December 26, 2006

UCSB Completes 8-3 Preseason, Hosts UC Riverside to Open Big West Play

Dec. 26, 2006

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The Schedule
Game No. 12
Thursday, December 28, 2006 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. UC Riverside Highlanders
at UCSB's Thunderdome

Game No. 13
Saturday, December 30, 2006 at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos vs. Cal State Fullerton Titans
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 enters Big West play with a record of 8-3. The Gauchos, who had their four-game winning streak ended with an 81-63 loss at San Diego on Dec. 22, will enter league with their best record and most pre-conference wins since the 1988-89 season when entered at 9-0. In 2001-02, UCSB went into its first league game with a 5-2 record. The Gauchos are 5-1 on the road this season and 3-2 at the Thunderdome.

UCSB Host Highlanders, Titans To Open League Slate
This week, the UCSB will get down to business when it opens Big West Conference play with home games against UC Riverside and Cal State Fullerton. UCSB has gone 79-55 in league games since Bob Williams assumed leadership of the program for the 1998-99 season. In 2005-06, the Gauchos suffered through their second straight sub-.500 league season when they finished at 6-8. In each of Williams' first six seasons, Santa Barbara finished above the .500 mark, including an all-time best 14-4 record and a regular season title in 2002-03. At the Big West's annual media day in October, the 2006-07 UCSB team was selected to finish fifth in the league by both the coaches and the media. Last season, the Gauchos dropped their Big West opener at Riverside, 81-78, and then they lost at Fullerton, 73-59, in the second game of league. In eight Big West openers under Bob Williams, the Gauchos have gone 5-3.

Gauchos Drop Non-League Finale At USD
UCSB lost its final pre-conference game on Dec. 22 at the University of San Diego, 81-63. The defeat was not just the Gauchos first road loss of the 2006-07 season, it also ended their second four-game winning streak of the season. The loss marked the first time ths year that UCSB had truly struggled in virtually every category. The Gauchos shot just 42.6%, were outrebounded 38-30, had 16 turnovers and just eight assists, made just 2-of-16 shots from three-point territory, and trailed by as many as 27 points in the second half. Santa Barbara was behind 64-51 with 6:30 left in the game, but the Toreros went on a decisive 16-2 run over the next 4:30 to ice the win. UCSB was led by Chris Devine who finished with 12 points. Alex Harris and Cecil Brown each added 10 in defeat.

Probable Starters - Notes
G - James Powell - His 17 three-pointers rank 10th on UCSB's all-time freshman list.
G - Alex Harris - His top 10 career scoring efforts came in season's first 11 games.
G - Justin Joyner - Eight points at San Diego was his second-highest total ever.
F - Chris Devine - Has averaged 17.0 ppg in five games since scoring a season-low five vs. LMU.
F - Ivan Elliott - Has made 13-of-14 shots from the field in the last three games, 93.0%.

Probable Reserves - Notes
G - Cecil Brown - Has scored in double-figures two times in his last three games.
G - Paul Roemer - Scored season-best six points at San Diego.
G - Trevor Bing - Has made a trio of three-point baskets in the last two games.
F - Tom Garlepp - Played a season-low seven minutes in loss at San Diego.
F - Emmanuel Bidias a Mouté - Scored five points, one short of his career-high, at San Diego.
F - Beau Gibb - Tallied season-best six points in win over Vanguard.
F - David Massey - Suffering from flu, did not travel to San Diego.
F - Sam Phippen - Freshman forward will redshirt the 2006-07 season.
F - Glenn Turner - With two blocked shots, he has moved into fourth on UCSB career list.

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 131-114 (.536) 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 319-214 (.598) at four-year schools.

