December 12, 2006

UCSB Enters Mid-Major Top-25, Travels to San Francisco After Lengthy Break for Final Exams

Dec. 12, 2006

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The Schedule
Game No. 9
Sunday, December 17, 2006 at 2:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at University of San Francisco Dons
at USF's War Memorial Gymnasium

Game No. 10
Tuesday, December 19, 2006 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Vanguard University Lions
at UCSB's Thunderdome

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 its Sunday afternoon road game at the University of San Francisco with a record of 6-2 and a two-game winning streak. The Gauchos opened the season with four straight wins for the first time since the 1992-93 season and since back-to-back home defeats to San Diego State and Loyola Marymount, they have defeated Portland and Fresno State. The 6-2 record matches the best eight-game start by a UCSB team in the last 11 years. The 2001-02 Gauchos also opened at 6-2 and ultimately went 8-2.

After 10-Day Break For Finals, UCSB Travels North
UCSB will travel to the University of San Francisco on Dec. 17 for a rare Sunday afternoon contest against the Dons. When they take the court on Sunday, the Gauchos will be playing their first game in 10 days after taking time off for final exams. If Santa Barbara is rusty, it will have company. USF last played on Dec. 5 and will be coming off of an 11-day break, also for final exams.

Gauchos Get Defensive, Hand Fresno State Its First Defeat
Chris Devine scored 19 points, Alex Harris added 18 and UC Santa Barbara used a stifling defense to limit previously unbeaten Fresno State to 28.3% shooting and just 42 points, as the Gauchos won their second straight game, 70-42. Fresno State led by as many as four points early, but when senior Cecil Brown made a fall-away jumper with 9:26 left in the first half, UCSB had the lead for good. Bulldog forward Hector Hernandez, who scored 13 points and tied for team-high scoring honors with guard Ja'Vance Coleman, made one of his three three-point shots with 2:07 remaining to whittle a six-point Gaucho lead to three, 27-24. However a pair of free throws by Devine and two free throws and three-point basket by Harris helped UCSB to close the half on a 7-0 run, giving it a 34-24 halftime cushion. The Gauchos began the second half the same way they ended the first half. Forward Ivan Elliott scored on a put-back and a lay-up, and Devine made a baseline jumper to expand the lead to 16, 40-24, with 16:06 to go in the game. After Dominic McGuire made a short jumper and Quinton n, the Bulldogs missed all 15 of their three-point attempts in the second half.

Gauchos Enter Mid-Major Top-25
Last week, the Gauchos entered The CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top-25 poll for the first time since early in the 2003-04 season. UCSB was ranked 25th in the poll dated Dec. 4. This week, by virtue of its resounding win over previously unbeaten Fresno State, Santa Barbara has jumped six spots to No. 19 in the poll. The Gauchos are the only Big West school ranked in the top-25. Cal State Fullerton and Long Beach State are each receiving votes.

Turner Remains Sidelined As UCSB Returns To Action
Senior forward Glenn Turner remains sidelined as UCSB returns to the court after a 10-day layoff for finals. Turner has yet to play in a game this season after undergoing surgery to repair a hernia on Nov. 9. He has started running and working out lightly but he has yet to take part in full-contact practices. His timetable for return remains undetermined.

Probable Starters - Notes
G - James Powell - Had career-high six assists in win over Fresno State.
G - Alex Harris - Had streak of 20+ scoring games snapped vs. Fresno State, still had 18.
G - Justin Joyner - Collected career-high seven rebounds in win over Fresno State.
F - Chris Devine - Since scoring five on Nov. 29 vs. LMU, has averaged 19.5 per game.
F - Tom Garlepp - Came off the bench for the first time this season in win over Fresno State.

