Friday, May 17, 2019

Jason Smith Quotes (Brewster Head Coach) on Miles Norris

Thanks to Brewster Academy Head Basketball Coach Jason Smith for providing a few quotes on Miles Norris.  Coach Smith has won multiple national championships at Brewster.

Gaucho Hoops ("GH"):  Hi Coach Smith. UCSB hoops fans are excited that Miles verbally committed to the Gauchos.  Can I get a couple quotes from you on what type of student-athlete the Gauchos will be getting?  Thanks for the consideration.

Jason Smith ("JS"):  Miles is a tremendous talent.  [He's a] High level athlete and very skilled combo-forward. Wonderful young man and family! I look forward to following his career at UCSB.

GH:  Awesome. What are his strengths and what will he be working on during his redshirt year?

JS:  The redshirt year [requires] sitting out as a transfer, will be a great opportunity for Miles to mature physically and gain strength. He will provide the scout team with a very versatile, skilled player during daily practices.

GH:  He's obviously a very long post player. Is his game mostly in the post? Does he have a mid range shot and can he step out and stretch the defense?

JS:  Miles isn’t a post. He’s more of a hybrid forward. Very athletic and has skill level to stretch the floor with his shooting ability.

GH:  Who does he compare to in the NBA regarding his style of play?

JS:  He reminds me a lot of one of my former players, Jonah Bolden [Philadelphia 76ers]. Miles has potential to be a high level shooter. The redshirt year will help with his continued growth.

GH:  Thanks Coach and good luck next season!

Monday, April 8, 2019

Orlando Johnson's Impact as an Indianapolis Pacer

“That was the death-knell," he told IndyStar last year. “When we did that for Danny, I just sort of in my gut, I knew we weren't going to be able to get by the Heat. Even though it was in February, I knew we’d be able to get through the first two rounds, but without Danny, without OJ (Orlando Johnson was waived as part of the Granger trade), without Roy (Hibbert) being mentally confident, I knew we weren’t going to have enough to get by them.”

Losing Orlando Johnson wasn’t just collateral damage, either. It hurt. Though he only averaged nine minutes a night for the Pacers that year, Johnson was an invaluable role player, West said. 
“You can ask anybody to a man, OJ was the guy in that locker room,” West said. “His playing time was (limited), but he brought it every single day. He talked to every single guy. He gave the locker room life. I mean he was a genuinely good dude. And he was a huge part of why we were winning. Those nights where guys didn’t have it, or didn’t feel right, he was the guy in everybody’s ear encouraging. He was huge. That lesson probably taught me how important it was having a locker-room minded guy, a glue guy.”

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

CSUN vs. UCSB, Big West Tournament Game Preview, by Gaucho Freg

BWT Quarterfinal Preview
The Pond, Noon, Thursday, March 14
All tournament games can be watched on ESPN3
 Abbreviated preview this time, we all already know these teams.

The Arena
The Honda Center, aka “The Pond” was built in 1993 and seats 18,836 for basketball.  Shockingly, it has never sold out for a BWT game.  The BWT has been held there since 2011 and has never seen a repeat champion.  It primarily serves as the home of the Anaheim Ducks NHL hockey team.  It has a reputation for terrible sight lines for shooting which can be explained in part by BW teams being accustomed to much smaller venues.

UCSB- CSUN History
This will be the 59th meeting between the two teams with the Gauchos holding a 39-19 advantage.  The Gauchos own a 4 game win streak in the series, having swept the Matadors two years in a row.  However, the Matadors hold a 2-1 advantage in the BWT.  The last time the teams played in the BWT was in 2011 with the Gauchos winning by 20 in the Quarterfinal.
This season, both conference games were tightly contested and there’s no reason that the tournament matchup will be any different.

