Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Gauchos Close Regular Season at Home, Host Long Beach Thursday in ESPNU Showdown

http://www.ucsbgauchos.com/sports/m-baskbl/2017-18/releases/20180227ui2juy

 

LBSU vs. UCSB Game Preview, by Gaucho Freg

UCSB @ Long Beach Preview

Thursday, March 1, 2018, 8:00pm PST
****ESPN GAME—ESPNU****

After a few games atop the Big West, UCSB hosts Long Beach tied for second with Davis after losing successive games to the top two defensive teams in the Big West in Davis and Irvine.  The Gauchos got their mojo back in putting up undersized Northridge to stop the losing streak at two.  The 49ers, losers of 5 of their last 6, are struggling against the top end of the conference.  The Guchos have played Long Beach State 125 times, more than they have played any opponent. The 49ers hold a 66-59 all-time advantage but UCSB easily defeated Long Beach in the Pyramid a month ago.

By the Numbers                                                              
  Beach UCSB
OOC Record, all games 13-17 21-7
BWC Record 7-7 10-4
Home/away vs D1 5-10 (away) 9-1 (home)
National Team Rankings

Composite (DC2, RPI, Pomeroy,
Massey, Sagarin)
211 112
DC2 233 104
RPI 206 100
Pomeroy 200 116
Massey 202 93
Sagarin 216 149
RPI SOS 148 296
Preseason Poll Pick 4th 6th
Efficiency Rankings (Pomeroy)

Offense 145 56
Defense 266 235
Scoring (conference only) 75.6 (77.1) 76.3 (73.8)
PPG Allowed (conference only) 79.4 (76.3) 70.2 (69.1)
Beach:
Best win: Stanford (home,116 DC2)
Worst Loss: S. Utah (away, 301 DC2)
Trend:  In Big West play Long Beach has taken care of business against the bottom half of the conference but has only win (Fullerton) against the top four teams (Davis, Fullerton, Irvine, UCSB) that they have faced. They are the second worst defensive team in the conference, ahead of only Cal Poly. 

Head Coach:
With Bob Williams no longer at UCSB, Dan Monson is the dean of the Big West,  in his 11th season at Long Beach.  After great success early in his time at Long Beach, 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 stands at 183-173 overall and 112-61 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. 

Roster
Unlike some of the other teams that have given UCSB problems, Long Beach does not possess a super speedy back court.  Instead, the strength of 49er roster lies in Senior forward Gabe Levin and a highly efficient offense, shooting at a 45% clip and leading the conference in scoring at 77 ppg. Monson has been tweaking the line up with a couple of freshmen, Edon Maxhuni and Jordan Roberts, taking on bigger roles.   Both Mason Riggins and former starting guard Barry Ogalue are both active again after extended absences, giving Long Beach a full roster.  

Starters
Guard Deishuan Booker 6’’3” 170lbs, Junior, JC Transfer, #15  Booker has been solid for the 49ers, leading the conference in steals (1.9 per game) and leading the team in assists.  He is shooting an impressive 49.5% from the field, 35% from three in 30 minutes per game, scoring 10 ppg. He pulls down 3.5 boards per game but does turn the ball over three times per game.   

Guard Edon Maxhuni  6’2”, 185 lb, Freshman. #23  True freshman from Finland has moved into a starting role of late and has seen his minutes increase and his scoring rise to about  7ppg.  A good three point shooter, making 32-82 (.390)  He scored 20 on the Gauchos in the first game.
 
Wing Jordan Roberts  6’8”, 195lb, Freshman. #3 Another true freshman that has seen his role increase, including now starting.  Averaging 4 ppg, and has 20 steals.  Not a 3 point threat. 

Forward Gabe Levin  6’7”, 230lb, Senior #0  The centerpiece of the 49ers, he leads the team with 18 ppg and 7 rebounds per game and minutes played (30) while adding 1.7 assists and has 30 steals.  He has great moves near the basket, range to outside the arc (18-50) and gets to the line frequently, 7 attempts per game making nearly 80%.  

Forward/Center Temi Yussuf  6’7”, 265 lb, RS Junior. #4   One of the few players in the league that will match Ami in size & strength, Yussuf is averaging 9 ppg and 5.5 rpg in only 18 minutes of play. Effective at drawing fouls, getting to the line 4 times per game, making 63% of them.  Has started only 14 games this season. 

Key Reserves:
Wing Bryan Alberts  6’5”, 200lb, RS Junior. #10 A transfer from Gonzaga, Alberts has dealt with an injury and has been inconsistent for LB.  Has started 15 games.  Second leading scorer at 12.1 ppg and is their biggest three point threat attempting 7 per game while making 38% of them.

Guard Jordan Griffin  6’3”, 165 Sophomore,  #11 Three point specialist, second on the team with 40 makes (.396) in only 16 minutes of play.  Averages 6 ppg

Forward KJ Byers  6’7”, 195 Junior, JC Transfer,  #14 Averages 5.6 ppg and 4.3 rpg in 21 minutes of play.

Wing Barry Ogalue  6’5”, 195lb, Senior. #13 A JC transfer last year, Ogalue is averaging 7ppg and has started 13 games.  He did not play against UCSB in the first game but scored 11 points on 3-4 shooting in just 16 minutes in his first game back against Hawaii on Saturday.

Forward Mason Riggins  6’8”, 230lb Junior,  #5 Was not present for last game and PT had been diminishing before then.  Averages 4.8 ppg and 4.2 rpg in 20 minutes of play.

View from a 49er Fan:  With credit and thanks to ccman.  This is an update to the preview he provided before the first game.

Long Beach is such a disjointed team.   Monson's lost control of a team once again.  The guy just can't build teamwork over the course of a year - he was lucky the fab four stuck together.  I think it'll end badly, I don't even think they beat Riverside.  They were playing great defense without Levin 1st half vs. Fullerton, and then they all started just standing around when Levin was back in there.  They can't deal with any sort of adversity.  They have to be way ahead or be in a game with a lost cause to play decent.  Players are basically just standing around watching Levin do his thing, & Levin is great, but he's not Faust.  What a waste of a great motor. 
The only other thing I'll add is at least they have Ogalue & Riggins back - and 3 games to get ready for the BWCT with those two.  While for any one game that may not be a big deal, should LB somehow win their first round game, Riggins is huge because he can alter some shots and gives Yussuf/Levin some margin with fouls. Ogalue is the type of guy that can go off for points in a hurry, which for that 2nd and 3rd game in 3 days against some legs that are getting a little tired, he could do some damage.  LB has started to slow things down last couple games, their advantage is pushing the pace (meaning via Booker, not Levin if CDM could get that thru his skull)  and they have to get back to that, they need to win by scoring points, and having those two make that more likely.

Game One Recap
In a game of two completely different halves the Gauchos jumped to a large lead and held on to a 10 point road victory.  The Gauchos had their best half of defense of the season in holding the high powered 49ers to only 17 points in the first half.  In the second half, the 49ers offense roared back, putting up 53 points on 70% shooting from the field, 57% from three.  But King and Vincent kept UCSB’s offense cooking and the Gauchos still won by double digits.

Match-up & prediction:
Game two between the 49ers and the Gauchos will have a different look as UCSB will have Canty back (according to Reynaud) and LB will have Riggins and Ogalue.  I don’t expect UCSB will be able to dominate as they did at the start last game nor do I expect their defense to be as porous as it was in the second half.

Keys for the Gauchos:
1)    Two halves of defense.
2)    Limit the rest of the 49er offense outside of Levin.  Will be interesting to see if Canty gets matched with Levin at times. Levin can get 25 and if our guards and Ami can limit the rest of the team, UCSB should be fine. 
3)    Good perimeter rotations.  Long Beach is the highest scoring offense in the BW (conference games only).  They shoot the three fairly well and the Gauchos need to rotate.  They didn’t do this well in the second half and Maxhuni went for a career high of 20 on 4-7 from three.   
4)    Attack Levin and Temi/Riggins. King did a fantastic job in the first game.  Levin avoids foul trouble and does not play as aggressive D.  Canty is superior to Temi.  UCSB needs to attack in the paint.   Conversely, Levin leads the conference in drawing fouls and King & Blackmon will need to be careful.
5)    Exploit Long Beach’s weakness of perimeter defense.  With Gabe, Max and Marcus, we have three terrific shooters that should be able to take advantage.They did in the first game, with 19, 16 & 12 respectively.
6)    Gabe’s Dad says, “DEFENSE!   Defense Gauchos, DEFENSE!!!”

UCSB is still about 100 points better in the composite computer ranking and at this stage of the season that is significant. With Canty back, UCSB should be highly favored.  That being said, we could not stop LB in the second half and I’m sure JP has been reminding them of this all week long. 
UCSB 86  LB 72

Official Site:   http://www.longbeachstate.com/sports/m- ... -body.html
Hey Guys!       http://members5.boardhost.com/49erHoops ... 1515542100
How to Watch:   ESPNU

Saturday, February 24, 2018

UCSB vs. CSUN Game Preview, by Gaucho Freg

UCSB @ CSUN Preview
Saturday, February 24, 2018, 5:00pm PST*
*ESPN3 Game (Note that the WatchESPN schedule lists this for 7pm)


After being dominated by the two best defenses in the league in UCI and Davis, the slumping and worn out Gauchos will attempt to bounce back against one of the worst defensive teams (#297 Pomeroy) in last place CSUN.  The Matadors are coming off a double OT loss vs. Poly just as UC Davis had a double OT game against the Mustangs before facing us which did not seem to hurt them in the least.  The Gauchos are still missing Jalen Canty.  Without him in the first game, Leland King had a career game and helped lead the Gauchos to a dominant 75-51 victory.  UCSB and CSUN have played 55 times since 1959 with the Gauchos holding a 36-19 all-time edge.

