Thursday, October 28, 2010

Media tab UCSB as Big West Conference favorites

A media panel selected UC Santa Barbara to successfully defend its Big West men's basketball title in the 2010-11 preseason poll released today.

UC Santa Barbara received 20 first-place votes from the 23-member voting panel for a total of 204 points. The Gauchos, which captured both the conference co-regular season and tournament championships in 2009-10, return all five starters from the team that finished 20-10 overall. Junior guard Orlando Johnson led the Big West in scoring (18.0 ppg) to claim Big West Player of the Year and first team all-conference honors. Junior forward James Nunnally, an All-Big West Second Team pick, ranked ninth in scoring (14.7 ppg) and 11th in rebounding (5.6 rpg) on the league leaderboard. The Gauchos also feature junior point guard Will Brew facilitating the offense (2.6 apg, 9th in Big West) and junior forward Jaimé Serna anchoring the frontline. UCSB hopes to benefit from the experience of reaching the 2010 NCAA Tournament, where it lost to Ohio State in the first round.

The media panel also selected a six-player preseason all-conference team comprised of five juniors and one senior. The six honorees included Joe Harden (UC Davis), Eric Wise (UC Irvine), Orlando Johnson and James Nunnally of UC Santa Barbara, and Long Beach State's T.J. Robinson and Casper Ware. Johnson and Robinson are 2009-10 first team all-conference performers. Harden, Nunnally, Ware and Wise garnered All-Big West Second Team selections last year.

Other notes on the preseason all-conference team:

• Orlando Johnson's 540 points was sixth-most in a single-season at UC Santa Barbara.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Gauchos make list of top backcourts

UC SANTA BARBARA: Will Brew (6-3/175, Jr.), Orlando Johnson (6-5/205, Jr.), Justin Joyner (6-0/177, Sr.), Troy Leaf (6-2/180, Fr.), Jordan Weiner (6-0/173, Sr.)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Yahoo Sports UCSB report


UC Santa Barbara is loaded by Big West Conference standards and it is looking to win its third conference title in four years.

The Gauchos are the consensus preseason favorite in the Big West with all five starters back from a team that went to the NCAA Tournament last season for the first time since 2002. They feature one of the Big West’s most dynamic duos in Orlando Johnson and James Nunnally.

Johnson, a 6-5 junior guard, was named Big West Player of the Year after averaging 18 points per game to lead the conference in scoring last season. He also was named Big West Tournament MVP, a mid-major All-American and Associated Press honorable mention All-American.

Nunnally, a 6-5 junior guard/forward, was a second-team All-Big West selection last season. He averaged 14.7 points and a team-high 5.6 rebounds while shooting a team-high 45.5 percent from 3-point range.

The Gauchos also welcome back starting point guard Will Brew Jr., starting shooting guard Jordan Weiner, starting forward Jaime Serna and a host of capable reserves.

Brew Jr. started all 30 games last season and should show improvement after averaging 4.8 points, 2.6 assists and 2.2 rebounds. Serna averaged 7.8 points and 4.1 rebounds last season. Weiner didn’t put up big numbers, but the team took off after he was inserted into the starting lineup late in the season.

Greg Somogyi, a 7-foot-3 junior center, started only one game as a sophomore but could emerge as a force in the Big West before he is finished. He averaged only 2.5 points and 2.7 rebounds last season but blocked 38 shots. His improved play late in the season contributed to the team’s run to the NCAA Tournament.


• Coach Bob Williams is nearing a milestone as he enters his 13th season on the coast. He is 199-156 at UC Santa Barbara. He is fifth on the Big West Conference’s all-time wins list, trailing former Long Beach State and UNLV coach Jerry Tarkanian (405), Pacific coach Bob Thomason (387), former New Mexico State coach Neil McCarthy (248) and former UC Santa Barbara coach Jerry Pimm (222).

• Blue Ribbon Yearbook, The Sporting News, Athlon Sports and Lindy’s Magazine all picked UC Santa Barbara to win the Big West this season, and each publication picked junior G Orlando Johnson to repeat as Big West Player of the Year.

