Saturday, December 28, 2019

Gauchos Complete 2019 Sunday at Louisiana-Lafayette
Robinson Idehen (Photo by Tony Mastres)

UCSB vs. Louisiana Men's Basketball Game Preview, by Gaucho Freg

UCSB @ Louisiana (Lafayette)
Sunday, December 29, 2019, 5pm
Quick Bite:
Coach Pasternack gets to go home for the holidays as the Gauchos head to Cajun Country to play their last D1 OOC game of the season against the Louisiana Ragin Cajuns of the Sun Belt Conference.  The Cajuns, are in a rebuild year and in the midst of a four game losing streak, including 0-2 to start conference play.

By the Numbers     

Quadrant 4
1920px-Ragin_Cajuns_logo.svg.png (7.17KiB)
UCSB logo small.png (7.12KiB)
Record (D1 only) 4-7 8-4
Home/Away vs D1 3-1 (H)  3-3 (A)
Composite National Rankings
DCI 1&2, BPI, KP, Massey, NET, RPI, Sagarin 256 143
NET 265 162
SOS 250 297
CBS Preseason Rank 231
SI Preseason Rank 201 137
Preseason Poll Pick 6th 2nd
Efficiency Rankings (Pomeroy) 
Offense 229 80
Defense 289 243
Scoring 73.5 72.6
FG% 42% 47%
3 PT Makes/Attempts 7.2/21.7 6.5/19.3
3Pt % 33% 34%
FT Makes/Attempts 16.7/23.6 15/19.9
FT% 71% 75%
Defense:           PPG Allowed 76.0 67.1
FG % Defense 45% 45.1
3Pt % Defense 32% 36.0
Steals PG 7.4 4.4
Blocks PG 2.3 2.8
Rebounding Margin -1.4 +6.4
Assists/Turnovers PG 10.3/14.8 14/12
Best win (NET) Youngstown St.(258) UT Arlington (169)
Worst loss (NET) Wyoming (299) Rice (167)
Lost 4 Won 3

The Arena:  Home games are played in the Cajundome (what else?) with seating capacity of 11,500 for hoops and in business since 1985.  It is the largest college hoops facility in the state.  They averaged 3,940 last season.  Interestingly, the highest attended game in the arena’s history was versus a California mid-major, LMU in 1992, two years after Hank Gathers & Bo Kimble had played.
UCSB-Lousiana History
UCSB and the University of Louisiana-Lafayette played for the only time on Dec. 15, 1982, when ULL was known as Southwest Louisiana. The Ragin' Cajuns won the only matchup by a score of 97-84 in Lafayette.

Head Coach:  Bob Marlin is in his 10th season as the leader of the Ragin Cajun program.  He has had only two losing seasons (his 1st & 3rd) and has led them to NCAAs once, in 2014 and to a school record 27 wins in 2018, losing in the first round of the NIT.  Prior to Louisiana, he coached Sam Houston State, taking the Bearkats dancing twice.

Louisiana graduated 5 of their top 6 scorers so this is a rebuilding year for them. They are not a very deep team with not a ton of contribution coming off the bench and several players have missed multiple games.

Possible Starters
Guard Trajan Wesley #3  5’9”, 165 lb Sophomore 4.8 ppg, 2.9 apg, 22mpg
Leads team in assists.  Speedy, but can be picked on  defensively.
Guard Cedric Russell #0 6’2” 190 lbs, Junior 13.8 ppg, 7 rpg, 33 mpg
Teams leading 3pt shooter, 28/74 (39%) on the year.
Guard Mylik Wilson  #13 6’3” 175 lbs, Freshman 9.1 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2 apg 32 mpg
Forward Jalen Johnson  #1  6’7”, 205 lb, RS Junior 16.6 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 31 mpg
Leads team in scoring, rebounding, minutes played and FT attempts (82%).  Shoots 32% from deep.  Sat out last year as a transfer from St. Louis University.   
Forward Trius Smith  #11  6’8”, 230 lb Junior 7.6 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 16 mpg.
Replaced Gueye in the starting lineup the last two games. Played his freshman year @ UTEP before transferring to a JC last year.

Possible Key Reserves:
Forward Doudou Gueye  #34  6’9”, 220 lb, JC transfer Junior.  8.5 ppg, 6 rpg, 25 mpg.
Has started 10 games but not the last two but still played starter minutes.  Second on the team in rebounding, shoots only 35% from the field
Guard PJ Hardy  #15 6’1”, 170 lb, Senior, 7.5 ppg, 16 mpg.
Has played just 6 games

Possibly injured, unavailable
Forward Kobe Julien  #4  6’6”, 215 lb, RS Freshman  12.8 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 30 mpg, 30% from deep
Started first 8 games but has not played the last four.  Still second on the team in getting to the line (74%).  Sat out last year recovering from an injury in HS.

Match-up & prediction:
While the Cajuns have had some good teams in the past, they just don’t this year.  They are giving up 76 ppg vs a schedule rating about 250 in SOS.  They are being outrebounded every game and have a poor A/TO ratio.  The Gauchos have an advantage at every position except wing and have much better depth.  If UCSB plays their game and stays out of foul trouble, they win this to close out their D1 ooc schedule on a 4 game winning streak.

Keys to the game for the Gauchos
·        As always, defense. 
·        Establish the inside game.  Sow has struggled a bit of late but Idehen has played well and Freeman has also been playing well in the paint of late, not just hitting the three and the team needs that.
·        Hit open looks, Cyrus and Toure make their midrange shots to keep the defense honest

Prediction:  UCSB 78  Louisiana 67

Official Site: ... ath=mbball
Hey Guys! ... gin-Cajuns
How to Watch:   ESPN+

Louisiana Pre-Season Preview Links: ... eview-2020

Louisiana Fun Fact:
The Ragin Cajuns moved up to D1 in 1972 and had immediate success but was later found guilty and their victories which included first round tournament wins in 1972 & 1973 were vacated.  Hoops has been dancing 10 times total but only 6 officially as they’ve had trouble following the rules.  The hoops program is the only program besides SMU football to receive the death penalty, banned from participating from 1973-1975.  Their lone non-vacated victory came in 1992 in a first round upset of 4th seeded Oklahoma.  They would lose in the next round to a Big West opponent, 12th seeded NMSU.

The school was founded in 1898 as Southwestern Louisiana Industrial Institute (SLII), later becoming the University of Southwestern Louisiana, then, in 1999, Louisiana Lafayette.   Their sports teams have just recently dropped Lafayette.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Freeman, Defense Lead UCSB Past Merrimack, 68-50
 Matt Freeman (Photo by Eric Isaacs)

Merrimack vs. UCSB Men's Basketball Game Preview, by Gaucho Freg

UCSB vs. Merrimack
Sunday, December 22, 2019, 2pm
Quick Bite:
To top off UCSB’s creampuff home schedule, in come the Merrimack Warriors of the Northeastern Conference in their first season of D1 play. The Warriors are ineligible for the post season but have had a respectable inaugural year including a road victory over Northwestern of the B10.

