Wednesday, December 18, 2013

UCSB’s Alan Williams

http://www.independent.com/news/2013/dec/18/ucsbs-alan-williams/

The Best In The West: Ranking the Top 20 Teams West Of The Rockies

http://rushthecourt.net/2013/12/16/the-best-in-the-west-ranking-the-top-20-teams-west-of-the-rockies/#more-101263
UC Santa Barbara (#12 overall, Big West #1) – There are three losses overall on the docket, but all three are to good teams that you’ll find on this list. The good news is that there are also some good wins, including a couple over some other teams you’ll find on this list. Make no mistake, the Gauchos are no joke. - See more at: http://rushthecourt.net/2013/12/16/the-best-in-the-west-ranking-the-top-20-teams-west-of-the-rockies/#more-10126

UC Santa Barbara (#12 overall, Big West #1) – There are three losses overall on the docket, but all three are to good teams that you’ll find on this list. The good news is that there are also some good wins, including a couple over some other teams you’ll find on this list. Make no mistake, the Gauchos are no joke. - See more at: http://rushthecourt.net/2013/12/16/the-best-in-the-west-ranking-the-top-20-teams-west-of-the-rockies/#more-101263
UC Santa Barbara (#12 overall, Big West #1) – There are three losses overall on the docket, but all three are to good teams that you’ll find on this list. The good news is that there are also some good wins, including a couple over some other teams you’ll find on this list. Make no mistake, the Gauchos are no joke. - See more at: http://rushthecourt.net/2013/12/16/the-best-in-the-west-ranking-the-top-20-teams-west-of-the-rockies/#more-101263
UC Santa Barbara (#12 overall, Big West #1) – There are three losses overall on the docket, but all three are to good teams that you’ll find on this list. The good news is that there are also some good wins, including a couple over some other teams you’ll find on this list. Make no mistake, the Gauchos are no joke. - See more at: http://rushthecourt.net/2013/12/16/the-best-in-the-west-ranking-the-top-20-teams-west-of-the-rockies/#more-101263

Bryson Becomes Third Straight Gaucho to Earn Big West Player of the Week Honor

http://www.ucsbgauchos.com/sports/m-baskbl/2013-14/releases/201312165f8k5b

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

UCSB 76 - UCLA 89, 12-3-13 Video


http://youtu.be/0ANHYc5mA_4

MMBOW #4: Alan Williams, USCB

http://www.midmajority.com/p/3621

UC Santa Barbara celebrates men's basketball victory over Cal


http://youtu.be/7sEMGO0OM1E

Williams Earns Second Straight Big West Player of the Week Award

http://www.ucsbgauchos.com/sports/m-baskbl/2013-14/releases/20131209ta6c0w

Cal-UCSB Postgame -Mike Montgomery


http://youtu.be/XPkSC9ESbhc

Men's Basketball: 12/6: UCSB Uses Second Half Momentum to Take Down Cal, 72-65


http://youtu.be/l635LXsmF3w

Taran Brown: A Great Example

http://www.ucsbgauchos.com/sports/m-baskbl/2013-14/releases/20131205wouh11


http://youtu.be/LjWRwEywBfA

Big Second Half Powers UCSB Past Cal, 72-65

http://www.ucsbgauchos.com/sports/m-baskbl/2013-14/releases/201312074skd3t

Box Score

Three-Point Barrage Not Enough, UCSB Falls at No. 16 UCLA, 89-76

http://www.ucsbgauchos.com/sports/m-baskbl/2013-14/releases/20131204f4h4mu

Box Score

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Interview with UCSB Women's Volleyball Coach Nicole Lantagne Welch

Gaucho Hoops ("GH"):  Thanks for taking this interview on such notice, Coach Welch.  Let's start with:  why was the UCSB women's volleyball coach a destination job for you?  After all, the University of Miami (FL) is a big time program in the ACC.  You achieved major success there.  In fact, your team was fresh off an NCAA tournament appearance and you were honored as ACC Coach of the Year.

Nicole Lantagne Welch ("NLW"):  First off I'm a California native and always wanted to get back "home."  Family is important to me.  My parents were born and raised in Santa Barbara--they attended Santa Barbara High.  I have aunts, uncles, cousins- many family members here in Santa Barbara that can now be a bigger part of our lives and my children are much closer to their grandparents.

GH:  Where did you grow up and where did you play volleyball?

NLW:  I was raised in Encinitas, CA and attended University of Maryland.  But I came to Santa Barbara many times for holidays and any breaks from school.  I love the place.

GH:  Besides Santa Barbara, what other destination was ideal?

NLW:  San Diego.  But UCSB was a dream job because I knew it could be so successful.  Again, its academics, location and history of the program- what Coach Kathy Gregory had established here.

GH:  Speaking of Coach Gregory, how was the transition?  What helped the team during this transition?

NLW:  The returnees made it easy to transition to our way, our coaching.  They bought in to everything we were trying to do and embraced the differences

GH:  The win at the University of Hawaii was a major breakthrough for the Gauchos program.  The win snapped a long UH home winning streak.  How did your team accomplish that win?

NLW:  We stuck to the game plan.  Previously we played a tough out of conference schedule.  We were in all our matches.  We played USC tough, when they were ranked #1.  By always being in matches, the team developed a belief that they could play with anybody.  That belief in themselves carried them to finish out Hawaii.  That win was huge for our confidence.

GH:  How do you maintain the momentum of beating Hawaii?

NLW:  We focus on our next opponent--our next weekend of opponents.  We realize any opponent can win, so we focus on playing our best, one match at a time.  We respect our opponents.  For example, in our next match we were able to sweep CSUN, who was undefeated in conference at the time.

GH:  What are your goals for the rest of the season?

NLW:  We've finished the first half of conference 7 - 1.  If anyone had asked me back in February if we'd take a 7 - 1 conference record into the second half of the season, I would have jumped on it.  So we have exceeded my expectations so far because we have worked hard to improve and get better.  But our goal is now to win the Big West regular season championship, because that gets us an automatic berth into the NCAA tournament.

The NCAA tournament is somewhat similar to basketball:  there are 32 automatic berths, and 32 at-large invitees.  The winners of the Big West regular season get the automatic invite into the NCAA tournament.

GH:  Longer term, what are your objectives for the program?

NLW:  My job is to get the team to play at a higher level consistently.  We've had some freshmen step up big this season:  Ali Spindt, Allie Sullberg, and Phoebe Grunt.  Our seniors have led the way:  Leah Sully, Katey Thompson, and Kara Sherrard.

They all work hard and are intense.  One area of improvement is our conditioning.  Our first work out left them spent last spring.

GH:  One area Coach Gregory emphasized was the vocal leadership of her teams, as she was vocal herself, so she wanted her players to display vocal leadership.  Who is your leader in that aspect?

NLW:  Katey is the most vocal--and very energetic.  The team players better when Katey plays with energy.  Her energy rubs off on her teammates, and they play with more focus.  I would say that Leah Sully, Shauna Klein and Ali Santi also provide vocal leadership for the team.

GH:  Has recruiting picked up with your recent success?

NLW:  We hit the ground running since I arrived.  We are able to recruit well because of the academics and location here at UCSB.  We are developing a winning culture.

GH:  Where do you envision your program a few years down the road?

NLW:  We want to be competing for Big West championships year in and year out.  We want to go to the NCAA tournament on a yearly basis.  We want to be a top-25 program and then take things from there.

GH:  Sounds awesome.  Thanks again, Coach Welch and good luck the rest of the season.

