UCSB Embarks on Lengthy Road Trip to Begin 2004-05 Campaign, Opens at San Diego State on Friday
Nov. 17, 2004
Game No. 1
Friday, November 19, 2004 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at San Diego State Aztecs
at SDSU's Cox Arena
Radio: KTMS 990 AM
Game No. 2
Tuesday, November 23, 2004 at 5:00 p.m. (PST)
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at University of Wisconsin Badgers
at Wisconsin's Kohl Center
Radio: KTLK 1340 AM
On The Radio
All UC Santa Barbara radio games are broadcast live in Santa Barbara by ClearChannel Santa Barbara. Most of the games are broadcast on KTLK 1340-AM, but three will be carried on KTMS 990-AM. While his picture in the media guide may be a bit fuzzy, KEYT-TV Sports Director Gerry Fall is in his first season as the play-by-play voice of the Gauchos and he is as clear as can be. Former Los Angeles Lakers' Superstar Don Ford will again be mikeside for the color commentary. Much to the disgust, chagrin and revulsion of the Santa Barbara radio-listening community, UCSB Assistant Athletics Director for Media Relations Bill Mahoney will handle the color commentary for selected road games.
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. Show is produced at the Paradise Cafe in downtown Santa Barbara.
The Gaucho Record
UC Santa Barbara finished the exhibition schedule with a perfect 2-0 record. The Gauchos opened exhibition play on November 4 and recorded a narrow win over Cal State Los Angeles (56-49). On November 12, UCSB had a comfortable 78-60 win over Westmont College. In 2003-04, Santa Barbara posted an overall record of 16-12 and a Big West mark of 10-8. The Gauchos finished third in the league's regular season standings and lost to Cal State Northridge in the first round of the the Big West Tournament.
Brown, Kennedy Join Lengthy Injured List
Junior guard Cecil Brown and sophomore forward David Kennedy were the most recent additions to UCSB's lengthy injury list. Brown is expected to miss six to eight weeks with a partially torn medial collateral ligament in his right knee. The knee was injured in practice on November 6, so he will be out until some time in late December or early January. Kennedy has a stress fracture in his right leg, and he is expected to be out four to six weeks. Brown and Kennedy each missed the Gauchos' second exhibition game, a win over Westmont College, as did the charter members of the injured list, junior forward Cameron Goettsche, sophomore forward Glenn Turner and freshman forward Chris Devine. Goettsche has a strained groin and is expected to miss at least another week. Devine had surgery on his right knee before the start of practice in October, and he is expected to be sidelined until some point in January. Turner cleared to practice this week and should play in Friday's season opener at San Diego State.
Eight Was Enough, But Nine Is Even Better
Eight players were enough to win a pair of exhibition games, but the Gauchos would love to have a ninth player back for the regular season-opener at San Diego State on Friday, and that should become a reality. Glenn Turner, out with a sprained ankle since before the beginning of practice in October, was clearted for practice on Monday. Depending on his progress in practice, he should be available for the game against the Aztecs and that should alleviate the situation somewhat.
Possible Starters - Notes
G - Chrismen Oliver - Averaged 6.0 points and 2.5 assists in two exhibitions.
G - Joe See - Averaged 10.0 points, 3.5 assists and 3.0 rebounds in two exhibitions.
G - Alex Harris - Had 12 points in 29 minutes in his start against Westmont.
F - Josh Davis - Had a game-high nine boards vs. Westmont, averaged 7.5 in exhibitions.
F - Casey Cook - Averaged 14.5 points and 7.0 rebounds in two exhibitions.
Possible Reserves - Notes
G - Michael Chambers - Had a 19 points, including five three-pointers, vs. Westmont.
G - Derek Rasp - Walk-on guard saw 13 minutes of action vs. Westmont.
F - Glenn Turner - Missed both exhibitions. Expected to play in opener at SDSU.
F - Chris Moore - Made his only field goal in nine minutes vs. Westmont.
The Infirmary - Notes
G - Cecil Brown - Knee injury has sidelined him until late December or early January.
F - Cameron Goettsche - Injured groin has him sidelined until probably late November.
F - Chris Devine - Knee injury him out until mid-January.