By the Numbers

Quadrant:  4
Merrimack_Warriors.svg.png (14.86KiB)
UCSB logo small.png (7.12KiB)
Record (D1 only) 5-5 7-4
Home/Away vs D1 3-4 (A) 4-1 (H)
Composite National Rankings
DCI 1&2, BPI, KP, Massey, NET, RPI, Sagarin 263 151
NET 254 179
SOS 249 278
CBS Preseason Rank 323 162
SI Preseason Rank 294 137
Preseason Poll Pick 8th 2nd
Efficiency Rankings (Pomeroy) 
Offense 305 74
Defense 222 268
Scoring 63.1  73.0
FG% 40.4  46.2
3 PT Makes/Attempts 8/27 6.8/20
3Pt % 30.7 33.8
FT Makes/Attempts 8.9/12.6 15.1/20
FT% 71.0 75.4
Defense:           PPG Allowed 61.4 68.5
FG % Defense 43% 45.2
3Pt % Defense 30% 35.7
Steals PG 10.5 4.3
Blocks PG 2.9 2.8
Rebounding Margin- -9.4 +5.9
Assists/Turnovers PG 12.5/11.1 13.0/11.9
Best win (NET) Jacksonville (166) UT Arlington (160)
Worst loss (NET) Maine (319) Rice (179)
Won 1 Won 1

UCSB-Merrimack History
This will be the first meeting between the two schools.

Head Coach: Joe Gallo enters his fourth season at the helm of Merrimac, its first at the D1 level.  At D2 the Warriors won 19, 20, and 22 games in Gallo’s first three seasons at the helm, reaching the NCAA Tournament each season and claiming the program’s first NE10 title in 19 years in the 2018-19 season.

Had they remained in D2, Merrimack likely would have entered the season as a legitimate national title contender, returning five of its top six scorers including one of the best D2 players in the nation in point guard Juvaris Hayes. Have a lack of height in the front court, with a forward & wing both @ 6’5”.
Another thing to watch out for: Merrimack plays a unique extended 2-3 zone that could catch teams off-balance in their first go-round facing it.

Probable Starters
Point Guard Juvaris Hayes  #0  6’0”, 185 lb, Senior, 10.5 ppg on 49% from the field, 5.5 rpg, 5.7 apg, 3.3 spg, 34 mpg
Leads team in scoring, rebounding, assists, steals and free throws--making an impressive 31/37 from the line.  The Warriors begin and end with Hayes. Hayes is simply appointment television. He’s tasmanian devil of sorts on defense, where he routinely instills fear in opposing ball handlers.
Guard Mikey Watkins #34  5’11”, 175 lb Sophomore 6.6 ppg, 25 mpg
Solid three point shooter (35%), second on team in assists and steals
Guard Jaleel Lord #13  6’4”, 170 lb, Senior  10.1 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 26 mpg
Leads team in three point attempts, 20/70. 
Wing Devin Jensen #14   6’5”, 195 lb.  Junior   8.2 ppg, 21 mpg.
Team’s best three point shooter, leads team in makes, 23/57, 40%
Forward Idris Joyner  #15   6’5”, 215 lb, Senior 6.7 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 22 mpg

Probable Key Reserves:
Forward Jordan Minor  #22  6’7”, 225 lb, Freshman 7.1 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 19 mpg
Shooting 54% from the field, second on the team in FTs but not too accurate, 22/27.  Only 4 three point attempts but has made 2 of them. 
Wing Ziggy Reid #23   6’6”, 235 lb.  Freshman   6.2 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 19 mpg.
Adds much needed size.  Shooting just 36% from the field.
Guard Mykel Derring #3  6’2”, 180 lb, Freshman  3.8 ppg, 16 mpg

Match-up & prediction
Gallo’s teams run a heavily extended 2-3 zone zone that attempts to do two main things: force turnovers and limit three-point attempts. “We are trying to create chaotic possessions, get people out of rhythm,” Gallo said. “It may look a little wacky on film and like we are running around like chickens with our heads cut off, but that’s what we are trying to do.”  The Warriors won the turnover battle by an average of five turnovers per game last season.
Keys to the game for the Gauchos
·        Leverage significant height advantage and pass well out of the double teams
·        Remain composed under defensive pressure. 
·        Emphasizing the previous point, Hayes may be the best point guard UCSB goes up against this season and Ramsey needs to play within himself and not get rattled
·        Gabe’s dad says “Defense!  Defense Gauchos, Defense!”


Official Site:
Hey Guys!   No active board
How to Watch: ... &path=ucsb

Merrimack Pre-Season Preview Links: ... ransition/ ... ay-preview

Merrrimack Fun Fact:  See Dave’s post!
Also, Merrimack College is a private Augustinian college founded in 1947 located outside of Boston.  Hall of famer Red Sox Carl Yastrzemski finished his degree at Merrimack (after starting at Notre Dame on a basketball scholarship) while playing for the Sox.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Last-Second Shot Sinks Gauchos at Grand Canyon

Ila Lane (Photo by Tony Mastres)

Gauchos Home for the Holiday, Host Southern University Friday, Merrimack Sunday
Amadou Sow (Photo by Eric Isaacs)

Southern vs. UCSB Men's Basketball Game Preview, by Gaucho Freg

UCSB vs. Southern
Friday, December 20, 2019, 7pm
Quick Bite:
The Southern are the last (thank Zeus!) of the three SWAC teams visiting SB and, as in the Jackson State matchup, the Jaguars visit after first playing Cal Baptist.  In that game Wednesday, the Jaguars had the lead with about 10 minutes to go but CB pulled away for a deceptive 17 point victory.  The Jaguars have had a near complete roster turnover from last year.

By the Numbers                                                              
                            Quadrant:  4  
Southern U.jpg (6.95KiB)
UCSB logo small.png (7.12KiB)
Record (D1 only) 1-9 6-4
Home/Away vs D1  0-8 (A) 3-1 (H)
Composite National Rankings
DCI 1&2, BPI, KP, Massey, NET, RPI, Sagarin 316 152
NET 302 179
SOS 40 269
CBS Preseason Rank 308 162
SI Preseason Rank 344 137
Preseason Poll Pick 6th 2nd
Efficiency Rankings (Pomeroy) 
Offense 314 89
Defense 332 239
Scoring 68.8 72.6
FG% 41.4 46.0
3 PT Makes/Attempts 5.9/19.3 6.6/20.5
3Pt % 30.7 32.4
FT Makes/Attempts 9.9/14.8 14.7/19.6
FT% 66.9 75.0
Defense:           PPG Allowed N/A 68.5
FG % Defense N/A 45.1
3Pt % Defense N/A 36.0
Steals PG 6.7 4.5
Blocks PG 3.0 2.6
Rebounding Margin N/A +6.3
Assists/Turnovers PG 12.3/14.2 13.0/11.9
Best win (NET) IUPUI (289) UT Arlington (160)
Worst loss (NET) Nebraska (163) Rice (179)
Trend  Lost 5 Won 1
UCSB-Southern History
This will be the first meeting between the two schools.

Head Coach:  Sean Woods enters his second season as the Jaguars head coach after a difficult 7-25  first season.  Prior to Southern he was the head coach at Morehead St for 4 1/3 seasons, being forced out after player abuse allegations.  Before that he coached Mississippi Valley State for four years, taking the Delta Devils dancing his final year.  Woods may be most famous for playing for Kentucky and hitting the apparently game winning shot (his 20th and 21st points of the game) vs. Duke in the 1992 Elite 8.  But with 2.1s left, Christian Laettner did this:  (fast forward to 1:45 to see Wood’s impressive basket and what happened after)

Overview & Roster
Southern seems to have undergone a major roster upheaval with just a couple players that seemed to have played meaningful minutes at all last year.  A ton of transfers fill out most of the team.  Despite the poor record and poor computer rankings, Southern has played an extremely difficult schedule with no horrible losses.  All have been on the road and the worst loss was at Nebraska in OT. 17(!) players have seen the floor this season for the Jaguars. No player is averaging double digits in points.

