March 4, 2005
The Gaucho Record
UC Santa Barbara enters its regular season finale with an overall record of 10-16 and a Big West record of 7-10. On Thursday night, the Gauchos dropped a 72-63 game at UC Irvine. UCSB has now gone 2-2 in its last four games. Prior to the loss at UCI, the Gauchos had closed-out their home schedule with a 58-54 win over UC Riverside.
Anteaters Rally To Top Gauchos, 72-63
UC Irvine used a 30-11 run over the final 12 minutes on Thursday night to defeat UCSB, 72-63. Guard Ross Schroeder, who had been limited to five points over the first 28 minutes of the game, exploded for 16 points, including four three-point baskets, during the final 12 minutes. He finished with a game-high 21 points. The Gauchos made nine three-point baskets of their own, four by senior guard Chrismen Oliver and three by freshman guard Derek Rasp, build their second half lead. Oliver finished with a team-high 18 points, and for the third game in a row Rasp finished with a career-high 15. UCI made 20-of-24 free throw attempts and outscored UCSB by 10 at the free throw line, and outrebounded the Gauchos 36-31. The win by the Anteaters ended a six-game UCSB winning streak in the series.
The Gauchos & 49ers
The Gauchos and Long Beach State have played 95 times in a series that dates back to 1952. The 49ers hold a 49-46 lead in the series, but UCSB won the first meeting between the schools this year, winning on December 28 in Santa Barbara, 54-47. The Gauchos have not had much luck playing at the Pyramid in recent years. Last season, the 49ers came back from a 20 point second half deficit to beat UCSB on a buzzer-beating three-pointer, 63-62. In 2002-03, Long Beach made a pair of free throws with two seconds left to escape with a 68-67 win. In 2001-02, a three-pointer with just seconds remaining gave the 49ers a 77-74 win. The last time UCSB won at the Pyramid was during the 2000-01 campaign, when it posted a 78-71 win.
UCSB enters the final regular season game in a tie with UC Irvine for fifth-place in the Big West. The way I figure it, and take that for what it's worth, the Gauchos need a win, and either a UCI loss at home to Cal Poly, or a Cal State Northridge win at Cal State Fullerton, to finish fifth. The UCSB win and UCI loss scenario is the most obvious. In that scenario, the Gauchos would finish a full game ahead of the Anteaters. The other scenario would mean that the two teams finish with 8-10 league records, and since they split games this season, fifth-place would be determined by a tiebreaker. The fifth-seed in the league tournament would be decided by how the teams did, in descending order, against the top of the league standings. Both UCSB and UCI were swept by Pacific and Utah State, that is a wash, but a Northridge win over Fullerton would mean that the Matadors would finish ahead of the Titans, and in that case, the Gauchos would win the tiebreaker. Why? Because UCSB split with Northridge and UCI was swept in its series against the Matadors. On the other hand, if Fullerton wins, the opposite would be true. UCI split with the Titans, and the Gauchos were swept. These game notes are probably not being used as the primary source for Big West Tournament scenario explanations, so I am going to leave it at that.
UCSB On The Road
It was nice while it lasted. Two weeks ago, the Gauchos ended an 11-game road losing streak with a win at Cal Poly. On Thursday night they tried to piece together their first two-game road winning streak of the season, but it wasn't to be. UCSB enters the game at Long Beach State with a 1-12 record away from home. After opening the season with an overtime win at San Diego State, the Gauchos dropped 11 consecutive games away from home before their win at Cal Poly. Against the 49ers, UCSB will try to win its third road game of the year. Three road wins would be the fewest by a Bob Williams-coached Gaucho team. Needless to say, two road wins would also be the fewest road wins by a Williams-coached UCSB squad.