F - David Kennedy - Stress fracture in right leg has him sidelined until some point in December.
F - Todd Follmer - Still expected to redshirt the 2004-05 season.
The Bob Williams File
Bob Williams is in his seventh season as the head coach at UC Santa Barbara. Last year, he guided the Gauchos to a 16-12 overall record and a 10-8 mark in Big West Conference play. He has also guided UCSB to three straight winning seasons, the first time the program has 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. In addition, 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 steered UCSB to its first Big West Conference Tournament Championship ever and first NCAA Tournament appearance in 12 years. In his six-plus seasons in Santa Barbara, Williams' teams have posted a 96-79 (.558) overall record and a 66-36 (.647) 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 285-179 at four-year schools.
Lengthy Road Trip Opens Regular Season
UCSB will begin the 2004-05 regular season with four road games. The Gauchos will begin campaign at San Diego State on Friday, November 19, and then after a brief return to Santa Barbara, they will hit the road for a Tuesday, November 23 game at the defending Big Ten Tournament champion Wisconsin. After taking Thanksgiving off, UCSB will close its four-game season-opening road stretch with games at West Coast Conference opponents San Francisco (November 27) and Pepperdine (December 1). The Gauchos will play their first non-conference home game on Saturday, December 4, when they host San Diego State in a rematch of the season-opener.
Santa Barbara has recorded a 2-4 mark in season-openers under Bob Williams. The 2-4 log includes last season's 57-51 win at Hawaii. Over the years, the Gauchos have gone 41-23 in season-openers under seven different coaches dating back to the 1937-38 season. The 41-23 mark includes an 0-2 record in season-openers against San Diego State, against whom the Gauchos opened the 1980-81 and 1981-82 seasons. Because of World War II, UCSB did not play basketball from 1943 through 1946.
If our records are accurate, UCSB and San Diego State, former Pacific Coast Athletic Association rivals, have played 75 times in a series dating back to 1937. The Aztecs hold a 40-35 edge over the Gauchos. The last time the teams met was in the first round of the 2003 National Invitation Tournament at Cox Arena, and San Diego State edged UCSB in overtime, 67-62. Friday's meeting is the first of two between the schools this season. The Gauchos and Aztecs will play at the Thunderdome in Santa Barbara on Saturday, December 4 at 7:00 p.m. UCSB and Wisconsin have never met.
The Gauchos On The Road
In 2003-04, UCSB posted a 6-10 record in games away from the Thunderdome. The Gauchos were 5-6 in true road games during the 2003-04 season, including a season-opening win at Hawaii and a December win at UCLA. In neutral court games, they were just 1-4.
The Best In Southern Cal
Just before the opening of practice in October, every NCAA Division I head coach in Southern California, actually all but one, attended the Los Angeles Athletic Club's annual tip-off banquet. At the event, all the coaches in attendance march up to the dais and say a few words about their program. It was at that event that one of the coaches, probably Bob Williams, mentioned that in 2003-04, UCSB had the best overall won-loss record of any NCAA Division I school in Southern California. Upon researching the bold assertion, it can now be stated that the statement was absolutely true. Among the 13 Division I programs from San Luis Obispo to San Diego, the Gauchos' modest 16-12 record was the best.
UCSB has inked two backcourt players to National Letters of Intent for the 2005-06 season. On Wednesday, Bob Williams announced the signing of 6-foot-3 guard James Powell, and 6-foot-1 guard Lance Hurdle. Powell is a combination guard from Glendora, Calif. He is entering his senior season at Glendora High School where, as a junior, he averaged 16.1 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 2.7 steals per game. Powell also nailed 60 three-pointers. He was selected First Team All-CIF Division I and First Team All-Sierra League after leading Glendora to a 28-2 overall record and the second round of the CIF Playoffs. Hurdle, from La Mesa, Calif., is also a combination guard and he is entering his senior season at Helix High School. As a junior, Hurdle averged 12.9 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.2 steals and a San Diego County-leading 5.9 assists per game. He was a Second Team All-East County choice and a First Team All-Grossmont League selection after helping Helix to a 20-8 overall record. Hurdle also made 47.1% of his field goal attempts.