The Opponents
The Gauchos and UC Riverside have played 19 times since their first meeting in 1955. Santa Barbara holds a decisive 15-4 lead in the series. Last season, the Highlanders won in Riverside, 81-78, and the Gauchos won in Santa Barbara, 81-71. The teams also met in Anaheim in the first round of the 2006 Big West Tournament with Santa Barbara recording a resounding 76-44 victory. UCSB and Cal State Fullerton have played 61 times in a series that goes back to 1977. The Gauchos hold a razor-thin edge of 31-30, but the Titans have held the upper-hand recently. Fullerton won both meetings between the schools in 2005-06, defeating the Gauchos at Titan Gym (73-59) and in the Thunderdome (80-76). In fact, Cal State Fullerton has won the last five games in a row, three during the 2004-05 season. The last time the Gauchos posted a win in the series was near the end of the 2003-04 campaign when they won at Fullerton in double overtime, 98-95.

The Gauchos At Home
UCSB is 3-2 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 have posted back-to-back wins, defeating Fresno State on Dec. 6 and Vanguard on Dec. 19. UCSB went 9-4 in home games during the 2005-06 season, including 3-4 in Big West games. Since Bob Williams became head coach in 1998-99, Santa Barbara has gone 76-31 in home games.

Playing The Percentages
After making a season-best 62.5% of its shots in its Dec. 19 win over Vanguard, UCSB made just 42.6% in its loss at at San Diego on Dec. 22. The 42.6% figure was the lowest in a road game this season. Still, the Gauchos have made 300-of-611 shots from the field, 49.1%. Since opening the season by making 26-of-66, 39.4%, against San Jose State, UCSB has hit 274-of-545 shots from field, 50.3%. The 62.5% mark against Vanguard was the highest single-game field goal percentage since Nov. 24, 2002, when UCSB made 64.3% of its shots in a win over Centenary. Breaking down the shooting even more, despite shooting a season-low for a road game at San Diego, UCSB has been much better on the road than at home. In home games against San Jose State, San Diego State, Loyola Marymount, Fresno State and Vanguard, the Gauchos have made 133-of-288 shots, 46.2%. In those five games, they have shot better than 40.0% just twice. They made 50.9% against SDSU and then 62.5% against Vanguard. On the other hand, in six road games, UCSB has gone 167-of-322, 51.9%, and it has shot below 50.0% just two times.

Free Stuff
Granted, UCSB attempted just five free throws in its Dec. 19 win over Vanguard, but either way they made only three, 60.0%. The 60.0% it shot against Vanguard was the second-lowest mark of the season. the lowest percentage for a game was the 55.6% that the Gauchos made on Dec. 2 at Portland. Those two charity stripe performances have been the exception to the rule this season. UCSB has been very good from the free throw line in 2006-07 and it bounced-back from its Vanguard debacle by making 15-of-19, 78.9%, at San Diego. It was the ninth time in 11 games that the Gauchos shot better than 70.0% and the sixth time that they have gone over 75.0%. Santa Barbara is now making 77.3% of its free throws this season, a figure that wouild rank as the best in school history...if it holds. The record of 77.2% wa set during the 1982-83 season.

That 70's Show
In 2005-06, UCSB scored fewer than 70 points in seven of its first 11 games. This year, the Gauchos have been over the 70 point mark nine times in 11 games and over 75 six times. In fact, this year's Santa Barbara team has scored more than 80 three times and more than 90 once. Last year, the Gauchos scored 80 points just four times in 29 games. In 2006-07, UCSB is averaging 75.5 points per game, an increase of 8.9 points per game more than last season and a figure that would rank sixth on the school's all-time single-season list.

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 11 games the Harris-Devine tandem has combined for 413 of the Gauchos' 830 points, 49.8%. They are combining for 37.5 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.

Operating On The Margins
The Gauchos 18-point loss at San Diego on Dec. 22 marked the first time this season that they had dropped a game by a double-figure margin. In fact, it was the first losing margin of more than four points. UCSB's other two losses came by three and four points. The combined margin in three defeats for the Gauchos this season has been 25 points, an average of 8.3 per loss. On the flipside, Santa Barbara's eight wins have come by a combined margin of 120 points, an average of 15.0 points per game. The Gauchos have won three contests this season (Montana State, Fresno State and Vanguard) by 27 or more points. Their largest margin of victory this season was a 32-point thrashing of Montana State and their smallest was a three-point win at UNLV. In all, UCSB is solidly on the plus side of the scoring ledger this season having scored 95 more points than its opponents, a positive average margin of 8.3 points per game.