Game One Recap, February 6, Santa Barbara
UCSB 70  CSUN 64
The Matadors jumped to an 11-0 lead before the Gauchos settled down and went into HT down just 29-28.  Max Heidegger had a season high 26 points in bringing the Gauchos all the way back to a 6 point victory.  Gaucho defense/ an off-night of 3-point shooting held the Matadors to just 1-21 from deep and to 13 points below their season scoring average.  CSUN did shoot 63% from inside the arc and outscored the Gauchos in the paint by 10.  Do-everything Lamine Diane led the ‘Dors with 28 points on 12-19 from the field and even hit 4-6 from the FT line.  Gomez was scored only about half his average with 10 points on just 3-13 from the field (1-8 from deep).  Besides Heidegger, Sow also had an excellent game with 16 pts and 9 boards.  Blackmon had a nice game off the bench, getting 5 pts, 5 boards, 4 assists and 2 steals in 26 minutes and, most importantly, managed to slow Diane’s torrid start to the game. Not to ignore the defense from Ramsey & McLaughlin which kept the potent CSUN guards in check.

Game Two Recap, March 7, Northridge
UCSB 76  CSUN 74
In the most dramatic game of the season for the Gauchos, UCSB came back from a late 4 point deficit to defeat the Matadors on a three point shot by Heidegger with 3.8s left.  In that last couple minutes it seemed everyone came up with a huge play to get the win, Blackmon managed to block Diane’s shot; Sow got to the line and hit both FTs then blocked the inbounds pass, JRoq made an incredible hustle play and Heidegger hit two huge threes. 
Unlike the first game, the Matadors shot the ball very well from deep going 9-20 with Gomez leading the turnaround on 5-11 from three and scoring 21 points.  POY Diane was his normal unstoppable self, scoring 34 including an unusually accurate 8-10 from the line.  He added 13 boards but did have 5 turnovers.  Rocket Henderson was accurate from the field and added 9 points.

Heidegger again led the way for the Gauchos with 23 points on 3-7 from deep and 4-4 from the line plus added 3 assists and a remarkable 8 rebounds.  Sow, a hero in the final minute of the game, had 11 points on 5-6 from the line but was only 3-12 from the field.  He had 6 boards. Davis came off the bench in this game, probably because Pasternack wanted Blackmon in for defense on Diane, and had a solid shooting night with 12 points and 6 boards.  Idehen also had a great game off the bench, scoring 6 and grabbing 5 boards in 13m of play. 

Match-up & prediction
Many BW fans, including this one, saw CSUN being a tournament dark horse after the emergence of Liane Diane in pre-season play.  He, along with reigning FOY, Terrell Gomez, gave the Matadors a two-headed monster which is a huge advantage in a mid-major conference (OJ-Nunnally, right?)  The Matadors are the only team with two players on the BW First team.  But poor defense, a lack of depth, and inexperience contributed to many lost leads and close losses and the end result is the 7th seed.  The defense & depth are more difficult to fix but experience happens regardless and with fewer mistakes down the stretch CSUN can turn the close losses into close wins.   As the 7th seed, they’re out of the spotlight with less pressure but definitely looking to prove they’re better than their record suggests.  UCSB sits about a 100 points higher in the computer rankings so the odds makers will likely have UCSB favored by more than what the final margin will likely be. 

The Pond is known for bad sight lines and this ought to harm both teams equally as they are similarly reliant on outside shooting. I expect the defenses to pack it in a bit more and the scoring to be lower than what was put up last week.  While CSUN has the best player in the league at creating offense in the paint in Diane, UCSB has the better defense to close out the lanes and force CSUN to hit from outside when Diane is bottled up.  If the Gauchos can turn the Matador two-headed monster into just Diane, as they did in the first game, then the odds of a Gaucho win go way up. So here’s to you JRoq and Devearl, I don’t care if you two don’t light it up on offense, just keep Gomez in check. 

Despite the upset potential the Matadors present, I believe a bit more experience on the side of the Gauchos carries.  I think this plays out much like the first game, it may not be pretty but UCSB prevails 71-65.

No. 2 UCSB Plays No. 7 CSUN in Big West Tournament First Round Thursday
Amadou Sow (Photo by Jeff Liang)

Monday, March 11, 2019

Big West Tournament Tickets

Call the UCSB Athletics Ticket Office for tickets to the Big West Conference Tournament. See you at the Honda Center in Anaheim. Go Gauchos! 

