Dec. 20, 2004
Game No. 7
Wednesday, December 22, 2004 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at the University of San Diego Toreros
at USD's Jenny Craig Pavilion
Radio: KTMS 990 AM
Game No. 8
Tuesday, December 28, 2004 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Long Beach State 49ers
at UCSB's Thunderdome
Radio: KTLK 1340 AM
Game No. 9
Thursday, December 30, 2004 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. UC Irvine Anteaters
at UCSB's Thunderdome
Radio: KTLK 1340 AM
UCSB Plays Final Non-Conference Game Before League
UC Santa Barbara will travel to the University of San Diego on Wednesday, December 22, to take on the Toreros. The game will be the Gauchos' final tune-up before the start of Big West play. UCSB will open league play with a pair of home games, hosting Long Beach State on December 28, and UC Irvine on December 30. The trip to San Diego will be the second of the year for the Gauchos. On November 19, UCSB won in overtime at San Diego State.
The Gaucho Record
UC Santa Barbara enters Wednesday's game at San Diego with a record of 2-4. After opening the season with an overtime win on November 19 at San Diego State, the Gauchos lost four consecutive games. The four-game losing streak was snapped last Saturday when UCSB recorded a 55-46 home win over the University of Montana. Prior to the victory over the Grizzlies, the Gauchos had lost games to San Diego State (73-55), at Pepperdine (62-56), at San Francisco (72-56) and at Wisconsin (72-61). 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 second round of the Big West Tournament.
UCSB Gets Defensive In 55-46 Win Over Montana
UCSB used a solid defensive effort to snap its longest losing streak in two seasons on Saturday night. The Gauchos ended their four-game losing streak with a 55-46 win over visiting Montana. UCSB's defense limited the Grizzlies to just 31.0% shooting from the floor and it forced Montana into 23 turnovers and it tied a season-high with 13 steals. Although the Gauchos struggled on the offensive end, shooting just 33.9% themselves, they did enough to post the win. Senior forward Casey Cook had 14 points and tied his career-high with 12 rebounds, to lead the way. It marked the second time in Cook's career that he had produced a double-double. Senior guard Chrismen Oliver had ten points and career-highs of seven assists and five steals in the victory. The Gauchos fell behind 3-0 at the beginning of the game, but when Cook made a lay-up with 15 minutes remaining in the first half, they took an 8-6 lead that they never gave up. UCSB led by as many as ten points on two occasions in the second half. Joe See, who finished with nine points, made a pair of key three-point baskets down the stretch to help hold the Grizzlies at bay.
Williams Nears 100 Victory Mark At UCSB
The Gauchos' 55-46 win over the University of Montana on Saturday, pulled head coach Bob Williams to within two wins of the 100 win plateau since arriving at UCSB for the 1998-99 season. With two more wins, Williams will become the fifth head coach in the school's history to hit the 100 win mark, joining Jerry Pimm (222), Willie Wilton (205), Ralph Barkey (169) and Art Gallon (122).
The Injury Update
Starting junior guard Cecil Brown has an outside chance of playing in the Gauchos' game at San Diego. Brown suffered a partially torn medial collateral ligament in his right knee in practice following the team's exhibition opener. He has since missed six weeks and all six regular season games. Reserve sophomore forward David Kennedy has a stress fracture in his right leg, and is expected to remain on the sidelines until some point in late December. Redshirt freshman forward Chris Devine had surgery on his right knee prior to the opening of practice in October and he will be sidelined until mid-January. Junior forward Cameron Goettsche has played in the last four games. Goettsche missed four weeks, including all practices, two exhibition games and the first two regular season games, with a severely strained groin. He has averaged 23.5 minutes in his first four appearances of the 2004-05 season. The addition of Goettsche gave UCSB ten healthy players.
Possible Starters - Notes
G - Chrismen Oliver - Had career-highs of seven assists and five steals vs. Montana.
G - Alex Harris - Scored a season-low two points in the win over Montana.
G - Josh Davis - Collected a career-high seven rebounds vs. Montana.
F - Cameron Goettsche - Had season-high nine boards in just 21 minutes against Montana.
F - Casey Cook - Tied career-high with 12 rebounds vs. Montana. His second double-double.
