Tuesday, March 8, 2022

February Interview with Coach Joe Pasternack

Gaucho Hoops ("GH"):  Thanks for taking this interview, Coach.  Give us an update on the state of the team.

Joe Pasternack ("JP"):  For us, we're getting better defensively.  We had a lack of continuity due to injuries.  We haven't had a full squad since the first UCSD game.  Calvin sprained an ankle, Robinson had a concussion in the second half of the UCI game.  Ajare injured his ankle.

Everybody has had to step up.  We are getting better in the Ken Pomeroy defensive statistics.  We need to improve our rebounding.  How good can we get by the end of February will be determined by our improvement on defense.  Can we control and limit opponents to one shot?  Can we limit our turnovers to fewer than 10?  We have different guards who are new to our system.  One possession could change the outcome of a game.

At Hawaii, one missed assignment cost us the game.

At Long Beach, we let them get one offensive rebound.

Against UCI, there were many plays that could have gone either way.  It was very, very close. 

Ajare was out last week and second half of the UH game.  He's a leader on this team, and can hopefully return soon.  His availability is day to day, and he's working hard with the physical therapist.

GH:  Miles has been great at times, but inconsistent at times.

JP:  Miles Norris is working with a sports psychologists who works with NBA players.  The psychologist works with all our guys.  Miles' success can't be dependent on whether he makes his shot or not.  Miles is such a great kid.  He just needs to lock down and concentrate.  He should be more consistent going forward.  Two of his last 4 have been 30-point games.  His defense on Rocak is what he's proud of,  He's more mature, he's hungry and getting better each game.  He's a high character kid, who's very coachable.

Amadou Sow--all his numbers are up for the past few games.  He was banged up against UH and a few games before that.  He's fully healthy now and playing better.

JPL is more under control.  He can't go 100 miles an hour.  His 50 MPH is faster than other human's 100 MPH.  He changes pace better and is slowing down and then blowing by defenders.  He's letting the game come to him.  His ball pressure on defense changed the game for him.  His starting role is  new to him; he has a new seat on the bus.  Last year we had 3-year starters.  It takes time to get used to a different seat on the bus, whether you're the owner or a manager, or the President or a Vice President.  JPL is becoming more accustomed to the seat on bus.  JaQuori's senior  year was different than his junior and sophomore seasons.  They are all gaining experience as the season progresses, which is  important as we move forward into March.

Calvin was out all last year, as he had a serious hip surgery.  He practiced for 1 month and was shut down 6 months.  Such a big layoff got him out of rhythm.  This year he was out with a sprained ankle for 3 weeks without practice.  He's healthy now.  He will play his best going forward.

Ajay reminds me of a JaQuori--although he is even further along as a freshman than JaQuori was.  He will be spectacular.  He's just a (true) freshman with ups and downs.  We decided to invest in Ajay as a freshman, knowing we'd have him for four years.  I inserted him in the Arlington game, his first game with a lot of experience so he can be ready for March.  He's a 6'5" point guard who leads the Big West in assists and assist/turnover ratio.

I'm really optimistic about the future of this season.  We were lucky--we had no injuries or Covid last year.  This year we've had Covid and injuries.  But we keep improving and we're getting everybody back, so we're optimistic we can finish off season on a high note.  There were some practices where we only had 7 players and one coach (Pasternack).  Inconsistency has been a problem.

We had four home games cancelled.  It's hard to win on the road in college basketball.  Other teams also had Covid.

We also are missing Zach Harvey who hasn't played at all.  He had  ankle surgery.  We expect him to be a huge impact player next season.

GH:  Thanks Coach!