Saturday, March 9, 2019

UCSB vs. Cal Poly Game Preview, by Gaucho Freg

UCSB @ Cal Poly Preview, Game 2
Saturday, March 11, 2019, 7 PM PST
UCSB bookends their conference season with their second game against their Central Coast rival, at last place Cal Poly.  The 3rd place Gauchos are coming off a dramatic road win over CSUN and are still in contention for the second seed in the BW tournament; they have at least the third seed locked up.  Meanwhile the Mustangs have hit rock bottom, they fired Head Coach Joe Callero then went on to suffer one of the worst losses in their history at the hands of first place Irvine.   

By the Numbers                                                             
 Quadrant 4 Game
Cal_Poly_Mustangs, small.jpg
UCSB logo small.png
Record 6-22 20-9
Home/Away vs D1 2-8 (H) 6-6 (A)
Big West Conference 2-13 9-6
Composite National Rankings
DCI 1&2, BPI, SOR, KP, Massey, NET, RPI, Sagarin 331 157
NET 333 161
SOS (NET) 329 287
Efficiency Rankings (Pomeroy) 
Offense 301 143
Defense 339 210
Scoring  (Overall  /  Big West) 66.0  /  65.7 73.4  /  69.3
FG% 41.1  /  40.1 45.4  /  42.8
3Pt % 32.6  /  30.1 34.0  /  33.4
FT% 64.5  /  62.4 71.5  /  71.8
PPG Allowed 74.7  /  77.2 65.5  /  66.7
FG % Defense 45.8  /  47.9 42.5  /  45.8
3Pt % Defense 36.7  /  36.9
30.3  /  32.8
Rebounding Margin -4.4  /  -6.2 +6.8  /  +4.0

Mustangs overview:
Nothing positive to be said for Cal Poly except that, mercifully, their season is nearly over. Some thought that the team may somehow find inspiration with the firing of Callero and they would step it up in their last two games but Irvine’s dominating win seems to put that to bed.  They still have Donovan Fields who gave the Gauchos trouble in the first game and wing Mark Crowe is an outstanding shooter, Marcellus Garrick has established himself as a scorer but not much else.   Mustang frontcourt players have not put up much in terms of numbers.  Poly does not rebound well and our front court should take advantage.

Best win (NET):  vs. Hawaii (203)
Worst Loss (NET):  @ Portland (326)
Trend:  Have lost 3 in a row, 8 of their last 9

CP-UCSB History/Game 1 Recap
This will be the 115th meeting between the schools; UCSB holds a 80-35 advantage and has won three in a row, including 65-56 in on January 9 in Santa Barbara.  In that game, Devearl Ramsey & JRoq led the way with 19 & 16 points, respectively.  Sow had one of his least productive games with only 4 points, 1 rebound and 4 fouls in 15 minutes.  Idehen and Blackmon filled in with 8 and 7 boards respectively with Idehen adding 6 points.   Fields led the way for Poly with 19 pts and 8 assists.

Mott Gymnasium
Built in 1960, renovated in 1998, has a capacity of 3,032.  The aging facility is considered a detriment to recruiting but is a fun & loud place when the fans show up.

Head Coach:  Joe Callero is in his 10th season which will officially be his last as he was notified of not being retained on Wednesday. This season is shaping up to be the worst in his tenure with not making the tournament extremely likely.  Only a victory over the Gauchos, a UCR loss to Davis and a win of a coin toss will gain them entry.

The Mustangs start three upperclassman and two underclassmen. Their bench has some experience in forwards Niziol and Hollingsworth.

