Friday, February 1, 2019

UCSB VS. HAWAII Game Preview, by Gaucho Freg

UCSB @ Hawaii, Game 1
Saturday, February 2, 2019, 10 PM PST
Overview:  UCSB & Hawaii face off tied for third place, ready to battle to see which team moves into a second place tie with idle 5-2 Fullerton. The Gauchos suffered a difficult loss in OT to the physical Anteaters and immediately got on a plane to the islands.  Hawaii is coming off an easy 17 point victory at home over Long Beach.

By the Numbers                                                             
Quadrant 3 Game

UCSB logo small.png
Record 13-7 15-4
Home/Away (D1) 8-3 (H) 4-4 (A)
Big West Conference 4-2 4-2
Composite National Rankings
DCI 1&2, BPI, SOR, KP, Massey, NET, RPI, Sagarin 178 135
NET 166 149
SOS (NET) 231 349
CBS Preseason Rank 255 288
SI Preseason Rank 225 185
Preseason Poll Pick 6th 4th
Efficiency Rankings (Pomeroy) 
Offense 184 103
Defense 175 230
Team Statistics (Overall/BWC)
73.3  /  77.0
75.0  /  68.3
45.2  /  47.6
45.9  /  41.0
3Pt %
34.3  /  36.3
34.5  /  34.4
68.7  / 69.4
69.6  /  64.8
Defense:  PPG Allowed
67.7  /  71.4
64.8  /  66.0
FG % Defense
44.1  /  46.2
41.5  /  45.3
3Pt % Defense
32.9  /  39.1
29.1  /  32.1
Rebounding Margin  +2.2  /  +3.0 +7.5 /   +2.0
Best win (NET): Utah (neutral, 87)
Worst Loss (NET): UCR (away, 284)
Trend:  Hawaii has won two straight at home in blow out fashion over Davis and Long Beach. Prior, they lost by just one at home to Irvine and before that, an inexplicable loss at Riverside.

The Arena: The Warriors play in the 10,300 seat Stan Sheriff Center, constructed in 1994.  It is the largest arena in the Big West.  The Warriors are averaging 5,360 in attendance. 

UCSB- Hawaii History
This will be the 22nd meeting between the two teams with the Bows holding a slim 11-10 advantage.  Technically, UCSB holds a 10-9 advantage as Hawaii’s two wins in 2013 were later vacated. The first game was played on Boxing Day, 1958 with the Warriors edging the Gauchos 69-67 in Rob Gym.  In 1960, UCSB traveled to the island and the teams split 2 games.  The longest win streak for both teams in the series is four games, UCSB taking it in 2014-15 and Hawaii returning the favor right after 2016-17.  They split the series last year with a total margin of three points in the two games and the Gauchos winning the most recent meeting which was in the Thunderdome.
Head Coach
Evan Ganot is in his 4th season at the helm of the Warriors and boasts an overall record of 71-42, .628 and a conference record of 29-19, .608.  In his first season, 2015-16, the Warriors won both the Big West regular season and tournament titles and went to the NCAAs and registered an upset first round win over Cal.  This was the first tournament win in program history. He was named BW Coach of the year that season. Since, he has consecutive 8-8 finishes.  
Hawaii was challenged with the loss of their terrific front court from last season, having to replace Mike Thomas and Gibson Johnson.  Senior Forward Jack Purchase has done a good job of taking on a bigger role as has Junior Zigmars Raimo who is now starting. Sophomore guard Drew Buggs runs the ship and is possibly the most underrated player in the Big West.  He is the lone underclassman starting.   The Warriors spread the scoring about with the top 6 scorers ranging from 7.9 to 12.7 ppg.  Ganot is running a rotation of 8 players getting significant minutes and with four of those 8 from other countries, they are the most international roster in the conference.

