Gauchos Open Home Schedule Thursday, Play Six of Next Seven at Thunderdome

Nov. 14, 2007

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The Schedule
Game No. 4
Thursday, November 15, 2007 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Cal Poly Pomona Broncos
at UCSB's Thunderdome

Game No. 5
Tuesday, November 20, 2007 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. USF Dons
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
UC Santa Barbara opened the 2007-08 season by winning two out of its three games at the Basketball Travelers Classic in Palo Alto, Calif., last weekend. The Gauchos defeated Northwestern State and Harvard before losing in the tournament finale to Stanford.. That being said, UCSB is 2-1.

Gauchos Play Next Four At Home
UCSB will open its home schedule on Thursday, Nov. 15, when it hosts NCAA Division II Cal Poly Pomona in a 7:00 p.m. game at the Thunderdome. The game against the Broncos will start a run of four consecutive home games for the Gauchos. In fact, Santa Barbara will play six of its next seven games at the Thunderdome with the only exception being a Dec. 1 trip to Loyola Marymount. Following Thursday's game against Pomona, UCSB will host San Francisco (Nov. 20), Montana State (Nov. 24) and UNLV (Nov. 27).

UCSB Ranked 23rd In Mid-Major Poll
After opening the 2007-08 season ranked 20th in the Collegeinsider.com Mid-Major Poll, UCSB has dropped to 23rd after the first week of play. Gonzaga continues to lead the poll. Cal State Fullerton is the only other Big West school receiving votes and they are ranked 28th.

UCSB Wins Two Of Three At Stanford
The Gauchos won two of three games at the Basketball Travelers Classic in Palo Alto, Calif. In the tournament opener, UCSB used a strong second half to blow open a close game and win going away, 92-71. Senior guard Alex Harris had 27 points and senior forward Ivan Elliott added a career-high 17 in the win. On Saturday, the Gauchos used a 27-9 run over the final eight minutes to defeat Harvard, 79-61. Harris again led the way with 24. Senior forward Nedim Pajevic had 16 points and seven rebounds. On Sunday, Santa Barbara dropped its first game of the year to 21st-ranked Stanford, 67-48. Harris had 18 and junior forward Chris Devine added 14 points and eight rebounds. The Cardinal attempted 39 free throws in the game while UCSB took just nine.

Probable Starters - Notes
G - Justin Joyner - Had 10 assists and just five turnovers in first three games.
G - Alex Harris - Led the Gauchos in scoring in all three games at Stanford.
G - James Powell - Fouled out of the game against Stanford, his first DQ ever.
F - Chris Devine - Had season-highs of 14 points and eight boards vs. Stanford.
F - Ivan Elliott - Scored a career-high 17 points against Northwestern State.

Probable Reserves - Notes
G - Nick Quick - Played in one of the three games at Stanford.
G - Jordan Weiner - Made his only shot, a three-pointer, in Stanford tourney.
G - Paul Roemer - Had career-highs of 10 points and four assists in opener.
G - D.J. Posley - Had four steals in the three tournament games.
G - George Murphy - Did not travel to Stanford and could redshirt 2007-08.
F - Nedim Pajevic - Scored 16 points in Saturday's win over Harvard.
F - Sam Phippen - Played total of five minutes in two games at Stanford.
F - Beau Gibb - Played in all three games at Stanford, a total of 30 minutes.
F - Spencer Ford - Freshman forward will redshirt 2007-08 season.

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 142-123 (.536) 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 331-223 (.597) at four-year schools.

The Opposition
UCSB and Cal Poly Pomona will be meeting for the first time in more than 35 years. The Gauchos beat the Broncos 71-64 on Feb. 1, 1972, the last time the teams met. UCSB holds an 11-2 lead in the all-time series which began in 1947. Santa Barbara and San Francisco will be meeting for the 34th time. The Dons have a 23-10 lifetime advantage over the Gauchos, but UCSB has won the last two meetings, including a 74-69 victory in The City on Dec. 17, 2006. The Gauchos also won the last Thunderdome meeting between the schools, 82-59 on Nov. 18, 2005.