Probable Starters
PG Donovan Fields   #3  5’10”, 160 lb, Senior  16.8 ppg, 4.1 apg, 82% FT, 34 mpg.  Poly’s unquestionable team leader.  Tops in scoring, FT attempts & assists.  His fg% has suffered from his junior year, hitting .298 from three and .397 overall.  He absolutely destroyed UCSB in the first game last year, penetrating the Gaucho defense at will, leading Poly to a surprising upset.
Guard Marcellus Garrick  #11  6’4”, 190 lb. 11.6 ppg, 27 mpg  Senior  Second on team in assists and getting to the line (78%)  Tied for team lead in 3pt makes, 35%
Guard Job Alexander  #1  6’4”, 200 lb. JC Transfer Junior 20 mpg.   5.2 ppg  Has started 11 games.
Wing Mark Crowe   #5  6’5”, 205lb RS Sophomore  10 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 33 mpg  Good shooter, hitting  44% overall and 41% from deep on 138 attempts.
Forward Karlis Garoza  #23  6’9”, 230 lb, Sophomore  12 mpg. 4 rpg. From Latvia

Key Reserves
Forward Kuba Niziol  #35  6’7”, 210 lb.  Senior  6.3 ppg, 3.6 rpg. 19 mpg  Former starter Fourth leading scorer.  Went for 8 on 2-4 from 3 against the Gauchos.
Forward Daxton Carr  #13  6’7”, 200 lb, Freshman 3.4 ppg, 2.9 rpg  18 mpg. Shooting .395 from the field and .321 from deep on 53 attempts.  Has started 12 games
Forward Hank Hollingsworth  #30  6’10”, 235 lb, Junior 4.6 ppg, 4.6 rpg  21 mpg.  Makes .589 of his fg attempts but only .432 of his FT attempts. 
Forward Tuuka Jaakola  #14  6’10”, 240 lb, Freshman 2.9 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 14 mpg, shooting an outstanding .625 from the field, 50% from the line.  From Finland

Guard Junior Ballard  #24  6’3”, 200 lb. Freshman  5 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 15 mpg    Shooting .315 from the field and .273 from deep.  Not sure if injured but has not played last couple games

Match-Up:  While there’s no strong incentive to win this game in terms of BWT seeding, we’re locked into playing Davis or CSUN regardless, there’s no way UCSB should lose this game or for it to be even close.  If they come out focused and get Sow involved early, fully exploit their rebounding advantage,  this should be a Gaucho win.

Keys to the game for the Gauchos:
·       No way Sow is a non-factor in this rematch.  He’s improved so much, should the Mustangs double him, our guards will make them pay.
·       McLaughlin slow down Fields.  While he got 19 in the first game, it was on a low %.  When we have not shut down the lead guard in our opponents (Shorts, Martin, Booker, Allman/Ahmed) UCSB has lost. 
·       Ramsey gets untracked.  Devearl has been a bit quiet of late, would be good for him to get untracked with another big game, as he had the first time and feeling confident going into the tournament. 

Prediction:  It’s the time of year that focus needs to be razor sharp, regardless of the opponent or relevance.  Gauchos come out strong and take it to them.  UCSB 86  CP 64

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Friday, March 8, 2019

Heidegger's Three-Pointer in Finals Seconds Gives Thrilling 76-74 Win at CSUN
Max Heidegger (Photo by Eric Isaacs)

Gauchos Get It Done!

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Gauchos Travel to CSUN, Cal Poly to Complete 2018-19 Regular Season
Amadou Sow (Photo by Jeff Liang)

UCSB vs. CSUN Game Preview, by Gaucho Freg

UCSB @ CSUN, Game 2
Thursday, March 9, 2019, 7 PM PST

Overview:  Like the ball dribbling on the court, 3rd place UCSB has been up & down in Big West play and are looking for a bounce back on the road vs. the upward trending Matadors who are in a three-way tie for 4thplace