Editor's note:  Coach Welch is intense during practice, but her smile lit up the Thunderdome after practice.  Her players respect her, she's demanding of them, and she is able to relate to them on a personal level.

Bryson, Williams Lead Balanced Gauchos to 88-65 Exhibition Win Over Cal State East Bay

http://www.ucsbgauchos.com/sports/m-baskbl/2013-14/releases/20131103b9dy54

Box Score

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Gauchos practice, 10-31-13


http://youtu.be/OVVkmMWhR78

Notes from October 31, 2013 preseason practice

Emphasis on 3 things in practice yesterday, after their scrimmage against USC:

1) be smart
2) be tough, be physical
3) do your job

4 x 4 drills emphasize spacing (without the 5, and on-ball screens).

Emphasize ball reversals (track possessions with 3 or more passes).  Studies show ball reversals increase field goal percentage by X%.  You'll have to ask Coach for that number (not sure I can reveal it).

Shooting drills:  Bryson!  Bos!  Brown!  Green!  Hart!

Green hit 6 in a row from the right corner.  Bryson hit 8 in a row from the right wing.  Hart hit 9 in a row from the right corner.  Check out what he did in casual 2-on-2 from the perimeter against Brown after practice.  He probably has the best release on the team already.  My opinion only.

Coach has in the past mentioned Nunnally and Somogyi had the best release on previous teams.  Bos' shot is so effective the coaches decided to not mess with it.  His guide hand is behind the ball, but his right wrist action is perfect.

Brown will be more aggressive on drives this year.  Book it.

On ball reversals, the pass should be received above the shoulders so the recipient can make strong moves.  There is more emphasis on fundamentals--the little things.  One-handed passes are discouraged.

No team captains as of yet.  Bos leads by example.  Al is the voice of the team.  Green will be once he gets court time.  Zalmico has natural leadership instincts.  Childress knows how to play, has a tight handle, sees the passing lanes, and had a better shot than I anticipated, altho it can be flat.  He and Z are battling, getting better.  They are competing on court, but best friends off the court.  Z is helping Childress improve:  junior mentor to true freshman.

Al was running a lot, keeping up his conditioning.  Z has a bandaged right thumb (dislocated).

Coach is hard on the team when they have mental lapses.  Veterans are singled out because they can take the tough coaching.

Yoga stretches are done after practice to prevent injuries.

Gauchos Unveiled: Men's Basketball


http://youtu.be/qpEApCd4280

Friday, October 25, 2013

UC Irvine Tops Men's Basketball Preseason Media Poll

http://www.bigwest.org//story.asp?story_id=17279

UC Santa Barbara is anchored by three returning starters and the reigning Big West Sixth Man of the Year.  Junior center Alan Williams, an All-Big West First Team choice last season, became the first Gaucho in 23 years to average a double-double as he finished at 17.1 points and a league-best 10.7 rebounds per game.  Preseason accolades for Williams include his selection to CollegeInsider.com's Lou Henson Mid-Major All-American Team.  Kyle Boswell, last year's top sixth man in the conference, averaged 13.0 points per game and knocked down 78 three-pointers.  Sophomores Taran Brown (11.1 ppg) and Michael Bryson (8.4 ppg) also bolster the Gauchos from the wing positions. - See more at: http://www.bigwest.org//story.asp?story_id=17279#sthash.vM1796Uf.dpuf

UC Santa Barbara is anchored by three returning starters and the reigning Big West Sixth Man of the Year.  Junior center Alan Williams, an All-Big West First Team choice last season, became the first Gaucho in 23 years to average a double-double as he finished at 17.1 points and a league-best 10.7 rebounds per game.  Preseason accolades for Williams include his selection to CollegeInsider.com's Lou Henson Mid-Major All-American Team.  Kyle Boswell, last year's top sixth man in the conference, averaged 13.0 points per game and knocked down 78 three-pointers.  Sophomores Taran Brown (11.1 ppg) and Michael Bryson (8.4 ppg) also bolster the Gauchos from the wing positions. - See more at: http://www.bigwest.org//story.asp?story_id=17279#sthash.vM1796Uf.dpuf

UC Santa Barbara is anchored by three returning starters and the reigning Big West Sixth Man of the Year.  Junior center Alan Williams, an All-Big West First Team choice last season, became the first Gaucho in 23 years to average a double-double as he finished at 17.1 points and a league-best 10.7 rebounds per game.  Preseason accolades for Williams include his selection to CollegeInsider.com's Lou Henson Mid-Major All-American Team.  Kyle Boswell, last year's top sixth man in the conference, averaged 13.0 points per game and knocked down 78 three-pointers.  Sophomores Taran Brown (11.1 ppg) and Michael Bryson (8.4 ppg) also bolster the Gauchos from the wing positions. - See more at: http://www.bigwest.org//story.asp?story_id=17279#sthash.vM1796Uf.dpuf

UC Santa Barbara is anchored by three returning starters and the reigning Big West Sixth Man of the Year.  Junior center Alan Williams, an All-Big West First Team choice last season, became the first Gaucho in 23 years to average a double-double as he finished at 17.1 points and a league-best 10.7 rebounds per game.  Preseason accolades for Williams include his selection to CollegeInsider.com's Lou Henson Mid-Major All-American Team.  Kyle Boswell, last year's top sixth man in the conference, averaged 13.0 points per game and knocked down 78 three-pointers.  Sophomores Taran Brown (11.1 ppg) and Michael Bryson (8.4 ppg) also bolster the Gauchos from the wing positions. - See more at: http://www.bigwest.org//story.asp?story_id=17279#sthash.vM1796Uf.dpuf

UC Santa Barbara is anchored by three returning starters and the reigning Big West Sixth Man of the Year.  Junior center Alan Williams, an All-Big West First Team choice last season, became the first Gaucho in 23 years to average a double-double as he finished at 17.1 points and a league-best 10.7 rebounds per game.  Preseason accolades for Williams include his selection to CollegeInsider.com's Lou Henson Mid-Major All-American Team.  Kyle Boswell, last year's top sixth man in the conference, averaged 13.0 points per game and knocked down 78 three-pointers.  Sophomores Taran Brown (11.1 ppg) and Michael Bryson (8.4 ppg) also bolster the Gauchos from the wing positions. - See more at: http://www.bigwest.org//story.asp?story_id=17279#sthash.vM1796Uf.dpuf

UC Santa Barbara is anchored by three returning starters and the reigning Big West Sixth Man of the Year.  Junior center Alan Williams, an All-Big West First Team choice last season, became the first Gaucho in 23 years to average a double-double as he finished at 17.1 points and a league-best 10.7 rebounds per game.  Preseason accolades for Williams include his selection to CollegeInsider.com's Lou Henson Mid-Major All-American Team.  Kyle Boswell, last year's top sixth man in the conference, averaged 13.0 points per game and knocked down 78 three-pointers.  Sophomores Taran Brown (11.1 ppg) and Michael Bryson (8.4 ppg) also bolster the Gauchos from the wing positions. - See more at: http://www.bigwest.org//story.asp?story_id=17279#sthash.vM1796Uf.dpuf

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Chris Paul and J.J. Redick, now Clippers teammates, bury feud

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/nba--chris-paul-and-j-j--redick--now-clippers-teammates--bury-feud-065652876.html
The boiling point between Paul and Redick came in the summer of 2004 when both were counselors at the Jordan Brand Camp in Santa Barbara, Calif. During a scrimmage between the two, Redick became so irritated that he struck Paul.

