Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Gauchos blow a late lead in loss to the Dons 73-72

The University of San Francisco Dons overcame a late 11-point lead to win 73-72 over the UCSB Gauchos in a non-conference squeaker in San Francisco. Chris Devine led the Gauchos with 24 points and 8 rebounds, while James Powell added 22 points, 17 in the first half. But 6 late turnovers by the Gauchos enabled USF to go on a 15-0 run, taking a lead they never relinquished. Dior Lowhorn led USF with 17 points, and made a couple key 3-point shots late in the game to ice it for the 4-1 Dons. UCSB is now 1-3.

Box score

Monday, November 24, 2008

Tarheels take down the Gauchos 84-67

The University of North Carolina Tarheels proved they were worthy of their number 1 ranking by pulling away from the UCSB Gauchos in the second half and winning by a score of 84-67. James Nunnally led the Gauchos with 22 points and 7 rebounds. Ty Lawson led 6 Tarheels in double figure scoring with 19 points, leading the potent UNC fast break on numerous occasions. Last year's college player of the year Tyler Hansbrough finished with 13 points and 7 rebounds.

The Gauchos had the Thunderdome rocking when they briefly held a 27-22 lead, as Somogyi dunked over Hansbrough and Paul Roemer hit two straight 3-point jumpers. The Tarheels closed with a flurry to end the half, leading 45-37 and never looked back in the second half.

Box Score

Thursday, November 20, 2008

UNC Tarheels Invade the Thunderdome Friday

The University of North Carolina Tarheels men's basketball team visits the Thunderdome this Friday at 7 pm to take on the Gauchos. UNC, a Final Four team last season, is the consensus No. 1 team in the country. They return their top 7 scorers from last season, and feature Tyler Hansbrough, the 2008 NCAA Player of the Year. However, Hansbrough is one of several injured players who may sit out the game. Other injured Tarheels include Marcus Ginyard, Tyler Zeller, and Mike Copeland. UNC is 2-0 this season, while UCSB is 1-1 after a close loss to Utah State Monday.

The game is sold out, although an 100 extra student tickets will be released on Friday. The game will be televised nationally on ESPNU.

Gauchos Lose a Heartbreaker to USU

Despite a furious second-half rally, the UCSB men's basketball team fell just short to Utah State 61-59 in the Thunderdome Monday. Chris Devine and James Powell led the Gauchos with 14 points apiece, while Jesse Byrd led the Gauchos with 5 rebounds and adding 8 points. Freshman Will Brew, Jr. led with 5 assists, while adding 3 steals and 2 points.

Box score

Up next are the consensus number 1-ranked North Carolina Tarheels in a 7 pm match up in the Thunderdome Friday, Nov. 21. The game is sold out, so get there early.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

UCSB defeats CSULA in home opener

The UCSB Men's basketball team defeated CSULA in the regular season opener for both teams before 1562 fans in the Thunderdome. Senior 6'8" forward Chris Devine led the Gauchos with 17 points and 11 rebounds, willing his teammates to a victory with a late scoring surge in the second half. Junior 6'2" junior guard James Powell contributed 16 points and 7 rebounds, while true freshman 6'7" forward Jaime Serna also had 7 rebounds despite playing only 21 minutes.

Box Score

Up next are games against former Big West rival Utah State Nov. 17 and Number 1-ranked North Carolina on Nov. 21, both in the Thunderdome, starting at 7 pm.

Gauchos Sign Chris Brew and Lucas Devenny

The UCSB Men's Basketball team officially signed Chris Brew and Lucas Devenny to National Letters of Intent. Both players will enroll at UCSB in 2009.

Chris Brew, younger brother of current UCSB freshman Will Brew, Jr., is the most decorated recruit of the Coach Bob Williams era. According to one scouting service, he was the 83rd highest-ranked high school recruit in the nation. In addition to other west coast universities, Pac 10 schools Washington and USC offered him scholarships, even after his verbal commitment to UCSB. Brew is a 6'4" slashing, athletic wing who is also a tenacious on-ball defender.

Fellow AAU Oakland Soldiers teammate Lucas Devenny was also recruited by Cal and St. Mary's, among other schools. His 6'9", 240 lb. frame enables him to be a strong rebounder and disruptive defender in the low post. Devenny also has a solid mid-range game on offense.