By the Numbers                                                             
 Quadrant 4 Game
csun xxx logo.jpg
UCSB logo small.png
Record 13-17 19-9
Home/Away (D1) 6-8 (H) 5-6 (A)
Big West Conference 7-7 8-6
Composite National Rankings
DCI 1&2, BPI, SOR, KP, Massey, NET, RPI, Sagarin 261 160
NET 273 160
SOS (NET) 314 299
Efficiency Rankings (Pomeroy) 
Offense 160 139
Defense 329 211
Team Statistics (Overall/BWC)
Scoring 76.7  /  75.4 73.3  /  68.9
FG% 46.5  /  46.1 45.5  /  42.9
3Pt % 36.2  /  37.1 33.9  /  33.2
FT% 62.9  / 64.8 71.5  /  71.8
PPG Allowed (All/Conf) 79.2  /  75.0 65.2  /  66.1
FG % Defense 44.8  /  43.1 42.3  /  45.6
3Pt % Defense 38.4  /  37.8  29.8  /  31.9
Rebounding Margin  -2.4  /  -3.5 +6.7  /   +3.6
Best win (NET): Pepperdine (away, 178)
Worst Loss (NET): Portland (home, 328)
Trend:  After choking away a 16 point lead in the Pyramid, the ‘Dors caught UC Davis with their Shorts down and have not lost since, now owning a three game win streak, with their last win being over Hawaii in Manoa.  Of note in that streak are two very close wins (Davis, UCR), the types of games CSUN was consistently losing earlier. 

UCSB- CSUN History
This will be the 58th meeting between the two teams with the Gauchos holding a 38-19 advantage.  The Gauchos own a 3 game win streak in the series.  In Santa Barbara on February 6th, the Matadors jumped to an 11-0 lead before the Gauchos settled down and went into HT down just 29-28.  Max Heidegger had a season high 26 points in bringing the Gauchos all the way back to a 6 point victory.  Gaucho defense/ an off-night of 3-point shooting held the Matadors to just 1-21 from deep and to 13 points below their season scoring average.  CSUN did shoot 63% from inside the arc and outscored the Gauchos in the paint by 10.  Do-everything Lamine Diane led the ‘Dors with 28 points on 12-19 from the field and even hit 4-6 from the FT line.  Gomez scored only about half his average with 10 points on just 3-13 from the field (1-8 from deep).  Besides Heidegger, Sow also had an excellent game with 16 pts and 9 boards.  Blackmon had a nice game off the bench, getting 5 pts, 5 boards, 4 assists and 2 steals in 26 minutes and, most importantly, managed to slow Diane’s torrid start to the game. Not to ignore the defense from Ramsey & McLaughlin which kept the potent CSUN guards in check.
Head Coach
Mark Gottfried took over the troubled Northridge program from Reggie Theus this year.  He has the deepest pedigree of all Big West coaches and this is true even if you don’t consider his lead assistant is former UCLA & Pepperdine coach Jim Harrick.  He won a National Championship as an assistant under Harrick at UCLA and has numerous NCAA tournament appearances and victories in lengthy stints at NC State, Alabama and Murray State. 
CSUN has one of the younger rosters in the country.  While still not a deep team, their secondary players are improving slightly and contributing a bit more compared to early in the season.  Youth and a lack of depth goes far to explain why the Matadors have given up several big leads this season. With the negatives out of the way, the Matadors have two excellent players in Darius Brown and JC transfer Rocket Henderson and two All Big West Level players in Terrell Gomez and Lamine Diane.