Probable Reserves - Notes
G - Cecil Brown - Made 3-of-4 shots vs. Fresno State, his best performance since his return.
G - Paul Roemer - Played three minutes in win over Fresno State, his first action in four games.
G - Trevor Bing - Has not made a field goal in any of the last three games.
F - Ivan Elliott - Made his first start of the season in Dec. 6 win over Fresno State.
F - Emmanuel Bidias a Mouté - Tied career-high with six points vs. Fresno State.
F - Beau Gibb - Scored his only basket of the year against Loyola Marymount.
F - David Massey - Scored his only points and had his only rebound at Montana State.
F - Sam Phippen - Freshman forward will redshirt the 2006-07 season.

The Infirmary - Notes
F - Glenn Turner - Repaired hernia has him out indefinitely.

The Opponents
UCSB and San Francisco have played 32 times in a series that dates back to 1961. The Dons hold a decisive 23-9 edge, but the Gauchos won the last meeting between the schools, 82-59 at the Thunderdome last season. The last time the programs played in San Francisco, during the 2004-05 campaign, USF posted an easy 72-56 decision. UCSB has not won at War Memorial Gymnasium since the 2001-02 season. The meeting between the Gauchos and Vanguard University will be the first.

The Gauchos At Home
UCSB is 2-2 at home in 2006-07. The Gauchos defeated San Jose State on Nov. 10 and after losing consecutive games to San Diego State and Loyola Marymount, they defeated Fresno State on Dec. 6. UCSB went 9-4 in home games during the 2005-06 season and it was a perfect 6-0 in non-conference home games last season. Since Bob Williams became head coach in 1998-99, Santa Barbara has gone 75-31 in home games overall and 31-12 in non-conference home games. Since the 2000-01 season, UCSB has gone 23-6 in non-conference games at the Thunderdome.

The Gauchos On The Road
UCSB is 4-0 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. On Nov. 17, they won at UNLV, 79-76 and on Nov. 21 they won at Pepperdine, 89-80 in double overtime. On Saturday, they won at Portland, 75-67. This marks the first 4-0 start in true road games since the 1992-93 campaign when the team jumped out of the gates with the same 4-0 road record. 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. However, since the end of that streak, UCSB has gone 9-2 on the road.

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. Including this season, Williams' UCSB teams have posted a 129-113 (.533) 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 317-213 (.598) at four-year schools.

Newcomers Dominate 2006-07 Gaucho Roster
UCSB 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 have had only four returnees play in the season's first eight games. In all, through eight games, 800 of the 1,650 minutes played by UCSB players have been played by returnees, 48.5%.

Field Goal Percentage, Part I
In a Dec. 2 win at Portland, the Gauchos allowed the Pilots to make 50.0% of their shots. It was the first time this season that a team had made half of its shots against UCSB. In its next game, Santa Barbara made up for any deficiencies by holding Fresno State to a dismal 17-of-60 from the field, 28.3%. The Bulldogs were bad overall, and even worse from three-point range. They made 5-of-27 from beyond the three-point arc, 18.5%. In the second half of the game, FSU missed all 15 of its three-point attempts. The Gauchos have held six of eight opponents to 43.8% or below and five of eight to 40.0% or less. Three opponents, Montana State and Pepperdine in addition to Fresno State, have shot below the 35.0% plateau. Overall, Gaucho opponents are shooting 39.1% from the field, the top defensive mark in the Big West Conference.

Field Goal Percentage, Part II
Despite making just 40.7% of its shots in the win over Fresno State, UCSB is still shooting 47.5% overall, the top figure in the Big West Conference. In fact, even with two sub-par shooting performances in the last three games (The Gauchos shot just 34.8% on Nov. 29 against Loyola Marymount), Santa Barbara is shooting a solid 48.9% in its last seven games. Breaking down the shooting even more, UCSB has been much better on the road than at home. In home games against San Jose State, San Diego State, Loyola Marymount and Fresno State, the Gauchos have made 93-of-224 shots, 41.5%. In those four games, they have shot better than 40.0% just one time. They made 50.9% against SDSU. On the other hand, in four road games, UCSB has gone 118-of-220, 53.6%, and it has shot below 50.0% just once. The lowest road mark for the Gauchos this season was the 49.2% that they shot at Pepperdine.