Thursday, January 20, 2022

UCSB Hosts UC Riverside Thursday Night and UC Davis Saturday for Spectrum Sportsnet Game of the Week


Gauchos Travel to UC Davis, UC Riverside Looking to Stay Hot


Gauchos Fall on the Road at Cal State Fullerton 79-73


Miller & Lane Get Double-Doubles, Depth Shines in Gauchos' OT Victory Over Fullerton


UCSB Falls at Long Beach State 65-58 in Return to Play


UCSB's Hot Shooting Night Not Enough, LBSU Ends Gaucho Win Streak


Gauchos Shut Down Cal Poly in Big West Opener to Win 5th Straight


Thursday, December 30, 2021

UCSB vs UCSD Game Preview, by Gaucho Freg

UCSB (5-4)** @ UC San Diego (4-5)**
Thursday, December 30, 2021, 7 pm
*It’s a Big West Game that doesn’t count in the conference standings
** D1 games only
Quick Bite:  With fingers crossed, Gauchos hit the road to close out the year in La Jolla taking on the surprising Tritons of UCSD.   Most other BW teams have had their games cancelled due to covid protocols so whether this games actually ends up being played is still a question.  Games vs. UCSD don’t count in the standings while the Tritons transition to D1 so true conference play starts for the Gauchos next week.
UCSB is 2-0 vs. the Tritons with both wins coming in Santa Barbara last season in back-to-backs, with winning margins of 17 and 31 points, respectively.  Amadou Sow dominated both games with 14 pts and 14 & 13 boards in each game.

The Arena
Rimac Arena opened in 1995 and has a capacity of 4,000 for basketball. 
It was updated in 2020 with a new video board, seats and a VIP sky box.  There are seats on three sides, behind one basket is a wall.   This game will be played without fans in the stands.  This year the Tritons are undefeated at home, last year the Tritons were 4-2 vs. D1 competition at home. 
Tritons Head Coach
Eric Olsen is in his 18th year with UCSD and his 9th as head coach.  He had tremendous success with the Tritons at the D2 level and had a respectable showing his first season.  UCSD is the only school he has coached at.
Tritons Overview
The Tritons are 4-5 in their second season of D1 basketball shocking the basketball world with a double-digit victory on the road at Cal in their season opener.   Aside from that impressive Q2 victory, their results are middling, with a very bad loss to #313 Southern Miss on a neutral court and another at #271 Denver.
The Tritons are the best three-point shooting team in the Big West, sinking 9 per game at an impressive 39% rate. Their leading scorer and rebounder is Forward Toni Rocak who often plays a 6th man role for the Tritons, coming off the bench all of last season and for several games this year.
They went a respectable 7-10 in their inaugural year, 4-8 in the Big West.  Their final year in D2 hoops may have been their best as they were 30-1 and the top seed in the tournament before the season was cancelled.
UCSD Probable Starters  
Guard Jace Roquemore #22 6’5”, 160 lb, RS Sophomore.   7.3 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 2.5 apg, 31 mpg
Shoots 32% from deep.  Leads team in steals and tied for team lead in assists.
Guard Bryce Pope, #4  6’3” 185 lbs, RS Sophomore.  10.8 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 34% from deep, 26 mpg

Guard Jake Killingsworth, #14  6’5”, 205 lb, GT (Columbia)   5.8 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 2.5 apg., 2.5 ATO, 30mpg
Tied for team lead in assists and is the team’s second leading 3pt shooter, 47%.
Forward Toni Rocak  #10    6’8”, 220 lb  Senior.  13.6 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 24 mpg.
Undoubtably the Triton’s top player, he is now coming off the bench and has been struggling a bit of late.  Leads team in scoring, rebounding & FT attempts, rarely shoots from deep.   Story on him from Midmajor Madness:  
https://www.midmajormadness.com/2021/8/ ... sd-tritons

Forward Francis Nwaokorie #35  6’7”, 210 lb. Freshman   11.9 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 43% from deep.
Recent addition to the starting lineup, has had a tremendous first year, in the running for BW FOY award.  Second on the team in both scoring and FT attempts (75%)