Possible Starters
Guard Michah Bradford  #13  6’1” 175 lbs, GS  7.3 ppg, 3.3 apg 23 mpg
Leads team in assists, three pointers made (32%) and turnovers.  Second in minutes played. Grad transfer from Valpo.
Guard Ashante Shivers  #1  6’3” 205 lbs, Junior  6.6 ppg,  23 mpg
Shooting just 37% from the field, leads the team in steals.  Transfer from Siena via a JC.
Guard Issiah Rollins   #4  6’3”, 180 lb, Sophomore   4.2 ppg, shoots 39% from deep, second in 3 point makes.  Usually starts but playing only 11mpg
Forward Darius Williams   #12  6’9”, 200 lb, Senior  5.32ppg, 6.3 rpg 24 mpg
Leads team in rebounding and minutes played.  Transfer from Bakersfield
Center Amel Kuljuhovic #40  6’10”, 240 lb, Senior 7.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg 17 mpg
Will shoot the 3, is 4/15 from deep.  Leads team with blocks with 9.  One player the Gauchos will be familiar with as he is a transfer from CS Fullerton.  Played just 6 minutes vs. CB
Possible Key Reserves:
Forward Damiree Burns  #2  6’6”, 200 lb, Freshman 9.5 ppg, 4.9 rpg 20 mpg
Leads team in scoring, getting to the line (68%) and blocks despite playing off the bench.
Guard Lamarcus Lee  #5  6’2”, 185 lb, Sophomore 5.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 1.7 apg, 21 mpg
Guard Montese Blake   #11  5’11”, 180 lb, JC Transfer Junior  6.5 ppg, 15 mpg
Guard Brendan Brooks #25 5’9” 160 lbs, RS Junior  6.1 ppg, 15 mpg
Excellent FT shooter, 17/18 on the year.  10/30 from deep.
Forward Skyler Baggs  #3  6’6”, 200 lb, JC Transfer Junior 2.5 ppg, 3.1 rpg 11 mpg
Had a nice night vs. Cal Baptist, 9 pts and 6 boards in just 15 minutes.

Guard Jayden Saddler   #5  6’0”, 170 lb, Sophomore  6.0 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 1.8 apg, 20 mpg
Pre-season 3rd Team All  Conference pick

Match-up & prediction:  Despite a massive roster, the Jaguars seemed to run out of gas late on Wednesday vs. Cal Baptist and a back& forth affair turned into a 17 point loss.  I am going to take a guess that the Jaguars have depth in quantity only.  Off the bench, it is primarily guards that are getting a lot of minutes plus 6’6” forward Damiree Burns.  In their gave vs. Cal Baptist, Center Kuljuhovic played only 6 minutes and forward Darius Williams played 39 minutes, meaning the majority of time he was the only big on the floor.  Gauchos should have a major advantage on the boards if they don’t get lazy in this dept.
Biggest question from UCSB’s perspective is if Max will play or not. Shouldn’t have an impact on this game as the Gauchos should win regardless but hopefully he is in the clear and can be back on the court soon.

Keys to the game for the Gauchos
·        Leverage size advantage.  With just Williams to anchor the post vs. Cal Baptist, when he wore out, the Lancers pulled away.  Sow and Idehen need to attack early and often.
·        Standard defensive effort.  Gaucho defense has improved ~50 points in the KenPom efficiency since the Rice loss.  They’ve become a pretty good defensive team and if their effort matches what they’ve been doing the past 7 games or so, they will win.

Not key but what I’d like to see: 
·        Continued growth from Idehen, especially on defense.  I was maybe his biggest critic and I am very happy to say he’s been making me eat my words.  He’s been great and I’d like to see his role continue to increase.
·        While neither Cyrus or Toure are great perimeter shooters, I would like to see them be able to hit the wide open looks.  Defenses have been really sagging off on them.  At least Ramsey’s shot has returned making this not as critical but the offense is not as potent as it could be.

Prediction:  UCSB 78  SU 61

Official Site:
Hey Guys!: ... s-board.4/
How to Watch: ... &path=ucsb

Southern Pre-Season Preview Links: ... c-preview/

Southern Fun Fact:  They’ve gone dancing 9 times, more than any other SWAC school.   They upset #4 seed Georgia Tech in the first round of the 1993 tournament.

Monday, December 16, 2019

UCSB vs. Idaho State Men's Basketball Game Preview, by Gaucho Freg

UCSB @ Idaho State Preview
Monday, December 16, 2019, 6:30 PM PST
Quick Bite:
UCSB finishes the second game of a two game road swing with just a day’s rest, a schedule set-up to mimic a road swing in conference play.  This is a return game from the Bengals visit to SB last year.

By the Numbers                                                             
Idaho St..png (10.09KiB)
UCSB logo small.png (7.12KiB)
Record (D1 only) 1-4 6-4
Home/Away vs D1 0-0 (H) 2-3 (A)
Composite National Rankings
DCI 1&2, BPI, KP, Massey, NET, RPI, Sagarin 272 154
SOS 242 266
CBS Preseason Rank 341 162
SI Preseason Rank 318 137
Preseason Poll Pick 8th-9th (11) 2nd
Efficiency Rankings (Pomeroy) 
Offense 295 87
Defense 316 243
Scoring 71.7 72.5
FG% 48.3 46.4
3 PT Makes/Attempts 7.1/20.4 6.4/18.6
3Pt % 35.0 31.2
FT Makes/Attempts 12.3/19.7 14.9/19.8
FT% 62.3 75.3
Defense:           PPG Allowed 64.4 66.1
FG % Defense 45.1 42.6
3Pt % Defense 18.6 30.7
Steals PG 8.9 4.4
Blocks PG 2.1 2.8
Rebounding Margin +6.7 +5.9
Assists/Turnovers PG 12.9/16.2 13.5/11.7
Idaho State:
Best win (NET):  @ Air Force (185)
Worst Loss (NET):  @ Wyoming (323)
Trend: Lost 1

Idaho State-UCSB History
UCSB leads the series 4-2.  Their first meeting was in 1971 in Rob Gym with the Gauchos prevailing 84-71.  UCSB won last year in SB, 84-65.  The Gauchos had 5 players in double figures led by Armond Davis (19) and Ramsey (18).  Sow, Toure and Blackmon each chipped in 10 pts.  Heidegger did not shoot the ball well but dished 8 assists and tied for the team lead in rebounds (5).  Three of the Bengal’s leading scorers from that game, Stutzman, Maker and Mocsan return. 

About the Arena:  Starting this season the Bengals will now play all of their games in Reed Gym, constructed in 1951 and seating 3,214.  In prior years, they played their home games in Holt Arena, a dual purpose facility, seating 12,000 for football and 8,000 for hoops. Holt was constructed in 1970 making it the oldest on-campus enclosed football stadium in the country.  Only the Astrodome predates it for enclosed field stadiums. Holt’s draw back is cavernous, empty spaces behind the basket and a building with a lot of empty space making for a poor home court advantage.  Hence, the move back to Reed.  Average attendance is 1,216 this year.  It sits at an elevation of 4,560 ft. 
Head Coach:  First year coach Ryan Looney took over for Bill Evans who was fired after last year’ 11-19 campaign.  Looney had tremendous success at the D2 level, taking Pt Loma to the championship game last year and making the post season every year as a HC except for his first season at Pt. Loma.  Prior to his last 3 years at Pt. Loma, he was at Seattle Pacific for 7, taking them to the Sweet 16 twice.  Before Seattle Pacific he coached NAIA Eastern Oregon for five years, taking them to the 2nd round and Elite 8 in his last two years there. With his Pacific NW background, he’s a great fit for the Bengals.