Probable Starters
Guard Darius Brown  #10 6’1”, 180lb, Freshman  8.4 ppg, 5.4 apg, 3.3 ATO ratio. 3.4 rpg, 32 mpg.  Leads the Big West in assists and the Matadors with 36 steals. Is shooting .466 from the field.  Would be a FOY candidate if not for Diane.  
Guard Terrell Gomez  #3 5’8” 160 lbs, Sophomore  19.7 ppg, 2.8 apg, 38 mpg.  Gets to the line about 4x a game and makes 88% of his freebies.  A workhorse who is shooting an impressive 48% from the field including .429 from deep.   Leads the league in made three pointers with 106.  As point of comparison the tops for UCSB are Davis & McLaughlin with 43 ea.  Second on the team and in the Big West in scoring.  Reigning FOY.
Guard Cameron Gottfried #15  6’3”, 190 lb.  GT  5.0 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 2.2 apg, 26 mpg.   Coach’s son, the Grad Transfer provides some rare senior leadership on this young roster.  Was at NC State for two years previously but did not play. 
Forward Lamine Diane  #35  6’7”, 205 lb. RS Freshman  24.2 ppg, 10.8 rpg, 35 mpg.  Leads the league in scoring and rebounding, also ranking in the top ten in these categories nationwide.  Does just about everything well except hit his free-throws, hitting exactly half of his 214 attempts.  His moves, touch and length are all elite level.  Is the POY favorite and if any other player wins it will be a travesty. 
Forward Jared Pearre  #25  6’9”, 190 lb. RS Freshman 3.1 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 14 mpg. Limited minutes for a starter.
Key Reserves
Wing Rodney Henderson  #1 6’5”, 185lb, JC Transfer Junior  11.0 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 26 mpg.  A good three point shooter, is second on the team in makes, but has slumped a little bit from deep. Team’s 3rd leading scorer, has started 9 games and shoots  80% from the ft line.  Nicknamed Rocket.
Forward Ron Artest Jr  #14  6’7”, 215 lb  Freshman.  12 mpg.  Has only played 12 games, was not eligible earlier.  Is physical & a hard worker, but not polished.  Is improving.
Center Michael Ou  #30  6’9”, 230 lb  Freshman  4.0 ppg, 2.6 rpg. 16 mpg.  Sometimes starter, dealt with an injury earlier.  From China
Center Mahamadou Kaba-Camara  #34  7’0”, 273 lb  Junior  11mpg.  Has played just 13 games but getting more minutes recently.

Match-up overview:  The youthful Matadors are on an upward trend and with Kamara & Ou playing more minutes, have more depth in the post than they did earlier in the season.  They still boast the most prolific offense in the conference and are very good at scoring in the paint but their defense is still the worst in the conference.  CSUN does not rebound well and UCSB crashing the boards as they have all year should translate to more scoring opportunities for the Gauchos.  CSUN’s MO has been to jump out to leads and struggle late.  UCSB has frequently been a slow starter and does not always recover well.  Gaucho three point shooting is not very good right now, 8th in makes and 6th in % in the Big West, despite some inherently good shooters in Ramsey, JRoq, Max, Davis & Nagle.  On the other side, CSUN is 2nd in the conference in 3pt% so it can’t be expected that they will go 1-21 from deep again.

Interesting trends to consider: Thursdays are UCSB’s equivalent of Mondays after a weekend of hard partying, they are 2-4. UCSB has done well in Northridge in recent history, winning 6 of the past 7 there; the only loss coming in Bob’s last season when the Gauchos lost every road game except for their last one @ Poly.

Keys to the game for the Gauchos
·       Sow’s speed & athleticism.  He is superior to any Matador post but their team does have the athletes to double up on him and provide help defense.  He needs to make a quick move before the double comes or find the open player.
·       Diane is way too much for any one player.  Sow started on him in the first game but was getting schooled—Diane scored 8 of the Matadors first 11.  Blackmon took over after coming off the bench and slowed him down, if just a bit.  Will be interesting to see if JP wants to start Blackmon this time.
·       Limit easy drives to the basket.   CSUN shot 65% from two and outscored UCSB by 10 in the paint in the last game. 
·       Keep moving the ball on offense, would be nice to get Armond Davis untracked, he’s gone for 6 & 8 the past two games. 
·       Dominate the boards.  CSUN will score and 70 points will probably not be enough this time, Gauchos will need the 2nd chance points.

Prediction:  Another battle in store.  CSUN won’t get another 11 pt head-start but this should be a close one through the end and likely higher scoring than last time. Many signs point to a Matador victory; they are a team slowly improving, they’re learning how to win the close games and the law of averages suggest they will be (significantly) improved from deep this game, and its on a Thursday!  Inconsistency of UCSB’s play this season makes them hard to predict but I’m going to flip a coin and say UCSB bounces to good defense and effort this time and they pull out a victory.  UCSB 76  CSUN 73

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Wednesday, February 27, 2019

UCSB Plays Rival Long Beach State in Final Home Game of Season Thursday

Jarriesse Blackmon (Photo by Jeff Liang)

Long Beach State vs. UCSB Game Preview, by Gaucho Freg

UCSB vs Long Belch City, Game 2
Thursday, February 28, 2019, 7 PM PST
***Senior Night***
The 3rd place Gauchos, with consecutive blowout victories over Hawaii and Fullerton, host 7th place Long Belch City who are coming off an OT victory over Riverside and a 2pt win over CSUN.  This game closes out a three game home stand and is the last home game of the season for UCSB.  Special thanks and appreciation to Seniors Jariesse Blackmon, Ami Lakoju, Max Kupchak and Grad Student Armond Davis.

