March 4, 2009
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara basketball team has lost guards James Powell and Nick Quick to injuries. The duo will be sidelined for this weekend's final two regular season games against UC Riverside and Long Beach State. There is a slight chance that Powell could return for next week's Big West Tournament.
In practice on Tuesday, Powell, a junior, took an elbow to the right eye during a rebounding drill and suffered a fracture to the lower portion of the right eye socket. While he is out for the games against the Highlanders and 49ers, Powell will see a specialist on Monday, Mar. 9 to assess the injury and determine his status for the Big West Tournament. It is, however, highly doubtful that he will return.
In Wednesday's practice, Quick, a senior, suffered a moderate tear of the medial collateral ligament in his left knee. While he will not need surgery, he will not return to action.
"There were two freak accidents," said UCSB head coach Bob Williams. "James takes an elbow to the eye during a regular rebounding drill and Nick pump-faked a guy into the air and then when he came down, the knees hit. I feel so bad for both. James just loves to play so much and this is hard for him. And Nick finally gets an opportunity to contribute at the end of his senior year, and with James out he would have played even more, and this happens. It's heartbreaking."
Powell, who has played in every game since arriving at UCSB, was averaging 9.6 points, 2.5 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and 1.0 steals per game. He leads the Gauchos in three-point baskets with 43. Quick has played in 11 games, averaging 1.1 points per game, but in UCSB's last game, a 66-64 win over UC Davis, he came off the bench to spark a second half comeback, scoring a career-high seven points - all in the second half ¬- in a career-high 12 minutes.
The Gauchos host UC Riverside on Thursday, Mar. 5 at 7:00 p.m. before completing the regular season on Saturday Mar. 7 with a 7:00 p.m. contest against Long Beach State. Plenty of good tickets remain available for both games and can be purchased from the Ticket Office in the Intercollegiate Athletics Building on campus, by calling 805-893-UCSB, or on-line by clicking here.