Roster & Overview
While this will be their third home game it is their first vs. a D1 opponent.  The Bengals have only played five D1 games so are a bit of a question mark.  They do boast a nice victory on the road vs Air Force early in the season but have lost to Santa Clara, Pepperdine, Washington St and to lowly Wyoming.
The Bengals lost their three top scorers from last year’s team so its a fresh start for ISU.  They do return most of the rest of their production and Looney has been successful at every stop but, it has usually taken a year for him to start getting results. If you see Gittens passing to the other team once in a while, you’ll have to forgive him as FIVE players from the College of Southern Idaho (CSI) join Idaho State this year, which has to be a record.
The Bengals are tall at the guard position with only PG Tarik Cool under 6’5” but are undersized at the forward positions. 

Probable Starters
Guard – Tarik Cool  #2 6’2”, 190 lb, JC Transfer Junior.  14.3 ppg, 3.6 apg, 3 rpg, 27 mpg
Leads team in scoring and ft attempts, 27-35.  Third in three pointers made, 36%.  Poor ATO ratio of 1.1.  Played at Lane CC in Texas
Guard – Jared Stutzman  #21  6’6”, 200 lb, Senior  12.4 ppg, 2.9 rpg. 27 mpg.
Top three point shooter on team, 41%.  Preseason Big Sky 2nd team pick.
Forward – Coreyoun Rushin #15  6’6”, 200 lb, JC Transfer Junior  5.9 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.4 apg, 26 mpg.
Second on the team in assists.  Not a perimeter threat.   Played at CSI
ForwardMalik Porter #3  6’5”, 205 lb, JC Transfer Junior.  7.6 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 26 mpg
Strictly an inside the arc player on offense.  Played at CSI
ForwardChier Maker #5  6’7”, 200 lb, Senior, JC Transfer – 11.3 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 32 mpg.  Leads team in minutes played and is second in rebounding.  From Australia, leads team in 3 point attempts but is making just 27% of them.

Probable Key Reserves
Guard – Austin Smellie.  #1  6’5”, 185 lb, Sophomore  6.1 ppg, 2.9 rpg. 19 mpg.
Excellent three point shooter, 5-11 from deep.  Good decisions with the ball, 2.4 ATO ratio.
Wing– Chidi Udengwu.  #4  6’7”, 194 lb, Senior , JC Transfer  5.4 ppg. 5.9 rpg
Leads team in rebounding despite coming off the bench. Second in FT attempts but making only about half.
Guard – Nico Aguire  #12  6’0”, 175 lb, JC Transfer Sophomore  
Good three point shooter, poor ATO ratio.  From Chile, played at CSI

Guard - Balint Mocsan, #20 6’3” 190lb, Senior.  He and Stutzman are the top returning players for the Bengals but Moscan has yet to play this year.  Had a shoulder injury at the end of last season and is apparently still on the mend.
Match-up & prediction:
Sow had his worst game of the season.  Against undersized Idaho State, he has a chance to bounce back. 

Keys to the game for the Gauchos
·        Unleash the Sow
·        Defend the perimeter, the Bengals best shot at winning is knocking down a bunch of threes.

Prediction:  It’s a short turnaround but after losing a tough one, I think the Gauchos will be focused.  UCSB 76  Idaho State  68
Official Site:
Hey Guys! ... d1f191bee6
How to Watch:

Idaho State Pre-Season Preview Link: ... y-preview/ ... 20-preview
Fun facts about Idaho State:  (Same as last year, short turnaround between games, sorry). 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 each year.  In 1977 the Bengals defeated Long Beach then UCLA to advance to the Elite 8.  The Long Beach game was held in their home arena.  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).

Friday, December 13, 2019

Gauchos Take 5-Game Winning Streak to Southern Utah on Saturday
Robinson Idehen (Photo by Jeff Liang)

Gauchos Travel to Future Big West Opponent CSU Bakersfield Saturday Afternoon
Danae Miller (Photo by Gabrielle Penner)

UCSB vs. Southern Utah Men's Basketball Game Preview, by Gaucho Freg

UCSB @ Southern Utah
Saturday, December 14, 2019, 1 PM PST
Quick Bite:  Gauchos, on a five game winning streak and coming off their best win of the year over UT Arlington in Texas,  travel to the Beehive State to take on the Southern Utah of the Big Sky Conference.

By the Numbers                                  
suu.gif (3.61KiB)
UCSB logo small.png (7.12KiB)
Preseason Conference
Pick (range)
3-5th 2nd
CBS Preseason Rank 209 162
SI Preseason Rank 218 137
Record (D1 only) 3-4 5-3
      Home/away vs D1  1-0 (H)  2-2 (A)
 National Rankings
Composite: DCI 1&2, BPI, SOR, KP, Massey,
179 146
SOS 166 278
Efficiency Rankings (Pomeroy)    
                     Offense 274 86
                     Defense 92 254
Scoring 77.9 73.4
FG% 46.5 45.4
3 PT Makes/Attempts 6.2/21 6.4/18.6
3Pt % 30.1 34.3
FT Makes/Attempts 13.7/19.8 15.5/21.7
FT% 69.1 71.6
Defense: PPG Allowed 64.0 66.1
FG % Defense 38.0 42.6
3Pt % Defense 27.4 30.7
Steals PG 8.9 5.0
Blocks PG 3.8 3.3
Rebounding Margin +10.9 +6.6
Assists/Turnovers PG 12.9/16.2 13.5/11.1
Best win (BPI):  @ Nebraska, in OT (160)
Worst Loss (BPI):  @ LMU (215)
Trend: Won 1

SU-UCSB History
UCSB All-time record vs. Thunderbirds:  1-0
Last game (1988):  UCSB 88 SUU 55.  They were then known as SUU State. 
The Arena:  The Thunderbirds play in the Centrum Arena which was built in 1985 and has a capacity of 5,300. Attendance this year averages 2,202.

Head Coach:   Todd Simon has done a solid job for the Thunderbirds showing improvement each year and getting them to the post season (CIT) last year.  2016 was a complete rebuilding job and the team struggled, winning only 6 games.  They more than doubled that in season 2 winning 13 and last year he got to .500 going 17-17, winning two games in the conference tournament and winning a game in the CIT.  Pior to SUU, he was the interim HC for UNLV in 2016, going 8-7.

