Friday, December 28, 2018

UCSB Hosts NMSU Sunday in Final Game of 2018

 Lauren Lee (Photo by Jeilo Gauna)

USF vs. UCSB Game Preview, by Gaucho Freg

UCSB vs. San Francisco Preview
Saturday, December 29, 2018, 7 PM PST
UCSB celebrated their return home from an extended road trip with a 19 point victory over the Idaho State Bengals.  Now they get ready for their toughest opponent of the 2018/19 season in the 12-1 San Francisco Dons who are ranked in the top 50 of most computer ranking systems.

By the Numbers                                                             
Record (D1 only) 11-1 8-3
Home/Away vs D1 2-0 (A) 4-0 (H)
Composite National Rankings
DCI 1&2, BPI, KP, Massey, NET, RPI, Sagarin 47 151
NET 26 170
SOS (ESPN BPI) 344 330
CBS Preseason Rank 142 203
SI Preseason Rank 116 185
Preseason Poll Pick 5th (10) 1st – 6th
Efficiency Rankings (Pomeroy) 
Offense 89 123
Defense 24 193
Scoring 78.8 74.8
FG% 48.5 46.8
3Pt % 34.3 34.8
FT% 64.6 73.3
PPG Allowed 58.8 65.2
FG % Defense 38.2 39.6
3Pt % Defense 27.7
Rebounding Margin +9.2 +7.4
Best win (NET):  vs. Stanford (103)
Worst Loss (NET):  @ Buffalo (20)

USF-UCSB History
This will be the 40th meeting between the schools. UCSB trails the series 14-25 but is 8-4 since 2000 and won last year in San Francisco, 79-72. Unlike the Gauchos, the Dons return many players from last year’s team.
Head Coach:  Kyle Smith, in his third season, has had a very nice run as the Don’s coach, compiling two 20+ win seasons and two fourth place conference finishes.  This year he’s off to his best start yet and the Dons look to be the second best team in the WCC after the Zags.  Prior to USF, he had a successful stint at Columbia University including a 25 win season and CIT championship in 2016, his last season there before shifting West.  His record with USF sits at 54-31 and overall it is 155-113.

The Dons are a very experienced team with all upperclassman (Minlend is a third year Sophomore) in the starting line-up.  Reserve guard Bouyea is the only underclassman playing significant minutes.

Probable Starters
Point Guard – Frankie Ferrari  #2  6’0”, 188 lb, Senior 13.8 ppg, 6 apg, 32 mpg, .353 from three.  The best named player in basketball leads team in assists, steals (25) & minutes played and is second in getting to the line, making 85% of his freebies.  The sure-handed star boasts an excellent ATO ratio of 5 and was a second team pre-season WCC pick.   
Guard –  Charles Minlend #14  6’4”, 208 lb, RS Sophomore 15 ppg, 5.5 rbg, 28 mpg   Team’s leading scorer missed last season with an injury and is a big reason why USF has improved so much this year.  Leads the team in getting to the line, making 73% of his FTs.  Shoots 43% from the field, only 23% from deep (60 attempts on the year).
Wing– Jordan Ratinho  #25  6’5”, 210 lb, Junior, 11.4 ppg,  Team’s best three point shooter, 34-82 for the season.
ForwardNate Renfro #15  6’8”, 202 lb, Senior– 5.5 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 25 mpg  14-32 from the FT line.
CenterJimbo Lull  #5  7’0”, 252 lb, Junior – 8.4 ppg, 6.2 rpg, Plays just 18 mpg, second on the team in rebounding.  Will be the biggest starting center UCSB has gone up against this season

Key Reserves
Guard – Jamaree Bouyea  #1  6’2”, 155 lb, Sophomore, 6.6 ppg, 4 rpg, Comes off the bench but playing starter minutes, 25 mpg.  A solid rebounding guard, second on team in assists
Forward -  Matt McCarthy #10  6’9”, 232 lb, Senior  10.8 ppg, 7.2 rbg  Teams leading rebounder and fourth leading scorer in 18.5 mpg.  A poor FT shooter, only 4 three point attempts but has made 3.
Forward – Remu Raitanen  #4  6’9”, 198 lb, Junior , 4.3 ppg 12 mpg.   From Finland, shooting an excellent .455 from deep on 22 attempts. 
Match-up overview:
 The Dons are an experienced, efficient team that executes better than any other the Gauchos have faced this year.  They run a motion heavy offense with elements of the famed Princeton style attack that rates 83rd in the country in KenPom. Their defense is even better and rates #24 in the country as they’ve held teams to an average of only 59 points per game. By the computer rankings, USF will be the best team the Gauchos face this season, with UW and UCI the only other top 100 teams (UCI marginally so).  Despite a sweep of their Bay Area Pac 12 rivals, their record and rankings are perhaps a bit deceptive as their SOS is even softer than UCSB’s.  Their lone loss was to #21 Buffalo in Belfast, Ireland.  In their two true road games they destroyed UC Davis by 34 and Cal by 29.  They probably won’t be intimidated by the holiday break whisper dome.

Keys to the game for the Gauchos
·       Patience on defense and not getting trapped by the motion offense. 
·       Rebounding. The Dons are the best rebounding team the Gauchos will face and have quality depth at forward.
·       Defend the three.  Ratinho in particular shoots it so well, will need to contain him.
·       Ferrari is one of the best point guards on the west coast and Ramsey is an underrated defender.  How this match-up plays out will greatly impact the game result.
·       I loved the way Max played against Idaho State, with 8 assists.  He as a facilitator helps the Gaucho offense immensely. His shot will come back, if it happens Saturday, the Gauchos have a great chance for a win but a victory is still in play if he doesn’t force up bad shots.