"I actually had to apologize to him," Redick said. "…I put my hands on him during a game. It was a hand to the face type of move. I don't know how to describe it.

"We were in the dorm at UC Santa Barbara, and I was told I had to apologize to him. I knew he didn't like me then, but he did [accept the apology]."

Friday, October 4, 2013

Roster Update With Coach Bob Williams

Gaucho Hoops ("GH"):  Thanks for the interview, Coach Williams.  You've had a full week of practice.  Let's start with who's not on the roster--Keegan Hornbuckle.

Bob Williams ("BW"):  Yes, Keegan had surgery on his ankle in June and it just didn't respond well.  So he decided it was best that he finish school and graduate and move on with his life.

GH:  Given Keegan's no longer on the roster, does that mean Alex Hart may not redshirt?

BW:  We won't decide on who redshirts until mid-November.  Because of the new rules, we've been able to evaluate players since August, we should be able to make good decisions on the lineups.  Alex is a good shooter and passer, but he is not physical enough at this stage.  If we believe he will be in the regular rotation of top 9 - 10 players, he will play.  If he does not crack the top 10, he will redshirt.  Whatever we decide will be what's best for Alex.

GH:  Is the situation similar to former Gaucho center Greg Somogyi?

BW:  With Somogyi, he would have benefited from a redshirt year, but we just didn't have the depth in the post at the time.

GH:  Speaking of redshirting, will TJ redshirt after the dual hip surgeries?

BW:  TJ is recovering nicely and doing water work, but he just hasn't played at all for several months, so in all likelihood, it looks like he will redshirt.

GH:  Which brings up the point guard position.  Where does Eric Childress fit into the Gaucho plans?

BW:  Eric is very good with the ball, handles defensive pressure well, makes good decisions, shoots well, penetrates well, uses on-ball screens well, is good in and around the lane, and is a tenacious defender.  The battles in practice between Eric and Zalmico Harmon have been epic, because both are extremely competitive.  They raise the level of play of each other in practice.  To answer your question, no, Eric will not redshirt.

One area of improvement for Eric is he has to become a bigger voice--a more vocal leader.

GH:  Speaking of Zalmico, how is he progressing?

BW:  Zalmico is physically mature, tough, tenacious, and is a natural pleaser.  He wants to make sure his teammates are happy.  He has very high standards for himself.  He and Eric are similar in many ways:  both are unselfish, pass-first point guards.  Zalmico is just ripped and very strong, so we can go small and have Eric run the point, while Zalmico can slide over to the off-guard position, because he is strong enough to defend the opponent's off-guard.

We should be good at the point guard position, with Zalmico, Eric, and Duke DaRe.  Both Zalmico and Duke are big enough to play both point guard and off-guard, as they can both defend the 2.  So we'll have versatility with our three point guards, with the ability to go with a small or big lineup.

GH:  How is Kyle Boswell's left shoulder?

BW:  Kyle is recovering from shoulder surgery, and he is practicing, but his shoulder is not at full strength.  Therefore, he has to wear the gold "Peyton Manning" in practice, where other players must avoid physical contact with him.  Even though he is a right-handed shooter, he does use both arms, so the injury did impact him.  But his shot is as good as ever, and his range as deep as before.  He just needs to regain full strength in his shoulder for a complete recovery.

GH:  How about Michael Bryson?

BW:  Michael is more mature, is stronger, and his shot is more consistent.  He had a break out game in the Big West Tournament, making the all-tournament team.  We expect that type of performance to carry over into this season.  He also gives us versatility, as he can play the 2, 3, and 4.

GH:  Kinda like former Gaucho star James Nunnally?

BW:  Yes, although James played a lot at the 4.

GH:  Where is Taran Brown?

BW:  Taran is improved, he's making better decisions, is shooting better, and is on-balance.

GH:  What does on-balance mean, Coach?

BW:  Our focus this season will be to play tougher, and be more physical.  We will be more fundamentally sound.  We may have gotten away from that last year, because we had such talented teams previously with OJ and James, so we let the players have more freedom--because the young players were so athletic.

We will rein them in more this season, focusing on sound fundamentals.  This includes individual skill development on things like ball fakes, pivoting, footwork, and being in balance, instead of getting caught in the air.  Taran would get caught in the air sometimes, shooting when he was off-balance.

GH:  How is John Green coming along?

BW:  We're being cautious with John, monitoring him closely.  We're limiting him to one hour and 15 minutes of practice, with shooting drills afterward.  We want to limit the pounding to his feet.  But John is such a natural player, that he may be our best offensive weapon, despite sitting out two seasons.  He just picks things up so quickly despite the long layoff.

He gets his extra conditioning on the elliptical machine, on the stationary bike, doing his water work, and we've also implemented special warm-ups in order to reduce injuries.

GH:  What are these special warm-ups?

BW:  Most of these exercises strengthen the hips, and the players are also doing yoga 2 days a week.  Ross [strength and conditioning coach] also has the players receiving extra ice treatments after practices.

With John, his offensive skills are so well-rounded:  he has improved his back to the basket moves, he has a mid-range game, and he can shoot the 3.

GH:  Yes, I noticed John's shot had improved over the summer.  A couple years ago, when I was shooting around with him, I noticed his shot went back over his head.  While he was accurate, his backspin was kind of a cork screw.  With his recent shot, his release is more in front of him, and he has the proper backspin.  Was that a change your shooting coach instilled?  Who is the shooting coach?

BW:  We decided to change his shot by committee, so we all took turns on coaching John on his shot.

GH:  Let's cover the front court.  Will Drew Dickey figure in the plans?

BW:  Drew has had back ailments, so he hasn't been able to play lately.  We'll have to monitor that situation.

GH:  How does Sam Beeler look?

BW:  Sam is stronger, and his back-to-the-basket play is better.  He's still competing hard.

GH:  What about Mitch Brewe?

BW:  Mitch has leaned up.  He's moving better, quicker laterally, and running faster.

GH:  What about Alan Williams?

BW:  Alan is in better shape, and quicker.  He's shooting better.

GH:  When I saw him play over the summer, Alan was developing a nice mid-range jumper around 12-15 feet.  He wasn't shy with the shot.

BW:  No, Alan isn't shy about shooting.  Our front court also allows us some flexibility.  Alan normally plays the 5, and if we want to go big, Mitch can play the 4 with Alan in lineup.  And if we want to go really big, we can slide Alan over to the 4, and bring in Sam at the 5.

Alan will start, but Sam and Mitch are also capable starters.