By the Numbers                                                              
  CSUN UCSB
OOC Record, all games 6-22 20-7
BWC Record 3-11 9-4
Home/away vs D1 2-7 (home) 8-6 (away)
National Team Rankings

Composite (DC2, RPI, Pomeroy,
Massey, Sagarin)
330 114
DC2 328 110
RPI 342 96
Pomeroy 326 116
Massey 329 97
Sagarin 325 151
RPI SOS 320 279
Preseason Poll Pick 7th 6th
Efficiency Rankings (Pomeroy)

Offense 318 64
Defense 297 220
Scoring (conference only) 65.5 (63.4) 76.1 (73.2)
Defense (conference only) 70.0 (72.2) 70.5 (70.1)
CSUN
Best win: Morgan State (home, 294 DC2)
Worst Loss: Cal Poly (away, 322 DC2)
Trend:  Since their loss to the Gauchos on February 3, the Matadors have gone 1-4, their win a surprising 77-71 victory on the road against Hawaii. On Thursday, after rallying from 15 down, the Matadors gave up late leads in regulation and in the first overtime to succumb to Cal Poly in double OT.
 
Head Coach:
Reggie Theus is in his 5th season at the helm of the Matadors and has yet to have a winning season.  His record stands at 53-154 overall and 26-51 in BW play with a best finish of 5th place.   Compared to his predecessor Bobby Brasswell, his hire has been a total disaster.  He did coach New Mexico State for two seasons and had some success there, going 25-9 in his second season and a trip to the NCAA tournament and parlayed that to a short gig as the head coach of the NBA’s Sacramento Kings.

Matadome
One of the smallest arenas in the nation at any sports level, let alone D1, the Matadome seats only 1600 according the CSUN official site.  Wikipedia says it seats 2400 after the 2015 renovation.  Good work state school. 
In an editorial for the Los Angeles Daily News, Jill Painter described the Matadome as "...the Kinesiology building with a basketball court inside...".[4]

Roster
Relatively older roster with three seniors starting. Like Santa Barbara, lack scoring punch off the bench.  Neither starter Michael Warren nor key reserve Anthony Swan made the trip to Poly and their status for Saturday is unknown.  Warren was injured in their previous game against Fullerton.

Starters
Guard Terrell Gomez 5’8” 160lbs, Freshman. #2 Go ahead and break out with the Webster chants but Gomez is the competing with Hawaii’s Buggs for the BW FOY award.  Leads the team in assists (fourth in the conference), minutes played, third in scoring and is the best three point shooter on the team, .452 from beyond the arc.
Guard Lyrik Shreiner  6’3”, 190lb, RS Sophomore #3 Transfer from TCU. Scoring 8.6 ppg and pulling about 4 boards per game.  Turns the ball over a lot.
G Jonathan Guevara 6’1”, 165 lb.  Junior #14 Plays 14mpg.  Forced into starting role due to injury to Warren.
Forward Tavrion Dawson  6’8”, 202lb, Senior #4 Leads team in scoring (16.8 ppg), rebounding (6.6 rpg) and FT attempts (4 per game) while averaging ~32mpg. Attempts 3.5 threes per game while making ~ 31% of them.  Turns the ball over 2.5 per game.  His stats put him in contention for All BW 2nd team.
F Reggie Theus Jr.  6’6”, 217 lb, RS Senior #24  Scoring about 6ppg.  Has made an impressive .714 of his three point attempts but much to the dismay of the Welcher, has only 7 attempts.

Key Reserves:

C Mahamadou Kaba-Camara  7’0”, 273 lb.  Sophomore  #5 Provides size of the bench and pulls down a couple boards per game in about 11 minutes of play.
G Carl Brown  6’4”, 180lb Junior #22  JC transfer stepped in Thursday to score 10pts and pull 5 boards in 25 minutes of play.  Normally averages 10m of play. Good 3 point shooter, has made 10 of 23 on the season.
G Jalon Pipkins 6’4”, 180lb Freshman, #10 Normally averages 11m of play. Good 3 point shooter, has made 7 of 16 on the season. Turns the ball over 2 to 1 over assists.
F Anthony Swan  6’7”, 196 lb RS Junior #30 Transfer from George Washington averages about 10 mpg. DNP vs Poly and status is unknown.
Wing Michael Warren  6’5”, 180 lb, Senior #1 Second on team in scoring with 13.6 ppg, shoots the three well, .386 %.  Is second to Dawson in rebounding as well with 6.1 boards per game and plays 31 mpg.  Gets to the line frequently, 3.5 attempts per game.  DNP vs Poly and status is unknown.

View from a Matador Fan: With thanks and credit to parkj19.  This is from before the first game.
CSUN comes into this game with UCSB having their worst season in many, many years, ranked last in RPI among all 351 Division 1 teams in the NCAA only a few weeks ago, now barely higher at 347 (before Thursday’s Davis game), having beaten struggling teams such as Riverside (by 9 at UCR) and Cal Poly (by 18 at home) in two of their last five games, while playing Davis tough on the road and at home (losing by 7 in a game they were only down by 3 with under two minutes to go on the road; and losing again by 7 but down by only a point or two with a few minutes to go in their recent game at home), and losing to Long Beach at home (by 4 points, and down by only 2 points with less than 10 seconds left in the game, before a desperation foul, and 2 FTs converted by Gabe Levin). The Matadors have not been a good road team during Reggie Theus’ term, having gone 4-12 and 4-8 the last two years, and are currently 1-9 on the road this year (that lone road victory being their recent win against UCR).

 
CSUN has played UCSB even the last four years (4-4, two of those wins against unquestionably the worst, most snake-bitten, UCSB team in a long time) The Matadors have surprisingly won 3 of the last four games the teams have played in Santa Barbara (even winning there, in overtime, against the 2013-14 UCSB team that featured Alan Williams, Michael Bryson and Eric Childress, a team that went 12-4 in the BW that year…yes, they all played, Williams scoring 22 points). I know these are sore points for UCSB  basketball, and will not be forgotten in the game Saturday.
 
The Matadors’ strengths are their two veteran players, Tavrion Dawson and Micheal Warren, who can both drive well to the basket or hit the three point shot, and freshman Terrell Gomez. CSUN three point shooting has been developing into a strength this year (something they have not been good at for awhile, with the exception of Josh Greene as well as Stephan Hicks in his senior year). Three Matadors are currently shooting near or better than 40% of their 3s (PG Gomez, runner up in the BW at 47%, freshman Jalon Pipkins at 42% and Warren at 38%, while Dawson and Jonathan Guevara are shooting 33%), and the Matadors 37% shooting is second in the BW to UCSB’s 38%. 
 
The Matadors have been a poor defender of the 3 point shot under Theus, but this year they are holding opponents to 33.8%, the best year under Theus, down from nearly 39% the last two years. Matador defense in general has been poor under Theus, the last few years especially, but seems to be improving a bit this year….despite the Matadors really not having a true post player and few big men on the team who play regularly. 
 
Sophomore Mamadou Kaba-Camara, at 7 feet, has potential to be a good player someday (he is from Guinea, and has not played organized basketball for as long as most American college players, but is tall, quick, and smart… a Dean’s list student who speaks several languages). PG Gomez is probably the leading candidate for BW FOY; he is extremely fast, a very good shooter, and controls the ball well. Dawson can do it all offensively, as can Warren…they are also the team’s leading rebounders. Guard Lyrik Shreiner can explode for double digit points, as he has done numerous times this season; he’s capable of a 20 point game. Reggie Theus, Jr. has developed his game this season (driving to the basket and short jumpers) and can also hit double digits (he’s averaging 5.5); Zeno Lake is a good rebounder and a threat around the basket offensively.
 
The Matadors will have a tough time with the Gauchos, who seem to be, from my limited viewing of them this season, a very balanced team offensively, who can beat you from inside or outside. One thing you can count on, the Matadors will fight hard to the end….I would characterize this team as “scrappy.” 


Game One Recap (February 3, 2018 in Santa Barbara)
 Leland King had his best game as a Gaucho scoring 25 points and pulling 17 boards and led the team to a decisive 75-51 victory.  Paced by King, UCSB outrebounded CSUN 49-32.  With Ami coming close to a double-double with 10 points and 8 boards.  Max added 14 points on 4-7 from three. The Gauchos shot 46% and CSUN only 32%.  UCSB had 18 assists to just 10 turnovers.

Match-up & prediction:
Both teams are struggling at this time with losses both on the court and of key players.  King and Max in particular have dropped off significantly.   Which Gaucho team will show up Saturday?  Are their struggles from wearing down or did they just get outmatched by two very good defenses?  CSUN’s defense has not been effective for most of the year so the Gauchos get a break there and hopefully King & Max get going again.      
Keys for the Gauchos:
1)    Stop Gomez, perhaps double him up on the perimeter.  A speedy guard type that has been the bane of the Gaucho defense all season.
2)    Dominate the paint again.   Ami and King both had career games last time.  If they have anything close to a repeat performance, Gauchos win.  
3)   Inside-Outside.  UCSB completely got away from this vs. UCI.  Gabe had a poor game against CSUN the first time around and we need one of he, Max and Marcus to get hot this game. 
4)  Get the lead, get the starters some rest.  Plenty of minutes for Ami, CT and JB, but would be nice to go deeper into the bench and keep the team rested.  Can I get me some JD please and not just in the last 1 minute garbage time?
5)  Gabe’s Dad says, “DEFENSE!   Defense Gauchos, DEFENSE!!!”