The Bench Reemerges
In a Dec. 2 win at Portland, the UCSB starting five of Alex Harris, Chris Devine, James Powell, Tom Garlepp and Justin Joyner combined for 73 of the Gauchos' 75 points, 97.3%. If you can do the math, and certainly I hope you can, that means the bench scored two points against the Pilots, 2.7%. In the last game, a 70-42 home win over Fresno State, the UCSB starting lineup changed to include Ivan Elliott instead of Garlepp. The result? The Gaucho bench, led by Garlepp's seven point performance, scored 19 of the 70 points, 27.1%.

Junior Partners
In UCSB's November 21 double-overtime victory over Pepperdine, two Gaucho players eclipsed the 25-point mark. Junior forward Chris Devine poured in a career-high 28 points, while junior guard Alex Harris had a career-best 27. Prior to Nov. 21, the last time a Santa Barbara duo achieved the feat was at Long Beach State on Feb. 25, 1988, when sophomore forward Mike Doyle scored 31 points and senior guard Brian Shaw scored 26. Three times this season Harris and Devine have scored 20 or more points in the same game, the first time a UCSB duo has pulled that off since 1990-91 when Gary Gray and Lucius Davis did it three times. Finally, through eight games the Harris-Devine tandem has combined for 318 of the Gauchos' 603 points, 52.7%. They are combining for 39.7 points per game and if they can remain anywhere near that figure, they would easily become the highest scoring duo in school history. Previously, the highest combined average for two players was in 1991-92 when Lucius Davis and Idris Jones combined to score 1,014 points in 29 games, an average of just a tick under 35.0 points per game.

Marginalizing The Opposition
Through eight games, UCSB is outscoring its opposition by an average of 10.2 points per game, the top figure among Big West Conference schools. In its six wins, the Gauchos have outscored opponents by 88 points, 14.7 points per game. Their two biggest margins of victory have been 32 points (Nov. 13 at Montana State) and 28 points (Dec. 6 vs. Fresno State). Their narrowest margin has been three points (Nov. 17 at UNLV). In its two losses UCSB was outscored by a total of seven points. They dropped a four-point decision on Nov. 25 against San Diego State and a three-point game to Loyola Marymount on Nov. 29. In their four road games, the Gauchos are outscoring opponents by 13.0 points per game and in four home games they are outscoring opponents by 7.2 points per contest.

Taking On A Leadership Role
In terms of Big West statistics, the Gauchos rank highly as a team in 2006-07. Here is a look at the numbers:

Category                   Stat             Rank
Scoring Offense            75.4 ppg         3rd
Scoring Defense            65.2 ppg         1st
Scoring Margin             +10.2 ppg        1st
Field Goal %               47.5%            1st
Field Goal % Defense       39.1%            1st
Free Throw Percentage      76.6%            1st
3-pt. FG %                 36.0%            3rd
3-pt. FG Made              6.25 pg          6th
3-pt. FG % Defense         29.4%            2nd
Rebounding Margin          -1.4 rpg         8th
Blocked Shots              3.88 bpg         1st
Assists                    15.2 apg         3rd
Assist/Turnover Ratio      1.00             1st
Turnover Margin            +0.50 pg         3rd
Steals                     7.25 spg         4th

Additional Notes
UCSB has won games in four different states for the first time since the 1989-90 season...The Gauchos are a perfect 3-0 against recent former Big West opponents Fresno State, UNLV and San Jose State...With its double-overtime win over Pepperdine on Nov. 21, UCSB has now won four straight overtime games dating back to the 2003-04 season...The Gauchos have recorded wins over teams from four different conferences this season. They have beaten schools from the Mountain West Conference, the Western Athletic Conference, the West Coast Conference and the Big Sky Conference...UCSB has two Big West Conference Players of the Week this year, the same total it has had in the last two seasons combined...The Gauchos have scored 40 or more points in six halves this season while opponents have done so twice.

