October 30, 2007

Gauchos Host Cal State Dominguez Hills in Only Exhibition Game Thursday

Oct. 30, 2007

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The Schedule
Exhibition Game No. 1
Thursday, November 1, 2008 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Cal State Dominguez Hills Toros
at UCSB's Thunderdome

On The Radio
All UC Santa Barbara basketball games are broadcast live in Santa Barbara on KTMS, 990 and 1490 AM. KEYT-TV Sports Director Gerry Fall is in his fourth year as the play-by-play voice of the Gauchos. Former Los Angeles Lakers and UCSB star Don Ford handles the color commentary for the majority of games, home and road. When Ford is not available for road games, Bill Mahoney, yours truly, will handle the task. Steve Wendt, the voice of the UCSB women's basketball team, will handle the play-by-play for a handful of men's games this season.

The Bob Williams Show
The Bob Williams in Paradise show will be aired each Tuesday night from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on KTMS 990 and 1490 AM in Santa Barbara. Coach Williams will talk about past and upcoming games, interview Gaucho players and welcome guests from the Santa Barbara sports community. Bob in Paradise is broadcast live each week from The Paradise Cafe on the corner of Anacapa and Ortega in downtown Santa Barbara.

The Gaucho Record
In 2006-07, UC Santa Barbara posted an overall record of 18-11 and a Big West record of 9-5. At 9-5 in league, the Gauchos tied with Cal Poly and Cal State Fullerton for second-place in the standings.

Coaches, Media Select UCSB To Win Regular Season Title
UCSB was picked to win the Big West regular season title by the coaches and the media day at the league's annual Media Day on Oct. 24. It marked the first time that Santa Barbara has been chosen to win the title since 2003-04. In the coaches poll, the Gauchos collected four of nine first-place votes to finish with 58 total points, six points more than the second-place pick, Cal Poly. The Mustangs had one first-place vote. Pacific and Cal State Fullerton each totaled 48 points in the poll, but the Tigers were chosen to win the title by three coaches while the Titans had one first-place vote. UC Irvine finished fifth with 42 points. In the media poll, UCSB garnered 13 first-place votes and 152 total points. Cal Poly was once again picked second with two first-place votes and 138 points. Cal State Fullerton was picked third by the media with one first-place vote and 114 points. UC Irvine was fourth and Pacific was chosen fifth. While defending Big West champion Long Beach State was slotted seventh by the media, the 49ers did collect a pair of first-place votes.

UCSB Opens Season Ranked 20th In Mid-Major Poll
Not only has UCSB been tabbed as the preseason favorite to win the Big West regular season crown, but the Gauchos will also start the season ranked 20th in the Collegeinsider.com Mid-Major Top-25. UCSB, which was ranked in the top-25 for portions of the 2006-07 season, accumulated 139 points in the poll. West Coast Conference power Gonzaga is ranked first in the poll with 741 points and 15 first-place votes. Southern Illinois, Butler, Davidson and Virginia Commonwealth round out the top-five. The only other Big West Conference school to receive points was Cal State Fullerton with 89, a figure that ranks 30th.

Gaucho Duo Earns Preseason All-Big West Recognition
Senior guard Alex Harris and junior forward Chris Devine chosen to the Big West Conference's preseason all-league team. Harris, who led the circuit in scoring in 2006-07 at 21.1 points per game, was a First Team All-Big West Conference choice as a junior. Devine, who averaged 14.1 points and a team-leading 6.6 assists per game, is a two-time Second Team All-Big West selection. The rest of the six-man preseason all-conference team included Anthony Brown (Pacific), Scott Cutley (Cal State Fullerton), Patrick Sanders (UC Irvine) and Dawin Whiten (Cal Poly).

Probable Starters - Notes
G - D.J. Posley - Honorable Mention J.C. All-American in 2006-07.
G - Alex Harris - Named First Team All-Big West after leading league at 21.1 ppg.
G - James Powell - Big West All-Freshman Team choice made 38 three-pointers.
F - Chris Devine - Two-time Second Team All-Big West choice averaged 14.1 ppg.
F - Ivan Elliott - Made a team-best 56.0% from the field as a junior.

Probable Reserves - Notes
G - Nick Quick - Junior guard redshirted the 2006-07 season.
G - Jordan Weiner - Freshman was a redshirt in 2006-07.
G - Paul Roemer - Played a total of 132 minutes in 16 games as a freshman.
G - Justin Joyner - Al-Freshman Team member may miss exhibition with sore wrist.
G - George Murphy - Freshman guard is a candidate to redshirt the 2007-08 season.
F - Nedim Pajevic - Transfer from Weber State redshirted the 2006-07 season.
F - Sam Phippen - Redshirt freshman could receive playing time at the four or five.
F - Beau Gibb - Played 72 minutes in 12 games as a sophomore.