The way the Gauchos are playing right now, they could lose to anyone, including last place CSUN.  Lucky for the Gauchos, they seem to be catching the Matadors at an opportune time with them missing two key players and coming off a double OT loss on the road.  The team should be feeling a sense of urgency now, win out and they can still nab first place.  I think King gets healthy, Ami gets it going against the smaller ‘Dors and one of our guards will be hot.  Gauchos 73  CSUN  64

Official Site:  http://www.gomatadors.com/index.aspx?path=mbball
Home of the Welcher:   https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/bigwest ... etball-f9/
How to Watch:  ESPN3.   http://www.espn.com/watch

Gauchos Lose Second Straight, Fall 69-49 at UC Irvine

http://www.ucsbgauchos.com/sports/m-baskbl/2017-18/releases/201802231tpv19

Thursday, February 22, 2018

First-Place UCSB Travels to UC Irvine Thursday for Another 1-2 Showdown

http://www.ucsbgauchos.com/sports/m-baskbl/2017-18/releases/20180221segkmy

 

UCSB vs. UCI Game Preview, by Gaucho Freg

UCSB vs UC Irvine Preview
Thursday, February 22, 2018, 7:30pm PST
SoCal Gauchos attending the game, pre-game at the UCI Campus Anthill Pub

The race for first place is wide open as the visiting 9-3 Gauchos take on the best defense in the league in the second place, 9-4 Anteaters.
UCSB and UCI have played 89 times since 1968 with Santa Barbara leading the series 52-37. The Anteaters swept the season series last year, but the Gauchos won the first game this year in Santa Barbara, 70-58.

By the Numbers                                                              
  UCI UCSB
OOC Record, all games 14-15 20-6
BWC Record 9-4 9-3
Home/away vs D1 4-4 (home) 8-5 (away)
 National Rankings
Composite 152 104
DC2              154 98
RPI 144 91
RPI SOS 108 281
Pomeroy              145 107
Massey 160 87
Sagarin 157 139
Preseason Poll Pick 1st 6th
Efficiency Rankings (Pomeroy)    
Offense 254 57
Defense 53 218
Scoring 70.2 (69.5) 77.2 (75.2)
PPG Allowed 67.5 (61.2) 70.2 (68.8)
UCI:
Best win: Idaho (away, 119 DC2)
Worst Loss: UTRGV (away, 235 DC2)
Trend:  Irvine has won 6 of their last seven with the lone loss coming last Thursday at home by 1 to Hawaii. 

Head Coach:
Russell Turner is in his 8th season at the helm of the Anteaters and has an overall record of 153-120 (.560) an outstanding 81-46 (.637) record in the Big West.  His streak of consecutive 20+ win seasons (5) is in jeopardy this year.  In 2015 he led the Anteaters to their first NCAA tournament where they narrowly lost to Louisville in the first round.  In 2016 he led the Anteaters to 28 wins, best in school history.  He’s known for a fiery demeanor on the sideline and for having multiple 7 footers on his teams.
Roster
Irvine, is a young team that is starting to gel in conference play. After a rough out-of-conference against a very tough schedule, they have battled back and are contending for the BW title.  Their future looks very bright. From Beefeater; “Bench production for this team has been excellent, particularly from the post position with Jones and Greene. UCI's starters, including Rutherford, don't play excessive minutes because Turner plays at least four bench players 10+ minutes every game.” Stats listed below are for conference games only. 

Starters
Guard Eyassu Worku 6’2” 170 lbs, Sophomore. #24 Leads the team with assists, 3.8 pg and turnovers 2.5 pg.  Second in scoring with 12.5 ppg, not the highest percentage shooter, scores from inside and outside the arc and gets to the FT line often.  Still just 19 yo, his play has been inconsistent and is part of the reason why UCI turns the ball over 14.4 times per game, 292 in the country. “Maybe, the x-factor for UCI is Worku, because when he is efficient, the offense is better. “
Guard Evan Leonard  6’1”, 190 lb, Sophomore, #14 Has played himself into All BW consideration with his well-rounded game and accurate shooting.  Leads the team in scoring, 15.6 ppg and is second in three pointers made and in FT attempts.  Fourth in the conference in steals.
Wing John Edgar Jr.  6’5”, 217 lb, Sophomore #11 Has played himself into a starting role and is scoring 8.0  ppg and pulling 5.6 rebounds per game.  Scored a career high 21 against Cal Poly Saturday.
Forward Tommy Rutherford  6’8”, 220 lb, Sophomore. #42  This hard working forward is second on the team in rebounding with 6.1 pg and turns the ball over a lot for a forward, about two per game. He gets to the line the most on the team makes them at a 67% clip.  He’s averaging 10.9 ppg. My personal choice for BW Hustle POY.
Forward/Center Jonathan Galloway  6’10”, 235 lb, Junior #5 While not a scoring threat, Galloway is a terrific defender and rebounder, 7.6 rpg. 

Key Reserves:
Guard Max Hazzard   5’10”, 170 lb.  RS Sophomore. #02 An accurate 3 point shooter, .389 from beyond the arc, he is fourth in scoring with 8.3 ppg and third in assists and is playing starter minutes at 23 mpg. “Has been in a two week slump, but he's capable of scoring double digits off the bench any given night.” 
Forward Elston Jones  6’9”, 275 lb RS Junior #50   A big body off the bench, he averages 5.6 rbg and 4.6 ppg in 16 minutes of play
Center Brad Greene  6’10”, 320 lb Sophomore. #55 The girthy center averages 4.5 ppg and 3.9 rpg in 12 minutes of play.
Wing Brandon Smith  6’5”, 195 lb Junior #13  Averages 13 mpg and has started 7 games.  He has attempted 21 three pointers and made just one.

View from an Irvine Fan:
--Thanks and credit to Beefeater.  This is an update from his preview provided before the first game.  That preview available here: ucsb-vs-uc-irvine-t21760.html

The re-match comes about a month after the initial match. UCI has improved from January, winning six out of seven games. The defense has been solid and consistent, with the exception of the first half of the Hawaii game, ultimately resulting in a one point loss. The offense is still inconsistent, but it has shown some progress. Ball movement is better, turnovers are down a bit and shot selection is slightly better. The guards still are prone to being impatient, but they are playing with more maturity than they displayed at the beginning of the season. Leonard and Rutherford have emerged as the leading scorers for the team. Maybe, the x-factor for UCI is Worku, because when he is efficient, the offense is better. 

There still hasn't been a significant improvement in Galloway's offensive production and Smith has lost his confidence in his shot. So, that hasn't changed much from a month ago. Wertner has returned from injury and is getting bits of playing time. The small forward position has been taken over by Edgar Jr. who is coming off a career high 21 points against Cal Poly.

The best stats for UCI are the team defensive stats:

In BWC
61.2 ppg
37.7 FG%
27.2 3pt%
+9.8 rpg margin

UCI ranks #1 in BWC in all those categories and UCI's Pomeroy defensive efficiency ranking is #53, also best in BWC. Now, for the re-match, the rebounding is very likely going to be a point of emphasis for both teams. UCSB outrebounded UCI 43-30 and that was the worst rebounding performance of the season for UCI (and maybe the best for UCSB). Of all the factors that led to the loss at UCSB, I suspect Turner will most want to correct the rebounding disparity. If Canty doesn't play, that probably will make it harder for UCSB to repeat it. 


First Game Recap:
After the teams battled back & forth for much of the game, UCSB used a late 12-0 run to pull away and eventually win by 12. The star that game was Jalen Canty who had a double-double with 20 points and 11 boards.  King added 14 boards to help the Gauchos out rebound UCI 42-30.  Defensively, the Gauchos kept UCI in check with only Tommy Rutherford able to score consistently, 17 points on 7-10 shooting.   Most impressively for the Gaucho defense, or perhaps a little lucky too, Irvine’s leading scorer Evan Leonard went just 1-10 from the field scoring only 4 points.
UCI led by 1 at the half and the score was tied at 47 with just a little over 6 minutes to play until UCSB went on its big run to pull away.  Gabe Vincent had a big game scoring 21 points to lead all scorers, including 7-8 from the line.  

Match-up & prediction:
Coming off their worst offensive performance of the season against the #2 defensive team in the conference in UC Davis, the going gets even tougher in facing the league’s top defensive team on the road. UCI is allowing ~ 8 fewer points per game than UCSB is. It seems likely the Gauchos won’t have Canty this time around so it applies great pressure on King, Ami and Blackmon to step up and fill the void.  King looked tired and had a bad game against Davis.  If he struggles again against this tough Irvine defense, UCSB will be in trouble.  If we see the King we saw at Davis and at Long Beach, we'll be in for a great game.

