Monday, November 1, 2010

Gaucho basketball media preview luncheon

The Gaucho men's team will be aiming to repeat as Big West regular season and tournament champions. Last year, UCSB made its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2002. In 2009-10, the team returns all but three players.

"For the most part, we've got the core back," said 2010 Big West Player of the Year and tournament MVP Orlando Johnson. "The work we've put in so far has put us in a good position. This team is very committed and has a chance to be successful."

Johnson averaged 18.0 points and 5.4 rebounds per game as a sophomore in 2009-10. He was joined on the All-Big West Team by James Nunnally, who averaged 14.7 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. UCSB also returns starting forward Jaimé Serna, guards Will Brew, Jordan Weiner and Justin Joyner, 7-foot-3 center Greg Somogyi, and reserve forwards Jon Pastorek and Lucas Devenny. The Gauchos also add freshmen guards Kyle Boswell (Edison High School in Huntington Beach) and Troy Leaf (Foothills Christian High School in El Cajon).

"We're deep at every position, so it just makes practice that much more competitive," Pastorek said. "Everyone's pushing each other and making each other that much better."

Bob Williams, the 2010 Big West Coach of the Year, admits that the expectations for his team are high in 2010-11.

"With five starters back on a team that achieved last year, the sights are obviously set higher this season," he said. "The expectations within our program are really high right now. We're challenging ourselves right now to be the best we can be."

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