Possible Reserves - Notes
G - Joe See - After missing his first 16 three-pointers this season, he has made 6-of-12.
G - Michael Chambers - Did not play vs. Montana. His first DNP of the year.
F - Derek Rasp -Has made at least one three-pointer in four of six games.
F - Chris Moore - Has had seven boards in last two games after having three in first four.
F - Glenn Turner - One of three Gauchos with at least four rebounds in all six games.
The Infirmary - Notes
G - Cecil Brown - Could return in a limited role at San Diego. More likely vs. LBSU.
F - Chris Devine - Knee injury him out until mid-January.
F - David Kennedy - Stress fracture in right leg has him sidelined until late-December.
F - Todd Follmer - 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 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 98-83 (.541) 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 287-183 (.611) at four-year schools.
UCSB and the University of San Diego have played 16 times in a series that dates back to 1964. The Gauchos hold a 12-4 edge in the all-time series, including a 90-70 win at the Thunderdome last season. The Gauchos and Long Beach State have played 94 times over the years. In fact, the 94 games marks the third most for a UCSB opponent, trailing only San Jose State (100) and Fresno State (95). The 49ers hold a 49-45 advantage in the series. UCSB and LBSU split a pair of games last season with each team winning on its home court. Santa Barbara and UC Irvine have played 59 times with the Gauchos holding a 37-22 edge. UCSB swept the two games played between the school's last season and have now won five consecutive games dating back to the second round of the 2002 Big West Tournament.
The Gauchos On The Road
UCSB is 1-3 in road games this season. The overtime victory at San Diego State in the opener marked the second straight season in which the Gauchos have won their first road game of the season. The Gauchos, however, have now lost three straight road games, dropping decisions at Wisconsin, San Francisco and Pepperdine. Last season, Santa Barbara opened the season with a 57-51 win at Hawaii. 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, and, in addition to the win at Hawaii, they posted a December win at UCLA.
UCSB At Home
The Gauchos are 1-1 at home this season after splitting their first two Thunderdome contests. UCSB was 10-2 at the Thunderdome last season. In fact, the Gauchos have gone 10-2 at home in each of the last three seasons. Santa Barbara went 7-2 in Big West home games last year, losing to Pacific and Utah State. UCSB is 57-22 at home under head coach Bob Williams.
No Offense Intended
Since scoring 80 points in a season-opening overtime win over San Diego State on November 19, UCSB's offense has gone into hibernation. In the five games since the opener, the Gauchos have scored 61 or fewer points. In fact, in each of the five games, UCSB has scored either the same or fewer than the previous game, scoring 61, 56, 56, 55 and 55, in that order. The 50s may have been a golden era in American history, but the 50s are not such a great thing for a basketball team. While they are averaging 60.5 points per game on the year, the Gauchos have averaged just 56.6 in the last five.
It has taken some big-time number crunching, but I think I have finally figured out the reason for UCSB's decrease in scoring lately. In the first two games of the year, the only two games in which the Gauchos have scored 60 or more points, the team made 55-of-111 shots from the field, 49.5%. In the last four games, all sub-60 points, UCSB has hit 78-of-211, 37.0%. The Gauchos shot a season-low 33.9% in the win over Montana on Saturday and that was the third time in the last four games that they were under 40.0%.
In the first game of the season, an overtime win at San Diego State, UCSB logged 13 steals, equaling its highest output of the 2003-04 season. In each of the next four games, however, the Gauchos' steal totals went down. They had seven at Wisconsin, six at San Francisco, four at Pepperdine and then three in the home loss to SDSU. In Saturday's win over Montana, UCSB bounced back with 13 steals. Chrismen Oliver led the charge with a career-high five steals, but all five Gaucho starters had at least one steal and three had two or more. In addition to Oliver's five steals, Casey Cook tied his career-high with three and Josh Davis had a pair. On the year, UCSB is now averaging 7.7 steals per game, a slight jump over its average of 6.8 last season.