Keys to the game for the Gauchos
·         Be strong in the paint again. A difficult task without Canty.  While the Gauchos out-rebounded UCI in the first game, offensive production was similar for points in the paint.
·         While not at the same level of TJ Shorts, Worku and Hazzard are good, quick point guards and the Gauchos need to stop the penetration and not give up so many lay-ups as they did against Davis.
·         King needs the type of performance he had against Davis (1st game), CSUN and Long Beach in Canty’s absence. We need him to be able to get his game going to open of the perimeter for Gabe, Max and Marcus. Against Davis, he seemed to rest out on the perimeter all too often, settling for three pointers which, when his inside game isn’t working, rarely find their mark.
·         Defend Leonard.  Can’t expect another 1-10 performance out of this great player.
·         Gabe’s Dad says, “Defense!   Defense, Gauchos, Defense!!”

Prediction:  I had this penciled in for a loss even before Canty’s suspension.  Not looking like he’ll be back yet and with the improvement by Irvine’s sophomores and their defense, I don’t think we’ll get it going this game.  I expect a reverse of the last game, competitive for a while but King tires in the second half and UCI pulls away.  UCI 71 UCSB 64

Official Site:    https://ucirvinesports.com/index.aspx?path=mbball
Hey Guys!   https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/bigwest ... etball-f7/
How to Watch:   https://www.foxsportsgo.com/program/339 ... -uc-irvine
For TV viewers, game will be on Prime Ticket/Fox Sports West. 
Pre-Game Meeting: For those Gauchos planning to see the game in person, some Gauchos will pre-meet at the Anthill Pub, https://www.yelp.com/map/anthill-pub-and-grille-irvine.  It is a "White-Out" game for Irvine and on TV so don't wear white! 

Monday, February 19, 2018

Friday, February 16, 2018

First-Place UCSB Puts 8-Game Winning Streak on the Line, Welcomes Second-Place UC Davis to Thunderdome for Saturday MatinΓ©e

http://www.ucsbgauchos.com/sports/m-baskbl/2017-18/releases/20180216sfv2ky

 

Dave Miller Tweet on Joe Pasternack



Dave Miller Tweet on Max Heidegger



UCD vs. UCSB Game Preview, by Gaucho Freg

UCSB vs UC Davis Preview

Saturday, February 17, 2018, 2:00pm PST

 *******DOMECOMING******
**Sam’s to Go, 12:00 PM**
 
UCSB is on amazing run with two impressive streaks coming into their Domecoming game vs. UC Davis on Saturday; an 8 game winning streak and undefeated (11-0) at home in the 2017-8 season.  With a win, UCSB would set the school record for best start to a season.  UC Davis is demonstrating a flair for the dramatic this year, winning a triple OT thriller over Cal Poly just three games after winning in OT @ Long Beach.  So just as in the first game, UCSB will be facing an Aggie team coming off an emotional OT battle.  Also as in the first game, as of now, both teams are missing their star big men to suspension with no timelines for return.  Jalen Canty had a bandage on his hand at the Long Beach game and may not be available even if the suspension is lifted. 

By the Numbers                                                              
  Davis UCSB
OOC Record, all games 17-9 20-5
BWC Record 8-4 9-2
Home/away vs D1 7-6 (away) 9-0 (home)
National Team Rankings

Composite (DC2, RPI, Pomeroy,
Massey, Sagarin)
133 94
DC2 136 89
RPI 110 79
Pomeroy 141 95
Massey 126 79
Sagarin 151 128
RPI SOS 209 294
Preseason Poll Pick 2nd 6th
Efficiency Rankings (Pomeroy)

Offense 181 39
Defense 104 206
Scoring (conference only) 73.5 (76.3) 78.1 (77.1)
PPG Allowed (conference only) 68.9 (72.4) 70.1 (68.5)
Davis:
Best win: N. Colorado (home + away, 112 DC2)
Worst Loss: Hawaii (away, 221 DC2)
Trend:  The Aggies are 2-2 since the loss of Chima Moneke to suspension with both wins coming in dramatic OT fashion.  UCSB handed Davis their first loss at home in nearly two years in their first place show-down on February 8.  They lost a second consecutive home game to Fullerton two days later with the Titans prevailing 68-66. 
 
Head Coach:
Jim Les is in his 7th season at the helm of the Aggies and has won both a regular season crown (2014) and the BWT (2017).  His record stands at 103-111 overall and 54-53 in BW play.  He is the second consecutive opposing coach with an NBA pedigree (Theus) that UCSB will play.  In the 1990-91 season he led the NBA in three point % while playing for Sacramento.  Prior to coaching Davis, he had an excellent run at Bradley, taking the Braves to the Sweet 16 in 2006, the NIT 2nd round the following season then consecutive championship games in the lesser CBI & CIT, respectively. 

Roster
As already mentioned, star forward Chima Moneke is suspended indefinitely and whether or not he plays will greatly impact this game. He is averaging 18.6 points, 9.6 boards and a block per game.  Will presume he will not play, for now.  As our guest previewer did a complete roster break-down, I have added his comments below mine, in italics.

Starters
Guard TJ Shorts 5’9” 160lbs, Junior. #0  A very quick & crafty pg, proven to cause problems for UCSB’s defense..  After somewhat keeping him in check the first half in their first game, Shorts took our defense to school in the second, making 9-12 field goals, all inside the arc, and getting to the line for 11 attempts, making 10. He repeatedly went to his left and SB should adjust to that in this game.
He leads the league in steals per game and is 3rd in assists.  He does turn the ball over 2.5 times per game.  He is tied with Schneider for active leading scorer on the Aggies, at 14.6 ppg.
TJ is only 5'9 and 160 pounds but he very strong and quick, has a high basketball IQ, is fearless driving to the hoop and has an uncanny ability to score among the redwoods in the paint. He is quickly becoming one of the finest PG's ever to wear an Aggie uniform. He was brilliant against Long Beach and put up 31 points.

Guard Siler Schneider  6’3”, 183lb, Junior. #5 Schneider also went off against UCSB scoring 24 on 3-3 from outside and getting to the line for 8 attempts, making 7.  Pulls 3 boards per game and is second in assists with ~2 per game.
Siler is a 3 year starter for the Aggies who gives us 100% hustle all the time. He flies around the court, diving for the 50-50 balls, and is capable of getting hot and putting up big numbers. He has struggled some this year with his outside shot but has made up for that with driving buckets and floaters. He scored 27 against Long Beach.

Guard Michael Onyebalu  6’3”, 190 lb, Senior. #31  Onyebalu lit up the Gauchos from outside, making all four of his three point attempts.  Third on team in rebounding with 3.5 bpg while adding 5.6 ppg.
Aggie fans love Michael. He's a senior that never saw much playing time in his first 3 years but he continued to work hard to improve and this year he landed a starting position. If anyone ever deserved a starting role from by working hard and never giving up, it's Michael; he paid his dues for 3 years. He is primarily a good defender and a very athletic rebounder. He had a career high 11 boards at Long Beach.

Forward AJ John  6’8”, 225lb, Junior #25  Normally comes off the bench but starting in Chima’s place.  Fourth in scoring with 6.4 ppg and third in rebounding with 3.7 bpg. Second most 3pt attempts on team but makes only 29% of them. 
At 6'8 AJ gives us a little size inside and he'll be called on to start for Moneke. AJ is a transfer from Pepperdine and was only cleared to play this year after a devastating knee injury and a long rehab. He says he now feels closer to being all the way back but he's still adjusting. He can score from the perimeter and has a beautiful 3 ball stroke. He has had problems with staying out of foul trouble, however.

Forward Garrison Goode  6’7”, 225 lb, RS Junior. #44   Averaging about 4 points & 3.5 boards per game in 26 minutes of play. 
Garrison is hard working defender. He has struggled to score throughout his 3 years at Davis and is often hesitant to shoot. He was the most aggressive that I have ever seen him in the Long Beach game and he scored 14 points which was a career high for him. Hopefully, we'll see more of that especially while Moneke is out.

Key Reserves:
G Joe Mooney 6’3”, 187 lb. Sophomore. #22  Provides some scoring punch, especially from deep, off the bench. 
Joe is our second lefty guard along with Shorts. He's been billed as a 3 point specialist but has had difficulty finding the range for the most part this year. Lately, he has been getting more playing time and has begun shooting a better percentage.
G Arell Hennings 5’8”, 150 lb. Senior  #4  Les likes his small guards. Hennings fills in for Shorts at point, dishing 1.7 apg and adding 3.5 ppg in about 11 minutes of play.
Arell is our other diminutive point guard at only 5'8 and 150 pounds. He has been getting more playing time this year and has filled in well for Shorts when needed. He's quick and has the best 3 point shooting percentage on the team.
G Rogers Printup  6’4”, 205 Sophomore #23  Good three point shooter, .420 from deep, and playing about 14 mpg.
Rogers is a 3 ball shooter who can be deadly when he is feeling it. He lit up the nets against Washington State and is capable of catching fire at any time he is on the floor.

Colin Russell - forward: A junior in his first year with the Aggies, Russell, at 6'10, is our tallest player on the roster. He hasn't gotten a lot of playing time this year and has had difficulty staying out of foul trouble when he has. He's strong and he may see substantially more time while Moneke is out.

Delveion Jackson - guard: Jackson was a highly regarded recruit out of Boise, Idaho. He's 6'6 and very strong and athletic. He has only seen limited minutes as a true freshman this year. Curiously, he has not been seen with the team for at least the past 4-6 games and no one knows what has happened to him.


