Gauchos, 1-0 in League Play, Hosts Big West Rival UC Irvine to Close Out Brief Homestand

Dec. 29, 2004

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The Schedule
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

Game No. 10
Sunday, January 2, 2005 at 4:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at Cal State Northridge Matadors
at CSUN's Matadome
Radio: KTLK 1340 AM

Game No. 11
Thursday, January 6, 2005 at 6:00 p.m. (PST)
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at Utah State Aggies
at Utah State's Dee Glen Smith Spectrum
Radio: KTLK 1340 AM

UCSB Plays Final Home Game Before Tough Big West Trip
UC Santa Barbara will host UC Irvine on Thursday night and the game will mark the end of a brief two-game home stand. Following the game against the Anteaters, the Gauchos will head out on one their most difficult road stretches of the season. UCSB will play an odd 4:00 p.m. game on Sunday, January 2, when it travels to Cal State Northridge, and then next week, the Gauchos will make their final Big West trip ever to Utah State and Idaho. UCSB will play the Aggies in Logan, Utah, on Thursday, January 6, and then Idaho in Moscow, Idaho, on Saturday, January 8. The game at Idaho will end a Big West season-opening five-game in 12-day run.

The Gaucho Record
UCSB enters Thursday's Big West Conference game against UC Irvine with an overall record of 3-5 and a Big West mark of 1-0. The Gauchos opened Big West play on Tuesday night with a 54-47 win over visiting Long Beach State. In their previous game, the Gauchos lost a 71-63 decision at the University of San Diego on December 22. Still, UCSB enters the game against UC Irvine having won two of its last three games. Since opening the season with an overtime win at San Diego State, the Gauchos have dropped five of seven games. 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 Stifles Long Beach State, Wins Defensive Battle 54-47
Although it certainly was not pretty, Tuesday night's 54-47 UCSB win over visiting Long Beach State had one positive aspect. It was, after all, a win. The Gauchos limited the 49ers to just 30.0% shooting from the field and a mere 1-for-18 (5.6%) from three-point territory in winning the Big West opener for both teams. UCSB had a 23-18 lead at halftime, but Long Beach scored the first five points of the second half to knot the score at 23-23. After the teams traded baskets to make it 25-25, the Gauchos went on a 13-0 run to go ahead 38-25. UCSB would ultimately build the lead to 18 points, 48-30, before Long Beach made its final run. The 49ers used a massive 49-31 rebounding advantage to pull to within seven points on two occasions in the final minutes, but they could never get any closer. UCSB was paced by senior forward Casey Cook who finished with a game-high 15 points. He also had nine rebounds. Junior forward Cameron Goettsche had just four points, but he had a team-high 12 rebounds, tying his career-high. Long Beach was led by Cody Pearson with 11 points. Travon Free had a game-high 19 rebounds for the 49ers.

Williams Nears 100 Victory Mark At UCSB
The Gauchos' 55-46 win over Long Beach State on Tuesday, pulled head coach Bob Williams to within one win of the 100 win plateau since arriving at UCSB for the 1998-99 season. With one more win, 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
Junior guard Cecil Brown has recovered from a partially torn medial collateral ligament in his right knee, but while the knee was willing, his left ankle was not. Prepared to make his 2004-05 debut at San Diego on December 22, Brown sprained his ankle in practice the day before the game and he is back on the injured list. A timetable for his return has not been determined. Brown is now one of two Gauchos sidelined by injury. 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 late January. Reserve sophomore forward David Kennedy missed the first seven games of the season with a stress fracture in his right leg, but he returned in the conference opener against Long Beach State, playing two minutes. Junior forward Cameron Goettsche has played in the last six games. Goettsche missed four weeks, including all practices, two exhibition games and the first two regular season games, with a severely strained groin. Overall, including exhibition games, Gaucho regulars, or projected regulars, have missed 34 games due to injury this season.

Possible Starters - Notes
G - Chrismen Oliver - Has had two or more steals in five of eight games.
G - Joe See - After season-high 17 at San Diego, he missed all five FG attempts vs. LBSU.
G - Josh Davis - He has had nine steals in the last three games.
F - Cameron Goettsche - Tied his career-high with 12 rebounds in the win over LBSU.
F - Casey Cook - Has taken over the team-lead in scoring at 12.1 points per game.