Free Throw Streak Ends
Last season, UCSB shot just 66.1% from the free throw line, one of the lowest percentages in school history. Through five games this season, the Gauchos had made 73.4%. In fact, Santa Barbara had made 70.6% or better in each of the five games. At no point last season did the Gauchos make better than 70.0% in five straight contests. On Saturday, the run of consecutive 70.0% or better games ended as UCSB made just 13-of-26, 50.0%.
Senior forward Casey Cook bounced back from a run of three straight sub-par games with one of his best games of the season against Montana. Cook did not shoot the ball particularly well against the Grizzlies, making just 6-of-17 shots, but he recorded the second double-double of his career with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Cook had a double-double in last year's season-opening win at Hawaii. The 12 rebounds also ties a career-high for him, a mark he also set last season at Hawaii. The 14 points helped Cook snap a streak of three consecutive single-digit scoring efforts. Prior to the game against Montana, he had scored exactly eight points in three straight games. On the year, Cook is now averaging 12.3 points per game, second on the team. He opened the season with back-to-back double-figure scoring efforts, including a career-high 21-points in a November 23 loss at Wisconsin. In the first two games of the year, Cook made 15-of-21 shots from the field, 71.4%. In the last four games, he has struggled with his shooting, making 14-of-47 from the floor, 28.8%. Overall, he has now made 29-of-68 shots, 42.6%. He also leads the team in field goal attempts with his 68, and the 17 shots he launched against Montana was a career-high. With his 12-rebound effort, Cook is now averaging a team-high 6.3 boards per outing and he has had at least four in all six games. Finally, although he fouled out of the game against Montana, he played 36 minutes and he is also tied for the team-lead in minutes played with exactly 200, 33.3 per game. Cook was expected to be a workhorse this season and he has not disappointed, playing at least 28 minutes in all six games and 31 or more in five of the six. Entering the year, Cook had never played more than 31 minutes in any game during his career and he has already played more than 31 four times.
Junior guard Josh Davis has been the team's most consistent offensive threat through six games this season. He will enters Wednesday's game at San Diego with a team-leading average of 12.5 points per game. Davis has been in double-figures in four of the six games, the most of any UCSB player. He has, however, not scored in double-figures in either of the last two games. In Saturday's win over Montana, he attempted a season-low five shots and scored nine points. Davis was 2-of-5 from the field and 5-of-7 from the free throw line. In the last three games, Davis has made just 9-of-25 shots from the field, 36.0%, and 3-of-10 from three-point range. In the first three games, he hit 19-of-35, 54.3%. He, along with Casey Cook, is one of two Gauchos to have scored at least 20 points in a game, scoring a career-high 20 at San Francisco. In the season-opener at San Diego State, he scored 18 points, including a career-high four three-point baskets. Davis leads the Gauchos in three-point buckets with nine. He has drilled 9-of-19 from beyond the arc, 47.4%. In fact, the nine three-pointers that he has made equals his total for all of last season. Davis needs just five more three-point baskets over the final 21 games to equal his combined total for the first two years of his career. In the game against Montana, he also had seven rebounds, a career-high. Davis is now averaging 4.8 rebounds per game and he has had four or more in all six contests. Davis, like the rest of his healthy or semi-healthy teammates, has racked-up major minutes this season. After averaging 19.1 minutes per game last year, he is tied for the team-lead at 33.3 per game this year. Entering the year, Davis' career-high was 32 minutes and he had played 30 or more just twice. Through six games this season, he has played 32 or more five times, recording a career-high 38 minutes at San Diego State and then 37 minutes at San Francisco.
Senior point guard Chrismen Oliver has been on a little bit of a rollercoaster ride through the first six games this season. The rollercoaster was back up against Montana as he went for ten points, and career-highs of seven assists and five steals. He is third on the team at 9.7 points per game and he leads the Gauchos in assists with 22, an average of 3.7 per game, and steals with 13, 2.2 per game. Oliver scored a career-high 17 points in the season-opener at San Diego State and he had a 14-point outburst off the bench against Pepperdine on December 1. Although he is shooting 40.7% for the season, he has been off-the-mark in the last two games, going 4-for-20, 20.0%. Oliver is second on the team with seven three-point baskets, netting a pair in the win over Montana. In fact, he has had at least one three-pointer in five of six games. Oliver's five-steal performance against the Grizzlies marked the fourth time he has had two or more steals in a game this season. Finally, last season, in 26 games, Oliver attempted 70 shots, an average of 2.7 per game. This year, in six games he has attempted 54 shots, an average of 9.0 per game.