View from an Aggie Fan:  With credit and thanks to BlueGoldAg (Updated, 2/17/2018)


So many things have changed in the past couple of weeks for the Aggies starting with the indefinite suspension of Chima Moneke. Then the Ags followed up that disappointing news with an improbable 105-104 double OT win at Long Beach. Although that game was one of the most remarkable wins in Aggie D1 history, a dark cloud still hung over the team and the fans as the the realization of the loss of Moneke began to sink in. There still has been no word from the university regarding Moneke's suspension and, at this point, most Aggie fans do not think we will get see him play again.


Not only has the loss of Moneke been huge for the team but it has had to be emotionally very difficult for Chima as well. Chima has an outgoing personality, always upbeat and entertaining and was not shy about expressing his love for his teammates. Now he's on the sidelines watching and the dream of possibly playing in the NCAA Tournament again appears to have vanished as well. In addition, Chima has not seen his parents for 9 years and they were scheduled to make a trip to Davis to finally see him play and that may not happen now either. It's just been tough all around.

When Santa Barbara came to Davis the Aggies were sporting the the nation's 4th longest home game winning streak at 19 games. The Gauchos started the game on fire from beyond the arc and ended the Aggies streak in a hard fought game. The Ags pulled to within 5 points with 1:28 to go and missed an open 3 before eventually losing 90-81 as the Gauchos made their FT's down the stretch. After the game Jim Les said that he "was very disappointed with the Aggie defense." It was a good effort by the Aggies but we simply have no big men who can replace the kind of talent and energy that Chima brings to the floor.

So the 19 game home winning streak was over and Fullerton was coming to town. The Titan's had handed the Aggies their worst conference loss of the year in the first game. Like the Gauchos, Fullerton came out sizzling from 3 and hit 10 in the game. This time Khalil Amad lit up the Pavilion with 21 first half points and the Aggies found themselves trailing by double digits until late in the game when they put on a furious rally to briefly take the lead. The Ags had a chance at the buzzer but TJ Shorts 5 footer in the paint rimmed out and the Ags now had a 2 game home losing streak.

One thing for sure about a Jim Les coached team is that there will be no quit in effort no matter what the circumstances. Les demands a hard work all the time and, when he sees anything less than that, players quickly find themselves on the bench. Aggie fans felt like the team gave a good effort all things considered but Les' expectations for his team were no different even without Moneke.

It was time for the Ags to regroup and head to Cal Poly for a game that seems to always be tough for the Aggies. Poly erased the Aggies double digit lead late in the second half and took the lead by 5 with 3 minutes to go but the Aggies clawed back to force OT and, finally, after the 3rd overtime the Aggies prevailed 92-84. Four Aggie players logged 40 to 50 minutes and Michael Onlybalu had a career high 25 points. It was the kind of effort that Jim Les relishes; he called it "gutsy" and said, that his team "just would not hang their heads and quit."

Now we have the rematch with the Santa Barbara who is in the driver's seat for the Big West title. Realistically, I think it is fair to say that the Gauchos are heavily favored and maybe even a double digit favorite. The Ags got close in the first game but the Gauchos have been playing well lately and they are playing at home.

In order to stay within striking distance the Ags will have to play outstanding defense. The Gauchos are too talented offensively for the Aggies to get into a shootout with. The Ags will need the kind of tenacious grit we saw at Cal Poly. Our guards have stepped up in the absence of Moneke but we need better contributions from AJ John and Colin Russell inside. Garrison Goode has been more aggressive on offense than we have ever seen him and we'll need that to continue.

TJ Shorts continues to impress even when he isn't scoring 20+ points. He gets into the lane so quickly and dishes out assists. He even led the Ags with 10 boards against Poly. Santa Barbara made things difficult for Shorts in the first meeting before he started doggedly taking the ball to the rim in the second half. There's no doubt the the Gauchos will focus on stopping Shorts from driving into the lane and, when that happens, TJ will need to kick the ball out and, hopefully, the Ags can knock down a few 3's.

So the task for the Aggies is tall, very tall, and it will take a superlative effort for the them to put themselves in a position to win by end of the game but, then again, no one thought the Ags would have a chance against Long Beach either and look what happened.



Game One, February 8 Recap
 
The Gauchos did their best Golden State Warriors impression and were blazing hot from outside and jumped to an early 20 point lead, going 8-13 from three.  They put up 49 points in the first half against one of the best defenses in the conference.  Taking advantage of Moneke’s absence, King went for 19 pts and 15 rebounds and Blackmon added 8 points.  Gabe, Max and Marcus were a combined 9-12 from deep! 
Conversely, the Gaucho pack-line defense gave up the perimeter and the Aggies took advantage, going 10-19.  However, starting forwards John and Goode were a combined 3-9 for just 6 points.

Match-up & prediction:
Technically the status of the suspensions to both Moneke and Canty are unknown but it is starting to look like Moneke won’t be back for a while and Canty is also dealing with an injury so will assume they will be both be out.
   
Keys for the Gauchos:
1)    Stop Shorts. Hey Gaucho defenders:  Shorts is left handed and he likes to go to his left!  Got it?  Shorts may be the best pg in the league but UCSB did a decent job limiting him in the first half.  In the second half he adjusted to the Gauchos extending out to stop him by beginning his drives earlier.  Will be interesting to see how that chess match proceeds.
2)    Again, take advantage in the post.  King has been tremendous since Canty went out and our offense will be working through him a lot.  Ami should exploit his size advantage while avoiding offensive fouls and wear the Aggies out. Blackmon has also been fantastic in picking up minutes in Canty’s absence and continues to improve. 
3)    Don’t ignore Schneider.   
4)    Gabe’s Dad says, “DEFENSE!   Defense Gauchos, DEFENSE!!!”

Davis is coming off a triple OT game and UCSB is clicking on all cylinders.  Plus it is Domecoming and our crowd should be solid.  Less mystery this time around.  If the Gauchos continue to do what they do, win every 4 minute battle, they have the advantage. 
UCSB 81 Davis 68

Official Site:   http://www.ucdavisaggies.com/sports/m-b ... -body.html
Hey Guys!       http://www.aggiesportstalk.com/categori ... lton-court
How to Watch:  http://bigwest.sidearmstreaming.com/watch/?Live=281

Gauchos Top Long Beach State for 8th-Straight Win, 80-70

http://www.ucsbgauchos.com/sports/m-baskbl/2017-18/releases/201802161nmm6y

 

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

UCSB vs. LBSU Game Preview, by Gaucho Freg

UCSB @ Long Beach Preview

Thursday, February 15, 2018, 7:00pm PST

The first place Gauchos, after a week of rest, head down the 101 to take on long-time rival Long Beach State in what should be an exciting, high-scoring affair between the two top scoring teams in the conference. The 49ers are in a three way tie for third along with Fullerton & Davis. This will be the first game of the season between the two teams.   The Gauchos have played Long Beach State 124 times, more than they have played any opponent. The 49ers hold a 66-58 all-time advantage and they have won four straight in the series.

By the Numbers                                                              
  Beach UCSB
OOC Record, all games 13-14 19-5
BWC Record 7-4 8-2
Home/away vs D1 5-4 (home) 7-5 (away)
National Team Rankings

Composite (DC2, RPI, Pomeroy,
Massey, Sagarin)
198 96
DC2 225 91
RPI 195 84
Pomeroy 190 97
Massey 180 85
Sagarin 198 121
RPI SOS 206 293
Preseason Poll Pick 4th 6th
Efficiency Rankings (Pomeroy)

Offense 126 36
Defense 274 225
Scoring (conference only) 76.3 (79.5) 77.5 (75.3)
PPG Allowed (conference only) 79.5 (75.7) 69.7 (67.0)
Beach:
Best win: Stanford (home,116 DC2)
Worst Loss: S. Utah (away, 299 DC2)
Trend:  In Big West play Long Beach has taken care of business against the bottom half of the conference but has only one win (Fullerton) against the top three teams (Davis, Fullerton, Irvine) that they have faced. They are the second worst defensive team in the conference but are coming off one of their best efforts of the season, holding Cal Poly to just 54 points.
 
Head Coach:
With Bob Williams no longer at UCSB, Dan Monson is now the dean of the Big West, in his 11th season at Long Beach.  After great success early 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 stands at 183-173 overall and 112-61 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. 

Walter Pyramid 
The unique Pyramid opened in 1994 and seats 5,000.  The 49ers are averaging 2,660 fans per game, second only to Hawaii.  New this season is the Sand Lot where fans can enjoy a beer while still watching the game, it is very nicely done, much more upscale than a regular concession stand.  Alas, a LB fan educated me that the Sand Lot is only available to major donors.  One can still buy a beer at the regular concessions stand.  Aside from Hawaii, this arena is the class of the Big West and UCSB should follow their lead on getting a Sand Lot equivalent (but open to the public) in one of the 2nd story corner areas of the Thunderdome. 

Roster
Unlike some of the other teams that have given UCSB problems, Long Beach does not possess a super speedy back court.  Instead, the strength of 49er roster lies in Senior forward Gabe Levin and a highly efficient offense, shooting at a 46% clip and leading the conference in scoring at nearly 80 ppg. Monson has been tweaking the line up with a couple of freshmen, Edon Maxhuni and Jordan Roberts, taking on bigger roles.  Mason Riggins and Barry Ogalue are two guys that are missing from play with no explanation at this time.