• The Big West is moving its conference tournament to the Honda Center in Anaheim under a new five-year agreement. The tournament will undergo a format change as well, reverting to a more traditionally seeded bracket the conference last used in 2003.

Last Year: 20-10, 12-4 in the BWC

Head Coach: Bob Williams, 13th year as head coach (199-156 at UC Santa Barbara; 388-256 career)

Quote To Note: “The notoriety is good for our program, but we still have to do it on the court and that will be a challenge. In a way we’re marked men this year because people will be gunning for us.”—UC Santa Barbara coach Bob Williams.


Probable Starting Lineup: PG Will Brew Jr., SG Jordan Weiner, SF Orlando Johnson, PF James Nunnally, C Jaime Serna.

Lineup Breakdown: UC Santa Barbara coach Bob Williams had great success after going to a somewhat unconventional lineup midway through 2009-10. Williams inserted unheralded G Justin Weiner into the starting lineup, moved 6-5 swingman James Nunnally to power forward and stayed with 6-7 forward Jaime Serna at center, giving the Gauchos a smallish lineup that was big on quickness and athleticism. The experiment worked, but Williams will have to wait and see if the chemistry remains the same this season. If 7-3 C Greg Somogyi continues to develop, he could move into the starting lineup with Serna at power forward, Nunnally at small forward and Johnson at shooting guard.

Scouting The Newcomers: UC Santa Barbara has only four additions to its roster, all of them freshmen. The Gauchos are most excited about G Troy Leaf and G Kyle Boswell. Leaf set a San Diego County scoring record and was named first-team all-state following his senior season at Foothills Christian High School in El Cajon, Calif. Boswell’s senior season at Edison High School in Huntington Beach, Calif., was cut short because of a wrist injury, but he is regarded as an exceptional 3-point shooter. Both will have an opportunity to earn playing time right away.

Roster Report:

• Junior F James Nunnally ranks among the Big West Conference’s active career leaders in multiple categories. He is eighth in points (670), eighth in rebounds (266) and fifth in 3-point goals (68). Junior C Greg Somogyi is first in blocked shots (75), well ahead of Cal State Northridge senior Lenny Daniel, who is second with 44.

• Junior G Orlando Johnson averaged 18 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists last season. He became the first UC Santa Barbara player in nearly 15 years to score in double figures in every game.

• Junior C Greg Somogyi hasn’t maximized his potential but already has established himself as the premier shot blocker in the Big West. He had 38 blocks last season and set a school record with eight against Fresno State.

• Senior G Justin Joyner made just 3-of-23 field-goal attempts last season after missing 2008-09 with a wrist injury. He missed eight games and was slowed all season by an ankle injury but remained a very capable ball handler. Joyner led the team in assist-to-turnover ratio with 46 assists and 22 turnovers. He is 10th all-time at UC Santa Barbara with 243 assists. Joyner started 26 games as a freshman and was named to the Big West All-Freshman Team after averaging 4.8 points, 2.9 assists and 2.6 rebounds.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

2010 - 2011 UCSB Men's basketball prospectus (revisited)

2010-11 UCSB Basketball Quick Glance

UCSB returns all five starters and six reserves from a team that won the Big West regular season and tournament championships in 2009-10.

Junior guard Orlando Johnson averaged 18.0 points and 5.4 rebounds per game in 2009-10. Following the season, Johnson was named Big West Player of the Year. He was also chosen Big West Tournament MVP, First Team All-Big West, First Team All-District, First Team Mid-Major All-American, and Associated Press Honorable Mention All-American. As a sophomore, Johnson scored in double-figures in all 30 Gaucho games.

Junior swingman James Nunnally was named Second Team All-Big West after averaging 14.7 points and a team-leading 5.6 rebounds per game. He was also one of the Gauchos best outside shooters, making a team-best 45.5% of his three-point attempts. Nunnally was 46-of-101 from outside the arc.

Junior forward Jaimé Serna emerged late in the 2009-10 season and was a key player in UCSB's run to the Big West championships. He averaged 7.8 points and 4.1 rebounds per game while shooting 52.4% from the field. He averaged 11.5 points and 5.0 rebounds
over the regular seasons's final six games.