Roster and overview: SUU is a veteran team returning all of its starters and 6 of its top 7 scorers.  They are predicted to finish in the upper third of the Big Sky.  They’ve played a moderately difficult  schedule, SOS of 166, with middling results, no horrible losses with their best win in OT @ Nebraska.   Coach Todd Simon has done a nice job slowly accumulating talent, and this could finally be the year the Thunderbirds break through and win a conference title.  To their many returning players they add a couple transfers including guard Jakolby Long from Iowa State. Sixth year senior Dwayne Morgan returns with an injury waiver as do Cameron Olutiyan and Harrison Butler allowing for tons of lineup versatility on both ends.
Defensively, SUU is giving up only ~64 ppg and ranks 92 in KP’s defensive efficiency.  They played about 15% zone last season, and Coach Simon’s goal the past few years has been to force opponents to play uncomfortably fast. The T-Birds have ranked 7th, 4th, and 31st in opponent APL in Simon’s three years at the helm. In addition to this “speed you up” philosophy, SUU is lock-down on the defensive glass, ranking 1st in the Big Sky in defensive rebounds% last year and 30th in the country. Morgan’s return improves SUU’s defensive ceiling, as does adding another athlete in Long.
On offense, the Thunderbirds are averaging ~78 ppg but that number is heavily skewed by two 100+ point games vs. lower division teams and they rank only 274 in KP’s offensive efficiency ranking.  Curiously, UCSB & SUU have polar opposite efficiency rankings so on both ends of the court it will be strength vs. strength. 
Probable Starters
Guard – Dre Marin  #4  6’0”, 170 lb, Junior 8.9 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 24 mpg
Led team in assists last year but averaging less than 2 per game this year.
Guard John Knight #3  6’3”, 205 lb, Junior.  12.3 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 23 mpg, 2 apg, 46% from the field.
Tied for team lead in scoring.  Leads team in getting to the line, 33-45 from the stripe. Second on team in assists, not a three point threat, just 1-5 on the year.  Leads team in turnovers (25).  Transfer from USU where he played last year but had immediate eligibility.  Apparently was injured earlier and his role with the team is increasing and Coach Simon is high on what he brings, "John's an aggressive, get to the rim guy," he said. "He's a super athlete, and a unique player that you can use in certain ways, but he can create his own offense off the break and really triggers us to get out and run. He's been a good weapon for us, and as he continues to get healthy we'll be able to take advantage of him more and more."
Wing -  Cameron Oluyitan  #23  6’8”, 195 lb,  RS Senior  11.9 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 2.2 apg. 
Leads team in 3pt attempts & makes (32%), apg, steals and in minutes played.  Only player to start every game.  Excellent FT shooter, 23-26 on the year.
ForwardDwayne Morgan #25  6’8”, 218 lb, RS Senior  12.3 ppg, 4.1 rpg. 25 mpg
Tied for team lead in scoring, excellent three point shooter shooter, 12-22 on the year.  5* out of HS, originally played @ UNLV.  Played just 4 games last year before being lost to injury.  Like former Gaucho Chris Devine, a 6th year senior.  SUU can play through Morgan on the block, and he’s skilled enough to step away from the hoop and shoot or drive around slower defenders. Defensively, Morgan is a solid rim protector and adds to SUU’s already-stout defensive rebounding prowess.
ForwardAndre Adams #32  6’9”, 230 lb, Senior  5.7 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 19 mpg, 61% from the field.
Returning starter, originally played at ASU

Probable Key Reserves
Guard – Harrison Butler  #15  6’5”, 220 lb, Sophomore.  9.3 ppg, 8 rpg, 26 mpg.
Leads the team in rebounding, playing starter minutes and has started 5 games.  Solid 3 point shooter, second on the team in getting to the line but has made just 60% of his 30 attempts. 14 assists to 20 TOs. 
Guard – Jakolby Long  #1  6’5”, 208 lb, RS Junior.  9.9 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 28 mpg, 55% from the field.
Transfer from Iowa State
ForwardMaizen Fausett #12  6’5”, 225 lb, Sophomore.  7.1  ppg, 4.7 rpg, 19 mpg
ForwardJarryd Hoppo #33  6’9”, 186 lb, Freshman  7.2  ppg, 4.7 rpg, 13 mpg
Stellar 3 point shooter, 12-20 for the year.
Guard – Damani Mcintire  #0  6’4”, 179 lb, Freshman.  Good playmaker
Center- Daouda (David) Ndiaye #14  7’0”, 215 lb, RS Senior.  First year for SUU, transfer from Illinois St.

Keys to the game for the Gauchos
·        Sow vs. Morgan.  Two very similar players in size and skills, two bigs that can stretch the defense.  Morgan has the advantage in experience but Sow boasts better numbers and is coming off one of the best games of his career.
·        Game control.  SUU likes to push the place and force 16 turnovers per game (they average the same themselves). This could be a trouble spot for Ramsey if allows him to rush things.  McLaughlin there to provide a steadying force but a strong showing by Ramsey could be a turning point for him this season.
·        Battle of the boards, in particular by the wing players.  SUU rebounds extremely well, +11 per game on the season, with their wings Cameron Oluyitan and Harrison Butler leading the way.  Critical for JRoq, Cyrus and Toure to box their guys out and limit their second chance points, especially considering that Sow will often be pulled out of the block defending Morgan.

Prediction:  Gauchos have the tools to negate the Thunderbird’s strengths of a good (but not huge) post player, pressure defense, skilled wings and rebounding abilities.  Won’t be easy but the win streak continues. 
Gauchos 69 SUU 65

Official Site:
Hey Guys!:  No active board
How to Watch:

SU Pre-Season Preview Link: ... y-preview/ ... 20-preview
Fun facts about SUU:   Located in Cedar City, near the underrated ski resort of Brian Head.  It was founded as a Normal (Teaching) school in 1897.  At one time it was an ag school branch of Utah State.  In 1991 it became a full university and joined D1 athletics later in the decade.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Gaucho Hoops Overview, by Gaucho Freg

Team Overview
UCSB is 6-3 coming off their best win of the season, on the road at UT Arlington, 72-68, where they were 6 point underdogs. This was their fifth straight victory with all but the UTA win over teams ranked well below 200 in the composite computer rankings plus NAIA Menlo; the Gauchos are getting healthy on cupcakes. To their credit, two of the victories were on the road (Bakersfield the other).
Besides the light schedule, a ton of credit to the turnaround lies with the leadership and stellar play of Junior Jaquori McLaughlin.  His decision making, scoring, ability to get to the line and much improved defense are night & day from his first four games.  Mucho the remaining credit goes to the team defense which is vastly improved.  The first four games, which included three losses, the Gauchos gave up 74.5 ppg and in their three losses, they gave up an average of 79 ppg.  In their 5 game winning streak, Gaucho opponents are averaging just 65 ppg.
Shout outs too to Amadou Sow who had his best game of the year vs. UT Arlington.  The Sophomore is maturing and playing smarter and leads the team in scoring and rebounding.  Also to Matt Freeman who has been every bit the perimeter threat he was rumored to be, shooting over 50% from deep and has really stepped into a leadership role as well.  He’s a cocky bastard and I love it.

Outlook for the remainder of the OOC season
The upcoming game at Southern Utah represents the most difficult remaining game on the OOC schedule and the only one that UCSB may not be favored.  The Thunderbirds rank 181 in the composite rankings and are a Top 100 team in KenPom’s defensive efficiency ratings. 
Win or lose, it will probably be a very difficult game.  Two days later, the Gauchos play at Idaho State representing their biggest trap game of the OOC.  The Bengals are not good this year, #287 in the composite rankings but winning on the road, at elevation, with wintry mountainous travel inbetween on a short rest is not easy.
Moving along Candy-Cane Lane, the Gauchos return to home to take on consecutive 300+ teams in Southern and Merrimack.  These should be easy double-digit victories.  After Christmas they travel to Louisiana to take on the rebuilding Cajuns who lost by 25 earlier this year to UCI but managed to lose by just 12 at Arizona State.  That should be another victory for the Gauchos but may not come easy.  They host NAIA Westmont January 2 to close things out.
I’ll go with the Gauchos losing just one more this year to finish their OOC at 11-4 but I’d like to say they’ll go undefeated.

Player Update
Devearl Ramsey#4 PG, RS Junior.  6’0”, 185 lb   5.8 ppg on 27% shooting (17% from deep), 3.4. apg/3.3 TOpg, 3.8 rpg, 30 mpg
No other Gaucho struggled more than Ramsey to start the season. Even now, 9 games into the season, he remains in a massive shooting slump, going just 1-10 from the field vs. UTA.  While a deft ball handler that usually can handle defensive pressure well, his decision making often puts him into situations that limits his options and leads to turnovers.  I’ve called this out before but the higher turnover rate could be due in part to his teammates not doing what their supposed to, something that is not as easy for us fans on the side to make that distinction.
On the positive side, his defense seems to be better than earlier in the year and he seems to possess the speed and strength he had last year (could also be the softer competition) that seemed lacking vs. the P12 teams early in the year.
I might be guilty of wearing rose colored glasses but I am feeling very positive about Ramsey coming back to form soon.  We know his shooting is far better than it has been and when that comes back, the confidence goes up and, probably, better decision making will follow.

