Tuesday, November 22, 2016

UCSB Gauchos vs. SMU Mustangs Game Preview, by Gaucho Dan

UCSB Gauchos vs. SMU Mustangs Men's Basketball Game Preview, by Gaucho Dan
Game Time:  Tuesday, November 22, 2016, 8 pm (Central time)
Moody Coliseum, Dallas, TX

SMU has a 3-1 record, winning home games vs. Gardner-Webb (72-44) and Eastern Michigan (91-64), and splitting two at Madison Square Garden (defeating Pittsburgh 76-67 and losing to Michigan (76-54).  SMU is ranked 30th in the DCI , 66th in the DC2 and has an RPI of 52.

The team is making 46% of its shots, including 37% from 3-point range (they attempt 19 per game).  They make 67% of their free throws, getting to the line 20.5 times per game vs. allowing 18 FT's per contest.  Opponents are shooting 40% from the field and 31% from three-point range.  The Mustangs are dominating the boards, grabbing 14.5 more rebounds per game than their opponents. 

SMU is led by Head Coach Tim Jankovich in the wake of another Larry Brown resignation. The Mustangs were banned from the NCAA tournament last season, but are eligible this season and figure to be in line for at least an at-large bid, considering the American Athletic Conference coaches picked them to finish 3rd.

6'7" junior forward Semi Ojeleye is leading the Mustangs in scoring, averaging 20.3 points per game and adding in 9 rebounds per game.  Ojeleye can hit the three-point shot (8-of-18) and gets to the free throw line and makes them (19-of-25).

6'5" sophomore guard Shake Milton was expected to be SMU's top returning player, and is contributing 12 points per game.  He likes to take the three-point shot (5 attempts per game, but has hit only 30% from downtown.  He has an excellent 3.6-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio.

6'6" senior guard Sterling Brown started the first three games and came off the bench for 32 minutes vs. Michigan.  Brown had 8 assists in the season opener and only 5 assists since, but he's averaging 10.5 points per game and has hit 5-of-10 three-pointers.

Friday, November 18, 2016

CSUB Roadrunners vs. UCSB Gauchos Game Preview, by Gaucho Freg

Game 3, CSU-Bakersfield Roadrunners vs. UC-Santa Barbara Gauchos
Saturday, November 19, 2016, 7 pm (Pacific time)
Men's Basketball game at Icardo Center

Game Preview

It will be strength vs. strength in the first matchup ever between the two schools.  Bakersfield returns last season's Second Team All-WAC senior guard Dedrick Basile and this season's leading scorer in senior guard Jaylin Airington in their backcourt.  They will be matched up with Santa Barbara's strength in senior point guard Eric Childress and junior shooting guard Gabe Vincent, both Honorable Mention All-BWC selections last season.  The team who wins this match up could very well come away with a victory.


CSU-Bakersfield, the reigning Western Athletic Conference champions, are a legitimate threat to repeat.  Basile returns, and will be looked upon to produce even more following the graduation of Aly Ahmed and Kevin Mays, the team’s top two scorers and rebounders last season.  The 5'10" Basile sent the Roadrunners to the NCAA Tournament with the game-winning bucket in the WAC tournament.  He will be the focal point of the offense this season, a year removed from averaging 12.0 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game.  The cabinet is far from bare for Rod Barnes, the head coach of the Roadrunners. Jaylin Airington and Brett Wrapp are two other starting returnees.  Airington in particular has flourished early this season, scoring a career-high 31 points in a 78-66 loss to powerhouse Arizona.  Damiyne Durham averaged 11.7 points per game off the bench last season, and made 89 3-point shots.  Matt Smith provides a presence on defense and on the glass.

The Gauchos will need to capitalize on their strength in the interior on offense, with Jalen Canty and backup Ami Lakoju manning the center spot.  Alex Hart and the committee at the power forward position will have to step up on converting on layups and cleaning the glass.  Vincent and Childress will need to knock down perimeter shots and create scoring opportunities for teammates with dribble penetration.  On defense, the 3-2 zone defense will need to close out on perimeter shooters quicker, while minimizing Bakersfield's slashers into the lane, where the defense can break down.

Game preview by Gaucho Freg