the games. In fact, when the Gauchos shoot 45.0% or better, they have posted a solid 6-1 record with the only loss coming on the road at nationally-ranked Wisconsin. On the other side of the coin, the Gauchos allowed Cal State Fullerton to make just 25-of-58 shots, 43.1%. A week ago, Cal Poly made just 21-of-50 shots, 42.0%. In the last two games combined, UCSB has held the opposition to 46-of-108 shooting overall, 42.6%. When Cal Poly shot just 42.0%, it ended a run of three straight Santa Barbara opponents which had made at least 52.7% or better from the floor. Beginning with Utah State on February 5, the Gauchos had allowed three opponents to combine for 82-of-149 from the field, 55.1%. In fact, in that February 5 game, the Aggies set an all-time record for a UCSB opponent by making 32-of-45 shots, 71.1%.

They're Anything But Free
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 have made fewer than 70.0% of their free throws in eight straight games and 11 times in the last 12 games. In the last 12 games, Santa Barbara has made just 137-of-235 from the free throw line, 58.3%. UCSB is now shooting a season-low 64.1% from the charity stripe. The team has made 70.0% or better in a game 10 times this season, nine of which came during the first 12 games. In 2003-04, the Gauchos shot 66.0% from the free throw line.

On Guard
In UCSB's media guide, which I want to say became slightly obsolete as the players starting falling by the wayside in the preseason, seven of the 14 players on the roster are listed as guards. Of those seven, six are still active. Those six, Josh Davis, Chrismen Oliver, Joe See, Alex Harris, Derek Rasp and Michael Chambers, have combined for 1,067 of the Gauchos' 1,430 points scored this season, 74.6%. Granted, Davis, Harris and Rasp have all played some frontcourt this season, as a group they can still be considered the Gaucho backcourt. Of UCSB's top-five scorers this season, by virtue of scoring average, four are guards. The only exception is Casey Cook, who at 10.8 points per game is still listed at the top of the stats. Cook, however, has not played in the last 14 games and will not play the remainder of the season.

The Opponents
UCSB and UC Riverside have played 15 times in a series which began in 1955. The Gauchos hold a 12-3 edge on the Highlanders, but UCR has won the last two meetings between the schools, including a January 27 decision on January 27 in Riverside. The Highlanders also beat UCSB 63-60 on February 28, 2004, in Riverside. The Gauchos topped the Highlanders in Santa Barbara last season, 66-52. The Gauchos and UC Irvine have played 60 times in a series that dates back to 1968. UCSB holds a decisive 38-22 edge in the all-time series. The Gauchos have won the last six consecutive games against the Anteaters, including a 62-45 win at the Thunderdome on December 30. UCSB has also won the last two meetings played at the Bren Center, including an 84-77 win last season.

UCSB At Home
The Gauchos are 7-4 at home this season, but they have lost two straight and three of their last four Thunderdome appearances. On January 22, UCSB dropped a 58-43 decision to Pacific, then defeated Idaho 54-40 on February 3, before losing to Utah State, 80-50, on February 5 and then to Cal State Fullerton on Thursday night. UCSB had a six-game home winning streak snapped when it lost to Pacific, the Big West regular season champion. UCSB has gone 5-3 in Big West home games this season. In addition to the win over Idaho, the Gauchos have posted wins against 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 63-25 at home under head coach Bob Williams.

Consecutive Home Losses Rare
UCSB has lost two straight home games. On February 5, the Gauchos dropped an 80-50 game to Utah State, and then on Thursday night they lost 66-57 to visiting Cal State Fullerton. It marks the first time since midway through the 2001-02 season that UCSB has lost back-to-back home games. During the 2001-02 season, the Gauchos lost consecutive home encounters to Utah State and UC Irvine.

Just Joshing
Junior guard Josh Davis was has been one of UCSB's bright spots this season. He is leading the active players on the team in scoring at 10.3 points per game, but in the last nine games, he has averaged 12.0 points per outing and he has scored in double-figures five times. He had nine points and tied for a team-high with five rebounds in Thursday's game against Cal State Fullerton. A week ago, at Cal Poly, Davis had 15 points and a game-high eight rebounds. In the game against the Mustangs, Davis attempted a career-high 17 free throws, by far the most by a Gaucho player this season. He made nine of the 17 in the game. Although he has kept his scoring average up, Davis has not shot the ball particularly well in recent games. In the last four games, he made 12-of-37 shots from the field, 32.4%. With Gaucho players dropping like flies, Davis has been the only player on the team to start every game this season, and he leads the team in minutes played with 776. While his minutes total is just 49 more than Chrismen Oliver, the next closest player, his total is 144 more than Alex Harris, who ranks third on the team. Davis has logged 24 or more minutes in all 24 Gaucho games this season, and he has played 30 or more 18 times, including 12 times in the last 14 games. While Davis has scored 10 or more points 11 times in 24 games, he has also become one of the team's top rebounders. He is averaging 5.0 boards per game, a figure that is at its highest point since he was averaging 5.0 per game after the first game of the season. Also, he has had five or more rebounds 15 times this season, including 10 of the last 11 games. In the last 11, Davis has averaged 6.3 rebounds, the top mark on the team over that span. In UCSB's January 22 home loss to Pacific, Davis scored 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 and in his career that he had scored 20 or more points. His previous high of 20 came on November 27 at San Francisco. 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. Last year, Davis had 18 steals in 27 games, and his two-year total entering the 2004-05 campaign was 40 steals in 59 games. This season, Davis has 36 steals in 24 games 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 24 three-point baskets are 11 more than he had in his first two seasons combined.