Prediction:  The Dons are the complete package with a fantastic pg, a very physical sg that will be tough to guard, defends well, can shoot from deep and wins the rebound battle.  With the exception of the Washington game, UCSB has been well handled by teams not in the bottom quadrant of the hoops world. The game is at home and the Gauchos should keep it close but I think the Don’s experience and defense will win out in the end. USF 70 UCSB 66

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Fun facts about USF:  Its well known that USF was a power in the 1950s with Bill Russell and KC Jones staring for the Dons, leading them to the NCAA championship in the 1955 & 1956 seasons, going 57-1 those years.  They also won the 1949 NIT, when that tournament was considered at least equal to if not superior to the NCAAs. They made the Final Four in 1957 and the Elite 8 in 1964, ’65, ’73 & ’74. After repeated violations, the school president shut down the program in 1982, it was reinstated three years later but has never risen back to the levels it once was.  The Dons have since made the NCAAs just once, losing in the first round in 1998.  USF was at one time one of the best couple programs in college soccer, winning four championships, 7 final fours and 31 tournament appearances.

USF Dons basketball head to UCSB for final non-conference tilt

Friday, December 21, 2018

Gauchos Host Idaho State in Saturday Afternoon Thunderdome Matinée
Christian Terrell (Photo by Tony Mastres)

Idaho State vs. UCSB Game Promotion

Idaho State vs. UCSB Game Preview, by Gaucho Freg

UCSB vs. Idaho State Preview
Saturday, December 22, 2018, 2 PM PST
UCSB returns home after a two road games nursing rope burns from all the buckets scored by their opponents and asking this question, “Just what the f*ck happened to our defense?”  In their last game before the holidays, they host their 5th and final Big Sky OOC opponent in the Idaho State Bengals.

By the Numbers                                                             
Idaho St..png
UCSB logo small.png
Record (D1 only) 2-4 7-3
Home/Away vs D1 2-3 (A) 3-0 (H)
Composite National Rankings
DCI 1&2, BPI, KP, Massey, NET, RPI, Sagarin 239 154
NET 255 167
SOS 257 271
CBS Preseason Rank 287 203
SI Preseason Rank 265 185
Preseason Poll Pick 8th-9th (11) 1st – 6th
Efficiency Rankings (Pomeroy) 
Offense 146 134
Defense 332 198
Scoring 80.4 74.8
FG% 45.7 46.8
3Pt % 39.9 34.8
FT% 73.0 73.3
PPG Allowed 81.3 65.2
FG % Defense 46.1 39.6
3Pt % Defense 34.4
Rebounding Margin +1 +7.4
Idaho State:
Best win (NET):  @ Boise State (195)
Worst Loss (NET):  @ Pepperdine (220)

Idaho State-UCSB History
UCSB leads the series 3-2.  The teams have not played since 1977, a game which UCSB won 85-81 in Santa Barbara.
Head Coach:  Bill Evans is in his 7th season at Idaho State and has compiled a 63-126 record leading the Bengals.  His one winning season was 2015-16, going 16-15 and finishing 4th in the Big Sky. Prior, he coached Southern Utah for 16 years, making it the NCAAs one time and has an overall record of 271-349.

Idaho State has similarities to the Gauchos previous opponent Omaha in that they are a very experienced team with all upperclassman in the starting line-up, likes to shoot the three and does it well.  They average 26 3 point attempts per game (vs. UCSB with 18) and they make them at a .399 clip.  They have well balanced scoring with four starters and their top reserve averaging between 8 & 11 ppg.  Point Guard Brandon Boyd runs the ship and leads the team in scoring & assists with limited turnovers.   

Probable Starters
Guard – Brandon Boyd  #15  6’1”, 180 lb, Junior 16.1 ppg, 3.9 apg, .366 from three.  Leads team in scoring, assists, minutes played and in getting to the line while boasting an excellent ATO ratio.   Preaseason Big Sky 3rd team pick.  From 3 Man Weave: Despite standing a hair under 6’0, Boyd was an exceptional finisher from all three levels on the floor, an especially rare trait for an undersized, inexperienced lead guard – per, Boyd converted a respectable 60% of his attempts at the rim, and knocked down 44% on pull-up 2-point jumpers.”
Guard –  Balint Mocsan #20  6’3”, 182 lb, Junior 9.3 ppg, Another outstanding three point shooter, has made 14-29 (.483).  Second on the team in assists, 1.9 pg  From Hungary.
Wing – Jared Stutzman  #21  6’6”, 200 lb, Junior, JC Transfer 8.3 ppg, Second on the team in minutes played, 3rd in three point attempts, making, .308 of them.  Preseason Big Sky 2nd team pick.
ForwardChier Maker #5  6’7”, 200 lb, Junior, JC Transfer – 9.8 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 28 mpg.  From Australia, the team’s leading rebounder shoots a lot of threes (second in attempts), making them at a 30% clip. 
CenterKelvin Jones  #35  6’11”, 230 lb, Junior, JC Transfer – 9.5 ppg, 4.9 rpg, Plays just 17 mpg, second on the team in FT attempts (25) while leading the Bengals in fouls (31).  From Mexico.