Probable Key Reserves
 Forward Jake Kosakowski  #13  6’6”, 202 lb, RS Sophomore   7.5 ppg, 15 mpg
Leads team in three point makes, hitting them at an amazing 51%. 
Has started a couple games but limited minutes.
Guard Kaden Rasheed #23 6’1”, 185 lb, Senior   3.4 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 2.5 ATO, 48% from deep, 15 mpg
Excellent stats in limited minutes. 
Forward Matt Gray #11  6’8”, 225 lb. Junior, 3.1 ppg, 2.5 rpg.  9 mpg. 
Has started 5 games.  From Australia
Guard Vuk Vulikić, #20  6’5”, 205 lb, Sophomore.  3.3 ppg, 14 mpg
Transfer from UTEP where he played 10m per game.  From Serbia.
Guard Michael Pearson #2 5’9”, 160lb, Freshman 3.6 ppg, 8-14 from deep on the season, 8 mpg
From Modesto Christian HS, their school’s 2nd all time assists leader. 
Match-up & prediction:
In looking at the results for the Tritons, when they have a good night from beyond the arc, they win with the only exception to that coming in their loss to SDSU.  In their big win over Cal, they hit 10 3s on 45% from the field.  In their worst loss, to S. Miss, they still hit 7 threes but at just a 25% clip and, as is often the case when the team misses a lot, were outrebounded by a large margin. 
In their two D1 home games (George Washington & E. Michigan) the Tritons dominated, averaging 79 pts and a 15 point margin of victory while shooting a blistering 48% from deep.  One glaring exception to this trend was their 15pt victory at Sac St where they went just 2-11 beyond the arc but gained a huge advantage at the FT line in that game, 23 makes to just 9 for the Hornets. 
UCSD has two talented front court players in Rocak and Nwaokorie though they are not always on the court at the same time.  Given the damage the Tritons can do from outside, watch out especially for small forward Kosakowski), the Gaucho defense will need to extend beyond the arc, putting pressure on Norris & Sow to defend the paint without as much help from the guards.  They Gaucho front court has not had a great season defensively so keeping Rocak & Nwaokorie in check may be an issue.
In their last two losses, the Gauchos were torched from outside with St. Mary’s & UOP going a combined 17/32 (47%) while also getting destroyed by Tass of St. Mary’s on the inside.
Prior to season start, I saw this game as an easy win for the Gauchos.  That is definitely no longer the case and if the Tritons have one of their scorching nights beyond the arc, the Gauchos aren't as good as SDSU and probably won't overcome that.
 UCSD may be playing better basketball than the Gauchos right now but if UCSB has carried over any of their positive momentum on defense they earned against Florida A&M to this game, it should be enough for the more talented Gauchos to gain the edge.   
Official Sitehttps://ucsdtritons.com/sports/mens-basketball
Hey Guys!:  no message board
How to Watch: ESPN+
Fun facts about UCSD
The school was founded in 1960 with a focus on science and research that is true to this day.  Population of ~40,000 students, around 32k undergrads.  Many alums are pillars in the scientific community including Craig Ventner (human genome sequencing fame) but has some surprising alums in the Hollywood scene including Mike Judge (Beavis & Butthead) and Lilly from the ATT commercials.

Schedule Update - UCSB Women's Basketball


UCSB Begins Big West Conquest at UCSD


Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Gauchos Host Florida A&M in Canned Food Drive Game; Face Idaho State Next Week


Idaho St. vs UCSB Game Preview, by Gaucho Freg

UCSB (4-4)* vs. Idaho St. (0-8)*
*D1 games only
Wednesday, December 22, 2021, 1 pm
Quick Bite:  UCSB finishes off its out of conference slate with a matinee vs. the  winless (D1) Bengals out of the Big Sky.
Idaho State-UCSB History
UCSB leads the series 5-2.  Their first meeting was in 1971 in Rob Gym with the Gauchos prevailing 84-71.  UCSB won the last game, played in Pocatello in 2019, in OT 74-68.  Devearl Ramsey led a frantic comeback win as the Gauchos overcame an 8 point deficit with 1:19 left in regulation.  UCSB has won two in a row in the series (they also played in 2018 in SB) and Idaho won the previous game, played in Idaho in 1978.

Head Coach:  Ryan Looney is in his third season at the helm of the Bengals.  His record stands at 23-41.  Looney had tremendous success at the D2 level, taking Pt Loma to the championship game in his last year and making the post season every year as a HC except for his first season at Pt. Loma.  Prior to his last 3 years at Pt. Loma, he was at Seattle Pacific for 7, taking them to the Sweet 16 twice.  Before Seattle Pacific he coached NAIA Eastern Oregon for five years, taking them to the 2nd round and Elite 8 in his last two years there. With his Pacific NW background, he’s seemingly a great fit for the Bengals but has yet to find success.