Probable Starters
Guard Drew Buggs  #1 6’3” 195lbs, RS Sophomore  8.9 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 5.5 apg, 30 mpg.  Buggs has followed up an outstanding freshman campaign with an even better sophomore season and is an All Big West candidate.  Mostly a slash & dish player, he is hitting .478 from the field.  His 5.7 assists per game leads the conference and he has a solid 2.2 ATO ratio. Second on the team in getting to the line where he is shooting 67% on about 2 attempts per game.
Guard Sherrif Drameh  #23 6’3”, 160lb, Senior  7.9 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 23 mpg.  Shoots .340 from deep on 53 attempts.  From Sweden, Drameh is most known for his defense and his mouth, frequently getting into verbal jousts with his opponents--I look forward to Charlie Hill’s translation after the game 😉. Missed 6 games due to suspension earlier. 
Guard Eddie Stansbury  #3  6’3”, 190lb, JC Transfer Junior  12.7 ppg, 28 mpg. Leads the team in scoring and three point makes (59 on .362).  Worked his way into the starting role after starting the season as a reserve.  Attended SF City College and played for the Oakland Soldiers so I wonder if UCSB recruited him. 
F Jack Purchase  #12  6’9”, 210 lb. Senior  11.7 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 2.1 apg, 31 mpg from Australia is second on the team in scoring, rebounding and made three pointers (.364).  He is an excellent passer for a big, averaging two assists per game.   Making an outstanding 86% of his free throws, attempting about 2 per game.  Leads team in minutes played.
F Zigmars Raimo  #12  6’8”, 230 lb. Junior  11.6 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 28 mpg.  From Latvia, he leads the team in rebounding and in FT attempts but is making only a little over 50% of them.  He also leads the team in steals. Has fouled out twice this season.

Key Reserves
Guard Brock Stepteau #2  5’9”, 170 lb.  Senior  9.4 ppg, 3 apg, 26 mpg.   Was a starter earlier, now coming off the bench but still playing starter minutes.  He is second on the team in assists and free-throw attempts where he makes an outstanding 84%.  He is fourth in scoring, hitting .358 from deep.  A quick jitterbug guard that gave UCSB fits last season; Brock, meet Devearl. 
Wing Samuta Avea  #32  6’6”, 195 lb  Sophomore  4.9 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 16 mpg.   Local boy from Hawaii
Center Mate Colina  #11  7’0”, 240 lb  RS Freshman  3.3 ppg. 9 mpg  From Australia

View from a Hawaii fan:  Hawaii Insider is a professional fan site and does a terrific job of previewing Warrior games.

Match-up overview:  By the computer rankings the Bows and the Gauchos present a fairly even match-up with an edge to Hawaii with homecourt advantage.  As ranked within the BW, Hawaii is generating the most assists, is scoring the second most points and is ranked 3rd in three pointers made and in getting to the line.  The Gauchos lead the conference in scoring defense and is second in rebounding.  They’re mid-pack in most offensive metrics.  Hawaii moves the ball well and is going to make the Gaucho defense work harder than what Irvine’s did.  But on the other end, points and rebounds should come easier.  

Keys to the game for the Gauchos
·       Disrupt Buggs & Stepteau.  Hawaii moves the ball well.  UCSB pressed Irvine a bit to shorten the shot clock, that might work well in this game too.
·       Cover Purchase out on the perimeter  Unlike Irvine, Hawaii’s main big likes to shoot from outside.  Sow and/or Blackmon has the athleticism to go with him, will just need to be careful not to foul. 
·       Maintain advantage on offensive rebounding.  UCSB is the better rebounding team but not nearly as good in BW play as they were pre-season.   The OT game and the long flight may make it harder to generate the energy this requires.
·       Max integration project, continued. Oh where or where has his three point shot gone? Oh where oh where has it gone?  Its been a tough road back for Max’s shot though other parts of his game are solid.
·       Rediscover the bench.  Our guys were gassed in OT and probably won’t be as fresh vs. Hawaii.  We need the bench to step up to win. 

Prediction:  The longest trip of the year comes at the most inopportune time; coming off the tough OT loss to Irvine.  Gauchos lose this last one in their toughest stretch of the year.  UH 73 UCSB 68

Official Site
Hey Guys!: ... na-102452/
How to Watch:  Spectrum Sports (not seeing a link on the UCSB site, the BW site or Hawaii’s site)

Big West Three-Man Weave Pre-Season Preview Link: ... eview-2019

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