GH:  OK, that wraps it up, Coach.  Thanks again, and we look forward to the season.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Hawkins, Williams Named Preseason All-Americans

http://www.bigwest.org//story.asp?story_id=17240
Williams (Phoenix, Ariz./North HS) emerged as one of the top post players in the Big West in 2012-13, becoming the first Gaucho in 23 years to average a double-double at 17.1 points and a league-best 10.7 rebounds per game.  The 6-7 center earned All-Big West First Team and National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) All-District 9 Second Team accolades.  Williams topped the Big West with 15 double-doubles and posted 64 blocked shots (2.3 bpg) that ranked second among conference players. - See more at: http://www.bigwest.org//story.asp?story_id=17240#sthash.2j5bbvko.dpuf
Williams (Phoenix, Ariz./North HS) emerged as one of the top post players in the Big West in 2012-13, becoming the first Gaucho in 23 years to average a double-double at 17.1 points and a league-best 10.7 rebounds per game.  The 6-7 center earned All-Big West First Team and National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) All-District 9 Second Team accolades.  Williams topped the Big West with 15 double-doubles and posted 64 blocked shots (2.3 bpg) that ranked second among conference players. - See more at: http://www.bigwest.org//story.asp?story_id=17240#sthash.2j5bbvko.dpuf

Williams (Phoenix, Ariz./North HS) emerged as one of the top post players in the Big West in 2012-13, becoming the first Gaucho in 23 years to average a double-double at 17.1 points and a league-best 10.7 rebounds per game.  The 6-7 center earned All-Big West First Team and National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) All-District 9 Second Team accolades.  Williams topped the Big West with 15 double-doubles and posted 64 blocked shots (2.3 bpg) that ranked second among conference players. - See more at: http://www.bigwest.org//story.asp?story_id=17240#sthash.2j5bbvko.dpuf
Williams (Phoenix, Ariz./North HS) emerged as one of the top post players in the Big West in 2012-13, becoming the first Gaucho in 23 years to average a double-double at 17.1 points and a league-best 10.7 rebounds per game.  The 6-7 center earned All-Big West First Team and National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) All-District 9 Second Team accolades.  Williams topped the Big West with 15 double-doubles and posted 64 blocked shots (2.3 bpg) that ranked second among conference players. - See more at: http://www.bigwest.org//story.asp?story_id=17240#sthash.2j5bbvko.dpuf
Williams (Phoenix, Ariz./North HS) emerged as one of the top post players in the Big West in 2012-13, becoming the first Gaucho in 23 years to average a double-double at 17.1 points and a league-best 10.7 rebounds per game.  The 6-7 center earned All-Big West First Team and National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) All-District 9 Second Team accolades.  Williams topped the Big West with 15 double-doubles and posted 64 blocked shots (2.3 bpg) that ranked second among conference players. - See more at: http://www.bigwest.org//story.asp?story_id=17240#sthash.2j5bbvko.dpuf

Sunday, August 25, 2013

2014 Recruit Gabriel Vincent Commits to UCSB


Campion, Freshmen Steal the Show in 3-0 Exhibition Win Over Westmont

http://ucsbgauchos.com/sports/m-soccer/2013-14/releases/20130825putww4

Andy Perez with his first (unofficial) collegiate goal, making it 3-0 UCSB on Westmont in exhibition play.


http://www.snappytv.com/snaps/m-soc-andy-perez-with-his-first-unofficial-collegiate-goa-about-uc-santa-barbara-men-s-soccer-on-uc-santa-barbara-soccer_2w

Paul Ehmann makes an impact, assisted by Drew Murphy, to give the Gauchos the 2-0 lead


http://www.snappytv.com/snaps/m-soc-paul-ehmann-makes-an-impact-assisted-by-drew-murphy-about-uc-santa-barbara-men-s-soccer-on-uc-santa-barbara-soccer_wk

Gauchos net the 1st goal of the season on their first shot, Achille Campion from Nick DePuy!


http://www.snappytv.com/snaps/m-soc-gauchos-net-the-1st-goal-of-the-season-on-their-first-about-uc-santa-barbara-men-s-soccer-on-uc-santa-barbara-soccer_oh

Monday, August 19, 2013

Justin Burks Verbally Commits to UCSB


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Big West Men's Basketball Summer Preview

http://www.bigwest.org//story.asp?story_id=17167
UC SANTA BARBARA
• UC Santa Barbara endured a rebuilding campaign last year following three straight postseason appearances.  A rash of injuries didn’t help the Gauchos either, as they ultimately finished 11-20 overall and fell in the quarterfinals of the Big West Tournament.

• The silver lining in what was otherwise a challenging season for head coach Bob Williams is that the 2013-14 squad features four full-time returning starters and five others who started at least one game.  Injuries pressed some players into service and that experience should aid the Gauchos as they push to return to Big West supremacy.

• Alan Williams, a 6-7 junior center, is a legitimate candidate for Big West Player of the Year.  Williams captured All-Big West First Team and NABC Second Team All-District 9 honors with an outstanding sophomore campaign that saw him average 17.1 points and 10.7 rebounds.  He became UCSB’s first player since 1990 to average a double-double.  In addition, he was the first Gaucho since Eric McArthur in 1990 to lead the Big West in rebounding.  Williams ranked among the nation’s leaders in rebounds (No. 6) and double-doubles (15, t-No. 15).

• Senior Kyle Boswell came off the bench in 20 of 29 games and earned the title of the conference’s most valuable reserve as the Big West Sixth Man of the Year.  Boswell ranked No. 15 in the Big West in scoring (13.0 ppg) and No. 5 in three-point field goal percentage (.419).  His 2.7 threes per game also placed him second in the conference.

• Two freshmen played large roles last season and figure to be important cogs on this year’s team.  Forward Taran Brown averaged 11.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game while making 29 starts.  He was sixth in the league in blocked shots.  Brown also broke the UCSB freshman record for three-pointers with 58.  Guard Michael Bryson averaged 8.4 points per game to rank fourth on the team, and hit a team third-best 46 three-pointers.  In the Big West Tournament against Pacific, he established a Gaucho freshman record with 29 points and tied another with seven three-pointers.

• Junior T.J. Taylor was a steadying influence at the point guard position.  A starter in 19 of 31 games, Taylor dished out 127 assists against only 56 turnovers.  He also displayed perimeter efficiency, hitting 40.5 (32 of 79) percent from three-point range.  Taylor, who is recovering from offseason hip surgery, will compete for a starting job at the point with Zalmico Harmon, a junior college transfer from Ventura College.

• Bob Williams is the dean of Big West coaches in his 16th season leading the Gauchos.  Williams is tied for third all-time with 248 victories overall and sits in third all alone with 147 conference wins.

• The Gauchos face a formidable non-conference schedule with five opponents that played in the 2013 NCAA Tournament.  UCSB has road games against UNLV, Colorado and UCLA, and welcome South Dakota State and Cal to The Thunderdome.  The Gauchos also have a home-and-home on tap with perennial postseason participant Utah State. - See more at: http://www.bigwest.org//story.asp?story_id=17167#sthash.vXOL0AUe.dpuf
UC SANTA BARBARA
• UC Santa Barbara endured a rebuilding campaign last year following three straight postseason appearances.  A rash of injuries didn’t help the Gauchos either, as they ultimately finished 11-20 overall and fell in the quarterfinals of the Big West Tournament.

• The silver lining in what was otherwise a challenging season for head coach Bob Williams is that the 2013-14 squad features four full-time returning starters and five others who started at least one game.  Injuries pressed some players into service and that experience should aid the Gauchos as they push to return to Big West supremacy.

• Alan Williams, a 6-7 junior center, is a legitimate candidate for Big West Player of the Year.  Williams captured All-Big West First Team and NABC Second Team All-District 9 honors with an outstanding sophomore campaign that saw him average 17.1 points and 10.7 rebounds.  He became UCSB’s first player since 1990 to average a double-double.  In addition, he was the first Gaucho since Eric McArthur in 1990 to lead the Big West in rebounding.  Williams ranked among the nation’s leaders in rebounds (No. 6) and double-doubles (15, t-No. 15).

• Senior Kyle Boswell came off the bench in 20 of 29 games and earned the title of the conference’s most valuable reserve as the Big West Sixth Man of the Year.  Boswell ranked No. 15 in the Big West in scoring (13.0 ppg) and No. 5 in three-point field goal percentage (.419).  His 2.7 threes per game also placed him second in the conference.