Probable Key Reserves
Guard – Gary Chivichyan  #25  6’5”, 200 lb, RS Junior 10.6 ppg, Big time threat from deep, shooting .565 from three.  Second leading scorer despite coming off the bench and playing just 17 mpg.  Has made 8-9 FTs on the season.
Forward -  Alonzo Walker  #22  6’6”, 210 lb, Junior  5.5 ppg, 5.3 rbg  Teams second leading rebounder in 18 mpg.  Shoots .429 from deep but does not have many attempts.
Wing– Chidi Udengwu.  #4  6’7”, 194 lb, Junior , JC Transfer  5.3 ppg.  Effective at getting to the line in just 12 mpg.
Guard – Austin Smellie.  #1  6’5”, 180 lb, Freshman   The lone underclassman getting minutes, he is 4-7 from three, 12 mpg.
Match-up overview:
Idaho State may be another team that is better than their computer rankings suggest.  They have a solid road wins over Boise State and Santa Clara which just knocked off USC.  As mentioned, they shoot the three incredibly well, check out the stats from last season (3-Man-Weave:   This trio of shooters rained in 46% of their combined 300 attempts from long distance, a staggering combination of accuracy and volume – Jared Stutzman (60/117; 51%), Gary Chivichyan (33/75; 44%) and Balint Mocsan (56/134; 42%).  Like the Gauchos, Idaho State employs mostly man-defense and their rebounding has improved from when they only played zone.
To be effective, Ramsey & company will have to keep Boyd in front and challenge him. Gaucho guards will have to do a much better job of rotating and closing on their shooters.

Keys to the game for the Gauchos
·       Find their defense.  UCSB has dropped from 132 in KenPom defense efficiency before the last two games down to 198. 
·       Max is trying to shoot himself out of his rustiness, much as Armond Davis did his first couple games.  Better shot selection will help his cause and keeping the other guards involved as they were vs. Rice will help.
·       Bengal Center Kelvin Jones is prone to foul trouble and if the Gauchos can get him in trouble early, they will have a big advantage in the post. 

Prediction:  UCSB 83 Idaho State 72
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Fun facts about Idaho State:  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 with each year.  In 1977 the Bengals defeated Long Beach then UCLA to advance to the Elite 8.  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).

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

UCSB Travels to Omaha Wednesday for Final Non-Conference Road
JaQuori McLaughlin (Photo by Tony Mastres)

UCSB vs. UNO Game Preview, by Gaucho Freg

UCSB @ Omaha Preview
Wednesday, December 19, 2018, 5 PM PST

After just a couple days at home following their OT victory over Rice, UCSB hits the road again for their final road game of non-conference, taking on the Omaha Mavericks of the Summit Conference.   
By the Numbers                                                              
UCSB logo small.png
Record (D1 only)
Home/Away vs D1
1-1 (H)
2-2 (A)
Composite National Rankings
DCI 1&2, BPI, KP, Massey, NET, RPI, Sagarin
CBS Preseason Rank
SI Preseason Rank
Preseason Poll Pick
7th-8th (9)
1st – 6th
Efficiency Rankings (Pomeroy) 
3Pt %
PPG Allowed
FG % Defense
3Pt % Defense
Rebounding Margin
The Arena:  Baxter Arena was completed in 2015 and was inaugurated by the Mavericks and the Gauchos in the 2015-16 season opener.  It seats  7,898 and is also home to the Maverick’s more recognized hockey team. 
Best win (NET):  @ Idaho (291)
Worst Loss (NET):  @ NAU (299)

Omaha-UCSB History
UCSB leads the series which just began in 2015 and has continued every year, 2-1.  The Gauchos won last year in Santa Barbara 77-70.   The first meeting between the two teams was a memorable one as it was the first ever game in the Maverick’s new arena and Eric Childress got the win for the Gauchos on a late tip-in
Head Coach:  Derrin Hansen is in his 13th season at Omaha and is their only coach they’ve had at the D1 level.  He is 89-109 in D1 play and 210-195 overall
Omaha is an experienced team with only one non-upperclassman in the starting line up.  Three starters, Jackson, Gibson and Robinson, average more than 30mpg and most are ready and willing to fire from beyond the arc.
Probable Starters

Guard – KJ Robinson  #5  6’0”, 190 lb, Junior 10.3 ppg, 31 mpg, .375 from three Tied for team lead in assists despite only playing 8 games and has only 10 TOs on the season. 
Guard – JT Gibson  #0  6’3”, 195 lb, Junior 13.9 ppg, 32 mpg, .404  from three Team’s leading 3 point scorer is shooting .431 on 72 attempts.  Is 18-21 from the line but has turned the ball over 28 times vs. 18 assists.   Also has 18 steals.   Scored 14 in the loss to the Gauchos last year.
Guard –  Zach Jackson #21  6’5”, 185 lb, Senior 18.1 ppg, 3.2 rpg, .449 from three,  79% FT, 32 mpg.  Leads team in scoring and FT attempts and is an outstanding three point shooter but 2/3 of his fg attempts are inside the arc.  Scored 17 in the loss to the Gauchos last year.  Preseason 2nd Team Summit.
ForwardMitch Hahn #44  6’8”, 210 lb, Senior – 8.5 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 28 mpg.  Shoots a lot of threes but unlike his teammates, not very well, .268 from deep. Scored 13 in the loss to the Gauchos last year on low % shooting and grabbed a game high 13 rebounds.
ForwardMatt Pile  #40  6’8”, 240 lb, Sophomore – 8.9 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 24 mpg  Teams leading rebounder.  The only player who won’t shoot from deep.
Probable Key Reserves
Guard – Ayo Akinwole.  #10  6’0”, 165 lb, Sophomore  6.2 ppg. 21 mpg Another outstanding three point shooter, has made 11-23 and is tied for team lead in assists. 
Forward -  Wanjang Tut  #13  6’8”, 205 lb, RS Freshman  5.6 ppg, 3.5 rbg  16 mpg
Center – Brett Barney.  #22  6’9”, 210 lb, Junior   3.7 ppg, 13 mpg.   Transfer from Wichita State.
Guard – Elisha Duplechan.  #1  5’11”, 180 lb, Sophomore  9 mpg.  Not a good shooter
Match-up overview:
Omaha lives by the three and have nearly a 100 more attempts this season than do the Gauchos (272 vs 175).  They shoot it well too, .375 as a team and are 60th in the country in makes per game so it will be interesting to see if the Gauchos, which have been able to defend the three so well for much of the season, can cool them down.  Yet another challenge for Jaquori as he will likely be tasked with defending their leading scorer Jackson.  The Mavericks are the next team in a non-conference slate that has been filled with them that does not defend well.  However forward Matt Pile is a good individual defender.  The Mavericks have played a very difficult schedule, much of it on the road, and have a SOS ranked 22nd in the country.  They are coming off an 89-80 victory on the road over Idaho in which Mitch Hahn scored 21 on 4-8 from 3 and Matt Pile lodged a double-double.
Keys to the game for the Gauchos
·      Defend the three. 
·      Keep the offense clicking. 
·      Keep an eye on Max; he’s still on the road to being fit, may be a lot to ask for a follow up 20 point performance, a good night for Armond to step up if needed.
Prediction:  UCSB 81 Omaha 78
Official Site: slatebball