Bengals Overview
Despite returning all of their starters from the previous season the Bengals have struggled mightily this year, losing their 8 D1 games by an average of 14 points including by 17 in road games, staying within single digits just three games.  They sit way down at 354 in NET and 307 in Kenpom, rating similarly anemic in offense and defense. They turn the ball over a lot and have a 0.7 ATO.  They are getting outrebounded by 3 per game.  Most of their offense comes out of their backcourt with their top three scorers the three starting guards.
Probable Starters
Guard Tarik Cool  #2 6’2”, 190 lb, JC Transfer Senior.  10.8 ppg, 2.4 apg, 2.7 rpg, 33 mpg
Just 9 of 36 from deep. Leads team in assists but a poor ATO ratio of less than 1. 

Guard Robert Ford  #20  6’0”, 180 lb, Junior  10.9 ppg, 4.6 rpg. 40% from deep, 84% from the line 29 mpg.  Leads team in scoring, 3pt makes and made free throws. Did not play in last game.

Guard Austin Smellie  #5  6’5”, 185 lb, Sophomore  8.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg. 39% from deep, 19 mpg.

Forward Daxton Carr  #13, 6’7”, 215 lb, Sophomore  4.1 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 24 mpg
Started his career at Cal Poly
Center Brayden Parker #25  6’8”, 250 lb, RS Sophomore– 8.1 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 22 mpg. 
Leads team in getting to the line, 58%
Probable Key Reserves
Forward – Malik Porter #3  6’5”, 215 lb, JC Transfer Senior.  6.3 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 13 mpg
Gets to the line well in limited minutes but just 45% there. Started 3 games.
Forward Jared Rodriguez  #22, 6’8”, 215 lb, Junior  4.7 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 13 mpg
Started vs. one game, vs. Bethesda going for 24 points, including 6-11 from deep.

Center – Zach Visentin #32  6’9”, 260 lb, Sophomore  3.6 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 11 mpg
Has started 3 games.
Guard Emmett Taylor, #4, 6’4”, 200 lb, Junior 4.2 ppg  6 mpg
Has played just 6 games, is a three point threat, 41% from deep.
Guard Liam Sorenson, #1, 6’4”, 200 lb, Sophomore
Has played 8 games, 13 assists on the season.  From Denmark
Match-up & prediction:
Despite their own struggles, this should be a double-digit victory for the Gauchos in their final tune-up before conference play.  Given the much better than expected performance of the UCSD Tritons, it would be nice to see the Gauchos put together a solid 40 minutes and have some momentum going into the Big West season with a New Years Day matchup against UC Irvine looming.
Things to watch:
·        UCSB shot a dismal 20% from beyond the arc vs. Florida A&M and are just 31% on the season. The biggest drop-off has been by Miles Norris but Ajare Sanni is struggling too.  While the offense will and should continue to run through Sow, getting untracked outside would bring some punch.
·        Norris is no where near his potential. Its hard to say why but it seems to be more between the ears than any physical ailment.  At the four he has former Cal Poly forward Daxton Carr guarding him.  Perhaps some familiarity will help him find his form. 
·        On defense UCSB has dropped about a hundred points in Kenpom defensive efficiency from last year and are giving up nearly 70 points per game against a schedule ranked 306.  If they are going to compete for the Big West title, as most predicted they would, improvement on the defensive front needs to start now.
Prediction:  UCSB 75  ISU 61
Official Site:  https://isubengals.com/sports/mens-basketball
Hey Guys!   https://bengalblitz.proboards.com/board ... nversation
How to Watch: ESPN+
ISU Season Preview and Game Preview Links:
https://www.three-man-weave.com/3mw/big ... 22-preview
Fun facts about ISU
Bengals basketball had some success in the 1950s lodging four victories in the NCAAs, which then, with just a 32 team field, placed them into the Sweet 16 each year.  In 1977 the Bengals defeated Long Beach then UCLA to advance to the Elite 8.  The Long Beach game was held in their home arena.  The school was founded in 1901 as the Academy of Idaho, undergoing four name & status changes before its current iteration in 1963.  Their first football coach came from Princeton in the 1920s and graced the school with the Princeton colors and mascot (Bengals aka Tigers).

Huge Run Sparks Gauchos' Blow Out Win at San Jose State