• Two freshmen played large roles last season and figure to be important cogs on this year’s team.  Forward Taran Brown averaged 11.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game while making 29 starts.  He was sixth in the league in blocked shots.  Brown also broke the UCSB freshman record for three-pointers with 58.  Guard Michael Bryson averaged 8.4 points per game to rank fourth on the team, and hit a team third-best 46 three-pointers.  In the Big West Tournament against Pacific, he established a Gaucho freshman record with 29 points and tied another with seven three-pointers.

• Junior T.J. Taylor was a steadying influence at the point guard position.  A starter in 19 of 31 games, Taylor dished out 127 assists against only 56 turnovers.  He also displayed perimeter efficiency, hitting 40.5 (32 of 79) percent from three-point range.  Taylor, who is recovering from offseason hip surgery, will compete for a starting job at the point with Zalmico Harmon, a junior college transfer from Ventura College.

• Bob Williams is the dean of Big West coaches in his 16th season leading the Gauchos.  Williams is tied for third all-time with 248 victories overall and sits in third all alone with 147 conference wins.

• The Gauchos face a formidable non-conference schedule with five opponents that played in the 2013 NCAA Tournament.  UCSB has road games against UNLV, Colorado and UCLA, and welcome South Dakota State and Cal to The Thunderdome.  The Gauchos also have a home-and-home on tap with perennial postseason participant Utah State. - See more at: http://www.bigwest.org//story.asp?story_id=17167#sthash.vXOL0AUe.dpnta Barbara endured a rebuilding campaign last year following three straight postseason appearances.  A rash of injuries didn’t help the Gauchos either, as they ultimately finished 11-20 overall and fell in the quarterfinals of the Big West Tournament.

• The silver lining in what was otherwise a challenging season for head coach Bob Williams is that the 2013-14 squad features four full-time returning starters and five others who started at least one game.  Injuries pressed some players into service and that experience should aid the Gauchos as they push to return to Big West supremacy.

• Alan Williams, a 6-7 junior center, is a legitimate candidate for Big West Player of the Year.  Williams captured All-Big West First Team and NABC Second Team All-District 9 honors with an outstanding sophomore campaign that saw him average 17.1 points and 10.7 rebounds.  He became UCSB’s first player since 1990 to average a double-double.  In addition, he was the first Gaucho since Eric McArthur in 1990 to lead the Big West in rebounding.  Williams ranked among the nation’s leaders in rebounds (No. 6) and double-doubles (15, t-No. 15).

• Senior Kyle Boswell came off the bench in 20 of 29 games and earned the title of the conference’s most valuable reserve as the Big West Sixth Man of the Year.  Boswell ranked No. 15 in the Big West in scoring (13.0 ppg) and No. 5 in three-point field goal percentage (.419).  His 2.7 threes per game also placed him second in the conference.

• Two freshmen played large roles last season and figure to be important cogs on this year’s team.  Forward Taran Brown averaged 11.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game while making 29 starts.  He was sixth in the league in blocked shots.  Brown also broke the UCSB freshman record for three-pointers with 58.  Guard Michael Bryson averaged 8.4 points per game to rank fourth on the team, and hit a team third-best 46 three-pointers.  In the Big West Tournament against Pacific, he established a Gaucho freshman record with 29 points and tied another with seven three-pointers.

• Junior T.J. Taylor was a steadying influence at the point guard position.  A starter in 19 of 31 games, Taylor dished out 127 assists against only 56 turnovers.  He also displayed perimeter efficiency, hitting 40.5 (32 of 79) percent from three-point range.  Taylor, who is recovering from offseason hip surgery, will compete for a starting job at the point with Zalmico Harmon, a junior college transfer from Ventura College.

• Bob Williams is the dean of Big West coaches in his 16th season leading the Gauchos.  Williams is tied for third all-time with 248 victories overall and sits in third all alone with 147 conference wins.

• The Gauchos face a formidable non-conference schedule with five opponents that played in the 2013 NCAA Tournament.  UCSB has road games against UNLV, Colorado and UCLA, and welcome South Dakota State and Cal to The Thunderdome.  The Gauchos also have a home-and-home on tap with perennial postseason participant Utah State.
- See more at: http://www.bigwest.org//story.asp?story_id=17167#sthash.vXOL0AUe.dp


Big West Men's Basketball Summer Preview

Big West Men's Basketball Summer Preview
UC SANTA BARBARA
• UC Santa Barbara endured a rebuilding campaign last year following three straight postseason appearances.  A rash of injuries didn’t help the Gauchos either, as they ultimately finished 11-20 overall and fell in the quarterfinals of the Big West Tournament.

• The silver lining in what was otherwise a challenging season for head coach Bob Williams is that the 2013-14 squad features four full-time returning starters and five others who started at least one game.  Injuries pressed some players into service and that experience should aid the Gauchos as they push to return to Big West supremacy.

• Alan Williams, a 6-7 junior center, is a legitimate candidate for Big West Player of the Year.  Williams captured All-Big West First Team and NABC Second Team All-District 9 honors with an outstanding sophomore campaign that saw him average 17.1 points and 10.7 rebounds.  He became UCSB’s first player since 1990 to average a double-double.  In addition, he was the first Gaucho since Eric McArthur in 1990 to lead the Big West in rebounding.  Williams ranked among the nation’s leaders in rebounds (No. 6) and double-doubles (15, t-No. 15).

• Senior Kyle Boswell came off the bench in 20 of 29 games and earned the title of the conference’s most valuable reserve as the Big West Sixth Man of the Year.  Boswell ranked No. 15 in the Big West in scoring (13.0 ppg) and No. 5 in three-point field goal percentage (.419).  His 2.7 threes per game also placed him second in the conference.

• Two freshmen played large roles last season and figure to be important cogs on this year’s team.  Forward Taran Brown averaged 11.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game while making 29 starts.  He was sixth in the league in blocked shots.  Brown also broke the UCSB freshman record for three-pointers with 58.  Guard Michael Bryson averaged 8.4 points per game to rank fourth on the team, and hit a team third-best 46 three-pointers.  In the Big West Tournament against Pacific, he established a Gaucho freshman record with 29 points and tied another with seven three-pointers.

• Junior T.J. Taylor was a steadying influence at the point guard position.  A starter in 19 of 31 games, Taylor dished out 127 assists against only 56 turnovers.  He also displayed perimeter efficiency, hitting 40.5 (32 of 79) percent from three-point range.  Taylor, who is recovering from offseason hip surgery, will compete for a starting job at the point with Zalmico Harmon, a junior college transfer from Ventura College.

• Bob Williams is the dean of Big West coaches in his 16th season leading the Gauchos.  Williams is tied for third all-time with 248 victories overall and sits in third all alone with 147 conference wins.

• The Gauchos face a formidable non-conference schedule with five opponents that played in the 2013 NCAA Tournament.  UCSB has road games against UNLV, Colorado and UCLA, and welcome South Dakota State and Cal to The Thunderdome.  The Gauchos also have a home-and-home on tap with perennial postseason participant Utah State.
- See more at: http://www.bigwest.org//story.asp?story_id=17167#sthash.vXOL0AUe.dpuf

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Michael Jordan dunks at 50

At 50 years old, Michael Jordan dunks at his annual "Flight School" camp at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/9557682/michael-jordan-50-dunks-participants-flight-school-camp

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Photos: Kobe Bryant Press Conference

Click on Image to Enlarge
http://photos.dailynews.com/2013/07/photos-kobe-bryant-press-conference/#2

Kobe Bryant answers questions during a press conference before welcoming campers to his Kobe Basketball Academy at UCSB, Wednesday, July 10, 2013. (Michael Owen Baker/L.A. Daily News)

Monday, May 27, 2013

Handicapping UCSB vs. Texas A & M

On paper, the two opponents in the opening game of the Corvallis, Oregon Regionals of the NCAA baseball tournament appear evenly matched.  Both No. 2 seed Texas A & M and No. 3 seed UCSB snuck in as at-large selections.