JaQuori McLaughlin:  #3 Guard, RS Junior  6’4, 190 lb    13.7  ppg on 49% from the field (33% from deep), 4.1 apg, 1.4 TO pg, 3.7 rpg, 1.1 spg, 33 mpg. 
Much of the blame for the poor defense by the Gauchos vs. UCLA, Rice & OSU lay on Jaquori’s shoulders as he repeatedly got burned by his opponent.  He has since turned that around and has become UCSB’s best player.  His stats speak for themselves but his A/TO ratio may be the one that stands out the most, he is just playing very smart out there.  The Gauchos are on this 5 game winning streak without Heidegger and JRoq is the biggest reason for it.

Brandon Cyrus:  #11  Guard/Wing, RS Junior, 6’5”, 190lb.     6.4 ppg, 3.1 rpg. 25 mpg Shooting 40% from the field and just 18% from deep. In the preseason practices & scrimmages, Cyrus showed to be strong in finishing at the basket and did well defensively but wilted vs. the P12 competition. For a player coming from a major conference, he has played very tight against higher level competition, not producing on offense or performing as a defensive stopper fans hoped he would be.  He missed a couple games due to lower body injuries and since his return has been pretty good again on defense and showing some decent mid-range game.  Still not finishing with as much authority as anticipated and is not shooting well at all from deep.   While I don’t think he’ll ever be an outstanding three point shooter, I do expect his moves to the hoop to improve.  He is not playing to his potential right now.

Matt Freeman:  #2  Forward, GT (Oklahoma) 6‘10”, 220 lb     11.1 ppg, 53% fg (51% from deep), 3.2 rpg
Freeman has been a steady contributor on offense and is now third in scoring with 11 ppg and shooting an outstanding 51% from deep.  While he is a liability on defense, especially vs. more athletic teams, he plays smart and with a ton of confidence.  As mentioned before, he is providing much needed leadership and experience, especially needed in the absence of Heidegger.

Amadou Sow#12  Forward/Center, Sophomore, 6’9”, 235 lb     15.9 ppg on 56% shooting (43% from deep), 8.3 rbg, 1.2 bpg, 27 mpg. Sow struggled a bit and was undersized vs. the P12 teams but has been absolutely terrific vs the rest of the schedule.  To Sow’s credit, he still pulled double digit rebounds vs. the P12 schools, was just limited offensively.   Rumors of him improving his perimeter shot were accurate, he is shooting 43% from deep and is coming off a perfect 3-3 from the field vs. UTA.  Just a sophomore, his decision making, patience and feel for the game are really improving.   Expectations were high for this preseason first team All Big West player and he is certainly meeting them. 

Main Reserves
Sekou Toure:  #0  Guard, Sophomore, 6’5”, 185 lb     4.7 ppg, 4.2 rbg  18 mpg
Forced into spot starter and 6th man roles with the injuries to Heidegger and Cyrus, Toure has played extremely well.  His athleticism is an asset and he has played solid defense.  His game acumen, while still a bit of a handicap, is improving.  He has demonstrated some good finishing skills of late, with a nice Euro-step in his tool chest. His three point shot has been terrible (0-5) and the coaches have slapped the red light on that shot.  Something for him to work on but overall the future is bright for this sophomore.

Robinson Idehen:  #35  Center, Junior, 6’10”, 230 lb    4.4 ppg, 3.7 rpg. 12 mpg  
While he is the biggest and strongest guy on the roster, he frequently gets lost on defense and makes silly fouls trying to get caught up.  He’s been efficient on offense and has a couple nice moves to the hoop in his repertoire but his numbers have dipped a bit since the start of the season.  Still has a lot of work to do on his defense to stay out of foul trouble and make stops and if he can get that fixed, he should see his minutes bump up.  I still think that he paired with Sow can be a tough matchup for Gaucho opponents, I think its on Idehen to get better defensively so the coaches want to throw that out there. 

Jay Nagle#5  Forward, Sophomore.  6’9”, 210 lb    3 ppg, 41% from three, 12 mpg. 
A similar player to Freeman but does not have the have the same confidence that Freeman has.  Despite having grown an inch since his freshman campaign Nagle is averaging just one rebound per game and is shooting a lower % inside the arc than outside it.   Needs to get stronger as he has trouble on defense too.  On the positive side, has a nice feel for the game and plays smart within the system as demonstrated by a 2.3 A/TO ratio. 

Roberto Gittens#1  Guard, JC transfer Junior, 6’5”, 220 lb  2 ppg, 1 rpg, 8 mpg 
Has played just 7 games in spot play.  Decent shooting form but a little sluggish on the floor.  Would be great to see how a super fit Gittens would look out there but doesn’t look like we’ll see that this season. 

Max Heidegger#21 Guard, Senior. 6‘3”, 180 lb    14 ppg, 50% FG, 30% from three, 81%FTs, 3 apg, 31 mpg.  Max started out on fire this season but had taken a more passive, faciliatory role his last three games before getting a concussion at the end of the Portland State game.  He’s missed three games and there is no public timetable for his return.  With this being the second season in a row dealing with a concussion, it would not surprise me if we don’t see him til the new year as the priority has to be that he's in the clear.  Get better Max, its a joy watching you play.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

UCSB vs. UTA Men's Basketball Game Preview, by Gaucho Freg

UCSB @ UT Arlington
Saturday, December 7, 2019, 12 pm PST
Quick Bite:  Gauchos travel to the Dallas area to take on the UT Arlington Mavericks of the Sun Belt Conference.  The Mavericks returned 5 of their 6 top scorers from last year and are projected to finish 3rd in their conference.

By the Numbers                                  
UTA.jpg (3.77KiB)
UCSB logo small.png (7.12KiB)
Preseason Conference
Pick (range)
3rd 1st to 2nd
CBS Preseason Rank 145 162
SI Preseason Rank 187 137
Record (D1 only) 2-5 4-3
      Home/away vs D1  1-1 (H)  1-2 (A)
 National Rankings
Composite: DCI 1&2, BPI, SOR, KP, Massey,
144 169
SOS 14 279
Efficiency Rankings (Pomeroy)    
                     Offense 160 92
                     Defense 130 272
Scoring 69.8 74.0
FG% 41.5 47.8
3 PT Makes/Attempts 8.8/27 6.5/20.6
3Pt % 32.9 31.5
FT Makes/Attempts 11.9/16.3 14/18.5
FT% 72.8 75.7
PPG Allowed 66.4 69.5
FG % Defense 39.8 45.4
3Pt % Defense 33.0 38.0
Steals PG 7.3 4.1
Blocks PG 3.8 2.8
Rebounding Margin -0.8 +7.0
Assists/Turnovers PG 14.7/11.2 14.1/12.0
Best win (BPI): Tulsa (106) 
Worst Loss: N. Texas (139)
Trend: Lost 1

UTA-UCSB History
UCSB All-time record vs. Mavericks:  1-0
Last game (1970):  In the only game played between the two schools UCSB handily defeated the Mavericks 96-67 in Rob Gym.

The Arena:  The Mavericks play in the College Park Center, built in 2012 at a cost of $78M.  Capacity is 7,000 and they are averag 2,093 fans this season. It’s a beautiful, modern facility with all chairback seats.