Junior guard Will Brew was the only Gaucho to start all 30 games in 2009-10. He averaged 4.8 points and a team-leading 2.6 assists per game. Brew also paced the team in steals with 40 and was an important part of UCSB's defensive efforts.

Senior guard Jordan Weiner averaged 3.0 points per game. He started the final 11 games of the year and the Gauchos were 9-2 over that span.

Senior point guard Justin Joyner struggled through an injury-plagued 2009-10 season. He played in 22 games, missing eight with ankle problems, and never got on-track. He did have 46 assists and just 22 turnovers in his 22 appearances and, if he is healthy, will have an impact in 2010-11.

Junior center Greg Somogyi averaged 2.5 points and 2.7 rebounds per game. He also led UCSB in blocked shots with 38. The numbers, however, don't tell the entire story. The 7-foot-2 Somogyi was a major impact player for the Gauchos, particularly down the stretch of the season when he was the difference-maker in several wins.

Reserve forwards Jon Pastorek (2.3 ppg, 2.2 rpg) and Lucas Devenny (1.3 ppg, 1.7 rpg) return as well. Pastorek is one of the team's three seniors. Devenny is a sophomore.

Sophomore guard Chris Brew is the most athletic player on the team. If his perimeter game improves, he would be a contributor. As a freshman, Brew played in 15 games and averaged 2.9 points per game.

Freshman guard Troy Leaf (El Cajon, Calif./Foothills Christian) is expected to contribute immediately. Leaf was named California's Division 5 Player of the Year and he was also chosen First Team All-State (all divisions included) after averaging 28.1 points, 4.9 assists, 5.7 rebounds, 3.0 steals, and 2.0 blocked shots per game.

Another freshman guard who could see playing time in 2010-11 is Kyle Boswell (Huntington Beach, Calif./Edison HS). Boswell's senior season was cut short after he suffered an injured wrist. In the 15 games he played prior to the injury, Boswell averaged 23.9 points and 3.0 rebounds per game while making 40.0% of his 3-point shots.

Big West preview by Rush the Court

Predicted Order of Finish

1. UC Santa Barbara (13-3)
2. Long Beach State (12-4)
3. UC Davis (11-5)
4. Cal Poly (9-7)
5. Pacific (9-7)
6. UC Irvine (8-8)
7. Cal State Fullerton (5-11)
8. UC Riverside (3-13)
9. Cal State Northridge (2-14)

All-Conference Team

* Casper Ware (G) – Long Beach State
* Orlando Johnson (G) - UC Santa Barbara
* James Nunnally (F) - UC Santa Barbara
* T.J. Robinson (F) - Long Beach State
* Eric Wise (C) - UC Irvine

Sixth Man

Mark Payne (G) – UC Davis

Impact Newcomer

Kareem Nitoto (G) – UC Riverside

Predicted Champion

UC Santa Barbara (NCAA: #12 seed): With all five starters returning from the team that won the conference championship last season, the Gauchos are the clear favorite to rep the Big West come tourney time. Last year’s POY, Orlando Johnson, exceeded sky-high expectations, and the pressure will be on the 6’5 guard to keep it up despite constant double teams.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Annual Tip-Off Huddle for Gaucho Basketball on Oct. 27

Join head coaches Bob Williams and Lindsay Gottlieb along with members of their teams Wednesday, October 27 for the annual Gaucho Basketball Tip-Off Huddle. This year's event will take place from 11-1 at the beautiful and historic Hotel Mar Monte on Cabrillo Boulevard across from East Beach in Santa Barbara. Fans can meet the coaches, talk to the teams, enjoy refreshments and secure season tickets for the exciting 2010-11 season.

The Gaucho men return all five starters from last year's NCAA Tournament team and the reigning Big West Champs are ready to step on the court to defend their title. Player of the Year Orlando Johnson is back and he is flanked by all-Big West selection James Nunnally, Jaimé Serna and the 7-3 Greg Somogyi. The Gaucho women have reloaded in Gottleib's third season in charge. All-Big West selections Emilie Johnson and Mekia Valentine return to lead a team loaded with young talent.