The Good News From Irvine: UCSB Injury List Remains The Same
The bad news was the loss at UC Irvine. The good news was that, while there were a couple of hard falls, there were no new additions to the UCSB injury list. So, here is the latest injury report. The following players are definitely out for the game against Long Beach State and any postseason games UCSB will play. Junior guard Cecil Brown, senior forward Casey Cook, freshman forward Chris Devine and freshman forward Todd Follmer. Brown has not played this season. He missed the first six games of the year with a partially torn medial collateral ligament in his right knee, and he has missed the rest of the games with a stress fracture in his lower right ankle. Cook played in the first nine games of the season, but in game 10, on January 2 at Cal State Northridge, he fractured a bone in his right foot. Initially, it was believed that he would possibly return for the final week of the regular season and the Big West Tournament, but the injury has not sufficiently healed so Cook will spend his final games as a Gaucho sitting on the bench with a walking boot on his foot. Devine had knee surgery prior the start of practice in October. It was originally thought that he too would return at some point, but the injury has not healed sufficiently to allow his return, and he will not make his UCSB debut until the 2005-06 campaign. Although he is not injured, Follmer will redshirt the 2004-05 season. The biggest question mark entering the stretch-run of the season is junior forward Cameron Goettsche. Goettsche missed four games earlier in the year with a severely strained groin, and then on February 10, in the first half of a game at UC Davis, he strained his lower back. He missed the second half of that game, and he has missed all of the last five games. Goettsche the Gauchos' leading rebounder at 6.9 per game, will not play at Long Beach State, and his status for the Big West Tournament is also in doubt. Sophomore forward David Kennedy, who missed 14 of the first 15 games of the season with a stress fracture in his leg, injured a toe on his right foot in practice last week and did not play against Cal State Fullerton. He did, however, return to play the last two games and he is expected to play this weekend. Sophomore forward Glenn Turner fractured the middle finger on his right hand in a game at Pacific on February 16, but he has continued to play with the middle finger taped to the ring finger. He is expected to continue playing. Freshman forward Chris Moore missed two games after suffering a concussion against Utah State on February 5, but he has played in the last four games. In all, Gaucho players have missed 107 games because of injury. That does not include Follmer's redshirt games.
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 105-95 (.526) overall record and a 72-45 (.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 294-195 (.603) at four-year schools.
Possible Starters - Notes
G - Chrismen Oliver - Had 18 points and career-high four three-pointers at UCI on Thursday.
G - Alex Harris - Had the worst shooting night of his career at UCI, going 0-for-9.
G - Josh Davis - Pulled-down a season-low one rebound in 35 minutes vs. Anteaters.
F - Derek Rasp - Has scored a career-high 15 points in each of the last three games.
F - Glenn Turner - Tied his career-high with eight rebounds at UCI.
Possible Reserves - Notes
G - Joe See - Has attempted just five shots combined in the last two games.
G - Michael Chambers - Has averaged 5.3 points per game in the last six games.
F - David Kennedy - Had career-highs of four points and five rebounds at UCI.
F - Chris Moore - After scoring career-high 10 vs. UCR, he was scoreless at UCI.
F - Derek Wheeler - Has attempted just four shots in 64 minutes of action this season.
Close Margins Remain Rare For UCSB
UCSB has had few narrow margins in games this season. Of the Gauchos 26 games, 14 have been decided by 10 points or more. The closest games that UCSB has played this season, with the exception of an 80-72 overtime win in the season-opener against San Diego State, were both against UC Riverside. In each of the games against the Highlanders, the margin was four points. UCSB topped UCR in Santa Barbara 58-54, and lost in Riverside, 54-50. The Gauchos' largest margin of victory this season came on January 13 when they defeated Cal Poly by a 76-56 score. The largest margin of defeat was their 80-50 loss to Utah State on February 6. The 30-point loss to the Aggies was, in fact, the second-largest margin of defeat ever suffered by a Bob Williams-coached Gaucho team.
A Nice Turn Of Events
UCSB had just seven turnovers in Saturday's game against UC Riverside. The total of seven tied for the second fewest turnovers that the Gauchos have had this season. It marked the ninth time this season that UCSB had committed 10 or fewer turnovers in a game, and all 10 of those games have come within the last 18 games. In fact, in the first seven games this year, the Gauchos averaged 15.4 turnovers per game, and in the last 18, they have averaged just 9.2 per game.
Free Throw Streak Comes To An End...Thankfully
UCSB has had its problems at the free throw line this season, but on Thursday night, the Gauchos made 10-of-12, 83.3%. The 83.3% performance from the charity stripe ended a streak of nine consecutive games in which UCSB shot below the 70.0% mark. In fact, prior to the game at UC Irvine, the last time the Gauchos made better than 80.0% of their free throws was in a loss at Utah State on January 6. In the game against the Aggies, UCSB drilled 11-of-12 free throws, 91.7%.