Help Cecil! Help!
Junior guard Cecil Brown has been out of action since partially tearing the medial collateral ligament in his right knee in practice after the team's first exhibition game. In his only appearance this season, in UCSB's November 4 exhibition win over Cal State Los Angeles, Brown made 7-of-14 shots overall, had 15 points, five rebounds and two assists in 29 minutes. There is a possibility that the 6-foot-4 Brown will return for the game at San Diego on Wednesday. If he does return, it is expected that he will come off the bench. In addition to missing the obvious, his statistics and minutes, the absence of Brown has also created an on-court leadership void for the Gauchos. As a sophomore, he averaged 7.7 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 27 games, including 11 starts. He also made 24 three-point baskets, second on the team.
Cam I Am
Junior forward Cameron Goettsche, UCSB's top returning rebounder and second-best returning scorer, is still rounding into shape after missing both exhibition games and the first two regular season contests with a severely strained groin. Goettsche has averaged 23.5 minutes in his four appearances and since logging 19 minutes in his first game at San Francisco, he has played at least 21 in the last three. He is averaging 6.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. In UCSB's win over Montana, Goettsche was limited to 21 minutes because of early fould trouble. He scored just three points, on 1-of-2 from the field, but he had a season-high nine rebounds. In the previous game, a home loss to San Diego State, he was the lone Gaucho to score in double-figures with ten points. Despite missing the first two games, Goettsche is tied for the team-lead in blocked shots with three, all of which he has produced in the last two games. He also has the best shooting percentage on the team at 58.8%, and he is the only player on the team to have made at least half of his shots in each of his appearances. Last season, Goettsche averaged 8.0 points and a team-leading 5.5 rebounds per game.
Just Wait And See
Despite making just 3-of-10 shots in the win over Montana, junior guard Joe See seems to be emerging from the slump that plagued him through the first three games of the season. In the last three games, See has made a modest 8-of-17 shots overall, 47.1%, and a solid 6-of-12 from three-point range, 50.0%. In the first three games, See made just 2-of-20 shots overall and he was 0-for-16 from three-point territory. He has scored a season-high nine points in each of the last two games and is now averaging 4.5 points per game. See has gotten off to a slow start in each of his three collegiate seasons, one at Oregon State and two at UCSB, but despite the slow starts in each of his first two seasons, See finished the year as his team's leader in threes both times. In 2001-02, he finished with a team-leading 43 three-pointers and last year, his first at UCSB, he paced the way with 44. This year, while he is shooting 17.4% overall, he has made 50.0% from two-point range, hitting 3-of-6.
Freshman guard Alex Harris has slowed down some since he began his career with a 15-point game at San Diego State. While he is still having a solid freshman season, he is struggling in recent games. Although he is averaging 7.0 points per game, Harris has scored just 5.4 per game in the last five games. Also, since making 8-of-12 shots in the first two games, he has been in lock-step with the rest of the team, going 6-of-22 in the last four games, 27.3%.
Around The Key
Sophomore Glenn Turner had season highs of five points and two blocked shots in the win over Montana...In his first four games, freshman Chris Moore had a total of three rebounds in 45 minutes, but in his last two games, a total of 16 minutes, he has had seven rebounds...Junior Michael Chambers did not play in the game against Montana, marking the first time this season that he did not get into a game...Freshman walk-on Derek Rasp played a season-low three minutes in the win over Montana, missing his only field goal attempt...UCSB has had five different players lead the way in rebounding through the first six games of the season...Four different players, Casey Cook, Josh Davis, Chrismen Oliver and Cameron Goettsche, have led the team in scoring to this point.
Don't Look Now, But Here Comes Big West Play
The Christmas trees will probably still be up, the main bowl games are yet to be played, but that won't stop the Big West season from starting. UCSB opens league play on Tuesday, December 28, when it hosts Long Beach State in a 7:00 p.m. game at the Thunderdome. The Gauchos will remain at home to host UC Irvine on Thursday, December 30.