The Aggies hit .270 as a team, and their pitching staff allowed opponents to bat .254.  The Aggies had a .370 slugging % (opponents had a .343 slugging %), and a .341 on-base % (opponents had a .330 on-base %).

The Gauchos batted .280, while opponents batted .266.  The Gauchos had a slugging % of .370 (opponents had a .380 slugging %), and a .361 on-base % (opponents had a .351 on-base %).

On defense, the Aggies had a .973 fielding %, and opponents had a .967 fielding %.

The Gauchos had a .974 fielding %, while opponents had a .966 fielding %.

The Aggies' pitching staff had an ERA of 3.42, with opponents posting a 3.84 ERA.  The pitching staff struck out 381 batters and walked 166.  Aggie hitters struck out 389 times and walked 168.

The Gauchos' pitching had a 3.99 ERA, and opponents allowed an ERA of 4.78.  Gaucho pitchers struck out 352 and walked 189.  Gaucho batters struck out 315 times and walked 163.

Top Aggie hitters include Mikey Reynolds (.343 BA), Cole Lankford (.332), and Troy Stein (.299).  Stein leads with five home runs, while Lankford has knocked in 34 runs, but the Aggies boast seven other batters with at least 19 RBI's.

Likely starters for the Aggies are Parker Ray (1-1, 1.83 ERA), Daniel Mengden (8-3, 1.84 ERA), and Rafael Pineda (5-5, 3.14 ERA).  Their closer is Jason Jester (3-3, 13 saves, 2.32 ERA).

Top Gaucho hitters include Rob Nesovic (.343), Woody Woodward (.335), Joey Epperson (.317), Cameron Newell (.313), and Tyler Kuresa (.304).  Kuresa leads with five home runs, followed by Brandon Trinkwon and Nesovic with four each.  Kuresa also leads the Gauchos in RBI's (45), followed by Brandon Trinkwon (35), Nesovic (33) and Woodward (33).

Likely starters for the Gauchos are Austin Pettibone (9-3, 3.11 ERA), Justin Jacome (5-4, 3.86 ERA), and Rob Nesovic (4-3, 4.76 ERA).  Set up pitcher Greg Mahle has a 7 - 4 record and ERA of 4.03.  Closer Dylan Hecht has a record of 0-2, eight saves, and a 1.93 ERA.

Overall, both teams manufacture runs by being aggressive on the base paths, while limiting opponents' stolen bases.  Gaucho catcher Jackson Morrow has thrown out many would-be base-stealers, as Gaucho opponents have stolen 34 bases but have been caught 32 times.

This match up will come down to pitching.  Gaucho pitchers struggle when they have control problems, but are dominant when they get ahead on the count.  The Gaucho offense is adept at scoring runs even without the long ball, and while they tend to be over-aggressive with base-running, that aggression more often than not pays off in extending rallies.

Prediction:  Gauchos sneak out a 6 - 4 win, with Pettibone getting to the 6th inning with a 4-3 lead, Mahle limiting additional damage to one run, and Hecht slamming the door in the 9th to earn another save.

Game time at Goss Stadium is noon on Friday.

UCSB Baseball Earns NCAA Regional Berth

http://www.ucsbgauchos.com/sports/m-basebl/2012-13/releases/20130527a7uaso

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Interview with Coach Joey Ramirez on Zalmico Harmon

Joey Ramirez is the Ventura College Head Coach for the men's basketball team.  He just completed his second year as the head coach at Ventura College, after two years as an assistant.  He led the Pirates to two State Playoffs appearances and the Western State Conference championship this past season.  Along with Ventura College Women's Basketball Head Coach Ned Mercetic, Ramirez runs the We Play Hard Basketball Camp in the summer.

Coach Ramirez also had the privilege of coaching 2013 UCSB signee Zalmico Harmon at Ventura.

Gaucho Hoops (GH):  Thanks for taking this interview, Coach Ramirez--Gaucho fans will appreciate it.

Coach Joey Ramirez (JR):  Sure, no problem.  I've been busy with finals and the school year ending, and organizing the offseason basketball activities.

GH:  First off, tell us what to expect from Ventura this upcoming season.

JR:  We've lost some talented players due to graduation, but we have three sophomores returning, so I'm hopeful we'll be competitive again.

GH:  Let's talk about Zalmico Harmon.   Whose game does Zalmico resemble the most?

JR:  I'd have to go with Chris Paul (not that he's at the same level).  He's a leader who can score as needed, plays great on-ball defense, and is a pass-first point guard.  The important thing is, since he's been here, he's worked on expanding his range on offense--his perimeter jumper.  He knocked down 38% of his 3-point shots.  He shot in the mid-80's at the free throw line--he's always been consistent there.  Zalmico also has the ability to get into the paint, because he is so strong.

GH:  It's been a while since a Ventura College player signed with UCSB men's basketball.  Is UCSB considered a desirable school to play for, given its close proximity?  Is this possibly the beginning of a pipeline to UCSB?

JR:  Well, this is only my third season coming up at Ventura, so this is a good start.  Personally, I've always been a fan of the Thunderdome, going all the way back to the Carrick DeHart and Eric McArthur era.  And I've always had great respect for Coach David Campbell [UCSB Director of Academic Affairs and Internal Operations].  I myself played at Ventura College before Pepperdine, so I was already familiar with Coach Campbell, who was an assistant at Pepperdine, (along with Coach Williams).

GH:  Coach [Bob] Williams certainly has some ties at Pepperdine too, with [Pepperdine Head Coach] Marty Wilson, [Associate Head Coach] Mark Amaral, and [Graduate Manager] Jon Pastorek, also being former Gaucho assistant coaches or players.

JR:  Yes, I played for Marty Wilson at Pepperdine...the coaching community is close-knit.

GH:  Back to the Gauchos, when UCSB is mentioned in the junior college circuit, what is said?

JR:  As I mentioned, I've had great respect for David Campbell already, and I also gained respect a lot of respect for [UCSB Assistant Coach] Matt Stock.  Like, Coach Williams, Matt was very honest and upfront with what UCSB was looking for from its student-athletes.

GH:  What did you like about how UCSB recruited Zalmico?

JR:  Trust.  I trust they will make sure he makes an impact at UCSB, and that he isn't going to be buried on the bench.  Coach Stock really emphasized academics, which resonated with Zalmico.  You see, Zalmico is very unique.  He not only has an unbelievable work ethic on the court, but he is also very diligent in the classroom.  For instance, he's taking 24 units right now [editor's note: that's six classes].  He sees the big picture, and he takes care of business.  He understands there is life after basketball, and he will do whatever it takes to succeed.  When the UCSB coaches told him he could have a basketball manager feed him passes for extra shots outside of practice, his eyes lit up.  I hear [former Gaucho] Orlando Johnson wore out the managers from all the extra shots he took in practice.

GH:  Zalmico will play right away, possibly taking some playing time away from incumbents.  How was his reception from returning players and his observations on team chemistry?

JR:  Zalmico is not one of those guys who walks around with his nose in the air.  He's only interested in finding a way to make his teammates better.  He's a pass-first point guard--a facilitator, so he will contribute to team chemistry.  He'll embrace and run Coach Williams' system; he wants his teammates to feel good.