Getting Trendy
UCSB outrebounded its last two opponents, San Francisco and Vanguard, by a combined 25. For the season, the Gauchos are now averaging 1.4 more rebounds per game than their opponents. By moving into positive territory in the rebound category, UCSB is now on the plus-side in every statistical category with the exception of turnovers.

Category                UCSB       Opponents
Scoring Offense         75.5       66.8
Field Goal %            49.1%      40.6%
Free Throw Percentage   77.3%      63.2%
3-pt. FG %              35.6%      30.0%
3-pt. FG Made           6.2 pg     7.0 pg
Rebounds                35.3 rpg   34.7 rpg
Blocked Shots           3.6 bpg    2.5 bpg
Assists                 15.3 apg   14.3 apg
Steals                  6.9 spg    5.9 spg
Turnovers               15.2 tpg   14.7 tpg

Upper Left Corner Of Page Three
The 90 points scored by the Gauchos in their Dec. 19 game against Vanguard were the most points the team has scored since it went for 98 in a double overtime win over Cal State Fullerton near the end of the 2003-04 season. It was the most points scored in regulatiton since UCSB scored 90 on Dec. 13 in a home win over the University of San Diego...UCSB has won games in four different states for the first time since the 1989-90 season...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...UCSB has two Big West Conference Players of the Week this year, the same total it has had in the last two seasons combined...UCSB has scored 40 or more points in seven halves this season while opponents have done so three times.

The Harris Poll
Junior guard Alex Harris continues to lead UCSB in scoring at 20.9 points per game. In the Gauchos most recent game, an 81-63 loss at San Diego, Harris scored a season-low 10 points in a season-low 24 minutes. The 10 point game was the first this season that does not rank among his all-time best scoring performances. Harris scored 18 or more points in each of the first 10 games this year, including eight games of 20 or more, and those 10 rank as his top-10 career scoring efforts. In fact, he began the season with seven straight 20-point games, a Gaucho first to open a season and the first time at any point in a season since 1996-97. In the game at San Diego, Harris was 5-for-11 from the field and he has made at least five field goals in all 11 games this season. The game against the Toreros, however, was also the first in which he did not attempt a free throw and the first in which he did not make a three-pointer. In his last three games, he has gone 20-of-35 overall, 57.1%. He has made 50.0% or more eight times in 11 games. Harris is also shooting 48.1% from three-point range and he has gone 11-of-20 in the last four games, 55.0%. His 26 threes are two short of his career-high of 28 set last season. Harris tied his season and career-high with six assists on Dec. 19 against Vanguard. He has had five or more rebounds in four of the last six games and five times in his last eight games. He is now averaging 4.5 rebounds per game. Harris 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 two occasions), 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 in scoring at 16.6 points per game and he leads the team in rebounding at 7.6 per game. On Dec. 22 at San Diego, Devine led the Gauchos with 12 points and in the previous game, against Vanguard, he had his third double-double of the season with 22 points and 11 rebounds. It was his second double-double in as many games. He went for 12 points and 10 boards at San Francisco on Dec. 17. He now has seven double-doubles in his career. Devine's other double-double this season came, fittingly, in a double overtime win at Pepperdine on Nov. 21 when he scored a career-high 28 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. Devine has also snapped out of a mild shooting slump. After going 11-for-25, 44.0% in the previous two games, he has gone 15-of-24, 62.5%, in the last two. He leads the team at 56.0% and since going 7-for-16 in the season opener, he has made 68-of-118, 57.6%. He has been in double-figures in 10 of 11 games and in five straight games since scoring a season-low five points on Nov. 29 against Loyola Marymount. In the five games since he tallied his season-low, he has averaged 17.0 per game. Devine has scored 20 or more four times this season. He has had five or more rebounds in 10 of 11 games. 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.

