UCSB Officially Opens Mitchell Era at Seattle, Portland State

UCSB Officially Opens Mitchell Era at Seattle, Portland State

• The Schedule
Friday, November 11, 2011,  at 7:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara at Seattle (8-22 in 2010-11)
at Seattle's Connolly Center (1,050)
Series record vs. the Redhawks – 1-0
Streak – Won 1
Last time out vs. the Redhawks – W, 67-57 (@ UCSB, 2/20/11)
Game broadcast streaming live on AM 990 KTMS and online by clicking here

Sunday, November 13, 2011,  at 2:00 p.m.
UC Santa Barbara at Portland State (20-12 in 2010-11)
at Portland State's Peter W. Stott Center (1,500)
Series record vs. the Vikings – 2-4
Streak – Lost 2
Last time out vs. the Vikings – L, 69-66, OT (@ UCSB, 11/19/10)
Game broadcast streaming live on AM 990 KTMS and online by clicking here

• On The Radio
All UC Santa Barbara basketball games are broadcast live in Santa Barbara on AM 990 KTMS and will stream live online at UCSBgauchos.com with the pregame show starting 30 minutes prior to tipoff.

The Opponents
• @ Seattle, 11/11
The Redhawks went just 8-22 last season and dropped a 67-57 decision to the Gauchos in the Thunderdome on Feb. 20. Coached by former Long Beach State coach Joan Bonvicini, Seattle returns their top two leading scorers from last season, Elle Kerfoot, who averaged 13.7 ppg, and Saleena Dickerson, who had 11.4 ppg.

• @ Portland State, 11/13
UCSB has dropped two in a row to the Vikings, including a 69-66 overtime loss last year in the Thunderdome. PSU, coached by former Pacific head coach Sherri Murrell, return Big Sky MVP Eryn Jones, who averaged 13.9 points and 4.7 assists per game last season.

• Welcome, Coach Mitchell
UC Santa Barbara hired new head coach Carlene Mitchell on May 21, 2011 to be the program's fifth head coach in its history. Mitchell brings an incredible pedigree with her to the school after having served as the top assistant coach at Rutgers the past 10 years, with the final three as Associate Head Coach. Mitchell replaces Lindsay Gottlieb, who left UCSB for the same position at Cal.

• Oh, Say Can You See?
Senior guard Emilie Johnson recently returned from the United States National Team as part of the 12-person roster for the Pan-American Games. Johnson, the Gauchos' fourth Team USA representative, helped the squad to a seventh-place finish at the games in Guadalajara, Mexico. The native of Loomis, Calif. started all four games for Team USA and averaged 5.0 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game. She shot 44.0 percent from the field and her 22.8 minutes per game were fourth on the team.

Johnson was recently named one of the 30 nominees for the Lowe's Senior CLASS award, given annually to a senior who exhibits high standards on the court, in the classroom and in the community. Both Emilie and Orlando Johnson were nominated from UCSB, just three players from the same school to be nominated this year.

• Quick Recap
UCSB used an 18-5 second-half run to pull away from Vanguard in last week's exhibition game and win, 62-58. Emilie Johnson finished with 15 points as Melissa Zornig added 13 and Sweets Underwood had 11 points and six rebounds.

• Welcome!
UCSB added three players to its 2011-12 roster in the form of two freshmen and a transfer. Joining the Gauchos is junior Kirsten Tilleman, who transferred from Oregon State, and freshmen Madeline Campbell and Jackie Luna-Castro.

• They're Outta Here
The Gauchos lost three players from last year's roster, including two starters. Gone are Margaret Johnson and Mekia Valentine, both mainstays in Santa Barbara's starting lineup. Valentine averaged a double-double last season – 11.1 points and 11.2 rebounds per game – the first by a Gaucho since Erika Kienast in 1991-92. Valentine also finished third in the nation in blocked shots per game with 3.7. Backup guard Stefanie Corgel also left from last year's roster.

• Putting the Biscuit in the Basket
UCSB returns five of its top six scorers from last season's squad, giving the team an average of 44.2 points per game returning to the team.