Starters
Guard Deishuan Booker 6’’3” 170lbs, Junior, JC Transfer, #15  Booker has been terrific for the 49ers, leading the conference in assists (5.1) and is fifth in steals (1.4).  He is shooting an impressive 51% from the field, 36% from three in 30 minutes per game scoring 10 ppg, third on the team. He pulls don 3.5 boards per game but does turn the ball over three times per game.   

Guard Edon Maxhuni  6’2”, 185 lb, Freshman. #23  True freshman from Finland has moved into a starting role of late and his minutes increase.  A good three point shooter, making 28-72 (.389
 
Wing Jordan Roberts  6’8”, 195lb, Freshman. #3 Another true freshman that has seen his role increase, including now starting.  Averaging 4 ppg, and has 20 steals.  Not a 3 point threat. 

Forward Gabe Levin  6’7”, 230lb, Senior #0  The centerpiece of the 49ers, he leads the team with 18 ppg and 7 rebounds per game and minutes played (30) while adding 1.7 assists and has 27 steals.  He has great moves near the basket, range to outside the arc (17-45) and gets to the line frequently, 8 attempts per game making nearly 80%.  

Forward/Center Temi Yussuf  6’7”, 265 lb, RS Junior. #4   One of the few players in the league that will match Ami in size & strength, Yussuf is averaging 9.5 ppg and 5.7 rpg in only 18 minutes of play. Effective at drawing fouls, getting to the line 4.5 times per game, making 65% of them.  as started only 12 games this season. 

Key Reserves:
Wing Bryan Alberts  6’5”, 200lb, RS Junior. #10 A transfer from Gonzaga, Alberts has dealt with an injury and has been inconsistent for LB.  While he has started 14 games, he’s come off the bench the last two.  Second leading scorer at 12.1 ppg and is their biggest three point threat attempting 7 per game while making an excellent 39% of them.

Guard Jordan Griffin  6’3”, 165 Sophomore,  #11 Three point specialist, second on the team with 40 makes (.396) in only 16 minutes of play.  Averages 6 ppg

Forward KJ Byers  6’7”, 195 Junior, JC Transfer,  #14 Averages 5.5 ppg and 4.2 rpg in 21 minutes of play.

Wing Barry Ogalue  6’5”, 195lb, Senior. #13 A JC transfer last year, Ogalue is averaging 7ppg and has started 13 games.  Has not played for several games and was in street clothes for the last game.

Forward Mason Riggins  6’8”, 230lb Junior,  #5 Was not present for last game and PT has diminished.  Averages 4.8 ppg and 4.2 rpg in 20 minutes of play.

View from a 49er Fan.  With thanks and credit to ccman
Long Beach 2018
 (Written after OOC and before BW play started)

LB’s Strength:  A lot of players with unique strengths that can be used to create match-up issues for the opposing defenses.  Levin, Alberts, Griffen, Riggins, Yussuf, Ogalue, Booker, Byers are all guys that can do one thing pretty well.

On the other hand, This is such a unique LB team.  Absent is the one dominant or strong player from most of their squads a complete player that could do many things well (Ware, Anderson, TJ, Ennis, Caffey, Faust, Bibbins) and gave those teams some identity.  LB doesn’t have a ‘complete’ player this year. Levin IMO is good but NOT the guy you want to be the identity of a team  - granted he's a good BIg West player but he's also too mistake prone.

Look at the key players – Levin is energetic, he can create a shot, but then he’s really not a great shooter – his 3 hasn’t developed, he rebounds, but he also forgets to box out a lot and still gets lost defensively and he is a turnover machine at times.  Booker again can create on the drive, and he actually can shoot decently, he probably should look for his shot more, he passes fine, but he also forces bad passes and has yet to learn to play defense the way Ware/Caffey/Bibbins developed. I think he is improving.  Alberts, he can shoot the 3, but that’s about it, doesn’t make passes to lead to buckets, he’s slow on defense.  Griffen, he can really shoot the 3, and he is getting better in the other aspects including defense, but really doesn’t know how to  pass well or to create space off the dribble.  The Centers – Riggins is good for dunks, can alter some shots – but again he’s not as strong with the ball or for boarding as one would think, he’s horrific hedging pick-n-rolls he just is not quick enough to position with his feet– opposing coaches are gonna feast on him.  Yussuf isn’t back to where he left off, he’ll be ok low in the box against Big West bigs, but the book is out on him players flop or partial flop and get rewarded, he’s a foul machine, the one thing is that 12 foot shot, if he can hit that like Big Al, it would really help his game, and he can pass from the inside back out.  Again, he’s not quick with his feet resulting in some poor D and fouls.  LB has bench guys that can help, but overall most of them don’t play good D.  Overall, LB also is not a good passing team - Booker is the only guy I really trust with the ball out there, and he's still learning D1.

Monson has tried to force-fit a 1-3-1 and 2-3 zone all of non-conference and the team does not play it well. I think they are getting better in their man defense, but it’s as if as soon as they play zone they forget to play man principles in their zone, they just play is an area that is not how to play zone, you have to play the man in your zone, they get out of position real quick leading to easy 3s and giving up lots of rebounds – that may not hurt them against North or Irvine or maybe Poly – but against a lot of the teams it’ll kill them.  The good thing is I think Monson (but you never know) will play more man defense in conference.  The players do not board (or don’t know how to) board well playing their zones.

The best thing LB has going for it is they have a lot of new D1 guys, and I think Maxhuni, Booker, Byers, Griffen in particular are getting better in spite of the beat-downs, and so I think they will develop better depth and defense over the course of the Big West.  The key is foot-work on defense, I’m surprised how bad these guys (even guys multiple years in the program) move their feet and how slow they are to react/help/box-out on defense.  LB has overall length, and if Monson can just get some more fundamental defense footwork/rebounding from these guys each week over the next 6 weeks, LB could contend.  They’ll be able to score some (as well as continue to turn it over), but LB needs a LOT of discipline to be able to deal with SB/Davis/Irvine in particular.  LB’s defensive #s are frightening, good news is they have no where to go but up, the bad news is they have no where to go but up.

 
February 13, 2018 Update
Since the end of the year, a fair amount has changed.

Alberts got injured at the end of non-conference and missed about 6 games, Edon Maxhuni has taken over the starting shooting guard spot and the frosh has come on strong in his outside shooting but still makes frosh mistakes especially when driving to the bucket. The shooting guard position has thus become somewhat of a position by committee with Maxhuni, Alberts, and Jordon Griffen all playing the part, and none of them doing it particularly well on both ends of the court. Maxhuni has probably the best looking shot of the 3 as well as the best 3pt shot selection. Griffen was shooting lights out, but now struggling, and on a quick leash as his 3s seem forced much of the time now.  Alberts has got his shot back but he's not much inside the arc, and IMO a horriblly slow defender who doesn't know how to block out anybody.  All three are sub-standard defensive players.  The good news is they are all capable 3 pt shooters, in fact with Booker (38%) and Levin (shooting the 3 well in conference), LB has a nice array of 3 pt shooters.  The only downside there is wing Byers who for some inexplicable reason keeps shooting 3s and he's horrible at it, and opposing coaches probably have a standing order to let him fire at will.

The other development is LaRond Williams (back-up big) is injured and out for the season, Javonte Jackson is apparently off the team (but who knows the real reason), Barry Ogalue who has lit it up a couple of games has been in street clothes since early conference for what is likely academic or disciplinary reason, and now Riggins was nowhere in sight for the last game vs. Cal Poly.  For any one game, not having Barry & Riggins is something the Beach can overcome, but if those two aren't available for the BWCT that's a big problem for Long Beach, especially with Levin & Yussuf's propensity to pile up quick fouls.  Riggins especially, as he provides a solid 20 minutes a game and situational defense subbing in for Yussuf.   Against Santa Barbara that will only be magnified with the ability of King & Vincent and Canty to go inside.  Additionally, with all the player issues, LB has lost it's depth, so pressing is not as big an option, but it also has made the rotations more predictable which I think has helped a little with the roles for Byers and Roberts (a more about him in a bit), with mainly Jordan Griffen the main player really struggling to contribute.

The other major development is the conference break-out for Frosh Jordan Roberts out of Bakersfield. He looked lost and like he should have red-shirted in non-conference, but with Alberts out and more playing time, he's adjusted rapidly to D1, the frosh mistakes have subsided, he makes nifty inside passes, he can block shots, his footwork on defense is the best I've seen on the team.  If he can hone his mid-range shot over the summer, he'll be a dynamic force next year. For this year, he's a god-send given all the other issues.  Roberts has the ability and at 6'7" to rise above typical Big West defenders and make a shot or pass at will. Roberts & Byers are going to be key vs. Santa Barbara, as their length is something that at least let's Long Beach match up a little better to SB's offensive playmakers.  SB I liken a little to Fresno as a challenge and Fresno just ran over the Beach, but this should be a little more competitive as SB isn't as athletic as Fresno IMO in the backcourt.


Match-up & prediction:
The unknown status of the suspension to Canty does make predicting this more difficult but UCSB has shown they can win without him. Going with the assumption that he will be unavailable.    
Keys for the Gauchos:
1)    Limit the rest of the 49er offense outside of Gabe.  King is not going to become a great defender overnight but I anticipate we’ll see Blackmon get the greatest # of minutes he’s had this season which ought to slow down Gabe a bit.  Still, Levin can get 25 and if our guards and Ami can limit the rest of the team, UCSB should be fine. 
2)    Good perimeter rotations.  Long Beach is the highest scoring offense in the BW (conference games only).  They shoot the three fairly well and the Gauchos need to rotate    
3)    Attack Levin. King is back to his normal self offensively and if he can draw Levin into foul trouble, UCSB will control the game.  Conversely, Levin leads the conference in drawing fouls and King & Blackmon will need to be careful.
4)    Exploit Long Beach’s weakness of perimeter defense.  With Gabe, Max and Marcus, we have three terrific shooters that should be able to take advantage.
5)    Gabe’s Dad says, “DEFENSE!   Defense Gauchos, DEFENSE!!!”