GH:  Zalmico is from the Washington, DC area, a region rich with basketball talent.  How did he end up at Ventura?

JR:  Zalmico used our website to research our program.  We've got a winning tradition, and he wanted to be a part of that.  He contacted us.

GH:  Does UCSB have a good reputation for taking care of its student-athletes during and after their playing days as Gauchos?

JR:  This goes back to how Coach Stock recruited Zalmico.  Matt was very aggressive in assessing their needs and the benefits UCSB had to offer to student-athletes, both short- and long-term.  He talked about academics, the business end of it after his playing days are over.

GH:  As you might know, the UCSB class of 2012 has several players playing professionally.  Orlando Johnson is in the NBA with the Pacers, James Nunnally is with the Bakersfield NBDL team, Jaime Serna is in Spain, and reserve Greg Somogyi is in Hungary after being the last player cut by the NBA Lakers.  Did that weigh on Zalmico's decision?  Does the UCSB coaching staff have a reputation for developing future pro players?

JR:  Zalmico sees the big picture.  When he attended UCSB games, he knew right away--he saw right away--how he could contribute to the Gauchos.  Ventura had a player who was most recently Big West Player of the Year, James Ennis.  James was a smart player who also had a high work ethic, and who sacrificed personal stats for the benefit of his team.

GH:  Yes, he's a bonafide NBA prospect who is climbing the mock drafts.

JR:  Some scouts are projecting him to go late in the first round, or early in the second round.

GH:  Where does Zalmico get his toughness from?  I mention it because Coach Williams kept using that word to describe him.

JR:  He probably got that toughness from his father.  He's old school tough.

GH:  What negatives were brought up about UCSB from other schools in their quest to sign Zalmico?

JR:  No negatives were brought up.  As for developing players, UCSB coaches emphasized being held accountable, and PLAYING THE RIGHT WAY.  That means understanding roles and expectations, and executing.

GH:  How tall is Zalmico, 6'1"?

JR:  He's 6'0" and weighs 190 pounds.

GH:  That's pretty solid.  Coach Williams described his daily routine.  It sounds pretty rigorous.  He sounds pretty disciplined.

JR:   People often use that description:  he's mature for his age.  He's still a young man, but he's mature.

GH:  Does he like being called "Z"?

JR:  When he first came here, I called him "Zalmico".  But over time, people just called him "Z".

GH:  What are his strengths?  What are his biggest challenges as he transitions to Div. 1 level competition?

JR:  Aside from what's already mentioned, Zalmico is a keen observer of the game.  He wanted to see first-hand what UCSB needed from the point guard position, so he felt compelled to see as many games as he could, once he decided to attend UCSB.  He's an emotional leader--not emotional in a negative way, screaming and yelling at teammates, but in a very positive way.  In my two years of coaching him, I've never seen him become negative at teammates.  He'll push them, but he's a very positive leader, one who leads by example--because he works so hard and his teammates see that.

He was not very vocal when he first arrived at Ventura, but I told him he needed to become more vocal to bring the best out of his teammates.  He is now a vocal leader as well.

GH:  Coach, Zalmico sounds like a great person as well as a great basketball player.  Thanks for the interview, and good luck next season.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Interview with Coach Bob Williams, May 14, 2013

Gaucho Hoops (GH):  Thanks for taking the interview, Coach.  Can we talk about the three incoming signees?  Let's start with Zalmico Harmon.

Coach Bob Williams (BW):  Zalmico's work ethic is unbelievable.  He'll fit right in with current "Benny's" on the team like John Green.  Other "Benny's" [Benny = basketball nut--a grinder] include (Michael) Bryson, (Kyle) Boswell, Big Al (Williams), Sam (Beeler), Taran (Brown)...

Zalmico has a long history of a high work ethic throughout high school and at Venture College.  He works out and is in the gym 6 hours a day.  I talked with Ventura College Athletics Director [Will Cowen?], and he said when he opens up the gym, Zalmico is there at 6 am performing ball-handling drills and taking extra shots.

Then, he's off to a weight-lifting session, before running more shooting drills, this time in game-type simulations.  In the afternoon, it's regular practice.  At night, he will come in for extra shooting.

Zalmico has the skill set we look for in a point guard.  The biggest thing with him is HE WILL DO WHATEVER HE NEEDS TO DO TO WIN [emphasis Bob's].  He can defend, rebound, pass, score off the dribble, or shoot from the perimeter.  He affects the game in a wide variety of ways.  He has the mindset to be a defensive stopper, and exudes confidence, which is a much-needed piece for our team.

Much like [former Gaucho] Derrick Allen, he is charismatic and physical, although Zalmico had more success at the junior college level.  The big thing with Zalmico is he has a confidence that teammates notice.

At 6'1" and 190 pounds, Zalmico is solid and strong enough to guard either guard position.  After his verbal commitment to UCSB, Zalmico attended about five home games, and observed that UCSB needed some toughness on the perimeter.  He is a student of the game, and will bring that toughness to the team next season.

I also talked with the Ventura Dean of Athletics [Tim Harrison?] and the consensus is Zalmico is a tough kid with leadership qualities.  Coach Joey Ramirez is an up-and-coming coach, a great coach who is demanding, tough, and charismatic.  He gets his teams to execute.

GH:  Let's talk about Alex Hart.

BW:  First off, Alex is long.  He is also surprisingly a good athlete.  He has a very good skill set; he can bounce it, pass it, but most of all, his shooting stroke is unbelievably good for a 6'10" player.  He's only 17, and won't turn 18 until December.  If he were in the US, he'd still be a senior in high school.  You can imagine his improvement will be significant these next few months.  Will he redshirt?  We hope so.  He needs to improve his strength and increase his muscle mass.  He will need to adjust to the speed and physicality of the game [at the Div. 1 level].

GH:  His high school coach Dino Gini told Gaucho Hoops that several schools were after him.  He said he consulted with other coaches, some of whom were former Gaucho players or coaches, and every time UCSB was brought up, the responses were universally positive, and that played a role in his decision to attend UCSB.  Sounds like Alex is a good get.

BW:  Yes, he did receive several offers and we look forward to helping him develop at UCSB.

GH:  Let's talk about Eric Childress.

BW:  Eric is very skilled, and very fundamentally sound.  He's very competitive, a good defender, and a really good passer.  He can also drive the lane.  He was highly recommended by some AAU coaches, and there were some comparisons made to Casper Ware [former Long Beach State and Big West Player of the Year].  At this point, the one thing he lacks is vocal leadership, but that's something he will work on.

GH:  Word has it that most of the players will take Summer Session A off, and return to campus for Summer Session B.

BW:  Yes, they return in August.

GH:  Good, we can revisit the roster later this summer.  Thanks for the interview, Coach.

UCSB Student-Athletes Honored at Golden Eagle Ceremony

http://dailynexus.com/2013-05-14/ucsb-student-athletes-honored-at-golden-eagle-ceremony/

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Interview with Dino Gini, High School Coach for 2013 UCSB Signee Alex Hart

Dino Gini is the head basketball coach for Immaculata Catholic Regional High School in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada.  The Mustangs, led by 2013 UCSB signee Alex Hart--the subject of this interview, won the B.C. School Sports 1A championships.  Hart won the Most Valuable Player award of this B.C. Provincial championship tournament.

Hart averaged 35 points per game during his senior season with the Mustangs.