Both players are expected to contribute immediately as freshmen, on the heels of a solid 2008 recruiting class of Will Brew, Jr., Jaime Serna, James Nunnally, and Greg Somogyi.

UCSB inks Brew and Devenny

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Gauchos Launch Season with a Win over CSUDH

The UCSB Men's Basketball team started their season off with a bang by defeating CSU-Dominguez Hills with a 70-52 victory in an exhibition game at the Thunderdome last night. Junior James Powell led the Gauchos with 20 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 steals. In fact, the key to the victory was the Gauchos' 17 steals, many of them in the first few minutes of the game when they built up a 17-2 lead. Senior Captain Chris Devine added 14 points and 3 steals in a game marred by first-game jitters and many turnovers. Backcourt starters Paul Roemer and DJ Posley had solid all-around games, disrupting the CSUDH offense, hitting key outside jumpers, and dishing to open teammates. Jesse Byrd was strong under the basket, and made a handful of free throws.

The bench received valuable minutes as Coach Bob Williams tried to develop team depth. Sam Phippen is more aggressive on both ends of the court this year, Jordan Weiner hit a couple 3-pointers, and Nick Quick joined the scoring parade with a one-handed runner in the lane.

Perhaps the most encouraging aspect was the play of the 3 true freshmen. Jaime Serna, the first post player off the bench, displayed an unusually composed and mature game, defending the post, rebounding, and going to the basket hard. James Nunnally displayed a knack for the open court, and hit a big 3 pointer in the second half, as well as lobbing a pass into the interior to his fellow freshmen teammate, 7'2" Greg Somogyi. Somogyi promptly finished off the assist with a huge dunk, igniting the Gaucho bench and the crowd in the Thunderdome. Somogyi showed surprising agility and athleticism for a big man, blocking and altering many shots on defense, and running the floor well. He also made a nice reverse tip-in on his own miss. Between Somogyi, Serna, Nunnally, and Will Brew, Jr. (who missed the game due to injury), the future looks very bright for the Gauchos.

Box Score

The Gauchos open their regular season this Friday, November 14 against CSULA, in the Thunderdome at 7 pm.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

UCSB Receives votes in Mid-Major Top 25 Poll

The UCSB Gauchos men's basketball team received 23 points in the Mid-Major Top 25 poll, good for 48th this preseason. UCSB Assistant Coach Brad Holland is on the voting committee. Even tho the Gauchos return a strong supporting cast due to graduation losses and injuries, the Gauchos will rely on their talented, but inexperienced newcomers to make an impact immediately. This perhaps explains why the Gauchos are ranked below customary rankings, but expect the freshmen to mature quickly and help the program slowly climb in the rankings as the season progresses. Here is a link to the poll (see sidebar for other major polls):

Monday, November 3, 2008

Ivan Elliott hits the game-winner in Latvia

Former Gaucho Ivan Elliott had 17 points and 10 rebounds for Valmiera in a Latvian league victory 67-66. Ivan also hit the game-winning shot. Here's a link to the video highlights (slow feed):
Ivan Elliot hits game winner for Valmiera in Latvia

Sunday, November 2, 2008

UCSB Men's Basketball 2008-2009 Preview

Here is the official UCSB preview for the men's basketball 2008-2009 season:

UCSB Men's Basketball 2008-2009 Preview

UCSB Inaugural Basketball Media Preview Luncheon Nov. 6

According to the UCSB Athletics Department:
UC Santa Barbara will host its inaugural Basketball Media Preview Luncheon on Nov. 6, 2008 from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm at the Cabrillo Arts Pavilion on the beach in Santa Barbara. The event will be open to the public as well as the media, and food will be available.

"We are very excited about beginning a new era in women's basketball at UCSB, but really, we are excited about both programs," said Athletics Director Mark Massari. "This will be a great opportunity for us to make the teams accessible to the public, as well as the media, giving everyone a chance to see why we are so excited."

The players and coaches will take part in a meet-and-greet with the public and media, as well as a traditional press conference.

For the complete press release:

UCSB Inaugural Basketball Media Preview Luncheon Nov. 6