Gauchos, 2-0, Head to Las Vegas to Renew Old Rivalry Against UNLV

Nov. 15, 2006

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The Schedule
Game No. 3
Friday, November 17, 2006 at 7:35 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at UNLV Rebels
UNLV's Thomas and Mack Center

Game No. 4
Tuesday, November 21, 2006 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at Pepperdine Waves
at Pepperdine's Firestone Fieldhouse

On The Radio
All UC Santa Barbara basketball games are broadcast live in Santa Barbara on KTMS, 990-AM. KEYT-TV Sports Director Gerry Fall is in his third 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 show will be aired each Tuesday night from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on KTMS 990-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.

The Gaucho Record
UC Santa Barbara will enter Thursday's game at UNLV with a record of 2-0. The Gauchos opened the 2006-07 season on Nov. 10 with a 75-67 home win over San Jose State and then on Monday night, they won at Montana State, 88-56. UCSB posted a 2-0 record in the exhibition season. The Gauchos recorded wins over UC San Diego (62-51) and Westmont College (76-68). UCSB finished the 2005-06 season with an overall record of 15-14 and a Big West mark of 6-8. The Gauchos finished fifth-place in the league. UCSB won eight of its final 11 games in 2005-06 to finish over the .500 mark for the fourth time in five seasons.

The Opponents
UCSB and UNLV have played 33 times in a series that dates back to 1970. For many years, the Gauchos and Rebels were PCAA and Big West opponents. The last time the teams met was on February 10, 1996 in Santa Barbara when UCSB posted a 65-57 win. The Gauchos only win in Las Vegas came on January 7, 1988 by a score of 62-60. UCSB and Pepperdine have played 66 times in a series that dates back to 1940. The Waves hold a 35-31 edge all-time. The Gauchos won last season's match-up at the Thunderdome, 65-56. Guard Cecil Brown scored a career-high 28 points in that game. UCSB has not won in Malibu since it recorded a 70-63 win on Dec. 6, 1994.

Harris Named Big West Player Of The Week
Junior guard Alex Harris was selected Big West Player of the Week after leading the Gauchos to a season-opening win against San Jose State. Harris scored a career-high 25 points and made a career-high five three-point baskets as UCSB overcame a 12-point deficit to record a 75-67 victory. He tallied 15 of his 25 points in the second half. The award was the first ever for Harris. Last year, only one Gaucho, Cecil Brown, earned Player of the Week honors.

Gauchos Parlay Fast Starts Into Blowout Win At Montana State
UCSB used fast starts in the first and second halves on Monday night en route to an 88-56 win at Montana State. The Gauchos opened the game by outscoring the Bobcats 19-1 and then they transformed a 44-26 halftime lead into a 63-28 blowout by going on a 19-2 run to open the second half. Montana State never got closer than 21 the rest of the way and UCSB cruised to a 2-0 record. For the second straight game Alex Harris led the way for the Gauchos. He had 21 points and career-high five steals. Junior forward Ivan Elliott had a career-high 14 points and a pair of blocked shots. Freshman guard James Powell and junior forward Chris Devine each had 12 points. The Gauchos outshot the Bobcats 57.9% to 32.7% and they outrebounded them, 37-30. Every UCSB player on the trip scored at least two points and all but one Gaucho made a field goal. Santa Barbara was also nearly perfect from the free throw line as it hit 16-of-17 from the stripe, 94.1%. The 32-point margin was the largest margin of victory on the road since Dec. 19, 1992 when the Gauchos recorded an 79-37 win at St. Mary's.

Brown, Turner Remain Out As Gauchos Head To UNLV
Senior guard Cecil Brown and senior forward Glenn Turner each missed Friday's opener against San Jose State and Monday's game at Montana State and neither will accompany the team to Las Vegas for Friday night's game at UNLV. Brown suffered a stress fracture in his right foot before the start of practice on Oct. 13, and while he has started doing some running, he is not expected to return until some time in late November. Turner had a procedure to repair a hernia on Thursday, Nov. 9, and is not expected back for a few weeks. Both Brown and Turner were penciled in as starters before the injuries.

Probable Starters - Notes
G - James Powell - Had a career-highs of 12 points, three assists and two steals at Montana State.
G - Alex Harris - His 25 and 21 points in first two games are the top-two outings of his career.
G - Justin Joyner - Freshman made his first career start at Montana State.
F - Chris Devine - His eight points early fueled UCSB's 19-1 start at Montana State.
F - Tom Garlepp - Had career-high eight rebounds vs. SJSU and career-high five assists at MSU.