By the Numbers                                                             

 Quad 4 Game
simpsons burp.jpg
UCSB logo small.png
Record 11-18 19-8
Home/Away (D1) 3-12 (A) 10-2 (H)
Big West Conference 5-8 8-5
Composite National Rankings
DCI 1&2, BPI, KP, Massey, NET, RPI, Sagarin 241 148
NET 245 150
SOS (NET) 140 300
Efficiency Rankings (Pomeroy) 
Offense 245 130
Defense 223 206
Scoring 75.1  /  75.6 73.7  /  69.2
FG% 42.8  /  44.2 45.7  /  43.0
3Pt % 34.8  /  33.6 33.7  /  32.8
FT% 68.5  /  68.9 71.4  /  71.7
PPG Allowed 77.1  /  78.1 65.1  /  65.9
FG % Defense 44.5  /  45.9 42.2  /  45.6
3Pt % Defense 33.4  /  37.3
29.5  /  31.5
Rebounding Margin  -1.4  /  -0.8 +7.0  /  +3.9
Best win (NET):  @ UCI (92)
Worst Loss (NET):  @ CSUN (285)
Trend: LBCC has won two in a row and 3-5 but all three wins have come against the bottom of the BW, and two of those were in OT.  They lost at UC Davis who lost TJ Shorts to injury after 15 minutes and at Fullerton by just 3.

LBCC-UCSB History/Game 1 Recap
This will be the 128th meeting between the schools with the 49ers holding a 67-60 advantage. UCSB won the first game this year, at the Pyramid, 82-71 and own a one game winning streak in the series.  Armond Davis was a force with double-double of 24 points on 2-3 from deep and 11 boards. Mclaughlin added 15 points and Sow 14 on 6-7 shooting.  Both Ramsey and Heidegger dished 6 assists.  Deishaun Booker led the way for Long Belch with 25 points, 12 coming from the FT line.  Maxhuni and Byers added 13 & 12 respectively.  UCSB led most of the first half but LB closed strong and continued the start of the 2nd half to come back from being down as much as a dozen to take the lead.  After some back & forth, a McLaughlin jumper put the Gauchos ahead for good with 9:43 remaining.
Head Coach:  Dan Monson, the dean of the Big West, is in his 12th season at Long Beach.  After great success earlier in his LB career, the 49ers won the conference regular season his third through 5th seasons, his teams have leveled off to 3rd and 4th place finishes.  He has taken the 49ers to one NCAA tournament, in 2012 where as a 12 seed they lost a competitive first round game to New Mexico.  He has lost in the BWT final three times. His record at LB stands at 196-195 overall and 117-69 in BW play.  Dan is the son of long-time college coach Don Monson who took Idaho to the Sweet 16 in 1982 and later coached Oregon.  Dan is most famous for putting Gonzaga on the map in 1999 taking the Zags to the Elite 8 before bolting to Minnesota.

Belch City has a mix of veteran leadership and young talent; three Seniors and two sophomores are starting right now while  their main reserves are two upperclassmen and a sophomore.  Their depth has taken a bit of a kit with the loss of Guard Ron Freeman.  Senior Forward Temi Yussuf who did not play in the first game, is back but not producing like he was before his injury.  Monson has been juggling things a bit with a different starting lineup each of the past three games.

