Monday, October 19, 2015

Upcoming 2015-16 Men's Basketball Season Previewed

• UC Santa Barbara appeared in the postseason for the seventh time in the 17-year head coaching tenure of Bob Williams, closing out the 2014-15 campaign at 19-14 overall after playing in the College Basketball Invitational.  The Gauchos return three starters, but must deal with the losses of Alan Williams, the Big West’s No. 2 all-time leading rebounder, and starting point guard Zalmico Harmon.

• Williams is in line to reach a career milestone with his 300th victory at UCSB.  He is 288-224 (.563) all-time at the school, and only two other coaches have achieved at least 300 wins in Big West history – Pacific’s Bob Thomason (436) and Long Beach State/UNLV’s Jerry Tarkanian (405).

• Senior Michael Bryson was selected All-Big West First Team after emerging as one of the league’s top wings in 2014-15.  He was the ninth-leading scorer (13.9 ppg) in the Big West and his 1,043 career points is tops among active players.  He became the 27th player in school history to eclipse 1,000 career points with 22 points at Hawai‘i on Mar. 4, 2015.

• Despite playing in a total of just four games during the 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons due to an assortment of injuries, John Green had himself a productive, and healthy, junior campaign.  Competing in all 33 games (19 starts), Green finished as the third-leading scorer (11.3 ppg) on the Gauchos and received all-conference honorable mention recognition.

• UCSB also welcomes back the Big West Freshman of the Year in guard Gabe Vincent.  Draining 57 three-point baskets, second-most all-time by a UCSB freshman, Vincent ranked fourth on the team in scoring (10.1 ppg).  He was third in assists (60) against just 28 turnovers.  Vincent reserved two of his best games for the end of the season, collecting a career-high 25 points at Hawai‘i and 22 against Oral Roberts in the CBI First Round.

“Your job as a coach is to put the ball in the hands of the player that you gives you the best chance to win games.  Al (Williams) was the most productive player in the country the previous two years, so Al touched the ball more than any player in Division I basketball the last two years.  Now the players that give us the best chance to win games are going to be our twos, our threes and our fours.”

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