Probable Reserves - Notes
G - Paul Roemer - Walk-on freshman has made a three-pointer in each of the first two games.
G - Trevor Bing - Has made 3-of-4 shots from beyond the three-point line.
G - Ivan Elliott - Made 5-of-6 shots and scored career-high 14 at Montana State.
F - Emmanuel Bidias a Mouté - Had four points, three rebounds and a steal in 10 minutes at MSU.
F - Beau Gibb - Was the only Gaucho without a field goal at Montana State.
F - David Massey - Scored his first points and had his first rebound at Montana State.
F - Sam Phippen - Freshman forward will redshirt the 2006-07 season.

The Infirmary - Notes
G - Cecil Brown - Stress fracture in right foot has him sidelined until late-November.
F - Glenn Turner - Repaired hernia has him out indefinitely.

The Bob Williams File
Bob Williams is in his ninth season as the head coach at UC Santa Barbara. Last year his team overcame a slow start to finish over the .500 mark for the fourth time in five seasons. UCSB was 15-14 overall and 6-8 in the Big West. Prior to the 2004-05 season, when an injury-ravaged Gaucho team finished below .500, Williams had guided the program to three straight winning seasons for the first time since the late 1980s. 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 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 Championship ever and first NCAA Tournament appearance in 12 years. Williams' UCSB teams have posted a 124-111 (.528) overall record and a 79-55 (.590) 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 313-211 (.597) at four-year schools.

UCSB Looks For First 3-0 Start Under Williams
For the second straight season and the third time since Bob Williams became head coach, UCSB has opened a season with a 2-0 record. Last year, the Gauchos opened with home wins over San Francisco and San Diego and in 2001-02, they opened with a home win over Westmont and a road win at San Francisco. On Friday at UNLV, the Gauchos will be looking for their first 3-0 start since the 1994-95 season. I probably just jinxed it, but it's my job to inform.

Gauchos Enter 2006-07 With Extreme Makeover
UCSB has opened the 2006-07 season with a vastly different roster than it finished the 2005-06 season. Gone are eight of the 13 players from last season's team. In their place are two redshirt freshmen, a transfer from a four-year school, two junior college transfers and four true freshmen. In fact, due to injuries, the Gauchos had only three returnees play in the season-opener and the two exhibition games. Of the 200 minutes logged by UCSB players in Friday night's win over San Jose State, 97 (48.5%) were played by newcomers.

Newcomers Make Themselves Heard
As mentioned in the paragraph above, UCSB's roster has had a pretty major overhaul from last year and the new players have wasted little time in making their marks. In the first game of the season, against San Jose State, new players scored 28 of the team's 75 points, 37.3%. In the win at Montana State, the figure was even more extreme as newcomers scored 46 of the team's 88 points, 52.3%. In the first two games overall, new players have tallied 74 of UCSB's 163 points, 45.4%. Also, they have collected 16 of the 28 assists (57.1%) and 41 of the 72 rebounds (56.9%).

UCSB struggled from the free throw line in its two exhibition games. Overall, they made just 60.7% and if you excluded Alex Harris, the percentage dropped to 47.1%. The first two games of the regular season have been a different story. In the opener against San Jose State, the Gauchos made 13-of-14 from the line, 92.9%. On Monday at Montana State, they drilled 16-of-17, 94.1%. Overall, UCSB has made 29-of-31 shots from the free throw line, 93.5%, and without looking it up, I would have to guess that if they can keep up the current pace, the Gauchos would at least approach an NCAA record for free throw percentage in a season. Leading the way thus far at the line are Alex Harris (9-for-9), Tom Garlepp (6-for-6) and Ivan Elliott (6-for-6). Chris Devine, a 77.8% free throw shooter last year, has struggled mightily from the stripe this year. He is 0-for-1.

Getting Offensive
The 88 points that the Gauchos scored in the win at Montana State on Monday were more than they scored in any game last year. UCSB's highest point total in 2005-06 was 82 points, scored in an overtime win at Cal State Northridge and a home win against San Francisco. The last time the Gauchos scored more than 88 points was on March 6, 2004, when they scored 89 points in a win over Long Beach State.

The Gauchos On The Road
UCSB is 1-0 in road games this season. The Gauchos opened the road portion of their schedule with an 88-56 win at Montana State on Nov. 13. UCSB posted a 5-9 record in true road games in 2005-06 and a 6-10 mark in all non-home games. While the 5-9 doesn't seem like much, it includes an 0-7 start and a 5-2 finish. The Gauchos opened the 2005-06 season with seven straight road losses, extending a two-season streak to nine straight road defeats. Last season, UCSB posted road victories at San Jose State, UC Irvine, Long Beach State, Cal State Northridge and UC Davis.