The 18 points that Chrismen Oliver scored on Thursday night marked the third-highest total of his season and career...Oliver's four three-pointers were a career-high and they give him 39 on the year, pulling him into a tie with Joe See for the team-lead...The 18 points also pulls him past Josh Davis and back into the lead among active players at 10.3 points per game...Oliver has averaged 12.7 points per game in the last four games...He has now led the team in scoring nine times this season, more than any other Gaucho...In addition, Oliver has scored 10 or more point 15 times, the most on the team.
Josh Davis had six points, four assists and one rebounds at UC Irvine...The one rebound was his lowest total of the season...Although he is now averaging 4.8 rebounds per game, Davis has had just three boards in 64 minutes in the last two games...His four assists were his second-highest total of the season...Davis has made 20-of-57 shots over the past six games, 35.1%...Also, for the first time this season, he has gone without a three-point basket in four straight games...Davis remains the only UCSB player to have played in and started every game this season.
Freshman Alex Harris, who is averaging 8.0 points per game, has averaged just 5.0 in the last three games, making just 3-of-22 shots over that span, 13.7%...He had his worst offensive game as a Gaucho on Thursday night when he missed all nine of his field goal attempts, including four three-point tries...He did make all four of his free throw attempts...Harris' four points give him 207 and move him into 10th on UCSB's all-time freshman list.
Walk-on freshman has tied his career-high with 15 points in each of the last three games...A week ago, against UC Riverside, Rasp scored 12 of his 15 in the first half...On Thursday, he scored 13 of his 15 in the second half...He had his 15 at UCI in just 20 minutes of action...He has now made 11 three-point baskets in the last three games...Had a season-high five threes vs. UCR a week ago...Rasp has now scored in doiuble-figures five times this season, all in his last 10 appearances...His five rebounds vs. Anteaters gives him five in three of the last four games.
In the game at UC Irvine, for the first time since he fractured the middle finger on his right hand, Glenn Turner attempted a field goal...Actually, Turner attempted three, making two, and scoring four points...He also tied his career-high with eight rebounds vs. the Anteaters...By making 2-of-3 shots, Turner has now made 32-of-64 on the year, 50.0%, taking over the team-lead in that category...Although he has blocked just one shot in the last four games, he remains the Big West leader in that category with 38...He is the only UCSB frontcourt player to have played in all 26 games this season.
Joe See attempted just three shots, making two, in the loss at UC Irvine...See scored seven points against the Anteaters...In the last two games, he has attempted just five shots in 34 minutes, including just one three-pointer...By making one three-point basket on Thursday, he remains tied for the team-lead in that category...While he is shooting 33.3% from three-point range for the season, See opened the year by missing his first 16 attempts, and since that 0-for-16 start, he has gone 39-oif-101, 38.6%.
Michael Chambers has scored five points in each of the last two games, and he has now scored five or more four times in the last six games, averaging 5.3 per game over that span...Although he is shooting just 32.4% on the season, Chambers has made 11-of-24, 45.8%, in the last six game.
On the heels of three straight solid efforts, Chris Moore struggled in Thursday's game at UC Irvine...Moore played nine minutes against the Anteaters, missing his only field goal attempt, and collecting one rebound...In the previous game, a win over UC Riverside, Moore scored a career-high 10 points and had a career-high four rebounds...He is the only true UCSB frontcourt player to score in double-figures since Cameron Goettsche did so on February 3 against Idaho...Despite his scoreless effort on Thursday, Moore is averaging 5.5 points per game in the last four games.
David Kennedy tied his career-high with four points on Thursday night...He also set a new career-high with five rebounds...He made both of his field goal attempts against the Anteaters, and he is now shooting 50.0% on the year, 5-of-10...Also, for the first time in his career, Kennedy is averaging more than one point per game at 1.2 per outing.
Derek Wheeler was scoreless in 12 minutes on Thursday night...He did not attempt a field goal...Wheeler has attempted just three field goals in 64 minutes over seven games this season, one every 21.3 minutes of play.