UCSB Picked To Win Big West
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.

Harris, Devine Honored
Senior guard Alex Harris and junior forward Chris Devine were 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 rebounds per game, is a two-time Second Team All-Big West selection. He was also chosen to the preseason All-Big West Team prior to the 2006-07 season. In addition to the preseason league honor, Harris was selected to a pair of Preseason Mid-Major All-America Teams. He was named Second Team Mid-Major All-America by collegehoops.net and to the 25 member Mid-Major All-America squad selected by collegeinsider.com.

Gauchos Hope Home Cooking Tastes Better This Year
UCSB will play its next four games at the Thunderdome. In fact, the Gauchos will play six of their next seven at home. In a normal year, that would be good news. Last year, that would not necessarily have been the case. UCSB had its problems in home games in 2006-07. The Gauchos needed wins in their final two home games last season to finish with a pedestrian 8-6 record on their home court. The 8-6 mark equaled the poorest home record in Bob Williams' first nine years as head coach. The team also went 8-6 at home in Williams' first season 1998-99. On the other hand, UCSB's 10-5 record away from home last year was outstanding. The 10 wins were the most true road wins in school history.

Plenty Of Turnover
UCSB is playing a different style of defense this season. In an effort to create more offense from their defense, the Gauchos are trapping more in the frontcourt than they have in past years. First-year assistant coach Danny Yoshikawa employed the defense during his tenure as head coach at West Valley College. If first impressions mean anything, the new style worked in its regular season debut weekend. In three games at the Basketball Travelers Classic in Palo Alto, the Gauchos forced 66 turnovers, an average of 22 per game. Last year, UCSB opponents averaged just 13.4 turnovers per game. In the season opener, Northwestern State turned the ball over 28 times and in the second game, Harvard committed 22 turnovers. Last season, the highest total of turnovers forced by the Gauchos was 21 and that came in a double overtime win over Pepperdine. On the other side of the court, UCSB committed 20 turnovers in the opener against Northwestern State, but bounced back with steady performance against Harvard and Stanford. Against the Crimson, the Gauchos had 13 turnovers and against the Cardinal they had just 12.

Something Was Afoul
Last year, UCSB attempted 84 more free throws than its opponents, but if early indications are accurate, that trend could go the other way in 2007-08. In the opener against Northwestern State, the Gauchos actually attempted 27 free throws to the Demons 14, but in the games against Harvard and Stanford that turned around. On Saturday against the Crimson, UCSB attempted 14 free throws while its opponent took 26. In that game, three Gaucho players fouled out, the most in one game in nearly 20 years. On Sunday, UCSB attempted just nine free throws while sending the host Cardinal to the line 39 times. Overall, in the final two games, opponents attempted 65 free throws to Santa Barbara's 23. Also, two more Gauchos fouled out of Sunday's game, making it five disqualifications in three games. Last year, in 29 games the Gauchos only had 12 disqualifications.

The Harris Poll
Although he struggled with his shooting a bit, senior guard Alex Harris seems to have picked up where he left off last season. Harris averaged a team-leading 23.0 points per game in the three games over the weekend. He led the Gauchos in scoring in all three games and had game-highs of 27 against Northwestern State and 24 against Harvard. Following the tournament, Harris was named to the All-Tournament Team. His 27-point performance equaled the fourth highest total his career. Harris made 21-of-46 field goal attempts in the three games, 45.7%, but after making 2-of-4 attempts from three-point territory against Northwestern State, he made just 2-for-10 in the final two games, both against Stanford. Harris also averaged 4.0 rebounds in the first three games and he tied for team-high honors with seven against Stanford. Additionally, his five steals were the most of any Gaucho in the three games. Finally, with 69 points through the first three games, Harris has now scored 1,138 in his career, moving him from 18th-place to 15th-place on UCSB's all-time list. He needs just four points to pass Raymond Tutt for 14th-place.