To RSVP for this must attend event, contact Christina Baglas at or 893-5372.

UCSB 2011 recruit Taran Brown in a dunk contest

Taran Brown is wearing a #35 purple uniform in this dunk contest.

UCSB 2011 recruit Lewis Thomas' Youtube channel

Five recruits for UCSB class of 2011

According to the Santa Barbara News-Press, the UCSB Men's basketball 2011 recruiting class has five players: the aforementioned TJ Taylor, John Green, Alan Williams, the recently mentioned Lewis Thomas from Australia, and the recently mentioned Taran Brown from Wyoming.

Thomas has been been a member of the 2010–11 Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) men’s basketball program.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Gaucho roster overview with Coach Bob Williams

Enclosed is an overview by Coach Bob Williams of the 2010 - 2011 Gaucho basketball roster.

Jaime Serna is still as strong as ever, is 6'7" in height, but has increased his quickness and is leaner. He has extended his shooting range to 15 - 16 feet.

Jordan Weiner will continue in his role as a perimeter shooter and defensive specialist. The former walk-on is on scholarship for his senior season.

Kyle Boswell may or may not redshirt. The freshman's status will be determined before the season starts. He's a shooting guard with range beyond the 3 - point line.

Justin Joyner
's ankle is fully healed and his conditioning is 100%. His wrist is as good as it ever will be.

Will Brew worked very hard on his perimeter jumper over the summer. As a point guard, he also worked on making better decisions with the ball, including penetration, coming to a jump stop, and finding the open teammate.

James Nunnally worked on is ball-handling, especially in the open court, in order to limit his turnovers. He also is looking to maintain concentration on defense. At 6'6", he will again play the 4, but will also play the 2 at times, as he is quicker this year (he's a natural 3). This gives the Gauchos options on who will play the 4 when Nunnally plays the 2 (i.e., we can go with a bigger lineup). Because he is quicker, when he is at the 4, he creates match up problems as he can play pressure defense, and can isolate his defender on the perimeter on offense.

Lucas Devenny's biggest improvement is his higher confidence level, as he is more comfortable with the offense and defense. With renewed confidence, he is learning to play within himself, and playing much better this summer.

Jon Pastorek does best when he doesn't try to do too much, and lets the game come to him, and hence, eliminates mistakes. As long as he doesn't try to over-penetrate or shoot the 3 ball too quickly, his ability as an active rebounder and good passer could earn him more minutes.

Orlando Johnson, like Nunnally, has improved in all areas, including ball-handling as he attempts to limit turnovers. His lateral foot speed has also improved, as has his concentration on defense. His athleticism and conditioning have improved, thanks to the strength and conditioning program, and his dedicated work ethic. The guy is a gym rat, and also hits the weight room during his spare time. He is one of the hardest working players Coach Williams has ever coached. Even though he is the reigning Big West Player of the Year, it is his desire that separates him from the rest.

Troy Leaf can play either the point guard or shooting guard positions. He has range on his jumper out to the 3-point line, and his mid-range (10 - 18 feet) game is especially deadly. Like Boswell, this freshman's redshirt status is unknown at this point in time.

Greg Somogyi came back from his summer trip to his native Hungary refreshed. His strength and conditioning have improved, but this year needs to be his break out year. He needs to get tougher and more active in the paint. Interestingly enough, he performs better against high-major teams, because he is matched up against opposing legitimate centers. But if he can withstand the constant bumping and pounding by shorter, but bulkier mid-major centers, and not get pushed out of position, he will perform well against them, also. The Gaucho coaches would love to play him until he fatigues, and are targeting 22 - 25 minutes per game for him.

2010 preview for Tony Williams

Tony Williams averaged 18.3 points per game, 3.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.3 steals for Rocklin High School, CA his senior season, and is a preferred walk-on for the Gauchos. The 6'1" freshman guard will supply depth to a loaded Gaucho backcourt.