Nothing Marginal About This Win
On Monday night, UCSB blasted Montana State by a score of 88-56. The 32-point margin was the Gauchos' largest margin of victory for a road game since they trounced St. Mary's 79-37 in Moraga on Dec. 19, 1992. The margin was also the largest in any game, home or road, since an 82-50 home win over Long Beach State on Jan. 26, 2002, and it equals the largest margin by a Bob Williams-coached UCSB team. The last time the Gauchos beat any team by more than 32 points was on Dec. 6, 1997, when they topped San Francisco State, 92-50, at the Thunderdome.

The Kids Are Alright
UCSB's trip to Montana State on Monday marked the first time since Bob Williams became head coach in 1998 that a Gaucho team had gone on the road without a senior in the traveling party. Santa Barbara's only two seniors, guard Cecil Brown and forward Glenn Turner, stayed at home nursing injuries. UCSB's 11-man roster at Bozeman, and undoubtedly at UNLV, consisted of four juniors, two sophomores and five freshmen.

Men Of Steal
Last season, UCSB averaged just 6.1 steals per game. In the first two games of the 2006-07 season, the Gauchos have averaged 10.0 per game. Santa Barbara had 11 steals in the season-opener against San Jose State, just one short of last season's high, and on Monday night at Montana State, the Gauchos had nine more. UCSB has already had two players record a career-high in steals. Chris Devine had five steals against San Jose State and Alex Harris had five at Montana State, a career-high for each.

A Positive Ratio
In 2005-06, UCSB had a negative assist-to-turnover ratio. In each of the first two games in 2006-07, however, the Gauchos have been on the plus side. They had 16 assists and 15 turnovers against San Jose State and 15 assists and 13 turnovers at Montana State.

The Harris Poll
Junior guard Alex Harris was named Big West Player of the Week this week and that was before he had another outstanding game. Harris earned the award for his career-best 25-point performance in the season-opening win over San Jose State. On Monday night, he scored 21 points, the second-highest total of his career, and had a career-best five steals in UCSB's win at Montana State. If you include the Gauchos' two exhibition games, and we would love to, Harris has scored 21 or more in all four games. In the two regular season games, he is averaging 23.0 points per game and he has made 55.6% of his shots overall and 50.0% of his three-pointers. Harris has a team-leading seven three-point baskets through two games and he had a career-high five against San Jose State. Through two games, he has also shown a penchant for success in the second half. Of his 46 points, 29 have come in second halves. he had 15 in the second half against San Jose State and 14 in the second half at Montana State. In the win over San Jose, Harris also tied his career-high with 37 minutes played, including all 20 in the second half. On top of everything else, he has also led the Gaucho success-parade at the free throw line by making all nine of his attempts.

The Devine File
Junior forward Chris Devine has been solid in UCSB's first two games. He enters the game at UNLV averaging 13.0 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. After opening the season with 14 pints, eight rebounds, a career-high five steals, two assists and a blocked shot against San Jose State, Devine was limited to 19 minutes at Montana State because of foul trouble. In fact, Devine fouled-out against the Bobcats. He did, however, fuel the Gauhcos' 19-1 run to start the game. He scored eight of the team's first 12 points as it piled-up an insurmountable lead. After making 7-of-16 shots in the opener, Devine hit 6-of-8 on Monday and is now shooting 54.2%. Interestingly, after leading UCSB with 10-3 free throw attempts in 2005-06, he has attempted just one free throw in the first two games this season. In fact, Devine has one of UCSB's two misses on the season. Devine, a Second Team All-Big West choice last season, was selected to the league's preseason all-conference team this year. After playing almost exclusively at the four spot in his first season of activity, Devine has played at both the three and four early this season. However, after starting both exhibitions at the three, he has started at the four in each of the first two regular season games.

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie! Oye, Oye, Oye!
Sophomore forward Tom Garlepp has started the first two regular season games and in each he has set a new career-high. Garlepp had nine points in the win at Montana State, a figure that is actually the third-highest of his career, but he had a team-high five assists, a career-high. In the first game against San Jose State he scored eight point, his fourth-highest total ever. Garlepp also had eight rebounds and two steals against the Spartans, both career-highs. In his two outings, the native of Perth, Australia, has made 35.7% of his field goal attempts, but after making just 2-of-9 in the first game, he was a solid 3-of-5 in game two. Also, he has six assists and no turnovers so far this season. Finally, Garlepp was one of the team's best free throw shooters a year ago, making 81.8%, and nothing has changed. He has hit all six of his attempts this year and, dating back to the 2005-06 season, he is now 24-of-28 from the free throw line in his career, 85.7%.