Possible Reserves - Notes
G - Alex Harris - Played a season-low seven minutes against LBSU.
G - Michael Chambers - Had six points during decisive 23-5 second half run vs. LBSU.
F - Derek Rasp -One of just two Gauchos at 50.0% from the field. Has gone 11-of-22.
F - David Kennedy - Returned to action with brief two-minute stint against Long Beach State.
F - Glenn Turner - Tied his season-high with two blocked shots vs. LBSU.

The Sideline - Notes
G - Cecil Brown - Knee seems healed, but sprained left ankle has him sidelined indefinitely.
F - Chris Devine - Knee injury has sidelined him until late January, at the earliest.
F - Chris Moore - Is currently academically ineligible.
F - Todd Follmer - The seven-footer will redshirt his freshman campaign.

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 99-84 (.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 288-184 (.610) at four-year schools.

Moore Is Latest Gaucho Casualty
Freshman forward Chris Moore is the latest UCSB casualty. The 6-foot-9 Moore, however, is not injured, he is academically ineligible. Moore missed Tuesday night's league opener against Long Beach State, the first game he has missed this year. A native of Cleveland, Moore played in the first seven games of the season and averaged 1.3 points and 2.0 rebounds. He had improved his rebounding in recent games, pulling down 11 in his last three appearances, an average of 3.7 per game. The loss of Moore was somewhat offset by the return to forward David Kennedy who missed the first seven games of the year with a stress fracture.

UCSB In The Big West
Since Bob Williams became head coach at UCSB in 1998, the Gauchos have tended to get healthy in Big West Conference games. Santa Barbara has finished at least two games over the .500 mark in all six of Williams' seasons. In fact, UCSB and Utah State are the only programs in the league to be over the .500 mark in each of the last six Big West seasons. In his first six years plus one game (the win over Long Beach State), Williams' Gauchos have gone 67-36 in league games, a solid .650 winning percentage. Only twice in the past six seasons has UCSB had a better non-conference record (not including postseason games) than league record. Last season the Gauchos were 6-3 in non-conference games and 10-8 in the Big West. In 2001-02, Santa Barbara was also 6-3 in non-conference games and 11-7 in league. The biggest differences in the opposite direction were in 1998-99 when UCSB was 2-8 in non-conference games and 12-4 in the Big West, and in 2002-03, when it went 3-8 in non-conference games and 14-4 in the league.

The Opponents
UCSB 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 and Cal State Northridge have played 27 times in a series that dates back to 1960. Santa Barbara holds a 21-6 edge all-time, but after winning the first meeting between the school's last season, the Gauchos dropped two in a row, including a Big West Tournament quarterfinal game, 61-58. Prior to the Matadors two wins in the series last season, UCSB had won five in a row in the series.

UCSB At Home
The Gauchos are 2-1 at home this season and they have won their last 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 58-22 at home under head coach Bob Williams.

Three-Point Barrage Ends
In the three games prior to UCSB's Big West opening win over Long Beach State, the Gauchos were killed by their opponents from three-point range. In the games against San Diego, Montana and San Diego State, the opposition combined to go 26-of-46 from beyond the three-point stripe, a sparkling 56.4%. That happy run by the opponents came to a crashing end against Long Beach State. The 49ers staggered to a 1-for-18 total from three-point territory, a miserable 5.6%. It marked the first time this season that a UCSB opponent did not make at least four three-point baskets in a game. In fact, prior to Tuesday's game, six Gaucho opponents made seven or more three-pointers. Previously the worst performance by a Santa Barbara opponent this season was the 7-of-26 (26.9%) made in the season opener by San Diego State.

No Offense Intended
Since starting the season by scoring 80 points in an overtime win at San Diego State, UCSB has gone into an offensive slump. In the past seven games, the Gauchos have not scored more than the 63 points that they recorded on December 22 at the University of San Diego. The 63-point effort against the Toreros snapped a string of four straight sub-60 games. The Gauchos, however, returned the sub-60 mark with a season-low 54 against Long Beach State. Through eight games, Santa Barbara has averaged 60.0 points per game, but in the last seven outings, the Gauchos have averaged just 57.1 points per game.

Getting Defensive At Home
UCSB did not open its home schedule with a stellar defensive effort. In their first home game of the year, on December 4 against San Diego State, the Gauchos allowed the Aztecs to score 73 points. More impressively, SDSU made 60.0% of its field goal attempts overall and from three-point range. In the last two home games, however, UCSB has gotten very good defensive efforts. In wins over Montana (55-46) and Long Beach State (54-47), the Gauchos have allowed their opponents to make just 31-of-102 field goals, 30.4%, and score a total of 93 points, 46.5 per game. In addition, UCSB has forced 38 turnovers, blocked eight shots and had 22 steals in the last two home games.