The Harris Poll
Junior guard Alex Harris continues to lead UCSB and the Big West Conference in scoring at 22.6 points per game. In the Gauchos most recent game, a 70-42 win over Fresno State, Harris scored 18 points. At the beginning of the season, 18 points would have represented a career-high, but eight games in the 2006-07 campaign it represents the eighth highest scoring total of his career. The 18-point game ended Harris' streak of seven consecutive games with 20 or more points. He became the first Gaucho since the 1996-97 season to score 20 or more in seven straight games and he became the first UCSB player on record to start a season with seven straight 20-point games. In the game against Fresno State, Harris made 5-of-14 shots overall including 3-of-5 from three-point range. He is now shooting 52.7% on the season and 48.9% from beyond the three-point line. In the last two games he has made 7-for-11 from three-point range, 63.6%. In addition to his 18 points, Harris had a season-high eight rebounds against the Bulldogs and he is now averaging 4.9 rebounds per game, 6.3 per game in his last three games. He scored a career-high 27 points in a Nov. 21 win at Pepperdine and this season he has also recorded single-game career-highs in assists (six on Nov. 25 against San Diego State), three-point baskets (five on Nov. 10 against San Jose State), steals (five on Nov. 13 at Montana State), free throws made (nine on Nov. 21 at Pepperdine), field goals made (nine on Dec. 2 in Portland) and minutes played (48 on Nov. 21 at Pepperdine). Harris earned his first Big West Player of the Week honor after scoring 25 points in the Gauchos season-opening come-from-behind win over San Jose State.

The Devine File
Junior forward Chris Devine is second on the team and in the Big West in scoring at 17.1 points per game. In two games since scoring a season-low five points on Nov. 29 against Loyola Marymount, Devine has averaged 19.5 points per game. In the Gauchos' last game, a win over Fresno State, Devine made 7-of-15 shots and scored a game-high 19 points. He has scored 12 or more in seven of eight games this season and he has topped 20 points three times. Devine, in fact, scored a career-high 28 points in a Nov. 21 double-overtime win at Pepperdine. He also had a season-high 13 rebounds against the Waves and he continues to lead UCSB in rebounding at 7.4 per game. He has had five or more rebounds in all eight games. Devine is also tops on the team and second in the Big West in field goal percentage at 56.0%. Since going 7-of-16 in the first game of the season, he has gone 49-of-84, 58.3%. In addition to rebounding, Devine paces the team with 12 steals, including a career-high five on Nov. 10 against San Jose State. He was named Big West Player of the Week after leading the Gauchos to road wins at Montana State and UNLV. A Second Team All-Big West choice last season, Devine was selected to the league's preseason all-conference team this year.

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie! Oye, Oye, Oye!
Sophomore forward Tom Garlepp came off the bench for the first time this season in UCSB's last game against Frenso State. He also played a season-low 15 minutes against the Bulldogs. Garlepp is averaging 6.0 points and 4.3 rebounds per game, but in the last two games, he has averaged 9.0 points and 4.5 rebounds. In a Dec. 2 win at Portland, Garlepp scored a season-high 11 points and played a career-high 31 minutes. Also, while he is shooting just 34.8% overall, he has made 7-of-15 shots, 46.7%, in the last two games. Garlepp leads the Gauchos and is third in the Big West at 1.3 blocked shots per game. He has 10 this season and he has had a career-high three twice, once on Nov. 21 at Pepperdine and also on Nov. 29 against Loyola Marymount. He has also set career-highs this season in assists (five on Nov. 13 at Montana State), rebounds (eight on Nov. 10 vs. San Jose State) and steals (two on Nov. 10 vs. San Jose State). Finally, Garlepp made 1-of-2 three-point attempts in the season-opener against San Jose State and then went five straight games without one. He enters Sunday's game at San Francisco having made one in each of the last two games.