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Fun facts about Omaha:  Founded as the University of Omaha in 1908, it became a public school in 1930.  The Maverick’s hockey team made the Frozen Four (hockey) in 2015.   Frequently called out by amateur QBs at their weekend touch-football game.   

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Thursday, December 13, 2018

UCSB vs. Rice Game Preview, by Gaucho Freg

Game 10
UCSB @ Rice Preview
Saturday, December 15, 2018, 12 PM PST
After a week off for finals, UCSB hits the road to take on the Rice Owls of the Conference USA.  In the Gaucho version of Where’s Waldo, the question that remains is When’s Max?  Best guess here is that with two games against lightly regarded opponents on this road trip, they will continue to play it safe and wait for the December 22 home gave vs. Idaho St.

By the Numbers                                                             
  rice owls logo.jpg UCSB logo small.png
Record (D1 only) 2-6 6-2
Home/Away vs D1 2-1 (H) 1-2 (A)
Composite National Rankings
DCI 1&2, BPI, KP, Massey, NET, RPI, Sagarin 301 134
NET 313 134
SOS 61 325
CBS Preseason Rank 303 203
SI Preseason Rank 252 185
Preseason Poll Pick 14th 1st – 6th
Efficiency Rankings (Pomeroy) 
Offense 254 183
Defense 313 131
Scoring 74 74.4
FG% 44.2 46.8
3Pt % 31.8 32.2
FT% 65.2 69.7
PPG Allowed 79.1 60.3
FG % Defense 45.3 36.5
3Pt % Defense 33.0  24.5
Rebounding Margin -2.3 +9.2
The Arena:  The Tudor Field House was originally built in 1950 and was renovated in 2007.  Capacity is 5,208 and they are averaging 1,404 in attendance.  One end court has a blue curtain instead of stands.

Best win (NET):  Northwestern State (349)
Worst Loss (NET):  Lamar (231)

Rice-UCSB History
UCSB leads the series, 2-0.  The Gauchos & the Owls had a home & home (Houston then Santa Barbara) series back in the 1972-73 & the 1973-74 seasons with UCSB winning both games by 3 & 4 points respectively. 
Head Coach:  Second year coach Scott Para elevated from the associate head coach position with the Owls to the leadership position in difficult circumstances in which the roster was decimated by graduation and transfers (including one Marcus Jackson to UCSB) after losing their head coach to VCU.  Without much time to replace all the transfers with good recruits, the Owls dropped from a 23 win season the year previous to just 7.  Prior to Rice, Para was an assistant at Penn University and before that at ASU under Herb Sendek.  Earlier, he was a successful prep school coach at Artesia in Southern California.

Roster  The Owls are in a rebuilding mode with most of their contribution coming from freshmen & sophomores. They are led in scoring by a junior in guard Ako Adams and do have some senior leadership in former LB 49er & UOP Tiger Jack Williams who is a Grad Transfer for the Owls.
Probable Starters
Guard – Ako Adams  #3  6’2”, 175 lb, Junior 12.7 ppg, 27 mpg, .404  from three  Team’s leading 3 point shooter and scorer.  Also leads the team in assists with 3.3 pg and has made 91% of his free throws.
Guard – Josh Parrish  #1  6’5”, 210 lb, RS Sophomore 8.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg, .346 from three, 23 mpg.  Leads team in blocks with 10, second on the team in getting to the line but makes only 57% of his FTs. 
Wing -  Drew Peterson  #23  6’8”, 180 lb,  Freshman  7 ppg, 5 rbg  24 mpg   Second in three point attempts, making 29%.
ForwardJack Williams #35  6’8”, 220 lb, GT – 9.9 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 27.7 mpg   A player familiar to BW fans as he played at Long Beach a couple years before transferring to Pacific.  Leads the owls in rebounding.  Leads team in minutes played and in rebounds. Is 3-25 from deep.
ForwardQuentin Millora-Brown #42  6’9”, 205 lb, Freshman - 5.7 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 20 mpg  