The Devine File
Junior forward Chris Devine had an up-and-down experience at Stanford. In the first of the three games, he injured his knee in the first half and hobbled off the court and into the locker room. He came back and finished with 13 points. In the second game, against Harvard, Devine again scored 13 points, but, for the first time in his career, he did not have a rebound and he fouled out in just 15 minutes. In the finale against Stanford, Devine had his best game, scoring 14 points and grabbing eight rebounds in 31 minutes. After making just 3-of-8 shots in the opener against Northwestern State, the native of Eagle River, Alaska, hit 11-of-19, 57.9%, in the final two games.

Ivan The Good
Senior forward Ivan Elliott jumped out to a solid start to the 2007-08 season. One of the pleasant surprises of the Gauchos' trip to British Columbia, Elliott barely missed a beat in the first three regular season games. In the first game, against Northwestern State, he made 8-of-10 shots, including a three-pointer, and scored a career-high 17 points. He also had a career-best three steals. Against Harvard, he had seven points, seven rebounds and he tied his career-high with three blocked shots. Elliott also hit another three-pointer in the win over the Crimson. Against Stanford, he had seven points, six rebounds, two assists, one steal and a blocked shot. He also made a three-pointer for the third straight game. In all, Elliott is averaging 10.3 points and a team-leading 5.3 rebounds per game. Through the three games, he also leads the team in field goal shooting at 58.3%.

Justin Time
Guard Justin Joyner, a Big West All-Freshman Team selection last season, is off to a good start in his sophomore season. Although nursing an injured right wrist, Joyner led the Gauchos with 10 assists in the three games at Stanford. He has a 2-to-1 assist to turnover ratio having committed just five turnovers in 79 minutes through three games. In addition to his assists, Joyner averaged 4.3 points per game in the tournament and he was a key part of UCSB's pressure defense that forced an average of 22 turnovers in the three games.

Old Buddy, Old Powell
Also a member of the Big West All-Freshman Team a year ago, sophomore guard James Powell got off to a bit of a rocky start to the 2007-08 season. He struggled with his shooting in all three games and hit just 7-of-25 shots for the weekend, 28.0%. After going 2-for-10 in the opener and then starting the game against Harvard by missing his first four, Powell did make five of his last 11 shots on the weekend, 45.5%. The Pomona, Calif., native also uncharacteristically had his problems at the free throw line over the weekend, making just 1-of-3 attempts. Last year, Powell was the Gauchos' best free throw shooter at 81.8%. He did have nine assists in the three games, 3.0 per game, and in the season opener against Northwestern State, Powell tied for the team-lead in rebounds with five, just one shy of his career-high of his career-high.

Shaking Off The Rust
Senior forward Nedim Pajevic (pronounced Pie-uh-vich) had his ups and downs in his first regular season action since transferring to UCSB from Weber State following the 2005-06 season. In the three games, Pajevic averaged 9.3 points and 3.7 rebounds. He scored 10 points and had four rebounds in the opener against Northwestern State and then followed that up with 16 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots against Harvard. In Sunday's tournament finale against nationally-ranked Stanford, the native of Sarajevo struggled with just two points and no rebounds in 12 minutes. He also fouled out of the game against the Cardinal. The 16 points that Pajevic scored against Harvard were one short of his career-high of 17, set during his junior season at Weber State. The seven rebounds he had against the Crimson tied his personal-high.

The Supporting Cast
All 12 Gauchos who made the trip to Stanford last weekend played, but in addition to the top six players, three others played significant minutes. Junior guard D.J. Posley, a transfer from John A Logan College, had his trouble shooting the ball (1-for-11), but he played outstanding defense and had four steals. Sophomore guard Paul Roemer had a very good opener against Northwestern State (career-highs of 10 points and four assists), but struggled in the next two games (no points, two assists and six turnovers). Junior forward Beau Gibb, who has recovered from knee surgery, averaged 2.0 points and 2.3 rebounds in the three games.