Old Buddy, Old Powell
Freshman guard James Powell is third on the Gauchos and ninth in the Big West in scoring at 13.3 points per game. His 13.3 scoring average would have led last year's UCSB team. Prior to scoring just three points in the Gauchos' win over Fresno State on Dec. 6, Powell had scored in double-figures in six consecutive games. While he struggled with his shooting against the Bulldogs, going 0-for-4 overall, 0-for-3 from three-point range and 3-for-6 from the free throw line, he helped set the table for the rest of the team with a season-high six assists. In fact, in the last two games, Powell has passed off for 11 assists and committed only two turnovers. Overall he is averaging 3.3 assists per game, second on the team and eighth in the league. He also ranks second to Alex Harris with 15 three-point baskets, a figure that already ranks him 10th on UCSB's all-time single-season list for freshmen. Powell has made at least one three-pointer in seven of eight games and two or more five times. He was 4-for-5 from beyond the three-point arc on Dec. 2 at Portland. Overall, he is shooting 46.6%, but since going 3-for-9 in the season-opener against San Jose State, he has gone 31-of-64, 48.4%. Finally, since making 3-of-11 from three-point territory in the first two games of the season, Powll has made 12-of-28, 42.9%.

Help Cecil! Help!
Senior guard Cecil Brown finally looked a little bit more like himself in UCSB's win over Fresno State. Brown, who missed both exhibition games and the first five regular season games with a stress fracture in his right foot, has played in the last three games. In the first two games, he was 1-for-5 from the field, 2-for-2 from the free throw line, and averaged 2.0 points per game. Against the Bulldogs, he played 19 minutes and made 3-of-4 shots scoring six points. While six points doesn't seem like much for a guy who averaged a team-leading 13.1 per game in 2005-06, but it was a major step forward. Brown looked more in rhythm. He alsohad a pair of rebounds, one assist and a career-high two steals against Fresno State.

Justin Joins In
Freshman guard Justin Joyner continues to lead UCSB with 27 assists, 3.4 per game. He ranks fifth in the Big West in that category. When the Gauchos lost back-to-back games to close out November, Joyner had one assist in each game, a season-low. In each of the last two games, he has had four assists and just one turnover. He has had four or more assists four times in eight games, including a career-high seven in UCSB's Nov. 17 win at UNLV. It was the highest assist total by a Gaucho since the 2004-05 season and the highest total by a freshman since the 2000-01 season. In the team's last game, a win over Fresno State, Joyner collected a career-high seven rebounds and is now averaging 3.4 per game. He has had three or more rebounds six times in eight games. Of his 27 rebounds through eight games, 25 are defensive. Joyner is averaging 4.4 points per game and making 32.4% of his field goal attempts, however, since making 5-of-19 shots through the first four games, 26.8%, he has gone 6-of-15 in the last four, 40.0%. Also, since missing his first 12 three-point attempts, he has gone 3-of-8, 37.5%. Finally, Joyner is proving to be one of the Gauchos' workhorses. He has played 250 minutes, third on the team, and he has logged 30 or more five times, all in the last six games.

Ivan The Pretty Good
Junior forward Ivan Elliott made his first start of the regular season in the Gauchos' last game, a win over Fresno State, and he had one of his best all-around games. Elliott scored six points, his third-highest total of the season, and he had six rebounds, his second-highest total of the campaign. He also played a pivotal defensive role on the interior as UCSB limited the Bulldogs to just 42 points and a mere 28.3% shooting from the field. The six rebounds boosted Elliott's season average to 4.1 per game. He had a high of 10 rebounds on Nov. 21 at Pepperdine and a best of 14 points on Nov. 13 at Montana State. Elliott also had a high of three blocked shots against the Waves and he has had two or more three times this season.

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