Friday, December 28, 2018

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

Official Site:
Hey Guys!:
How to Watch

USF Pre-Season Preview Link: ... eview-2019
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.

No comments: