November 8, 2005

Gauchos Host Westmont in Final Exhibition Tune-Up Wednesday Night

Nov. 8, 2005

The Schedule
Exhibition Game No. 2
Wednesday, November 9, 2005 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Westmont College Warriors
at UCSB's Thunderdome
Radio: KTMS 990 AM

Game No. 1
Friday, November 18, 2005 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. the University of San Francisco Dons
at UCSB's Thunderdome
Radio: KTMS 990 AM

The Gaucho Record
UCSB opened the 2005-06 season on Nov. 3 with a 57-36 exhibition win over UC San Diego. In 2004-05, the Gauchos finished the regular season with an overall record of 11-18 and a Big West mark of 7-11. UCSB defeated Long Beach State in the first round of the 2005 Big West Tournament but lost to Cal State Fullerton in the second round.

Gauchos Picked Third In Big West Preseason Polls
UCSB was tabbed to finish third by both the coaches and the media at last week's Big West basketball media day. Cal State Fullerton, which advanced to the third round of the 2005 Postseason National Invitation Tournament, was picked to win the 2005-06 league title by both the coaches and media. Pacific, which won the 2004-05 Big West crown and has won 35 of its last 36 conference games, was picked to finish second. The Gauchos were picked third by the coaches and, along with Cal State Northridge, they were picked to finish third by the media. Northridge was picked fourth by the coaches.

UCSB Gets Defensive In Exhibition Win Over UC San Diego
UCSB opened its 2005-06 season with a 57-36 exhibition win over visiting UC San Diego on Thursday, Nov. 3. The Gauchos limited the Tritons to 34.0% shooting and they forced UCSD into 19 turnovers in the win. UCSB was lead by sophomore forward Chidi Ajufo who had 13 points in 19 minutes. A native of Lagos, Nigeria, Ajufo is a transfer from Pensacola Community College. He was forced into a more primary role because of the absence of injured post players Cameron Goettsche (ankle) and Glenn Turner (knee). Another sophomore forward, Chris Devine, started for the Gauchos and had 10 points and two steals in 29 minutes. Freshman forward Tom Garlepp, a native of Perth, Australia, added eight points.

Injury Bug Gets Early Start
In 2004-05, UCSB players missed 125 games because of injuries. In the exhibition opener against UCSD, four Gaucho players were sidelined because of injuries. Junior forward Glenn Turner, one of the few players to play in all 29 regular season games last year, is out with a subluxation of his right patella. He is expected to be out for another 10 to 14 days, meaning that he could miss the Gauchos' regular season opener against San Francisco on Nov. 18. Senior forward Cameron Goettsche missed the last two weeks with a left ankle sprain. He will likely miss Wednesday's game against Westmont College, but he is expected back at some point late this week. Sophomore swingman Derek Rasp and freshman guard Lance Hurdle missed the exhibition opener with sore backs, but both will be available for the Westmont game.

Possible Starters - Notes
G - Cecil Brown - Playing his first game in a year, had six points and seven rebounds vs. UCSD.
G - Josh Davis - Had team-high three assists to go with seven rebounds vs. UCSD.
G - Alex Harris - Scoreless in 27 minutes vs. UCSD. Did have six rebounds and two assists.
F - Chris Devine - Had 10 points and two steals in first game in 30 months.
F - Tom Garlepp - Started at the five spot due to injuries and had eight points.

Possible Reserves - Notes
G - Lance Hurdle - Missed the exhibition opener with a sore back. Should return Wednesday.
G - Derek Rasp - Missed the exhibition opener with a sore back. Should return vs. Westmont.
G - James Powell - Had four points and one rebound in his debut.
G - Joe See - Had six points and two assists in 13 minutes vs. UCSD.
G - Michael Chambers - Had five points, three rebound and two assists vs. UCSD.
F - Cameron Goettsche - Missed two weeks, but has returned to practice and could play vs. Westmont.
F - Chidi Ajufo - Led the team with 13 points in just 19 minutes vs. UCSD.
F - Chris Moore - Ineligible until the end of the fall quarter at UCSB.
F - Glenn Turner - Subluxation of right patella has him out for 10 days to two weeks.
C - David Massey - At 7-foot-3 his the tallest player in program history. Will redshirt the year.

The Bob Williams File
Bob Williams is entering his eighth season as the head coach at UC Santa Barbara. Last year his team struggled with injuries and finished 11-18 overall and 7-11 in the Big West Conference. It marked the first time that a Williams-coached UCSB team finished below the .500 mark in league play. During the 2004-05 season, however, Williams became the fifth UCSB coach to record 100 wins. Prior to last season, he had guided the Gauchos to three straight winning seasons, the first time the program 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. 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. Williams' UCSB teams have posted a 107-97 (.525) overall record and a 73-47 (.608) 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 296-197 (.601) at four-year schools.

Happy Returns: Part I
Senior guard Cecil Brown posted some modest numbers in UCSB's first exhibition game. In the win over UC San Diego, Brown had six points and seven rebounds in 27 minutes. He also had a pair of assists and a steal, but he made just 2-of-6 shots from the field. Still, just being on the court made it a good game for Brown. After an outstanding effort in last season's exhibition opener against Cal State Los Angeles, Brown suffered a knee injury in practice a couple of days later. When he was set to return in mid-December, he suffered an ankle injury that caused him to miss the remainder of the 2004-05 season. His loss was a major blow to the Gauchos. Brown was expected to be one of UCSB's pivotal players last season. He was not just a major part of the offensive scheme, but also the team's emotional leader. As a sophomore in 2003-04, Brown averaged 7.7 points and 1.8 rebounds per game. This year, if he is healthy, he will undoubtedly be a staple in the starting lineup and a key to UCSB fortunes.

Happy Returns: Part II
Sophomore forward Chris Devine's return to active duty was not just happy, but also nervous. Devine was not actually returning to the UCSB lineup. Despite arriving in Santa Barbara in the fall of 2003, until the game against UCSD, he had never put on a Gaucho uniform. Wrist and knee injuries caused Devine to miss the entire 2003-04 season. He returned as a freshman last year only to suffer more knee problems. Just a few days prior to the opening of practice for the 2004-05 season, Devine had surgery for Osteochondritis Dissecans in his left knee. While the surgery was successful, he was forced to miss another full year. Thus, when he pulled-on his uniform and laced-up his shoes for the Nov. 3 exhibition opener against UCSD, it was his first real game in more than 30 months. Devine, the starter at the four spot, played 29 minutes, scored 10 points and had three rebounds. He also had two of UCSB's four steals and he made all three of his field goal attempts. Devine admitted after the game that he was nervous at the outset, but the only evidence of that was a 4-for-8 free throw shooting performance which was a far-cry from the nearly 90-percent that he shot as a high school senior way back in 2002-03. Still, nobody is complaining.

Chidi, Chidi, Bang, Bang
That was way too easy. Sophomore forward Chidi (pronounced Chid-ee) Ajufo came to UCSB after two years, one of which was a redshirt year, at Pensacola Community College in Florida. Ajufo was born in and spent much of his life in London, but he lists Lagos, Nigeria, as his hometown. Either way, the 6-foot-6, 240-pounder seems to have found a home as a Gaucho. Forced into a key role for the exhibition game against UCSD, Ajufo responded with a team-leading 13 points. He also had three rebounds in his 19 minutes at the five spot. He came off the bench against the Tritons, but he played 14 of his minutes in the second half. Ajufo made 4-of-6 shots from the field and 5-of-10 from the free throw line. He also played decent low-post defense in his debut.

A Schedule To Write Home About
Last season, UCSB played a total of just 12 home games, nine conference games and three non-conference games. The non-conference home games included a Saturday afternoon affair against San Diego State, a mid-December game against Montana and a game against future Big West opponent UC Davis. This year the home schedule is more attractive. The Gauchos will play six non-conference home games and for the first time since the 2001-02 season and only the second time during Bob Williams' head coaching tenure, they will open the regular season at home. UCSB will host the University of San Francisco on Friday, Nov. 18 at 7:00 p.m. In fact, the Gauchos' second game of the year is also at home, Monday, Nov. 21 at 7:00 p.m. against the University of San Diego. This will mark the first time UCSB has opened with consecutive home games since the 1994-95 season. Santa Barbara will also play home games against Pepperdine (Dec. 17), Sonoma State (Dec. 20), Portland (Dec. 28) and UC Davis (Feb. 2).

Is That THE North Carolina?
UCSB's first road game in 2005-06 will be a doozy. The Gauchos will board an airplane the day before Thanksgiving and play their first road game on Friday, Nov. 25 at defending National Champion North Carolina. Although the Tar Heels have no starters returning from their title team of last seasons and they are not ranked in the first Associated Press top-25 poll, they will still represent one of the road schedule's highlights. On the way back from Tobacco Road UCSB will stop in Tempe, Ariz., to play a Monday, Nov. 28 game at Arizona State of the Pac Ten. The Gauchos will also play non-conference road games at Loyola Marymount (Dec. 3), San Diego State (Dec. 17), Fresno State (Dec. 23) and UC Davis (Jan. 15). Overall the schedule is probably the best in several seasons for the Gauchos. UCSB will also open Big West play on the road at UC Riverside on Jan. 2.

From Down Under To Up Front
Freshman forward Tom Garlepp came a long way to start in UCSB's frontcourt. Actually, Garlepp probably would have come off the bench if not for injuries to the Gauchos' top two post players, but as it was, he made the start at the five spot. Garlepp, a native of Perth, Australia, played 27 minutes in his first outing, finishing with eight points, two rebounds and a blocked shot. He made 3-of-5 shots from the field and 2-of-3 from three-point range. Garlepp, the first redhead to play for UCSB in many years, could continue to start at the five as long as Glenn Turner and Cameron Goettsche are sidelined, but at some point soon he will likely return to his more natural position at the four spot.

Random Notes
UCSB made 183 three-point baskets last season, an average of 6.3 per game. In the exhibition opener against UCSD, the Gauchos not only did not make a three-point bucket but they attempted just three. Last season UCSB averaged 18.6 three-point attempts per game, never made fewer than three and never attempted fewer than 12...The Gauchos outrebounded UCSD by a 38-30 count in last week's game. The rebounding came from some unlikely sources too. UCSB frontcourt players, Chris Devine, Tom Garlepp and Chidi Ajufo, produced eight of the rebounds. Backcourt players Josh Davis, Cecil Brown, Alex Harris and Michael Chambers combined for 23 rebounds. Davis and Brown led the way with seven apiece...Last season one of UCSB's greatest bugaboos was turnovers. The Gauchos averaged nearly 13 turnovers per game. In the exhibition game against UCSD, Santa Barbara had just nine turnovers and backcourt players had just three of those.