Gaucho Hoops (GH):  Thanks for taking this interview, Coach Gini.  Some of these questions are from Gauchos fans, so this interview will be much appreciated.

Gaucho fans read that Alex Hart played a lower level of competition in Canada (1A).  He was quoted as saying that the level of competition wasn't as important as the coaching he received.  Can you expand on that line of thinking? 

Dino Gini (DG):  Thanks, the school is registered as a Single A school because of size.   Our schools go Single A, double A, Triple A, being in order of size, but we competed in a double A and triple A schedule, including tournaments, exhibition games etc...all at a high level. For example, the top-ranked Single A schools can compete with the top double A schools, and we have beaten triple A schools throughout our schedule. It's the schedule I set up to challenge my team and have them ready for the provincials. Our schedule was very competitive. We had great games with another private school here in Kelowna (KCS, lost by 15--but a great game).  They went on to win the Double A  provincials in B.C. [British Columbia?].

I have coached for 27 years, had university experience and all levels of elite programs, summer games teams etc... thus my work and my assistant coaches have really challenged Alex, and I  have been coaching him since grade 5.

GH:  At what age do kids start playing basketball in Canada?  Have you noticed the gap in skill levels closing between Canadian kids vs. their peers in the US?  I bring that up with Gonzaga's Kelly Olynyk in mind, who is obviously one of the best college players--from any country. 

DG:  We have really come along on the basketball front; we now start playing basketball in an organized league which is called our Steve Nash League at the grade 2 level, which is awesome. We are a hockey country, but we are really getting over the top now on the basketball front and it has paid off. We have elite clubs all over B.C. who compete with the top AAU teams.  Thus the basketball level in our country has vastly been improved and is now catching up with hockey. There are many great college players playing at the Div. 1 level: [Andrew] Wiggins from Toronto is the top recruit, Kelly O whom I have watched develop will be entering the draft, and of course the success of Steve Nash has really pushed the interest to the highest levels ever. Its been fantastic, and we're growing and we're improving.

GH:  Regarding his youth and build, do you foresee a redshirt for Alex?  It'll ultimately be his decision, but the coaches really like his skill set and he may play right away. 

DG:  He has had over 15 Div. 1 looks combined with offers, and it [redshirting] has been a topic for sure; some say jump right in, some say red shirt.  In the right situation, I think Alex can jump in and help a team immediately; it all depends on the fit and where the coaching staff thinks he is at physically and mentally. Alex is a young man with a huge upside, and he understands the process and will do what the coaching staff wants him to do. Kelly O sat out and waited for that perfect fit in the line up, and it obviously worked out for him.  Each situation will be different. All I know is in a couple of years, Alex will be an impact player.

GH:  What did you like about how UCSB recruited Alex? 

DG:  I thought the recruiting process the UCSB coaching staff did with Alex was fantastic, Coach [Ryan] Madry was awesome and kept me updated and informed about the process, and continued to educate me about the school and what they had to offer. I was very impressed with their professionalism; it was first class.

GH:  As you might know, the UCSB class of 2012 has several players playing professionally.  Orlando Johnson is in the NBA with the Pacers, James Nunnally is with the Bakersfield NBDL team, Jaime Serna is in Spain, and reserve Greg Somogyi is in Hungary after being the last player cut by the NBA Lakers.  Did that weigh on Alex's decision?  Does Coach Williams have a good/bad reputation for developing talent? 

DG:  Coach [Bob] Williams was great; his resume is, of course, awesome.  And yes, we checked into many things, and part of the process with any recruit's due diligence is seeing what players moved on to the professional level.

GH:  Does UCSB have a good reputation for taking care of its student-athletes during and after their playing days as Gauchos? 

DG:  It is funny as you meet various Div. 1 coaches that were recruiting Alex, you really get to  understand how close our basketball family is right across the country.  There are coaches at various Div. 1 schools that have played at UCSB--thus that was the case, and we heard nothing but good things on that front.

GH:  What are Alex's biggest challenges as he transitions to Div. 1 level competition? 

DG:  Alex's biggest challenge will be strength, but as I say that I am not implying he is weak, it's just he will get much bigger.  So strength is one, but I think the process of getting bigger and stronger is a process Alex is looking forward to.  He is a mature young man, and any challenges that he runs into will be handled.  I think with all student-athletes getting in the routine to make sure their grades continue to stay strong will be important, and it will be a transition from high school.  Alex is a very good student, so I am not really worried about it--but it is something that will be a transition.

GH:  In what area do you expect early success with Alex? 

DG:  I think Alex's early success will be his ability to step in and compete.   He is smart, has great court awareness, and being 6'11"--he has the skills of a guard, and thus his ability to adapt and find mismatches will be a huge asset.  He will make his teammates better.

GH:  What are his strengths?  Early reports suggest shooting ability for his size. 

DG:  Strengths, as I mentioned a couple of them earlier:  he can shoot, he can handle, an excellent 3-point shooter, and as mentioned, he sees the court extremely well.   He sees the court more through the eyes of guard than a big man, but he can also play with his back to the basket.

GH:  What about his necessary improvements?  Strength and conditioning? 

DG:  Strength will be the biggest thing, but his parents are big and strong, so he will get bigger, and that will make him a monster mismatch for many opponents.  Conditioning is pretty solid as he is a "gym rat', and he is always working on his game and working on his conditioning.  I think you will see a pretty fit big man when he comes there in August.

GH:  What's Alex like as a person?  As a player (coachability, etc.)?   Were academics important in his choice of schools? 

DG:  Academics were very important...also the feeling of the school, meeting the players, and just feeling like a family was huge. Alex is a great kid:  very mature, very social and simply just a great kid with a fabulous work ethic, and his parents have built a strong family foundation which has really set him up for this next big step in his life.

GH:  What do you believe are keys for him to reach his upside? 

DG:  Keys to achieving his upside...well, the stronger he gets, the better he gets, and he is very aware of this, and he is ready to jump all over this.  As he competes against guys his size--and against bigger and stronger guys, that will make him better. Good food--a lot of food, and a great diet right from the start will be huge for the big guy.  The scary thing is he still growing.

GH:  What feedback did you receive from him on his visit to UCSB? 

DG:  Well, as you could guess, the location and the weather were just a little of an influence of course, but combined with the players and coaching staff, it all fit and it all felt like home, so he made that decision based on the feeling like he fit in.

GH:  Alex is long and can shoot.  Based on his videos, many fans see a likeness to his game with Dirk Nowitzki, probably an unfair comparison at this stage.  Did he tailor his game after certain NBA players? 

DG:  With Alex, I don't think he really tailors his game to anyone.  Actually, his game is very unique and the combination of size, length, and the ability to play the 3 position, hit the 3-point shot, and handle, makes him a very rare breed, so I think Alex has developed his game around what he loves to do.

GH:  Any parting comments, Coach Gini? 

DG:  I am looking forward to seeing Alex grow as a player I don't have a crystal ball, but my guess is year 2 and year 3 will be great, great years for Alex, as he gains strength, and as he gains a comfort level of competing at this level, he will excel.  Yep I am his coach, but I have watched him compete at all levels.  I watched him compete against players at the college/university level, and he just raises his game and continues to shine.  Alex has handled this process with class and respect, and that is just the kind of kid he is.  It has been such a pleasure to coach him, and I am sure you will be impressed with his class and his soft, but confident personality. 

GH:  Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule and giving us fans this interview, Coach Gini.  Good luck to both of your teams (boys and girls) next year, and we also look forward to watching Alex grow as Gaucho student-athlete.