Thursday, January 4, 2017, 7:00 PST
The Gauchos travel up the 101 to take on rival Cal Poly in the Big West opener for both teams. In the preseason media poll, UCSB was picked 6th and Cal Poly last.
By the Numbers
|OOC Record, all games||5-9||11-3|
|Home/away vs D1||1-2 (home)||4-3 (road)|
|National Team Rankings|
|Preseason Poll Pick||7th||6th|
|Efficiency Rankings (Pomeroy)|
Worst Loss: Bethune Cookman (325 DC2)
Trend: Five straight losses vs. D1 competition, including Bethune Cookman, one win (home vs. Pepperdine) in last eight.
Shared Opponent: Both Poly and UCSB defeated Pepperdine, the Mustangs 91-81 at home and the Gauchos 92-84 on the road.
The Arena: Mott Gym was built in 1960 and seats 3,032. Poly is 1-2 vs D1 competition at home this year.
Joe Callero is in his 9th season at the helm of the Mustangs with a record of 116-148. His earlier teams had a reputation for a stingy defense and slow-down style of play but the last couple seasons have not been so. He has had only two winning seasons with the Mustangs, the last coming in 2012-13.
PG Donovan Fields 5’10” 160lbs, Junior. Statistically, their team leader. Tops in assists with 63 (4.5 pg) and minutes played; second in scoring @ 13.1 pg, second in FT attempts, making 30 of 32; third in 3 pointers made, hitting at a .392 clip and fourth in rebounding, pulling down 3.9 pg.
SG Victor Joeseph 6’0”, 170lb, Senior. Leads team in scoring with 13.6 pg and made three pointers but just at a .323 clip. Leads team in getting to the foul line, making 34-39, .872. Second in assists with 2 pg.
F Josh Martin 6’7”, 220lb, RS Jr, transfer from Minnesota. As has already been mentioned, injuries have prevented him from reaching full potential. Leads team in rebounding with 5.3 pg and adds 8 ppg.
F Luke Meikle 6’9”, 209 lb, Senior, transfer from Gonzaga. Third in rebounding with 4.5 pg and adds 7.6 ppg. Will shoot the three, averaging 2.5 attempts pg.
F Hank Hollingsworth 6’10”, 235 lb, Soph. Second in rebounding with 5.2 pg. Makes .721 of his fg attempts but only .296 of his FT attempts.
F Jakub Niziol 6’7”, 210 lb. Junior, third leading scorer (8.2 pg) and second in made three pointers.
Guard Marcellus Garrick 6’4”, 190 lb. Scores 7.5 ppg and has started four games.
Wing Mark Crowe 6’5”, 205lb RS Freshman. Has started 7 games.
View from a Poly Fan:
--With thanks and credit to ccman. Yes, ccman is primarily a LB fan but also has connections to the Poly program and follows them too. So as a fan of both our rivals, he is our most hated guest ;-).
"Don't think UCSB has much to worry about Poly, Callero is getting tuned out as usual - lol Callero talks too much so his players tune him out & Monson talks to little with little substance so his players tune him out. Joseph & Fields started out strong, but they've sputtered and with that Poly is really in a funk. Martin returning hasn't helped. SInce their win up in Alaska, they are not a good team. Ever since the shot clock change, Callero I think has struggled to find a formula. I haven't followed Poly enough (seen them) to get a good handle, I was up in Palo Alto for the opening game vs. Stanford, and I thought they looked ok to me there especially the two guards. Their bigs are major major stiffs - Poly's problem is simply they have really bad quickness outside of the two guards, and then those two guards are small - there's so much stuff to exploit on that team. Not quick enough to play defense. Callero has always focused on minimizing turnovers, but I think the issue is they end up not passing strong enough to create better opportunities. I personally think they need to burn more clock with as slow as a team as that is. Bottom line is the two guards can beat Big West guards off the dribble (which might give UCSB some issues), but all the other players are easy to guard or so one-dimensional (Martin really can't shoot), that Poly doesn't get good shots, and then they are easy to break down with wings that can't guard very well. IMO THey need to slow it down for 32 minutes a game, burn clock, maybe get their quick line-up with Martin and the two guards that they can mix it up for 7-8 minutes a game to change things. with that said, it's the Big West, they could go 9-7"
Match-up & prediction:
Key to stopping Poly will be to shut down Donovan Fields. I expect we’ll see Gabe guarding him. Across the starting line-ups, I think UCSB has an advantage at every position and I believe that the starters should stake us to a comfortable lead. Watch out for Niziol off the bench, the transfer junior has been picking it up of late for Poly and we need to make sure he doesn’t get a hot hand. The Mustangs normally don’t turn the ball over much and as we know Pasternack has been emphasizing defense the past few games, we’ll see if they can force a few turnovers and keep the Mustangs below their scoring average.
With our bench play having improved a notch, as long as everyone stays healthy and out of foul trouble, this should be a low double digit win for the Gauchos.
UCSB 82 Poly 69.
Cal Poly Fun Fact: Current Chicago Bull and former Laker David Nwaba graduated from Poly. Their most famous sports figure is the one & only John Madden.
Official Site: http://www.calpolymustangs.com/sports/mbkb/index
Hey Guys! https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/calpolymustangs/
How to Watch: http://bigwest.sidearmstreaming.com/watch/?Live=569