UCSB is 100 points better in the composite computer ranking and at this stage of the season that is significant. Even without Canty, I still favor us.  If Canty comes back rust-free, SB should win comfortably.  Two teams great on offense and poor on defense should make this a fun one. 
No Canty;  UCSB 83  LB 78
With Canty:  UCSB 86  LB 75

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First-Place UCSB Takes 7-Game Win Streak to Long Beach Thursday

http://www.ucsbgauchos.com/sports/m-baskbl/2017-18/releases/20180213tvp2js


Wednesday, February 7, 2018

UCSB vs. UCD Game Preview, by Gaucho Freg

UCSB @ UC Davis Preview

Thursday, February 8, 2018, 7:00pm PST

It’s a battle for first place when Gauchos and Aggies, both 7-2 face off in Davis.  As of now, both teams are missing their star big men to suspension with no timelines for return. The hit for Davis, BW POY Chima Moneke may be a bit bigger but the loss of Canty for the Gauchos is not insignificant with Jalen becoming a double-double machine in BW play.  The Aggies are coming off a highly improbable double OT win at Long Beach in which they fielded an all-guard line-up in the closing minute of play, winning at the buzzer on a running three by TJ Shorts.  The Gauchos coming into the game are winners of six straight, including two consecutive on the road. This will be the first game of the season between the two teams.  They have played 36 times in a series that began in 1939. The Gauchos hold an all-time lead of 28-8, but the Aggies won both of the games between the schools last season. Davis won 73-47 on its home court and 67-64 in Santa Barbara. Prior to last season, UCSB had won four straight games against the Aggies.

By the Numbers                                                              
  Davis UCSB
OOC Record, all games 16-7 18-5
BWC Record 7-2 7-2
Home/away vs D1 6-0 (home) 6-5 (away)
National Team Rankings

Composite (DC2, RPI, Pomeroy,
Massey, Sagarin)
119 101
DC2 127 105
RPI 85 87
Pomeroy 129 103
Massey 105 85
Sagarin 149 127
RPI SOS 239 300
Preseason Poll Pick 2nd 6th
Efficiency Rankings (Pomeroy)

Offense 187 53
Defense 84 212
Scoring (conference only) 72.7 (75.1) 77.5 (75.3)
PPG Allowed (conference only) 67.3 (69.7) 69.7 (67.0)
UC Davis:
Best win: N. Colorado (home + away, 129 DC2)
Worst Loss: Hawaii (away, 197 DC2)
Trend:  Winners of four straight, the Aggies are coming off the most improbable of victories, taking down Long Beach State on a running three pointer by TJ Shorts with just couple seconds left.  Without star big man Chima Moneke, the Aggies had to overcome a monster 45 point performance by 49er Gabe Levin who got to the foul line an amazing 28 times. This viewer watched some of the game and several of the calls I saw were suspect and it seemed the Aggies had to overcome the refs as well. Every Aggie forward either fouled out or was injured so they finished the game with an all guard line-up.
 
Head Coach:
Jim Les is in his 7th season at the helm of the Aggies and has won both a regular season crown (2014) and the BWT (2017).  His record stands at 103-111 overall and 54-53 in BW play.  He is the second consecutive opposing coach with an NBA pedigree (Theus) that UCSB will play.  In the 1990-91 season he led the NBA in three point % while playing for Sacramento.  Prior to coaching Davis, he had an excellent run at Bradley, taking the Braves to the Sweet 16 in 2006, the NIT 2nd round the following season then consecutive championship games in the lesser CBI & CIT, respectively. 

The Pavillion 
Opened in 1977 as the Rec Center, the Pavillion is second only to Hawaii’s Sheriff Center in the Big West in terms of capacity, seating 8,000.  Despite making it to their first NCAA tournament ever last year and winning a game there, not to mention returning all-everything Chima Moneke, Davis is averaging only 1,724 fans per game, fifth the conference behind UH, LB, CP and SB.  Still, they are undefeated at home this year and possess an 18 game home winning streak dating back to last season so it is a tough place play.  With first place on the line, expect a larger crowd for this one.

Roster
As already mentioned, star forward Chima Moneke is suspended indefinitely and whether or not he plays will greatly impact this game. He is averaging 18.6 points, 9.6 boards and a block per game.  Will presume he will not play, for now.  Uniform numbers now added, in bold.  As our guest previewer BlueGoldAg did a complete roster break-down, I have added his comments below mine, in italics.

Starters
Guard TJ Shorts 5’9” 160lbs, Junior. #0 For the second game in a row the Gauchos face a diminutive but exceptional guard.  Shorts, the hero in Saturday’s game @ LB, not only hit the game winner but put the team on his back scoring 31 points and adding 7 assists.  After Schneider and Goode fouled out, he was the only player on the floor for Davis that has been a reliable scorer throughout the season.  Everyone in the Pyramid knew he was taking the shots yet LB just could not stop him.  Similar game to what Poly’s Field’s had against UCSB.  Shorts is a JC transfer in his first season for Davis.  He leads the league in steals per game and is 4th in conference in assists.  He does turn the ball over 2.5 times per game.  He is the 3rd leading scorer on the Aggies, at 13.9 ppg.  He is not a major 3 point threat but is the type of speedy guard that can cause UCSB a lot of trouble.  He gets to the FT line an impressive 6 times per game (.713).  Even before Chima’s suspension, I was more worried about Shorts in terms of being a match-up problem for the Gauchos. 
TJ is only 5'9 and 160 pounds but he very strong and quick, has a high basketball IQ, is fearless driving to the hoop and has an uncanny ability to score among the redwoods in the paint. He is quickly becoming one of the finest PG's ever to wear an Aggie uniform. He was brilliant against Long Beach and put up 31 points.

Guard Siler Schneider  6’3”, 183lb, Junior. #5 Second leading scorer at 14.1 ppg and is their biggest three point threat attempting 3.4 per game while making a respectable 35% of them. Pulls 3 boards per game and is second in assists with ~2 per game.  Siler is a 3 year starter for the Aggies who gives us 100% hustle all the time. He flies around the court, diving for the 50-50 balls, and is capable of getting hot and putting up big numbers. He has struggled some this year with his outside shot but has made up for that with driving buckets and floaters. He scored 27 against Long Beach.

Guard Michael Onyebalu  6’3”, 190 lb, Senior. #31  Third on team in rebounding with 3.6 bpg while adding ~4 ppg. Decent three point shooter, making 15-41 (.366).  Plays 25 mpg.
Aggie fans love Michael. He's a senior that never saw much playing time in his first 3 years but he continued to work hard to improve and this year he landed a starting position. If anyone ever deserved a starting role from by working hard and never giving up, it's Michael; he paid his dues for 3 years. He is primarily a good defender and a very athletic rebounder. He had a career high 11 boards at Long Beach.

Forward AJ John  6’8”, 225lb, Junior #25  Normally comes off the bench but will likely start in Chima’s place.  Fourth in scoring with 6.5 ppg and third in rebounding with 3.8 bpg. Second most 3pt attempts on team but makes only 30% of them.  Normally plays about 18 mpg but that of course will go up on Thursday.
At 6'8 AJ gives us a little size inside and he'll be called on to start for Moneke. AJ is a transfer from Pepperdine and was only cleared to play this year after a devastating knee injury and a long rehab. He says he now feels closer to being all the way back but he's still adjusting. He can score from the perimeter and has a beautiful 3 ball stroke. He has had problems with staying out of foul trouble, however.

Forward Garrison Goode  6’7”, 225 lb, RS Junior. #44   Averaging about 4 points & 3 boards per game in 25 minutes of play. 
Garrison is hard working defender. He has struggled to score throughout his 3 years at Davis and is often hesitant to shoot. He was the most aggressive that I have ever seen him in the Long Beach game and he scored 14 points which was a career high for him. Hopefully, we'll see more of that especially while Moneke is out.

Key Reserves:
G Joe Mooney 6’3”, 187 lb. Sophomore. #22  Provides some scoring punch, especially from deep, off the bench. 
Joe is our second lefty guard along with Shorts. He's been billed as a 3 point specialist but has had difficulty finding the range for the most part this year. Lately, he has been getting more playing time and has begun shooting a better percentage.
G Arell Hennings 5’8”, 150 lb. Senior  #4  Les likes his small guards.  Hennings fills in for Shorts at point, dishing 1.7 apg and adding 4ppg in about 11 minutes of play.
Arell is our other diminutive point guard at only 5'8 and 150 pounds. He has been getting more playing time this year and has filled in well for Shorts when needed. He's quick and has the best 3 point shooting percentage on the team.
G Rogers Printup  6’4”, 205 Sophomore #23 Has played only 15 games this season but was pressed into action Saturday and was tasked with guarding Levin for some of the game.  Good three point shooter, .405 from deep, and playing about 12 mpg.
Rogers is a 3 ball shooter who can be deadly when he is feeling it. He lit up the nets against Washington State and is capable of catching fire at any time he is on the floor.