Probable Key Reserves
Forward -  Robert Martin  #10  6’5”, 185 lb,  Junior  12.0 ppg, 5.3 rbg  24 mpg.  An excellent three point shooter, is hitting them at a .469 clip.  Also leads team in getting to the line. Playing starter minutes though he comes off the bench.  Second in scoring.
Guard – Chris Mullins.  #24  6’3”, 170 lb, Freshman   Playing starter minutes at 23 pg, 4th on the team in scoring with 9.6 ppg and shoots well from deep, .400.  Is second in assists
Wing– Trey Murphy.  #2  6’7”, 180 lb, Freshman   4.8 ppg, 13 mpg
Guard – Payton Moore  #0  6’4”, 175 lb, Freshman
Forward- Tim Harrison #35  6’8”, 220 lb, Junior   Has started 3 games
Match-up overview:
Rice is fairly young and in a rebuild mode.  Their efficiency ratings are well in the bottom half in the country for both offense & defense, and the other computer assessments don’t think much of the Owls either.  They are coming off a close, come-from-behind victory over D2 St. Edwards.  On offense they appear to have a solid guard in Ako Adams, a decent big in Jack Williams and have better-than-average bench play with two of their top four scorers coming off the bench.   On the UCSB side of things, what has stood out to me the most is how much better the defense is this year over last and how it is getting better as the season progresses.  Excluding their D2 opponent Cal Lutheran, check out this trend in three key defensive measurements:
Game Opp. Scoring Avg Opp FG % Avg. UCSB Def. Eff. Rating
1 66.0 36.0% 212*
2 74.0 42.5% 212*
3 72.3 43.1% 226
4 71.5 41.2% 232
5 68.2 40.3% 210
6 66.5 40.4% 192
7 66.6 40.6% 180
8 64.0 39.7% 146
9     132¥
*final from 2017/18 season
¥ Current Pomeroy rating

After their poor defensive effort against North Dakota State (game 2), the Gaucho defense has been superb and with just a minor statistical blip vs. Washington (understandable given the major jump in competition), has been getting better every game.  Pasternack and the players deserve a lot of credit for this consistent effort.  Should it continue vs. Rice, even with an off night on offense, Gauchos win.  If the offense is clicking, then they win comfortably. 

Keys to the game for the Gauchos
·       Defense.  See above
·       Rice does not have much interior size. Get the ball to Sow, then run Idehen and Lakoju at them
·       Not necessarily key as the Gauchos are getting it done, but Ramsey has room to improve with his decision making.  His speed, effort and defense are incredible, but ill-advised passes have been his weakness; this fan would like to see this start to improve in Houston.

Prediction:  UCSB 73  Rice 59
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Fun facts about Rice:  Athletically, the Owls are best known for the baseball program with numerous College World Series appearances including a championship in 2003.   With only ~4,000 undergrads, Rice is the second smallest non-military university to field a D1 football team (Tulsa being the smallest)

The real interesting fact about the university is its origin.  William Marsh Rice, originally from Massachusetts, made his millions in Texas real estate, rail roads & cotton.  In 1891 he decided to charter a new university, that would bear his name, to be founded upon his death and would be the recipient of the bulk of his vast fortune. A noble endeavor but Rice's will specified the institution was to be "a competitive institution of the highest grade" and that only white students would be permitted to attend.  To be fair, that appears to have been the norm for southern universities in that era. He died unexpectedly in 1900 and not long after a very large check was attempted to be cashed by his lawyer, Albert Patrick, who claimed that Rice had changed his mind about the institute and was leaving the fortune to him.  An investigation revealed that Patrick convinced the butler to apply a chloroform rag to Rice’s face while he slept, killing him.  So, with all the makings of a Hollywood movie, you have money, a rail road baron, an unscrupulous lawyer, a dose of old-fashioned Southern racism (though they were egalitarian with women’s rights as their first class had 40% women) and, in the end, the butler did it.
After the legal shake-out and well-taken time to perform research into planning and building one of the most beautiful campuses in the country, the school welcomed its first students in 1912.  True to Rice’s specifications, it has become one of the best universities in the country. The first black student finally made it on to campus in 1963.

Gauchos Play Final Non-Conference Road Games, Travel to Rice Saturday
Robinson Idehen (Photo by Tony Mastres)

Friday, December 7, 2018

Gauchos Head Back on the Road, Face Pacific on Saturday
Tal Sahar (Photo by Greg Kim)

Gauchos Battle Arkansas-Pine Bluff Saturday Night at Thunderdome
 JaQuori McLaughlin (Photo by Tony Mastres)

Arkansas-Pine Bluff vs. UCSB Game Preview, by Gaucho Freg

Game 9
UCSB vs Arkansas Pine Bluff Preview
Saturday, December 8, 2018, 7PM PST

UCSB returns home from a hard-fought loss to the University of Washington to take on the Arkansas Pine Bluff Golden Lions of the SWAC in what will hopefully be the first game of the season for Max Heidegger.

By the Numbers                                                            
UAPB.jpg UCSB logo small.png
Record (D1 only) 2-6 6-2
Home/Away vs D1 1-6 (A) 2-0 (H)
Composite National Rankings
DCI 1&2, BPI, KP, Massey, NET, RPI, Sagarin 287 129
NET 284 129
SOS 37 230
CBS Preseason Rank 335 203
SI Preseason Rank 321 185
Preseason Poll Pick 4th 1st – 6th
Efficiency Rankings (Pomeroy) 
Offense 326 150
Defense 315 146
Scoring 65.0 74.4
FG% 37.3 47.0
3Pt % 26.7 32.8
FT% 71.9 70.7
PPG Allowed 86.1 62.3
FG % Defense 49.6 36.9
3Pt % Defense 40.4 22.9
Rebounding Margin -6.2 +9.4
Best win (NET):  Cal Baptist (225)
Worst Loss (NET):  Colorado St. (218)

APB-UCSB History
This will be the first game between the two schools.