• Big West Champs
The Gauchos have won 14 of the last 16 Big West titles, including last year's regular-season title and the third time in the past four years they have captured a title.

• Moving on Up
Emilie Johnson became the 23rd member of UCSB's 1,000 point club last season and has already moved to the 20th spot all-time in school history with 1,060 career points.  At her current average of 354 points per year, it's possible Johnson could move into 12th place by the end of the season.

• Biggest in the Big West
The Gauchos have dominated the conference for more than a decade. Since the 1995-96 season, UCSB is 226-31 (.883) in Big West games.

• Rank and File
In the inaugural collegeinsider.com Mid-Major poll, released on Nov. 1, UC Santa Barbara is receiving votes from the coaches on the panel. The Gauchos are technically ranked 31st in the Top-25 poll and will face six other teams who are receiving votes, including both Seattle and Portland State this weekend.

• At the Polls
In the preseason media poll, UCSB was picked to finish second in the Big West behind Cal Poly despite receiving the same number of first place votes (11) as the Mustangs. Cal Poly had 200 total points to UCSB's 191 followed by UC Davis (169 points, two first place votes) and UC Riverside (120).

• The Tilleman File
Junior transfer Kirsten Tilleman averaged 8.1 points and 7.5 rebounds per game in her sophomore season at Oregon State. The native of Bozeman, MT. shot 46.2 percent and started all 31 games she played in.

• What an Honor
Freshman Jackie Luna-Castro was named the Gatorade Idaho State Player of the Year at Boise High as a senior and was also honored as the Southern Idaho Conference Player of the Year and was named to Idaho State 1st team.

• Top-10 Time
Entering her senior season Emilie Johnson ranks in the school's all-time Top-10 in three-pointers made (169, 4th), three-pointers attempted (504, 3rd) and free throw pct. (.827, 2nd).

• Double-Digit Delight
In 2010-11, UCSB guaranteed its 20th season, in the last 21, that it finished Big West play with double-digit victories and the 21st straight season it finished above .500 in the conference.

• Leading Lady
Emilie Johnson, whose 13.7 points per game led the team in 2010-11, also paced the Gauchos in total points, assists and tied for the team lead in steals with Kelsey Adrian. Johnson led the team in those three categories two straight seasons, which would be the third year in a row after Lauren Pedersen did it in the 2008-09 season.

• Eyeing 20
Santa Barbara narrowly missed a 20-win season in 2010-11 as the team finished with 19 victories. UCSB has 13 20-win seasons in its history, including a stretch of 10 in a row from the 1995-96 season to the 2004-05 campaign.

• All-Big West Honors
Four Gauchos were honored by the Big West at the end of last season as Emilie Johnson was named a First Team All-Big West selection; Mekia Valentine was a Second Team All-Big West pick and the conference's Defensive Player of the Year; Sweets Underwood was named an Honorable Mention selection; and Nicole Nesbit was named to the All-Big West Freshman Team.


The Carlene Mitchell File
  Carlene Mitchell was hired as UC Santa Barbara's head coach on May 19, 2011 after a very successful tenure at Rutgers. Mitchell, the fifth head coach in program history, is in her first head coaching job.
  Prior to joining UCSB, Mitchell served 10 years as an assistant coach at Rutgers, with the final three years spent as the team's associate head coach.
  Under the tutelage of Hall of Famer C. Vivian Stringer, Mitchell has helped direct the Scarlet Knights to an NCAA berth in nine straight seasons and a spot in the NCAA Regional Semifinals in five of the past seven seasons. Mitchell, who served as the program's recruiting coordinator since 2004, consistently landed the top talent in the nation, including four top-15 recruiting classes and the nation's top recruiting class in 2006-07.
  Prior to Rutgers, Mitchell spent the 2000-01 season as the top assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Oklahoma State. Prior to her stop in Stillwater, Mitchell coached for two seasons at Western Illinois University.  Mitchell started her coaching career as a graduate assistant at the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 1997.
Mitchell was the starting point guard as a senior at Kansas State during the 1995-96 season. She received a bachelor's degree in social science from the school in 1996.