Oliver's Story
Senior guard Chrismen Oliver snapped out of a three-game slump in Saturday's win at Cal Poly. After making just 1-of-18 shots and scoring a total of 10 points in the previous three games, Oliver hit 6-of-11 shots overall, 2-of-5 from three-point range, and he scored 16 against the Mustangs. He followed that outing with a 10 point, three rebound, and four assist game against Cal State Fullerton on Thursday night. He is now second among active UCSB players with a scoring average of 10.2 points per game. Oliver has scored in double-figures 14 times this season, more than any player on the team. The Gauchos have gone 8-6 when he scores 10 or more points. When Oliver scores fewer than 10 points in a game, UCSB has gone 1-9. With the exception of the three-games prior to the game at Cal Poly, Oliver has had an outstanding season. He not only ranks second on the team in scoring, but he leads the Gauchos in assists with 71 (3.0 per game) and steals with 43 (1.8 per game). He is second on the team with 34 three-point baskets and he has made two or more 12 times this season. While he remains the team's second-leading active score. Oliver has led or tied for the team-lead in scoring eight times this season, the most of anyone on the team. In the Gauchos January 20 win over Cal State Northridge, he 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 three times this year, including a perfect 3-for-3 performance on January 15 against UC Davis. During his three-game slump, Oliver did not make a three-point basket, his first three-game streak this season. Prior to that, however, he had made at least one three-point bucket in nine straight games. Oliver is averaging 30.3 minutes per game, second on the team, and he has played 30 or more 13 times. In his first three seasons, Oliver totaled 71 games, 595 minutes and 168 points. This year, he has scored 244 points in 24 games and 727 minutes. He has also made 34 three-pointers this season after entering the year with a career total of 27, and his 43 steals are 12 more than his total for the previous three seasons combined.

See-Saw
Junior guard Joe See continues to emerge on the offensive end of the floor after a slow start to the season. See is now averaging 8.2 points per game, a figure that is at its highest point of the year. In Thursday's loss to Cal State Fullerton, he had 10 points, his fourth consecutive double-figure performance. See scored in double-figures just three times total in the first 20 games. In last Saturday's win at Cal Poly, See scored 16 points for the second game in a row. In the last four, See has made 16-of-31 shots overall, 51.6%, and 9-of-18 from three-point range, 50.0%. Over that span, he has averaged 13.0 points per game. In the last seven games, he has scored in double-figures five times and averaged 11.0 points per game. In the first 17 games this season, See averaged 7.1 points per game and scored in double-figures just two times. With his eight three-point buckets in the last three games, See has taken over the team-lead in the category for the first time this season with 38. He has had at least one in each of the last seven games. See now has 82 three-point baskets in his career, the 10th most in school history. On January 6, in a game at Utah State, See made a career-high eight three-point baskets, the second-highest single-game total in school history, and the most by a Gaucho player since Mark Hull made eight against Arizona in the first round of the 2002 NCAA Tournament. See, who almost single-handedly kept UCSB in the game at Logan, scored a career-high 26 points against the Aggies. Overall, See is shooting just 32.8% from three-point range, but since an 0-for-16 start, he has gone 38-of-100, 38.0%. Also, since opening the year at 2-for-20 overall from the floor, he has gone 61-of-152, a modest 40.1%.