Stop! Thief!
The Gauchos have 65 steals through eight games this season, an average of 8.1 per game. In the last three contests, UCSB has had a combined total of 32 steals, tying its season-high in the win over Montana with 13, producing ten in the loss at San Diego and then coming-up with nine against Long Beach State. Last season, Santa Barbara averaged 6.82 steals per game, and had a total of 191, the ninth highest total in school history. At their current rate, the Gauchos would have 219 steals in 27 games this year, a figure that would rank second on the all-time single-season list. Leading the way through seven games this season has been junior guard Josh Davis, who has 18, an average of 2.2 per game. Davis had three in the win over LBSU and now has nine in his last three games.

General Assistance Starts At Home
UCSB is averaging just 10.7 assists per game this season. The Gauchos collected 28 assists in the first two games of the year, an average of 14.0 per game, but since then they have had just a total of 58, an average of 9.7 per game. In three home games this season, Santa Barbara has 38 assists, passing-off for exactly 13 in each of the two games and 12 against Long Beach State. In five road games, the Gauchos have a total of 48 assists, 9.6 per game. In the last three road games, however, the figure is even lower. UCSB has 20 assists in the last three road games, an average of 6.7 per game.

Double-Digit Duo
Last season, Santa Barbara finished the season with just one player, Branduinn Fullove, averaging in double-figures. This year, through eight games, the Gauchos have two players averaging in double-figures. With his 15-point effort on Tuesday night, Casey Cook has taken over the team-lead in scoring at 12.1 points per game. Josh Davis, who has scored in single-digits in each of the last four games, is second on the team at 11.2 points per game. Chrismen Oliver, who briefly smelled the rare air of a double-figure scoring average, dropped below the 10.0 mark by scoring eight points against Long Beach State. Oliver is now scoring at a 9.8 per game clip.

Turning Over A New Leaf
It is just one game, but UCSB had its best ball handling game of the year in Tuesday's win over Long Beach State. I don't mean to get too giddy, but a season-low ten turnovers is something for the Gauchos to smile about. The previous this season was the 11 that the team had in a loss at Wisconsin. In addition, UCSB had 12 assists to go with the ten turnovers, marking the first time since the game in Madison that the Gauchos had produced more assists than turnovers. Overall, it is just the second time this season that UCSB has had a positive ratio.

Just In Casey
Senior forward Casey Cook has reclaimed the team-lead in scoring at 12.1 points per game. He scored 15 points and had nine rebounds in Tuesday's win over Long Beach State. It was the second time this season that Cook had scored 15 points in a game. He scored a season and career-high 21 in the loss at Wisconsin. The 15 points represent Cook's sixth-highest total ever and the nine rebounds are his second-best total of the season and the third-best total of his career. Although he has scored in double-figures in four of eight games, he has not scored fewer than eight points in any game this season. Cook has been in double-figures in two of the last three games, both Gaucho wins. In fact, UCSB has gone 3-1 when Cook has scored ten or more points in a game this season. Despite his recent scoring surge, he is struggling with his field goal percentage. In the first two games of the year, Cook made 15-of-21 shots from the field, 71.4%. In the last six games, he has made just 22-of-69 from the floor, 31.9%. Cook is also ranked second on the team in rebounds at 6.0 per game and he has had four or more in seven of the eight games this year. Finally, in a December 18 win over Montana, he registered the second double-double of his career with 14 points and a career-high 12 rebounds.

Just Joshing
After scoring in double-figures in each of the team's first four games, junior guard Josh Davis has scored in single-digits in four straight. He tallied a season-low seven points in Tuesday's win over Long Beach State, dropping his scoring average to a season-low 11.2 per game, second on the team. In fact, since averaging 14.5 per game in the first four games of the year, Davis has averaged 8.0 per game in the last four, making just 11-of-27 shots, 40.7%, over that span. He is one of two Gauchos to have scored at least 20 points in a game this season, 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 is tied for the team-lead with ten three-point baskets and he paces the team with 18 steals. Twice this season he has had a career-high of four steals, once each at San Diego State and the University of San Diego. Davis has had two or more steals five times, and at least one in seven of eight games. In fact, he has nine steals in the last three games. Finally, the ten three-pointers he has made are exactly one more than he made all of last season.