Cooking Up Some Stability
Senior forward Casey Cook was expected to be one of UCSB's workhorses in 2004-05, and that status has solidified as the rest of the frontcourt players have dropped like flies. Last season, Cook played in 25 games, making 18 starts, and he averaged 9.9 points and 4.6 rebounds per game. His 9.9 points per game average is the highest among Gaucho returnees and his rebounding total ranks second among returnees overall and first among returnees who are healthy. The 6-toot-8 native of Sacramento, Calif., also led the team in field goal percentage at 49.7%. Although a leg injury caused him to miss three full games and limited him in a few others, Cook was one of UCSB's most consistent players during the 2003-04 season. He is also expected to be one of the team's mainstays in 2004-05 and if his performance in two exhibitions is any indication, he is up to the challenge. In the contests against Cal State Los Angeles and Westmont, Cook played a total of 66 minutes, an average of 33.0 per game, and he averaged 14.5 points and 7.0 rebounds. He also chipped-in with 3.0 assists per outing and he made 11-of-19 shots from the field, 57.9%, and 7-of-8 from the free throw line, 87.5%.
If this were baseball, junior Josh Davis would be considered UCSB's utility infielder. But this is not baseball, and Davis is just considered one of the team's most versatile players. By all rights, health permitting, he will play primarily at the three spot as the season unfolds, but for now, he will play some at the two, the three, the four, and, possibly the point. As a sophomore, Davis averaged 4.5 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game. He started 13 games, most at the very beginning and very end of the season, and he saw his role flucuate from a primary offensive option to a secondary option. This year, he is expected to be a primary option. In two exhibitions, Davis averaged 9.9 points, a team-best 7.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. He made 7-of-16 shots from the floor, 43.7%, but after missing his first four, he made 7-of-12, 58.3%. Davis started the first exhibition game, a win over Cal State Los Angeles, at one of the wing positions, but in the second exhibition, he started at power forward and responded with nine points, nine rebounds, three assists and one blocked shot. He also played a team-high 34 minutes in the win over Westmont.
Point Guard Tag-Team On Hiatus
Early-on, senior guard Chrismen Oliver and junior guard Joe See had a tag-team thing going at the point guard position. Oliver made the start in the season's first exhibition game, a 56-49 victory over visiting Cal State Los Angeles. Oliver played 20 minutes, scoring two points, passing off for two assists and coming-up with a pair of steals. In all, he had a good poker hand (three of a kind), and a decent debut in a starting role. See struggled with his shot early, but finished with eight points, four rebounds, three assists and one steal in 23 minutes. He made 3-of-9 shots from the floor overall and 2-of-6 from three-point territory. With the multitude of injuries, however, both Oliver and See were in the starting lineup for UCSB's second exhibition game, a win over Westmont. Both played better in the second game. Oliver logged 30 minutes, six more than he has ever played in a regular season game, and he had ten points, three assists, one steal and a pair of rebounds. He also made 4-of-7 shots from the field overall. In the two exhibitions, Oliver hit 2-of-6 three-point attempts, 33.3%. See, starting at his more familiar off-guard position, playaed a game-high 34 minutes against Westmont. He paced the team in assists with four, and he added 12 points on 3-of-7 shooting from the field, 2-of-5 from three-point range, and 4-of-4 from the free throw line. Easily UCSB's leader in three-pointers last season with 44, See made 4-of-11, 36.4%, in the two exhibition games.
For those of us who remember `Mongo', the Alex Karras character in Blazing Saddles, it is difficult to see the similarities between he and freshman guard Alex Harris. For those of us sitting upstairs in the Thunderdome for UCSB's second exhibition game, a 78-60 win over Westmont College, we kept hearing the Gaucho public address announcer say `basket by Alex Karras' everytime Harris scored. Of course the PA announcer was saying `Alex Harris', not `Alex Karras', but it could make for a nice nickname. Either way, that is all filler. The point is, after a relatively quiet 15-minute, four-point, two-rebound performance in the exhibition opener against Cal State Los Angeles, Harris made some noise against Westmont. While he didn't K.O. a horse, he did have 12 points, two rebounds and two assists in 29 minutes. Also, after a 1-for-3 shooting performance against CSULA, he heated-up for a 4-of-7 showing, including 2-of-3 from three-point range, against the Warriors. With UCSB's multitude of injuries, Harris will undoubtedly get a major serving of playing time at every backcourt position, particularly in the early going. While he will have his ups-and-downs, the 2004 California State Division V Player of the Year from Alameda's St. Joseph Notre Dame High School, certainly has the credentials to have an impact. Harris led his prep team to the 2004 California Division V Championship, scoring a game-high 19 points, including 11 in the fourth quarter and the game-winning three-pointer in the final minute.