The Bob Williams File
Bob Williams is in his 10th season as the head coach at UC Santa Barbara. Last year his team recorded an overall record of 18-11 and a Big West mark of 9-5. The 18 wins were the most regular season wins by a Gaucho team since 1991-92 and it equaled the second most wins a Williams-coached UCSB team has ever had. Williams has led Santa Barbara to winning records in five of the last six seasons, the only exception being a 2004-05 team that was ravaged by injuries. He has guided UCSB to a pair of postseason appearances. In 2002-03, the 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 title ever and first NCAA Tournament appearance in 12 years. Including this season, Williams' UCSB teams have posted a 140-122 (.523) overall record and an 86-59 (.589) 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 329-222 (.597) at four-year schools.

Gauchos Debut In Only Exhibition Thursday
The 2007-08 UCSB team will get their first test on Thursday, Nov. 1, when it hosts Cal State Dominguez Hills in a 7:00 p.m. game at the Thunderdome. The game will be the Gauchos' only exhibition of the season and they will open the regular season on Nov. 9-11 in the Basketball Travelers Classic at Stanford. UCSB will play Northwestern State on Nov. 9, Harvard on Nov. 10 and Stanford on Nov. 11.

Trip To Carolina Highlights Gauchos Schedule
A Dec. 22 trip to play top-ranked North Carolina is one of several highlights on UCSB's 2007-08 schedule. For the second time in three seasons, the Gauchos will play the Tar Heels in Chapel Hill, N.C. Other highlights include a Nov. 27 Thunderdome visit by UNLV, a former Big West Conference rival and 2007 NCAA Sweet 16 team, and a trip to Stanford's Basketball Travelers Classic on Nov. 9-11. The Gauchos and Cardinal will play on Nov. 11

More Honors For Harris
Senior guard Alex Harris paced the Big West in scoring in 2006-07 at 21.1 points per game, a figure that ranked 11th nationally. Following the year, he was selected First Team All-Big West and Second Team All-District 15 by the National Association of Basketball Coaches. Although he and the Gauchos are yet to play a game, Harris has continued to collect honors in 2007-08. In addition to being selected to the Preseason All-Big West Team, the 6-foot-6 native of Alameda, Calif., was chosen Second Team Mid-Major All-American by Collegehoops.net.

Two For The Show
Senior guard Alex Harris and junior forward Chris Devine, each an all-conference choice in 2006-07, return as the highest scoring one-two punch in UCSB basketball history. Harris had 611 points last season, the third highest total in school history, and Devine added 408 for a two man total of 1,019, five more than the second highest scoring tandem of Lucius Davis and Idris Jones (1,014) and a combined average of 35.1 points per game.

Not So Fresh Faces
Guards Justin Joyner and James Powell were each named to the Big West's All-Freshman Team following the 2006-07 season. Joyner started 26 games at the most demanding of positions, point guard, and lived to tell about it. He led the team with 81 assists and committed just 54 turnovers. Powell played in all 29 games and made 17 starts, most in the first half of the season. He was fourth on the team in scoring at 8.8 points per game and second in three-point baskets with 38. His total of 256 points ranks eighth all-time among UCSB freshmen. Now, as grizzled veterans, Joyner and Powell will be looked to for even greater contributions. There is some question about the health of Joyner's right wrist, and it is possible that he will not play in the exhibition game against Cal State Dominguez Hills. Powell slightly sprained his ankle last week and sat out a couple of practices, but he is expected to play Thursday.

The Fifth Dimension
When the Moon is in the seventh house and Jupiter aligns with Mars. I don't even know if those are the right lyrics, but what I do know is that the Gauchos' fifth dimension is senior forward Ivan Elliott. Last year, Elliott played in all 29 games, making 17 starts. He averaged 6.1 points and 6.0 rebounds per game and was, with little question, the team`s energizer. The native San Franciscan could also see his role increase more than any other player on the roster in 2007-08. UCSB plans to employ a new defensive scheme this season, a scheme that uses more pressure to created scores off of turnovers. The architect of the new defense is first-year assistant coach Danny Yoshikawa, formerly the head coach at West Valley College, where Elliott played for two seasons. When the Gauchos toured British Columbia in September, playing five games with the new defense, it was Elliott who stood out. On the defensive end, he was somewhat of a coach on the floor. Despite missing one game because of sprained ankle, Elliott averaged 11 points, eight rebounds, three assists and nearly three steals per game in Canada. He could play a similar role for UCSB during the regular season.

Keep Him Posted
Perhaps the most biggest addition to the UCSB roster in 2007-08 is senior transfer Nedim Pajevic. Actually, there is no perhaps about it, at 6-foot-9, 230, he is definitely the biggest addition. Pajevic will team with Devine and Elliott to give the Gauchos a potentially potent and versatile frontcourt. As a junior at Weber State in 2005-06, the native of Bosnia averaged 6.7 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game while playing primarily a high post position. When he moved down to the low post for the final nine games of the season, Pajevic averaged 10.2 points and shot 60.9%. Among the things that became apparent on UCSB's September trip to Canada, was that Pajevic is an exceptional passer, from the high or low post. He should also give the Gauchos even greater defensive presence down low and a solid rebounder.

Playing For Keeps
UCSB will open the regular season on Friday, Nov. 9 when it travels to Stanford to take part in the Basketball Traveler's Classic. The Gauchos will take on Northwestern State at 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 9, Harvard at 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 10, and Stanford at 3:00 p.m. on Nov. 11.

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