Head Coach:  George Ivory has been at the helm of the Golden Lions since 2008, sporting a 121-209 record.  In his second season, after an 0-11 start, the Golden Lions turned things around and won the SWAC tournament and their NCAA Play-In Game over Winthrop before falling to #1 seeded Duke.  They have not made the post season since.

Roster  The Gauchos will face their second top-ten in the nation scorer in the marvelously named Martaveous McKnight (Justin James of Wyoming the first).  McKnight is averaging 25 ppg and is averaging nearly 39 mpg. No other player is averaging double digits.

Probable Starters
Guard - Martaveous McKnight  #23  6’4”, 190 lb, Senior 25.3 ppg, 38.4 mpg, .346  from three  McKight is well-rounded and will serve as a great preparation for how to deal with CSUN’s freshman phenom Lamine Diane who is putting up similar numbers.  McKnight also leads the team in assists (2.8) is second in rebounding (5) and has 8 FT attempts per game, making 76%.   He does turn the ball over a lot, 3.1 per game.
Guard - Charles Jackson  #1  6’5”, 210 lb, 9.6 ppg, 3.9 rpg, .346 from three, 26 mpg  Senior 
Forward -  Shaun Doss  #21  6’5”, 185 lb,8.9 ppg, 3.5 rbg  29 mpg  Sophomore.  Not a good outside shooter but gets to the FT line 5x a game, making 60% of them.
ForwardTerrance Banyard #12  6’8”, 215 lb, Sophomore - 5.4 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 1.3 bpg, 23 mpg  Teams leading rebounder
CenterTrevor Banks #13  6’8”, 215 lb, Junior - 5.6 ppg, 3.6 rpg 18 mpg

Probable Key Reserves
Forward - Marquell Carter   #2  6’6”, 195 lb, Junior  17 mpg
Guard - Anthony Davis Jr.  #5  5’9”, 165 lb,  RS Freshman 
Forward - Christian Robertson   #25  6’4”, 195 lb, GS
Center - Issac Bassey #12  6’11”, 250 lb, Junior

Match-up overview:   The Lions are a no-defense mid-pack SWAC team that has one terrific player that can potentially keep them competitive.  Will be interesting to see if JP employs any double teams on McKnight or if he chooses to see if McLaughlin/Terrell/Toure can defend him one-on-one.  One key advantage APB has over the Gauchos is that they have played a far more difficult schedule, including a top-ten (computer rankings) program in Texas Tech. The Golden Lions front court has not been productive statistically and Sow/Idehen/Lakoju should be able to continue this trend on defense plus have some good offensive production in this game.  Key statistic, UCSB has a +9.4 rebounding advantage while APB is a -6.2.  I can’t imagine Heidegger not playing this game after having been cleared for close to two weeks. With an opponent that does not defend well, it is a good opportunity for him to shake off the rust.  Despite unfavorable computer rankings, this is a team that did defeat Cal Baptist which just went toe-to-toe with conference favorite UC Irvine, losing by only 3.  Given how serious Pasternack took Cal Lutheran, I don’t expect him to take the foot off the gas against this opponent either.

Keys to the game for the Gauchos
·       Relatively speaking, contain McKnight.  He could probably score 30 but UCSB’s offense should overcome regardless against one of the worst rated defenses in the country.  Still, can’t have him go off at the end if the game is close.
·       Maintain defensive effort.  The Gaucho defense has been terrific ever since the NDSU loss.  It kept them in it vs. UW.  The same level of effort will translate to a victory.
·       Get the ball inside.
·       Integrate Max.  It can be a challenge to integrate a new piece, even one as talented as Heidegger.  There may be some bumpiness.

Prediction:  UCSB 81 APB 64

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How to Watch:

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Fun facts about APB:  The school is a Historically Black College (HBC) founded in 1873 and is part of the Univ of Arkansas system.  Famed Pittsburgh Steeler Defensive End LC Greenwood who helped make up the famous Steel Curtain in the 1970s is an alum, class of ‘69 when the school was then known as Arkansas A&M

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Ugly Yet Effective: UW Hoops Outlasts Santa Barbara

Gauchos Battle Back, Fall at Washington, 67-63
Ar'Mond Davis (Photo by Tony Mastres)

Dawgs Face UC Santa Barbara on Sunday at 5 p.m.
Dawgs Face UC Santa Barbara on Sunday at 5 p.m.

UCSB vs. Washington Game Preview, by Gaucho Freg

Game 8
UCSB @ Washington Preview
Sunday, December 2, 2018, 5PM PST
The Gauchos ride a five game win streak into the home of their first power conference opponent in the University of Washington Huskies.  The Huskies will also be their first opponent ranked above 200 in the computer rankings. 