Monday, October 11, 2010

2010 preview for Greg Somogyi

This was last year's preview of Greg Somogyi:

The 7'3" Somogyi averaged 2.5 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 1.4 blocked shots per game last season. He again led the Gauchos with 38 blocked shots, while altering many other shots. After a slow start, Somogyi picked up his production during the latter half of the season, as he received more minutes and became a bigger presence in the paint. Not coincidentally, the Gauchos' run into their Big West championship coincided with Somogyi's increased playing time and production.

Somogyi has always been an intimidating shot blocker on defense, and he has continued to flash his potential with adept post moves and interior passing. The key for the junior center is consistency on both ends of the court, and with increased strength and conditioning, expect him to have a monster break out season.

Basketball season tip-off this Friday, Oct. 15 at 10 pm

Capping off the night will be 10 O'Clock Thunder live from the Thunderdome! Join the men's and women's basketball teams as they open practice for the 2010-11 season. Come match your skills against Big West Player of the Year Orlando Johnson and All-Big West First Team pick Emilie Johnson. Think you can get a shot off against the 7-foot-3 Greg Somogyi or 6-foot-4 Mekia Valentine? Come on out and try your luck, pick up your official Loco Fan pack and get your chance at free tuition! Current UCSB students with valid UCSB email address can register to be part of the best student group in the country at

Be sure to attend the women's and men's soccer matches at Harder Stadium, and then cruise over to the Thunderdome for the women's and men's basketball tip-off.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

2010 preview for Troy Leaf

Troy Leaf averaged 28.1 points, 4.9 assists, 5.7 rebounds, 3.0 steals, and 2.0 blocked shots per game as a senior at Foothills Christian High School in El Cajon, CA last year. The 6'2" guard shot 55% from the field, 39% from beyond the 3-point arc, and 86% from the free throw line.

As a result of his stellar senior year, Leaf was selected First Team All-State All Divisions, California Division 5 Player of the Year, First Team All-State Division 5, San Diego County All Divisions Player of the Year, First Team All-CIF, and First Team All-Southern League. Leaf finished his high school career as San Diego County's all-time leading scorer with 3,318 points, ranking him third in California prep history.

The Gauchos are deep in the backcourt, but Leaf possesses the ability to knock down the perimeter jumper and free throws, which will be in demand with the graduation of James Powell, the Gauchos' all-time leader in 3-point field goals and free throw percentage. Leaf's all-around game may allow him to make an immediate impact as a true freshman, precluding the possibility of a redshirt. Either way, look for Leaf to have an outstanding run with the Gauchos over the next several years.

Friday, October 8, 2010

More info on Gaucho verbal commit TJ Taylor
School: Sacramento

Position: Point Guard

Height: 5'10

Weight: 165 pounds

Schools Considering: Santa Clara (committed then decommitted), Boise State, Colorado

Man, there are a lot of undersized, talented point guard in the class of 2011. And while electric guards who can stroke the rock seem to be a dime a dozen this year, T.J Taylor sets himself apart as the best of the undersized bunch.

Taylor has incredibly high basketball I.Q. Most guys in high school are extremely talented and athletically gifted but have no real plan of what to do when out on the court. Not Taylor. He always seems to have a specific plan in his head on each play. He is great at adjusting to what the defense is giving him as the game goes along and discovering the weaknesses of the guy who is guarding them, and slowly exploiting them as the game progresses.

Taylor might be one of the strongest guys pound for pound on the west coast. He packs as much strength as you can into that 5'10 frame and uses his strength to bully guards on both sides of the ball and to absorb contact when finishing at the hole.

Taylor is one of the best passers in the state. He always has his head up and has the rare ability to see a play developing before it happens. He is great at finding cutters to the basket and can really weave the ball through tight spots. He makes very good entry passes to his big men and feeds them in stride coming off of pick and rolls.

T.J is best in transition where he loves to push the pace. He almost literally throws the ball in front of him then catches up to it and can break off a crossover before anybody can steal it from him. He can pull up in transition but does a great job of usually hitting the open man with a crisp pass or drawing his man into the air and dishing it off to a trailer.

Taylor is a very pure shooter who needs to work on his consistency from deep. He does a good job of getting space when he shoots to give him cleaner looks. He has incredible handles and uses a crossover and a stutter step among a variety of moves to freeze his defender. Once he has his defender stuck, he moves very fluidly from his dribble into his jump shot which has a quick, high release. He is good from the free throw line and does a good job of drawing contact to get there.