Old Buddy, Old Powell
Freshman guard James Powell is third on the Gauchos in scoring at 11.1 points per game, but he has hit a major offensive rut in recent games. In the last four games, Powell has made just 4-of-25 shots overall, 16.0%, and 2-of-16 from three-point range, 12.5%. In the last three, he has scored a total of just 19 points, 4.7 per game. He had a season-low two points at San Diego. Still, while he has struggled with his shooting and scoring, Powell has been productive in other ways. He is now averaging a team-high 3.2 assists per game, including 4.0 per game in the last five games and a career-high six in a Dec. 6 win over Fresno State. He has improved his rebounding to 3.4 per game, including 5.0 per game in the last three. On Dec. 19 against Vanguard, Powell equaled his career-highs with six rebounds and two steals. He also ranks second to Alex Harris with 17 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 nine of 11 games and two or more five times.

Ivan The Good
Junior forward Ivan Elliott has made the most the first four starts of his career. Elliott, who came off the bench in UCSB's first seven regular season games, has started the last four. In the last four games, he has averaged 8.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Over that span, Elliott has made 16-of-21 shots from the field, 76.2%. In fact, in the last four, he has scored 35 of his 63 points this season. In the most recent three games, he has taken his offensive game to an even higher level, averaging 9.7 points per game and making 13-of-14 shots from the field, 93.0%. Elliott is also a perfect 3-for-3 from three-point range in the last three games. Overall, he is now averaging 5.7 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. He has also emerged as a shot-blocker with 11 on the season, including two or more four times. Elliott had a career-high three swats on Nov. 21 against Pepperdine, the same night he had a career-high with 10 rebounds. His top scoring effort of the season came on Nov. 13 at Montana State when he tallied 14.

Help Cecil! Help!
Senior guard Cecil Brown is rounding his way back to form. After missing both exhibition games and the first five regular season games, Brown has played in each of the last six games and each game he looks more like the player he was last season. On Dec. 22, in the loss at San Diego, he made 4-of-6 shots and scored 10 points. It was Brown's second double-figure scoring effort in the last three games. He is now averaging 6.2 points per game and shooting 48.4%, but in the last four games, he averaged 8.2 points per game and made 14-of-26 field goal attempts, 53.8%. Brown is also chipping-in with 2.7 assists per game and he had a career-high six assists on Dec. 22 against Vanguard.

Justin Joins In
Freshman point guard Justin Joyner scored eight points and had three assists in UCSB's Dec. 22 loss at San Diego. He played 26 minutes against the Toreros, the same total that he had played while suffering from the flu in the previous two games combined. His eight-point showing, the second-highest effort of his career, came on the heels of a five-game stretch in which Joyner had averaged 2.6 points per game. It also marked the fifthtime in 11 games this season in which he had passed off for three or more assists in a game. Joyner now ranks second on the team with 30 assists. Joyner made 4-of-5 free throw attempts at San Diego. He had attempted five TOTAL free throws in previous six games combined. He has now made 14-of-16 free throws on the season, 87.5%. Finally, he has made just 4-of-27 shots from three-point territory this season, 14.8%. On the other hand, he has made 11 out of his 19 two-point attempts, 57.9%.

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie! Oye, Oye, Oye!
Sophomore forward Tom Garlepp has come off the bench in each of the last four games after starting the first seven this season. On Dec. 22 at San Diego, Garlepp played just seven minutes, his lowest total of the season. After playing 22 or more six times in the first seven games, he has played 15 or fewer in each of the last four games, his four lowest totals of the year. Garlepp was scoreless in the game against the Toreros, his first scoreless game of the year, and he his now averaging 5.3 points per game. Despite going 0-for-2 from the field at USD, he has made 11-of-23 shots from the field in the last five games, 47.8%. Garlepp scored a season-high 11 points on Dec. 2 at Portland. His career-high eight rebounds came on opening night against San Jose State. He has had two or more rebounds in eight straight games and 10 times in 11 this season. Finally, Garlepp passed-off for a career-high five assists on Nov. 13 at Montana State.

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