Head Coach:
Second Year Coach Chris Ogden garnered the Sun Belt COY honors after leading the Mavericks to an unexpected 2nd place finish after being picked to finish near the cellar and returning just 3% of its offense.  The Mavericks ranked dead last in the country in minutes continuity.  His team played the 2nd toughest non-conference schedule in the country and finished 17-16 overall.  A native of Texas, he played for Rick Barnes at the University of Texas then went on to work as an assistant under him at Texas then at Tennessee.  Prior to taking the UTA job, coached under Texas Tech’s Chris Beard.  He is very much the hot up & coming coach.
Roster & Overview of the Mavericks
Senior Brian Warren is the player that makes the offense tick. He led the team with 15.4 points, 3.6 assists and 1.2 steals last season and is a dangerous scorer from anywhere on the floor. Radshad Davis and TiAndre Jackson-Young are the other shooters on the team. UT Arlington does not win games because of their outside shooting, but it would go a long way if Warren, Davis and Jackson-Young could boost their three-point shooting percentage. Davis Azore had a very promising freshman campaign, averaging 8.4 points and 4.2 rebounds. The 6-4 forward plays bigger than he is and has emerged as a consistent double-digit scorer with a year of experience under his belt. Fellow undersized forwards Ayoub Nouhi and Patrick Mwamba also earned some quality minutes as freshmen and should be ready to take the next step. Jabari Narcis has the size to bang around in the paint. He will get some help though from the newcomers, especially from Arkansas transfer Jordan Phillips and junior college transfer Coleman Sparling.
Last year’s Arlington’s defense spearheaded its success, a stingy unit that ranked in the top 100 in the country and second in the Sun Belt. Per KenPom, the Mavericks ranked dead last in the country in Average Height, which is what happens when you start 5’9/6’0 in the backcourt and a 6’5 center. Despite that, opponents struggled mightily to score inside, largely due to Ogden’s scheme which employed a conservative, “wall off the paint” approach, mixing in some compact zone looks to help combat his team’s lack of size. Jabari Narcis was the only rotation player over 6’6, and he proved to be an excellent shot-blocker, helping to boost the Mavs’ 2-point defense.  The Mav’s benefited greatly that their opponents last year did not shoot the 3 well, Research has shown that teams have little control over their opponents’ 3FG%, so regression to the mean (or worse) could have a disastrous impact on Arlington’s outlook this year
The Maverick offense did not have a ton of nuance to it, instead allowing the two guards to break down their defenders via isolation and slash-and-kick to the rest of the roster.  45% of their field goal attempts have been from beyond the arc.
Possible Starters

Brian Warren  #0  Guard, JC transfer Senior, 5’9”, 160 lb  11.6 ppg, 4 apg, 28 mpg.
Leads team in assists, steady with the ball with a 2.1 A/TO ratio.  Second on team in getting to the line, where he is 24/28. 
Led the team in scoring, assists and minutes played last year.  Preseason 1st Team Pick. Sports a wicked Haredenesque beard

David Azore  #4  Wing, RS Sophomore, 6’4” 205 lbs  12.6 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 3.6 apg. 29 mpg
Leading scorer with the bulk of his points earned at the FT line, 9 attempts per game, making them at a 84% clip. Excellent 3 point shooter, 11-28 from deep.  Second on the team in assists, leads team in steals. Steady with the ball, 1.8 A/TO ratio.

Tiandre Jackson-Young  #22 Wing, JC transfer Sr 6’3” 195 lbs  6.2 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 17 mpg  10/34 from deep.  Has started 4 games

Coleman Sparling #43  Forward JC transfer Junior 6’7”, 215 lb  15 mpg
Unimpressive stats.  Starts but playing only 15 mpg.  Played with Roberto Gittens at the College of  S. Idaho last year.

Jabari Narcis #13  Center, Senior, 6’9”, 230 lb  9.6 ppg, 7 rpg, 20 mpg
Surprisingly, their top three point shooter, making nearly half of his attempts, 19/39.  From Trinidad & Tobago.

Possible Key Reserves:
Sam Griffin  #1  Guard, Freshman, 6’3”, 175, 7.2 ppg, 18 mpg, 11/33 from deep.
Jordan Phillips  #2 Wing, Sophomore transfer (Arkansas)  6’7” 215 lbs  7.1 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 19 mpg
Radshad Davis  #10  Guard, JC transfer Sr  6’2”, 205 lb  6.3 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 16 mpg,
Ayoub Nouhi  #3  Forward Sophomore, 6’5”, 196 lb   3.8 ppg, 16 mpg, 5-15 from deep
Has started 3 games.  From Belgium.
Nicolas Elame  #20  Guard, Freshman, 6’3”, 180, 11 mpg
Has started 2 games, from France

Patrick Mwamba  #23 Forward Sophomore,  6’5” 188 lbs
Match-up & prediction:
UTA does not have a great record but they are a better opponent than the last four the Gauchos have faced.  With 8 games into the season providing a reasonable amount of data, the computers have UTA ranked about 25 slots above the Gauchos which means the two are pretty evenly matched.  UCSB’s defense has been much better of late and this game will be a test if it can hold up vs a step up in competition.  If it does, then expect a very competitive game that the Gauchos can win.  If not, then UTA wins somewhat comfortably.  The Mavericks are experienced, have the size to negate Sow down low, a point guard that is quicker than Ramsey and have the home court advantage.  Despite all that, going through the lineup, outside of the PG position, the Gauchos match up well.  Two of our best defenders are Cyrus and Toure who will get tasked with their top scorer David Azore.  Their center Narcis gets a lot of his points from beyond the arc and Sow has the speed to chase him down when he drifts outside.

Keys to the game for the Gauchos
·        Great defense, starting with Ramsey.  Brian Warren is a high motor pg, need to limit his ability to execute and draw fouls.  The help defense the Gauchos displayed vs. Bake was terrific and with a player like Warren, that will be a need again.
·        Stay out of foul trouble, particularly at the wing where Azore is very good at getting to the line.  A job for Cyrus and Toure.
·        Leverage an advantage at the four.  Freeman is much more productive than the Maverick’s Sparling, we should be getting the ball to Matt frequently.
·        Rebounding  from others than Sow.  Amadou will frequently be pulled out of the paint to guard Narcis which means others will have to crash the boards.

Prediction:  When I started writing up this preview, I felt this would be a loss for the Gauchos, but now am on the fence.  The computer rankings and home court advantage point to a Mavericks victory and I expect them to be favored.  However, I think UCSB matches up well and with improved defense and Ramsey showing signs of returning to form I think the Gauchos can pull the road upset.
Gauchos 64 UTA 62

Official Site
Hey Guys! ... Basketball
How to Watch: ESPN+
UTA Season Preview and Game Peview Links: ... eview-2020

Fun facts about UTA:  School has been known as UT Arlington since 1967 after joining the UT system in 1965.  It was founded in 1895, went through several private military school iterations that all failed financially before going public & eventually becoming part of the Texas A&M system. Within the A&M system, the school quickly grew, eventually changing its name to the North Texas Agricultural College.  The rapid growth led to the College Station home campus to feel threatened and they began blocking funding to their northern campus.  UTA officials shook off the shackles, joining the UT system.  UTA is now a huge school with over 42,000 students. 
Initially known as the Rebels with accompanying Confederate fanfare and even mock slave auctions;  administrators ditched the Rebs, replacing it with the Mavericks in 1971.  Their women’s volleyball team made the Final 4 in 1989 and their men’s team has made the Big Dance once.  In 2017 the men advanced to the NIT quarterfinals.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Gauchos Take 3-Game Win Streak to Bakersfield for Tuesday Night Clash
Devearl Ramsey (Photo by Eric Isaacs)