The Harris Poll
Freshman guard Alex Harris struggled on the offensive end in Thursday's loss to Cal State Fullerton. Harris ended the game with just four points, making just 1-of-7 shots from the field and 2-of-5 from the free throw line. In each of his two previous games, a win over Cal Poly and a loss at Pacific, he had tied his career-high with 16 points. Despite his down game against the Titans Harris continues to improve and play a bigger and bigger role for UCSB. Harris has now scored in double-figures nine times this season, including four of the last five games and five times in the last seven games. In the last seven, he has averaged 11.9 points per game, making 26-of-56 shots overall, 46.4%, and 11-of-23 from three-point range, 47.8%. He is now averaging 8.2 points per game, tied for third among active players. In addition to scoring 16 points in the two games prior to Fullerton, Harris also had 16 on January 29 at Cal State Fullerton. He has made two or more three-point baskets six times this year, including three times in the last five games. Although he missed all three of his three-point attempts on Thursday, Harris had made both of his three-point attempts at Cal Poly last week and he was a perfect 3-for-3 on February 5 against Utah State. He is now shooting 37.7% from three-point range, the top figure among active players. Harris is also improving his rebounding. He had four on Thursday night and he has averaged 5.0 per game in the last two. He had a career-high of eight on February 10 at UC Davis. His average of 2.9 rebounds per game is at its highest point since he was averaging 3.0 per game after three games this season. Harris is ranked third on the team in steals with 23, a figure that ranks fifth on UCSB's all-time freshman list. After producing four steals in the first nine games, he has had 19 in the last 15 games, including a career-high of four on February 3 against Idaho. Finally, when Harris tallied 15 points in the season-opener at San Diego State, it was the most points ever scored by a UCSB freshman in a season-opener and the most ever scored by a freshman in his Gaucho debut.

Cam I Am...Or Wish I Could
Junior forward Cameron Goettsche suffered a strained lower back in UCSB's February 10 game at UC Davis and he has missed the last three games as a result. His status for Saturday's game against UC Riverside is very doubtful. Goettsche has struggled in his last two games, including the game at Davis and the previous game against Utah State. In 46 total minutes, he scored a total of six points and had six rebounds, an average of 3.0 per game each. In addition, while he is shooting 47.5% from the field overall, he went just 3-of-10 in last two games, 30.0%. Although he remains the team-leader in rebounding at 6.9 per game, Goettsche has averaged just 5.0 per game in his last five appearances. At one point this season, in consecutive games at San Diego, and at home against Long Beach State and UC Irvine, he recorded double-figures in rebounds. In the December 30 game against UC Irvine, he had a career-high 14 rebounds, the most by a UCSB player since the 2001-02 season. His season-high of 15 points came on January 15 against UC Davis. In a six game stretch, beginning with the first game against UC Davis, and ending with the February 3 game against Idaho, Goettsche had his best offensive run of the season, scoring in double-figures four times and averaging 11.3 points per game. On December 22 at San Diego, he had the third double-double of his career with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Goettsche has become a defensive presence inside. He is second on the team with 24 blocked shots, 10 more than he had last season. He had a career-high four blocked shots on January 15 against UC Davis and he has had two or more nine times this season. The one area of biggest struggle for Goettsche continues to be free throws. Since starting the season by making 6-of-8, has gone 10-of-27, 37.0%.

As The World Turners
Sophomore forward Glenn Turner has been hobbled all year by a bad ankle. In the February 16 game at Pacific, he injured the middle finger on his right hand when he hit the backboard on an attempted blocked shot. He has had the middle finger taped to the ring finger for the last two games and he will continue to do so. In the two games since suffering the finger injury, Turner has played 27 minutes and he has not attempted a shot, going scoreless. He has had four rebounds and one blocked shot over that span. He scored a career-high 12 points on January 13 against Cal Poly. Turner is now averaging 3.9 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. Also, despite having blocked just four shots in the last six games, he leads the Gauchos and the Big West with 38 this season. He has had two or more blocked shots in 10 of his last 17 games. In fact, over one stretch of six games, he had three or more five times, including six on January 8 at Idaho, tying Eric McArthur's single-game record. In the game prior to that, he had five, giving him 11 over a two-game span, a school record. Turner now has 45 career blocked shots, ninth on UCSB's all-time list. With 38 this season, Turner has moved into 10th on the all-time single-season list. In addition to blocking shots, Turner has developed into one of the team's most dependable rebounders. He is not only averaging 4.5 per game, but he has led the team in rebounding nine times, more than anyone else.

Moore Is Better
In each of his two games since returning from a concussion, freshman forward Chris Moore has had a career-high six points and in each of those games he was the team's top scorer among true frontcourt players. A week ago against Cal Poly, Moore made all three of his field goal attempts and on Thursday against Cal State Fullerton, he hit 2-of-3 from the field and both of his free throw attempts. In addition, he had three rebounds in each of the last two games. The 12 points he has had in the last two games combined are three more than he had in his previous ten games combined. Finally, he played a season-high 24 minutes on Thursday against Fullerton.

Grasping His Opportunity
Freshman guard Derek Rasp made his eight start on Thursday against Cal State Fullerton and he scored a career-high 15 points. His previous career-high of 14 came against Cal Poly on January 13, one game before he suffered a lung contusion in a game against UC Davis. The lung contusion caused Rasp to miss five full games. The 15 points he scored against the Titans on Thursday were six more than he had scored in his previous four games, his first four games back from the injured list. He also tied for team-high honors with five rebounds, and his three assists were one short of his career-high. Finally, Rasp made 3-of-9 three-pointers against the Titans. The nine attempts were a career-high and the three makes were one short of his career-high of four, set against Cal Poly on January 13.