Friday, December 21, 2018

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
Official Site:
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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).

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