The next level? Taylor had committed to Santa Clara but de-committed in the winter of 2010. Santa Clara is still on Taylor's list of potential schools but he has opened his options and has recently been getting lots of interest from soon to be Pac-12 school Colorado.

Taylor has the talent to play high level D-1 and be a major factor at the next level. He has great guard skills and is a fiery competitor. All the schools giving Taylor sincere interest are schools that haven't tasted NCAA tournament play recently but adding a guy like Taylor could help those schools end their playoff drought. You win games with guys like T.J Taylor.

Cali High Grade: 91

Thursday, October 7, 2010

UCSB 2011 recruit John Green video highlights

John Green verbally commits to the Gauchos

John has solid length for the small forward position and he is quite springy around the basket. His biggest strength is the ability to shoot the basketball. He has a beautiful shooting touch and his mechanics are outstanding from behind the 3. He can face-up his defender and take him off the dribble and he has a decent burst as well. In addition, he'll demonstrate the ability to locate his teammates as he delivered a couple of nifty assists.

At this stage he'll need to improve the range on his jump shot for him to snag one of those remaining scholarships in the spring.

Bottom Line:
Green has slimmed down and as a result his game has transformed. He should now be considered a definite sleeper on the west coast due to the added versatility to his game.

Committed to UC-Santa Barbara in Oct. 2010...

Alan Williams verbally commits to the Gauchos

Phoenix North senior center Alan Williams, an integral part of last year's Class 5A Division I basketball championship, gave UC-Santa Barbara a commitment today to play basketball.

Williams, 6-foot-7, 250 pounds, made The Republic's All-5A first team last year. He was also all-Metro Region. Last season, he averaged 12.5 points, 3.3 blocks, 10.9 rebounds, 1.5 steals. He was a 60 percent shooter.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

2010 preview for Orlando Johnson

This was last year's preview of Orlando Johnson:

There was much buzz surrounding Johnson ("OJ") before last season, as he had redshirted the previous season after transferring in from LMU as an accomplished freshman. Despite being ineligible for games as a redshirt, rumors were that the 6'5 wing was a terror in practice, at times dominating scrimmages. Of course, no one knew how his play would transfer into actual games, after having to sit out from active competition for a year and a half.

All doubts were removed as the redshirt junior had a dominant sophomore season from the first tip in the exhibition game until the final seconds in the first-round loss to Ohio State in the NCAA playoffs.

OJ ended up averaging 18.0 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game. He made 48.1% of his field goal attempts, 39.7% of his 3-point field goal shots, and 70.3% of his free throws. He had the uncanny ability to score from the perimeter or in the post, often using his strength to score clutch baskets. More importantly, he showed leadership on and off the court, pushing teammates in games and in practice to improve.

OJ was selected Big West Player of the Year, Big West Tournament Most Valuable Player, First Team All-Big West, NABC First Team All District 9, Associated Press Honorable Mention All-American, and Lou Henson Mid-Major All-American. The 2010 - 2011 Preseason Mid-Major All-American will be looking to improve again, as the Gauchos attempt a repeat of their Big West championships, and hopefully a deeper run into the NCAA playoffs.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

2010 preview for Jon Pastorek

This was last year's preview of Jon Pastorek:

Pastorek averaged 2.3 points and 2.2 rebounds per game last season after redshirting the previous season. After starting the first three games, the 6'10" senior forward came in off the bench the reason of the season. His ability to rebound and pass out of the post were important features in the Gauchos' run into the NCAA playoffs.

2010 preview for Tyler Steinhause

Tyler Steinhause is a 6'1" walk-on guard from Scripps Ranch High School in San Diego, CA. The sophomore will add depth to an already loaded Gaucho backcourt. Steinhause will push Gaucho guards in practice as they prepare for games against an increasingly competitive Big West schedule.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Timeout with Nate "Boogie" Garth

Redshirt transfer from University of New Mexico guard Nate Garth started a blog.