Possible Starters
Guard Deshuan Booker #15  6’’3” 170lbs, Senior, JC Transfer  18.1 ppg, 4.5 apg, 3.1 rpg  Booker has been terrific for the 49ers and is an all BW candidate.  He’s increased his scoring output by over 5ppg over last year and is great on defense with 1.4 steals per game.  He is shooting 37% from three in 32 minutes per game.  Does turn it over a lot, 115 on the season (4.1 pg)
Guard Bryan Alberts #10  6’5” 200 lbs, RS Senior. 10.6 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 28 mpg  Third leading scorer, leads the team in three point makes at a .380 clip
Guard Drew Cobb #3  6’4” 205 lbs, Sophomore 16 mpg. Sometime starter, not a major scoring threat but does shoot .500 from the field.  Tied for 2nd in assists.
Wing Jordan Roberts #2   6’8”, 195 lb, Sophomore, 6.6 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 20 mpg
Forward/Center Mason Riggins #5  6’7”, 265 lb, RS Senior.  6.7 ppg (62% from the field) and 5.4 rpg, 26 mpg.  Leads the team in offensive rebounds, an abysmal FT shooter, 36% from the line 

Key Reserves
Forward/Center Temi Yussuf  #4  6’7”, 265 lb, RS Senior.  11.6 ppg and 6.8 rpg, 22 mpg.  Leading rebounder, second on team in FT attempts, making 66%.  Missed 5 games with a bone bruise and is not producing like he was before the injury.  When healthy, one of the top bigs in the conference
Forward KJ Byers #14  6’7”, 195 Senior, JC Transfer,  7.9 ppg and 6.2 rpg in 23 minutes of play.  Sometime starter.  Team’s 2nd leading rebounder.  Will shoot from deep, .294
Guard Edon Maxhuni  #23  6’2”, 185 lb, Sophomore  7.2 ppg 18 mpg. Excellent three point shooter, second in makes and tops in %, 42.2 Has started 10 games, tied for second in assists.
Guard Jordan Griffin #11 6’3”, 165 Junior,  3.4 ppg, shoots mostly from deep, .326  8 mpg.
Wing Demetrius Mims #13  6’6”, 180 Freshman, minimal stats & plays little but their fans are excited about him.
Guard Ron Freeman  #1  6’6”, 180 lb. RS Junior.  Played only 8 games.

Match-up overview:
By the numbers and by trends, this game is UCSB’s for the taking.  Belch City does not play good defense and the Gaucho offense has put up 79 and 82 in their first two games of this homestand, their offense is clicking and should continue to do so Thursday.  It should be a high-scoring affair as LB also leads the league in offense.  The Gauchos did hold them to 7pts below their average in game one.  LB does not rebound well while the Gauchos are 2nd in the conference in rebounding margin.  The Gauchos should also win the turnover battle, Belch leads the league in turnovers while UCSB has the fewest.  One thing they do well is get to the line; they are first in the league in FT attempts, led by Booker who leads the country in FT makes and sports an outstanding 90% from the line. 

Keys to the game for the Gauchos
·       Control the paint.  Temi is back but not quite with the same mobility as before but still gives LB more depth in the post.  UCSB has successful when they can get scoring out of the post to open up things outside.  Riggins has done a solid job filling in for Temi but I’ll take Gaucho depth of Sow, Ami & Idehen over Riggins & Temi. 
·       Defending the drive and dish. I look at Fullerton games one and two and how different our defense was between the two.  If we defend LB like we did Fullerton, we win. Booker is as good as any of Fullerton’s elite guards but at least there’s just one of him.
·       Guard penetration.  Ramsey, Max, JRoq and Davis can all drive and penetrate.  LB defense should allow this to continue.  So many weapons, try and stop them all.  Love the way Max has been playing of late.  He is keeping the ball moving, he is doing a terrific job of penetrating defenses and dishing or getting a lay-up.  And taking the deep shot when its available.  I think he and the team are finding their groove in working together.

Prediction:  Funny things can happen in rivalry games but I think only UCSB will be laughing this time, Gauchos 84 Belchers 69.

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McLaughlin Named Big West Player of the Week After Helping UCSB to Pair of Wins
McLaughlin Named Big West Player of the Week After Helping UCSB to Pair of Wins