A Little Chambers' Music
Entering the start of practice in mid-October, the expectations of guard Michael Chambers, a junior transfer from the University of San Francisco, were limited. After exhibition game number one, a win over Cal State Los Angeles, they were still limited. Then, junior guard Cecil Brown injured his left knee and things circumstances changed drastically. Chambers responded in a big way in exhibition game number two, a win over Westmont College. The 6-foot-3 wing who scored a career-high of 11 points against Xavier of Cincinnati as a freshman at USF, came off the bench to score 19 points in 22 minutes against the Warriors. Chambers made 6-of-11 shots overall, but more impressively, he nailed 5-of-8 shots from beyond the three-point arc. In addition to his offensive exploits, he was able to claim four rebounds, all on the defensive end of the court. In his two campaigns at USF, Chambers' numbers were modest. As a freshman, he played in 28 games, starting one, and he averaged 2.9 points and 0.6 rebounds per game. As a sophomore, he played in 24 games, making three starts, and he averaged 2.6 points and 0.8 rebounds per outing.
A Turner For The Better
If the practices early in the week were any indication, sophomore forward Glenn Turner should be come the ninth healthy Gaucho available for the season-opener at San Diego State. Turner, who has never played more than 11 minutes in a game, will be only UCSB's third healthy true frontcourt player, joining Casey Cook and freshman Chris Moore. Last season, Turner averaged just 1.4 points and 1.7 rebounds in 22 games, but he had seven blocked shots in just 120 minutes, and he made 14-of-20 shots from the floor, including his last ten in a row. He sprained his ankle prior to the opening of practice on October 16, made one aborted comeback a couple of weeks ago, and was finally cleared again on Monday. As he works his way into more playing time, Turner's presence should mean more playing time at the four spot for Casey Cook, his natural position.
The Other Healthy Bodies
Freshman forward Chris Moore (Cleveland Ohio/St. Edward HS) and redshirt freshman swingman Derek Rasp (Camarillo, Calif./Camarillo HS) are the other two UCSB players available for the season-opener. The 6-foot-9 Moore played a total of 18 minutes in the two exhibition games, playing nine in each, made 1-of-3 shots from the field and had one rebound. He was slowed at the outset of practice with a virus that took its toll to the tune of about ten days of practice and ten pounds. Rasp, a walk-on, did not play in the first exhibition, but he did play 13 minutes against Westmont. Against the Warriors, the 6-foot-5 Rasp missed all three of his field goal attempts, but he did have five rebounds. Although he did miss all of his shots, Rasp was playing out of position, primarily at the four spot. He was an outstanding shooter in high school, twice making a Camarillo High School record of seven three-point baskets in a game.
New Faces On The Bench
The only new faces on the UCSB bench are not those of players. There are two significant changes on the coaching staff. Marty Wilson, who was an assistant under Bob Williams for the past six years, is now at Utah. He has been replaced on the bench by former Gaucho guard Matt Stock, who moves over from the Director of Operations position. Stock is only a semi-new face on the bench. Occasionally, over the past few seasons, he stealthly made his way onto the bench from his seat at the press table. Taking over for Stock in the role of Director of Operations is another former UCSB guard, Derrick Allen. Allen will also take over Stock's spot at the press row and, undoubtedly, occasionally steal his way onto the bench. Allen does, afterall, hold the Gaucho record for steals in a single game with eight. David Campbell and Mark Amaral are the holdover assistant coaches with Campbell, still in mourning with the demise of the Oakland Athletics and the Washington Redskins, in his fourth season and Amaral in his fifth.