Colin Russell - forward: A junior in his first year with the Aggies, Russell, at 6'10, is our tallest player on the roster. He hasn't gotten a lot of playing time this year and has had difficulty staying out of foul trouble when he has. He's strong and he may see substantially more time while Moneke is out.
GF Add:  Russell was injured at the end of the LB game

Delveion Jackson - guard: Jackson was a highly regarded recruit out of Boise, Idaho. He's 6'6 and very strong and athletic. He has only seen limited minutes as a true freshman this year. Curiously, he has not been seen with the team for at least the past 4-6 games and no one knows what has happened to him.

View from an Aggie Fan:  With credit and thanks to BlueGoldAg

Aggie fans always look forward to the game with Santa Barbara when the Gauchos travel to the Pavilion in Davis. One of the reasons for is that Santa Barbara's former head coach, Bob Williams, will forever have a sweet spot in the hearts of Aggie basketball fans. Bob simply did the impossible for Aggie basketball when he won the D2 National Championship in 1998 with a bunch of academic minded, non-scholarship players. It was practically unimaginable that a non-scholarship team the likes of UCD could do that and it's something that Aggie fans will never forget. Of course, we were all very disappointed when Bob immediately left for Santa Barbara but we admired his coaching and his Gaucho teams and hoped that someday we might be as good as the Gauchos and eventually even become competitive with them.

Another reason that Aggie fans look forward to the game is that we now feel that Aggie basketball has finally arrived at a level where we are competitive with the better teams in the Big West like Santa Barbara. Aggie head coach, Jim Les, has established a winning culture and the Pavilion has become a tough place for our opponents to play. The Ags have won 18 straight home games in the Pavilion which is the 4th longest home winning streak in the nation. In order to be in contention to win the Big West title Les likes to say, "You must win at home and steal a couple on the road." So far this year the Aggies have been able to do that.

This year has been a pleasant surprise for us after losing 4 starters from last year's team that was the first ever Aggie team to go to the NCAA Tournament and then win a game to boot. That team possessed a cohesive chemistry that is not all that common among teams and they achieved more than you would have expected from the talent they had. They just found ways to win especially with defense. It has taken time for this year's team to gel and grow together and, according to Les, they aren't there yet and their best basketball is yet to come. Les feels that this year's team has more raw, athletic talent that last year but hasn't yet found the equivalent chemistry.

Maybe that all changed last Saturday afternoon in Long Beach, however. What a day that was and it started off with a big shock to all Aggie fans. Chima Moneke, the pre-season consensus player-of-the-year in the
Big West, was suddenly suspended indefinitely for violating team rules and was sent back to Davis where the situation will undergo review by the university. Wow...what a gut punch that was for Aggie fans and for the team as well. 

Moneke is a PAC12 caliber player and he is one of the top players in D1 basketball for double doubles. He's very strong, a tremendous rebounder and defender and he plays much bigger than his size. He is also our team leader and the player that the team looked to when it was crunch time. It felt like the air just went out from under our parachute and we were about to start plummeting quickly but, what happened next, was as remarkable as it was unexpected. It was also shocking to us because this was so out of character with this talented young player.

Beating Long Beach in their house with Moneke was going to be a tough task as it was let alone winning without him. Then, minus Moneke, this team went out and did just that in one of the greatest wins in Aggie D1 basketball history 105-104 in double OT, and they did it despite a ton of adversity not the least of which was a spectacular performance by Gabe Levin who scored 45 points. During the game we lost all our big men to fouls and injury and finished the game with 5 guards on the floor 3 of whom had 4 fouls each. Of course, the crowning moment was TJ Shorts' amazing 3 ball runner with 2 seconds left to win the game. These kids just would not quit and they just kept grinding and believing and they got rewarded in the end. Aggie fans have practically been in a daze filled with Aggie Pride ever since.

So maybe, just maybe, that chemistry that Coach Les has been looking for finally came together in Long Beach in the most unlikely of circumstances. It's amazing what adversity can do for a team at times like this. So the Gauchos will be coming into the Pavilion to face a team that believes that they can still win even without their leader. Make no mistake about though, we are not the same team without Moneke. We simply do not have anyone who can just step in and replace him. He's a special talent and, without him, we are a much different team.

So what can the Gauchos expect? The Aggies are a team that depends on defense first and foremost and, when the defense is locked in, it can be very, very good. The Aggies nearly always play a tenacious man-to-man and will only go to a zone for very brief periods. Les preaches defense and recruits for good defenders with a high work ethic. Offensively, the Aggies are not a team that is going to run anybody out of the house. They will want to dictate the pace of the game with their defense, hopefully make life difficult for the Gauchos' shooters and force TO's. The team has bought into Les' defensive philosophy and it is often our defense that sparks our offense. Santa Barbara has more offensive weapons and, if the Aggie defense isn't locked in and defending with energy, it could be a long night for the Ags.

Offensive consistency has been an on and off again affair all season long the the Aggies. We've had our moments like the win at Washington State where, the then undefeated Cougars, were shell-shocked as the Aggies scored at will and jumped out to 23 point lead. In the past we have shot well from 3 and a few years ago we lead the nation in 3 point shooting percentage. This year we've been a team that scores in the paint and our perimeter shooting has not been that good. Big West teams know that and many have chosen to play zone against us to try and force us to shoot from the perimeter and deny the ball to the interior. Hawai'i, with their length and athleticism at guard, frustrated the Aggies the whole game with their 2-3 zone and forced us into 23 TO's. Lately, our guards, Siler Schneider and TJ Shorts have been successfully driving to the hoop against the zone for layups or a dish off pass inside.

As for the game itself:

The Gauchos have to favored even though they are on the road playing against a team that has won 18 straight in their own house. In my opinion, Santa Barbara is the most well rounded team in the league and the odds on favorite to win the Big West title at the moment. They are shooting 46.8% overall 37.8% from beyond the arc after 23 games and that speaks for itself. Max Heidegger is as good a 3 point shooter as there is in the league. We'll have to find a way to at least contest those 3 balls and try to slow down the Gauchos' ability to score from distance. I watched a good part of the Gauchos' near comeback against Hawai'i on the island and the 3 point shooting was impressive.

The Aggie defense will need to be locked in and playing aggressively. We can't dig a hole against a team with the offensive weapons that the Gauchos have and expect to come back against them. We just are not that kind of team. When we keep teams below 70 points we win. The Long Beach game was an exception.


In all likelihood Chima Moneke will not be playing. Siler Schneider, TJ Shorts and AJ John will need to put up some good numbers for the Aggie offense for us to stay with the Gauchos. Long Beach couldn't stop the Aggie guards from driving to the hoop and scoring. It will be interesting to see what defensive strategy Santa Barbara decides to do to slow them down. I expect to see the Gauchos zone the Aggies as quite a few other teams have done lately. Another key for the Aggies will be whether AJ John can stay out of foul trouble and, if so, if he can knock down some 3's as he is capable of. His ability to be out on the perimeter could present some problems for the Gauchos.

I think that even without Moneke this could be a very good ball game but it's a game in which the Aggies will have to bring their A game to keep to have a chance. It's a shame that this game will probably be played without Jalen Canty for the Gauchos and Chima Moneke for the Aggies. It would have been nice if both team's were at full strength and battling it out for first place in the Big West.

If any Gaucho fans would like to come over the our forum to discuss the game or comment after the game is over, please do. We are a small but friendly group and we would welcome your comments.

http://www.aggiesportstalk.com/categories/all

Here's hoping for a great game and thanks for reading,

BlueGoldAg


Match-up & prediction:
The unknown status of the suspensions to both Moneke and Canty do make predicting this much more difficult.  Going with the assumption both will be unavailable.    
Keys for the Gauchos:
1)    Stop Shorts. He is a Dominic Fields type player and maybe even better.  UCSB did a decent job of limiting CSUN’s Gomez and will need to do the same against Shorts to ensure a win. This game begins and ends here. In watching the CSUN game, Marcus Jackson really struggled when matched with Gomez. Max also had some difficulty in this assignment while Gabe and Terrell did a better job.  I would guess that Gabe or Max opens up trying to guard Shorts and if I were JP, it would be Gabe.
2)    Get physical in the post.  Long Beach, i.e. Levin, had great success exploiting Davis’s front court which is pretty average without Moneke.  Leland King should get his and the team needs another big performance out of him with Canty out.  Ami should exploit his size advantage as he did against CSUN.  Blackmon’s energy, after the Aggie bigs tire themselves trying to stop King & Ami, should allow him to grab some boards & occasional put-back.    
3)    Don’t ignore Schneider. 
4)    Gabe’s Dad says, “DEFENSE!   Defense Gauchos, DEFENSE!!!”

Davis is undefeated at home and UCSB has struggled at times on the road.  If both teams had full rosters I’d give the edge to the Aggies at home but as is, I think the Gauchos can better handle the loss of their big and take this one in a nail biter.  No heroics for Davis two games in a row, UCSB 75 Aggies 73.

Requisite Aggie Joke
A Gaucho, a Hornet and an Aggie plan a long hike in the desert.  The Gaucho brings a large bottle of water, “for when I get thirsty” he tells his mates.  The Hornet brings an umbrella “to protect me from the sun.”  The Aggie lugs along a car door.  “Why would you bring that?” ask his companions.  The chipper Aggie responds, “For when I get hot, I’ll just roll down the window!”

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