UCSB vs. CSU-Bakersfield Men's Basketball Game Preview, by Gaucho Freg

Devearl Ramsey (Photo by Eric Isaacs)
UCSB @ CSU Bakersfield
Tuesday, December 3, 2019, 7pm
Quick Bite:  Gauchos travel to the Central Valley to take on future BW conference member CSU Bakersfield.
By the Numbers 
CSUB.png (9.55KiB)
UCSB logo small.png (7.12KiB)
Preseason Conference
Pick (range)
4th1st to 2nd
CBS Preseason Rank179162
SI Preseason Rank176137
Record (D1 only)1-5 3-3
      Home/away vs D11-2 (H)0-2 (A)
 National Rankings
Composite: DCI 1&2, BPI, SOR, KP, Massey,
Efficiency Rankings (Pomeroy)  
3Pt %31.429.9
PPG Allowed69.970.9
FG % Defense42.245.8
3Pt % Defense37.740.0
Steals PG7.34.3
Blocks PG3.83.0
Rebounding Margin+11.8+ 7.6
Assists/Turnovers PG12.4/15.415.3/12.1
Best win (BPI):  Hampton  (299)
Worst Loss (BPI): S. Dakota St (213) 
Trend: Won 2
Bake-UCSB History
UCSB All-time record vs. Roadrunners:  1-1
Last game (2016):  UCSB 62-Bake 60 (OT). 
UCSB & Bake have played each other only twice in their history, both times in 2016 in a home & home series.  This was Bob William’s last year and the home victory was one of the more improbable and impressive wins for UCSB in that dismal season. The Gauchos trailed by as many as 17 and shot only 25% for the game but Bake could not stop Heidegger from getting to the line where he hit 16 of 18 FTs to will the Gauchos to victory.  Bake would go on to win 25 games, finish first in the WAC and advance to the NIT semifinal that season while the Gauchos would win only 5 other games.
The Arena:  The Roadrunners play the majority of their games in the 3,800 seat Icardo Center which was constructed in 1989.  The Roadrunners averaged 2,661 fans last season. On occasion, they will play in the downtown Rabobank Arena.
Head Coach: Veteran coach Rod Barnes enters his 7th season at the helm of the Roadrunners and has led the team its greatest results in D1 play since moving up in 2007. In 2016 the Roadrunners upset top seed NMSU in the WAC championship to advance to the Big Dance for the first time.  The following year they won a school record (D1) 25 games and advanced all the way to the NIT semis in Madison Square Garden after being knocked out of the conference tournament.  His record with the Roadrunners is 140-127.  Prior to his time at Bakersfield he had an unsuccessful 4 year stint at Georgia State and a very successful run at his alma mater, Ole Miss which was his first HC job.  He set records by taking the Rebels to their first ever NCAA tournament and to the Sweet 16 the following year. But after one more NCAA birth, the Rebels had four consecutive .500 seasons and he was let go.  His overall record is 326-316
Roster & Overview
It looks to be a rebuilding year for the Roadrunners as they return only one of their top five scorers from last year’s 18-16 squad.  Coach Barnes has been experimenting with his starting lineup as just about every player on the roster has started at least two games so would not be surprised if the listed lineup below ends up being incorrect.  The roster is filled with transfers, both from the JC ranks and from other D1 schools, plus several Redshirts.  The projected starting lineup is all juniors and most of their key reserves are juniors as well.  This is an experienced roster, just not experienced playing with each other.  Bake rebounds the ball very well, +11 per game on the season but they turn it over a lot too.  They could be a team that shows improvement as the season progresses.
Possible Starters
Czar Perry   Guard, JC Transfer Junior, 6’2”, 190lb.   8.3 ppg, 25 mpg
Leads team in assists (2.9 apg) with a very impressive 2.6/1 A/TO ratio.  Second on team in getting to the line; 17/22
Cam Allen  #3  Guard, RS Junior, 6’0”, 180 lb.  10ppg, 25 mpg, tied for team lead in 3 point makes (11, 37%)  Second on team in assists. Only player to start all 9 games. Transfer from LMU
Taze Moore  #4  Wing, RS Junior, 6’5” 180 lbs  13.0 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 25 mpg, 44% from deep
Leads team in scoring and 3pt shooting accuracy but is at his best on the defensive end, extremely disruptive; leading the team with 15 steals and 12 blocks, respectively.  Has played all 9 games but started just three of them.
Greg Lee  #21 Forward RS Junior,  6’9” 210 lbs  5.1 ppg, 2.9 rpg
Has started 5 games
Shawn Stith  #21 Forward JC transfer Junior,  6’8” 265 lbs  8.3 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 18 mpg
Leads team in getting to the FT line, 29/38.  Second in rebounding.  Has started just 3 games.
Possible Key Reserves:
De’Monte Buckingham  #13  Guard, RS Junior, 6’4”, 220 lb.  9.9 ppg, 4.4 rpg,  23 mpg, tied for team lead in three point makes (11, 37%). Second on team in steals (12)
Has started 6 games but came off the bench in the last couple.  Transfer from Richmond, was the A10 FOY and is a pre-season WAC first teamer.
Justin McCall  #22  Wing Sophomore, 6’6”, 210 lb  8ppg, 4.2 rpg, 25mpg
Has started 6 games.
Justin Elder-Davis  #10  Wing, RS Junior  6’4”, 215 lb   5.3 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 21 mpg
Leading returning scorer and rebounder from last year and leading the team again in rebounding. Has started 2 games.  10/34 from deep
Darin Person  #25  Forward RS Sophomore, 6’7”, 225 lb  4.4 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 13 mpg
Ronne Readus  #0 Center JC transfer Junior,  6’9” 240 lbs  3.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 13 mpg
Has started 6 games.
Match-up & prediction:  Gauchos had some self-inflicted ugliness on offense vs. Grambling but their defense had its best showing of the season.  I am going optimist and predict that the offensive woes were just a blip but that the defense was a step in the right direction and that this trend continues.  My understanding is that Heidegger is out for a while with his concussion but Cyrus should be back.  So either he or Toure will be in the starting lineup. 
The top two scorers for the Roadrunners play the wing position so this is an opportunity for Toure, Cyrus and McLaughlin to show what they can do to keep these guys under wraps.  McLaughlin’s D was much better vs. Grambling & PSU, lets see if he has moved on from his deficient defensive efforts vs. Rice, OSU & UCLA.  Speaking of McLaughlin, he’s really turned things around and is dishing out some very impressive numbers. His stat lines over the past two games:  20.5 ppg on 63% shooting, 5.5 apg, 5.5/1  A/TO ratio, 3 rpg.  He’s fully stepped up his game.
Bakersfield has just one win vs. D1 and while their schedule has been more difficult than UCSB’s (not a hard thing to do), its still  just the 193 SOS in the country.
Keys to the game for the Gauchos:
-        DEFENSE!  Sustained over both halves. If the same effort that was given vs. Grambling is what we see, Gauchos win.
-        Rebound and second chance points. 
-        Sow gets it going in this one.  He did not have his best effort vs. Grambling, I don’t see him having a second quiet game in a row.

Prediction:   Before the season I projected this as an easy win.  Now, I think it will be closer but the Gauchos should still execute better than Bakersfield and take it, 73-67

Official Site
Hey Guys!  No active board I could find
How to Watch:   ESPN3
Bake Season Preview and Game Peview Links:
Fun facts about Bake:
The Roadrunners were extremely successful in hoops at the D2 level, winning the National Championship three times.