By the Numbers                                                             
Record (D1 only) 5-2 5-1
Home/Away vs D1 4-0 (H) 1-1(A)
Composite National Rankings
DCI 1&2, BPI, KP, Massey, NET, RPI, Sagarin 65 145
NET 69 177
SOS 77 335
CBS Preseason Rank 22 203
SI Preseason Rank 28 185
Preseason Poll Pick 2nd - 3rd 1st – 6th
Efficiency Rankings (Pomeroy) 
Offense 62 151
Defense 46 180
Scoring 72.0 76.0
FG% 44.8 47.7
3Pt % 32.1 31.6
PPG Allowed 66.9 61.6
FG % Defense 39.6 36.2
3Pt % Defense 33.8 22.8
The Arena:  Alaska Airlines Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion, referred to as Hec Edmundson or Hec Ed was originally built in 1927 and was renovated in 1999.  Having attended a game there I can say it is a nice balance of relatively modern comforts housed in classic field-house shell.  Great place to see a game.  Capacity is 10,000 and they are averaging 6k per game this season.  It hosted the Final Four in both 1949 and 1952 and Seattle Supersonic Playoff games in 1980 and 1987.
Best win:  San Diego
Worst Loss:  Minnesota

UW-UCSB History
UCSB All-time record vs. Huskies:  1-3
Last game (2015):  UCSB defeated the Huskies 83-78, in Seattle behind 17 points from Bryson and 14 from Vincent.  Mitch Brewe had a big game in front of his hometown crowd as well.
Head Coach:  Second year coach Mike Hopkins was the long-time associate HC (and a former player) for Jim Boeheim at Syracuse and many were surprised to see him take the UW position when he was in line for the Syracuse job when Boeheim retired.  Like Joe Pasternack, Hopkins made a hugely positive impact on his program, taking the Huskies from a 9 win season the year previous to 21 wins last year.  On his staff are two former head coaches, Cameron Dollar (Seattle) and Dave Rice (UNLV).

Roster  The Huskies have an experienced roster with upperclassmen and sophomores who garnered significant playing time last season making up the regular rotation.    So far, no freshmen are playing significant minutes.
Probable Starters
Guard- Jalen Nowell  #5 6’4”, 188 lb, Sophomore 18.1 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2.9 apg.  A superstar in the making, Nowell is averaging a ridicules .580 from the field including .478 from three. Led the Huskies in scoring last season and was a 4* recruit.  Freshmen first teamer.  Tall order for Jaquori to cover. 
Guard David Crisp  #1  6’0”, 185 lb, Senior 9.6 ppg   Tied for team lead with 2.9 assists pg.  Third in three point makes with 10 at a .313 clip
Guard Matisse Thybulle #4  6’5”, 200 lb, 5.9 ppg (.349),  Senior  Pac 12 Defensive POY, leads team in blocks (19) and steals (16).  Expect to see him covering Davis.
Forward Hamier Wright #13  6’9”, 215 lb, 4.1 rbg  Sophomore.  Leads team in fouls per game and is shooting a paltry 22% from the field. 
F/C- Noah Dickerson #15  6’8”, 245 lb, Senior- 16.6 ppg on .528 shooting, 7.3 rpg.    Teams leading rebounder and second leading scorer does all of his damage inside the paint. Gets to the FT line A LOT, 55 attempts, making 73% of them.   He is sloppy with the ball, 22 TOs—a lot for a non pg position.  First Team All P12 last year.

Posssible Key Reserves
F/C Sam Timmins  #33  6’11”, 265 lb, 5 rbg  Junior.  Has started 5 games but averaging less than 10 mpg. 
Forward  Nahziah Carter   #11  6’6”, 205 lb, Sophomore 8.7 ppg while playing 20 mpg. 
Wing Dominic Green  #22  6’6”, 200 lb, Senior 7.9 ppg, playing starter minutes, 24 per game.  Leads team in three point shooting with 14 makes on .452 from behind the arc
Match-up overview:   The Huskies present a massive bump in competition for the Gauchos and are a team, like UCSB, experiencing a revival under a second year coach.  Going by the computer rankings the Gauchos have played one of the softest schedules in the country and have yet to face a team remotely in the top half.  Now they face Washington which has been picked to finish in the top three of the Pac 12.  The Huskies will defend better than any team UCSB yet to face, employing the vice-like zone defense that Hopkins learned at Syracuse under Boeheim.  Sow & Idehen will have to work to stay out of foul trouble while trying to contain Noah Dickerson.  On the other hand, the Huskies have a mediocre A/TO ratio and haven’t defended the three so well (opponents are shooting 34% against them) so if the Gauchos get hot from outside, they have a shot (can we have us some Heidegger please?)

Keys to the game for the Gauchos
·       Sow & Idehen stay out of foul trouble.  Tough match-up as our inexperienced bigs take on a proficient & athletic senior in Noah Dickerson.
·       Three point shots fall.  As UW has been mediocre in defending the three, it would be a great game for our shooters to get going.   Having an effective Max Heidegger could really make a big difference but that is probably too much to expect.
·       Jaquori to continue his success on defense.  Pasternack has been singing the praises of McLaughlin and rightly so, he limited the nations assists leader to one assist vs 5 TOs in the game against the Hornets.  He’ll likely be matched up on Jalen Nowell  Can’t expect an identical performance but keeping him well below his averages will help give the Gauchos a shot.

Prediction:  As excited as I am by the Gaucho’s  6-1 start, I do recognize its come against an extremely weak schedule and this will be such a massive bump in competition.  Gauchos are talented and are improving but not enough yet to knock off a team the caliber of Washington. 
UW 75  UCSB 68

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How to Watch:   Pac12 Network

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Fun facts about UW:
The Huskies have made one Final Four, in 1953.  They’ve made it to at least the Sweet-16 7 times, the last in 2010.  They also made the tournament in 1943 and 1948 when only 8 teams total were entered, losing in the first round both times.  The university is one of the oldest on the west coast, founded in 1861, long before Washington statehood (1889).

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Winners of 4 Straight, Gauchos Host Sac State Thursday Night
Amadou Sow (Photo by Tony Mastres)

Let's Pack the Dome

Sac St. vs. UCSB Game Preview, by Gaucho Freg

Game 7
UCSB vs. Sacramento State Preview
Thursday, November 29, 2018, 7pm PST
The Gauchos take on their fourth consecutive Big Sky opponent in Sacramento State, in a return game of UCSB’s  82-72 victory over the Hornets in Sacramento last season. As in the first three Big Sky opponents, the Hornets are pegged to finish in the bottom half of the conference (7th -10th), coming off a 11th place finish with a 7-25 overall record.  Note that UCSB will play yet another Big Sky member, Idaho State, making it five opponents from a single conference, which may be a record.  The Hornets have only played BW opponents thus far this season (D1 only) and bring an unblemished 2-0 record with wins over Davis & Fullerton.  Their third D1 & BW game, against Poly, was postponed due to the fires.  Best news is that Max has been cleared to practice this week and we will likely see him on the court in this game, if only for limited pt.

By the Numbers                                                             
  Sac. State UCSB
Record (D1 only) 2-0 4-1
Home/Away vs D1 0-0 (A) 1-0 (H)
 National Rankings
Composite 292 173
DCI (2) 255 168
RPI 156 204
Pomeroy 228 170
Massey 203 123
Sagarin 227 168
ESPN BPI 257 148
SOS 333 264
CBS Preseason Rank 197 203
SI Preseason Rank 302 185
Preseason Poll Pick 7th -10th 1st – 6th
Efficiency Rankings (Pomeroy)    
Offense 282 158
Defense 169 192
Scoring 73.7 79.0
PPG Allowed 63.0 62.2

Sac St:
Best win:  CS Fullerton
Worst Loss:  None

Sac St-UCSB History
UCSB All-time record vs. Hornets:  4-1
Last game (2017):  UCSB 82-72, in Sacramento

Head Coach:
Longtime Coach Brain Katz enters his 11th season as the winningest coach in Hornet history but is saddled with an overall record of 107-193 (.357) that would have most coaches fired.  He has had one winning season.

The Hornets suffered a lot of injuries last season, especially in their backcourt, and return most of their production from last season.  They did lose their best player, Justin Strings, to graduation.  Senior PG Marcus Graves provides the Hornets buzz and is averaging nearly a triple double.  The Hornets have five guys scoring 8ppg or more so, with two of those players coming off the bench so they have good balance but only 8 players are playing regular minutes so are a bit limited in depth.
Possible Starters
Guard- Marcus Graves  #0 6’0”, 188 lb, Senior 15 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 9 apg, 3.3 spg.  Some pretty eye-popping stats with averaging 9 assists & 9 rebounds, especially for a player just 6 feet tall.  Is shooting a lowly fg % and is turning the ball over 5 times per game though.  Missed last season due to injury but averaged ~14ppg and 5.3 apg the year before. 
Guard- Izayah Mauriohooho-Le'afa  #2  6’2”, 200lb, Junior- 8ppg  Second leading returning scorer and tops in assists from last year.
Wing Osi Nwachukwu  #21  6’5”, 195 lb, JC Transfer Junior 8.3 ppg, second on the team in assists.

Forward Joshua Patton  #30  6’8”, 225 lb, 12 ppg, 6.3 rbg  Junior  Leading returning scorer & rebounder from last year.  15 against UCSB last year.

F/C Calvin Martin  #25  6’6”, 235 lb, 5 rbg  Senior

Posssible Key Reserves
Forward  Ethan Esposito   #22  6’7”, 220 lb, JC Transfer Sophomore 15 ppg,  7.3 rpg.   Transfer from San Diego has had a remarkable start to his D1 career, tied for the team lead in scoring and second in rebounding.  Has been coming off the bench but his stats scream starter.
Wing Bryce Fowler  #23  6’6”, 195 lb, Sophomore  8.7 ppg, 4 rpg.  Shot 40% from three last season

Match-up overview:  With victories over two of the BW teams expected to contend for the conference title, the Hornets present a much tougher challenge than thought before the season had started and will be the toughest opponent, at least on paper, the Gauchos will have faced thus far.  There is the caveat that both games were extremely close, by 3 over a struggling Davis program and in OT vs. Fullerton.  Hornet point guard Marcus Graves is averaging nearly a triple double (points, rebounds, assists) and it will be interesting to see if the Gauchos improved defense can disrupt his playmaking talents.   Statistically speaking, UCSB has advantages in FG%, FG% defense, rebounding margin and offensive efficiency.  Will be nice to see Max on the floor, should JP choose to play, him but I would not expect major minutes yet in any case.

Keys to the game for the Gauchos:  Depth and pressure defense.  Sac St is averaging 17 turnovers per game (vs 12 for UCSB).  When Fullerton stormed back from an 18 point deficit they did so largely off of creating 20 turnovers.  While creating turnovers is not a strength for the Gauchos (only 10 per game) utilizing their athleticism and disrupting Graves and his ability to create for his team is key.  Continued contributions going down the bench for the Gauchos to leverage the team’s advantage in depth.

Prediction:  First road game for the Hornets results in their first loss of the season.  Gauchos continue their dominance at home and win, 77-69

Official Site
Hey Guys!: (dead board), I did not post there. ... 1b4012ba27,
How to Watch:

Sacramento State Pre-Season Preview Links: ... eview-2019 ... y-preview/
Fun facts about Sac State:
Their football team earned wins over Pac 12 teams in 2011 & 2012, Oregon St & Colorado, respectively.

Saturday, November 24, 2018