Oliver's Twist
Senior point guard Chrismen Oliver scored eight points in the win over Long Beach State, dropping below the 10.0 scoring mark at 9.8 per game. Still, Oliver is third on the team in scoring and he remains the only regular on the team with a positive assist to turnover ratio. Oliver leads the team in assists at 3.2 per game and he has had at least two assists in seven of eight games, including each of the last four. He is one of three Gauchos who has scored ten or more points in four of UCSB's eight games this year. Oliver is also tied for the team-lead in three-point baskets with ten. In the last three games he has made five three-point baskets. In fact, in the last three games, he has made 5-of-11 shots from beyond the three-point arc, 45.5%, and just 5-of-15 from inside the three-point arc, 33.3%. Oliver has 16 steals on the season, including three on Tuesday against Long Beach State. He had a career-high five steals in a home win over Montana and he has had two or more five times this year. In the game against Montana, Oliver also had a career-high seven assists. His career-high of 17 points came in the season opening win at San Diego State.

Cam I Am
Junior forward Cameron Goettsche has yet to get full on-track offensively this season, but his rebounding is getting better each game. In Tuesday's win over Long Beach State, Goettsche tied his career-high with 12 rebounds. It was the second consecutive game in which he had produced a double-digit rebound total. He went for 11 in a December 22 loss at San Diego. In fact Goettsche, who leads the team at 7.5 rebounds per game, has had 32 boards in the last three games, an average of 10.7 per game. He has had eight or more rebounds in four of his six appearances. Since missing both exhibition games and the first two regular season games, Goettsche has played in six straight games. He is averaging 6.7 points per outing to go with his 7.5 rebounds. He has also blocked a team-high six shots, all in the last four games. In a season-high 35 minutes on Tuesday, he scored just four points, making 2-of-6 shots from the field. While he is shooting 51.5% from he floor, tops among Gaucho regulars, Goettsche has taken more than seven shots in a game just once. He attempted ten at San Diego. Finally, not only did he have a career-high 12 rebounds against the 49ers, but he also had a career-high four assists.

See Saw
Junior guard Joe See seemed to have taken great strides towards a recovery from a slow start to the season when he scored a season-high 17 points at San Diego on December 22. On Tuesday night, he took a step back offensively, missing all five of his field goal attempts, including all three of his three-point attempts, and scoring just two points. Back in the starting lineup for the first time in four games, See saw his shooting percentage on the year drop to 28.8% overall and 21.6% from beyond the three-point arc. In the first three games of the year, he hit just 2-of-20 shots overall and he missed all 16 of his three-point attempts. In four games prior to the game against Long Beach State, See made 8-of-18 shots from three-point range, 44.4%, and he averaged 10.0 points per game. On the bright side, in 23 minutes against the 49ers, he had three assists, tying his second-highest mark of the year and his highest in three games. See paced the Gauchos in three-pointer last season with 44.

Chambers Music
Junior guard Michael Chambers played a combined total of six minutes in the two games prior to UCSB's win over Long Beach State. Against the 49ers, however, Chambers played 13 minutes, and he was an important part of the decisive 23-5 second half run that put the game away for the Gauchos. A transfer from San Francisco, Chambers made a pair of three-point baskets in UCSB's outburst. He finished with seven points, equaling his second highest total of the year. It also marked the second time this season that Chambers had made a pair of three-point baskets.

Grasping His Opportunity
Freshman guard Derek Rasp is a walk-on, but already he has played a key role in two of UCSB's three wins this season. He had a key three-pointer and two rebounds in just four minutes of the season opener at San Diego State. In Tuesday's win against Long Beach State, he played 15 minutes, his second highest total of the season, and he scored five points, all during UCSB's 23-5 second half rally. On the year, Rasp is now averaging 3.4 points per game and his five three-point baskets rank fourth on the team. He has also proven to be a versatile player, logging time at the two, three and four spots.

Turner Sticks Around
Sophomore Glenn Turner entered Tuesday's game against LBSU averaging more fouls than points. For just the second time this season, however, Turner had more points (four) than fouls (three). He also tied his career-high with two blocked shots in just 12 minutes of action. Turner has now had two blocks in two of the last three games and UCSB has won both games. He is now averaging 3.9 rebounds and 2.6 points per game.

Youthful Ups And Downs
Freshman Alex Harris started the season with a bang, scoring 15 points in the opener at San Diego State. After four games he was still averaging 9.2 points per game. In the last four, however, he has scored just nine total points, 2.2 per game, on 3-of-16 shooting, 18.7%. In the win over LBSU, Harris had two points and played a season-low seven minutes.