Old Buddy, Old Powell
Freshman guard James Powell teamed with fellow-freshman Justin Joyner to give UCSB its first all-freshmen starting backcourt since the 2000-01 season when Jacoby Atako and Nick Jones were starting late in the season. Powell has been solid in each of the two games this season and he enters the game at UNLV as one of three Gauchos averaging in double-figures at 10.5 points per game. On Monday at Montana State, he made 5-of-10 shots overall, 2-of-6 from three-point range and registered his first double-figure scoring game with 12 points. Powell also had highs of five rebounds, three assists and a pair of steals against the Bobcats. He is now averaging 3.5 rebounds per game and all seven of his rebounds have come on the defensive end. Powell has made at least one three-point basket both games, one of four Gauchos to do so.

Ivan The Good
Junior forward Ivan Elliott started the two exhibition games, but when the regular season opened he was coming off the bench. In the opener against San Jose State he struggled with just two points and two rebounds in eight minutes. He attempted just one field goal against the Spartans. On Monday, Elliott looked more like the player that the UCSB coaching staff expects to see. He played 17 minutes, made 5-of-6 field goal attempts, 4-of-4 free throws, and scored 14 points. He also had two blocked shots and three rebounds. In fact, Elliott is now a perfect 6-of-6 from the free throw line.

After starting the season-opener against San Jose State, junior guard Trevor Bing came off the bench in the game at Montana State. He enters the game at UNLV having made 3-of-4 three-point attempts in his first two games as a Gaucho. Bing, who is averaging 5.5 points per game, actually played more minutes against Montana State (18) than he did against San Jose State (13).

Justin Time
Freshman Justin Joyner joined the starting lineup for the first time on Monday at Montana State and in doing so, he teamed with James Powell to give UCSB its first all-freshman backcourt since 2000-01. You will need to read Powell's paragraph to get more info on that bit. Either way, Joyner helped the Gauchos kick-up the defensive pressure against Montana State and that was a major factor in the 19-1 start and, ultimately, the win. While Joyner has not shot the ball well through two games (33.3%), he leads the team in assists with eight and he has committed just two turnovers. He had a personal-best of six assists in the opener against San Jose State. One more word regarding Joyner's shooting, he has missed all seven of his three-point attempts, but he is a 4-of-5 from two-point range. Actually that was far more than one word. Oh well.

Brown Out
Cecil Brown, who is out until at least late-November with a stress fracture in his right foot, led the team in scoring in 2005-06 at 13.1 points per game. He also posted career highs in rebounds (3.7 per game), assists (2.3 per game), steals (21), three-point baskets (42), field goal percentage (42.0%) and free throw percentage (78.5%). Without Brown in the lineup, the Gauchos have been forced to play Chris Devine more at the three-spot, and they are also forced to play others more minutes that preferred. A Second Team All-Big West selection last year, Brown is actually in his sixth year at UCSB. He missed the 2001-02 and 2004-05 seasons due to injuries and in the spring of 2006 the NCAA awarded him an additional year of eligibility. When he returns, he will be expected to move into a starting wing position.

The Turner Factor
After missing six months of activity while he underwent a myriad of tests following a incident of shortness of breath, chest tightness and dizziness in a March 2 game at Pacific, Glenn Turner was cleared to return to the Gauchos in late-September. It was determined that the incident at Pacific was the reaction to a combination of medications that Turner was taking at the time. Early on in practice, however, the senior from San Jose, Calif., took an elbow in the groin area and it aggravated a hernia. On Nov. 9, he had the hernia surgically repaired and he is expected to remain sidelined for a few weeks. When he does return, he too will be an important part of the puzzle. Last year, he played in 23 games, starting eight, and he averaged 4.7 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. He also blocked 32 shots. At the time that he was sidelined, Turner had become one of the team's most vital contributors.

Around The Key
Walk-on freshman guard Paul Roemer, a high school teammate of Justin Joyner, has made a three-point basket in each of the first two games...UCSB's 7-foot-3 center David Massey, the tallest player in school, saw his first action ever at Montana State and he also posted his first stats, scoring two points and grabbing one rebound in four minutes...Emmanuel Bidias a Mouté has six points and four rebounds in 15 minutes over two games...Following the road game at Pepperdine, the Gauchos return home to host defending-Mountain West Conference champion San Diego State on Saturday, Nov. 25 at 7:00 p.m. in the Thunderdome.