Saturday, March 9, 2019

UCSB vs. Cal Poly Game Preview, by Gaucho Freg

UCSB @ Cal Poly Preview, Game 2
Saturday, March 11, 2019, 7 PM PST
UCSB bookends their conference season with their second game against their Central Coast rival, at last place Cal Poly.  The 3rd place Gauchos are coming off a dramatic road win over CSUN and are still in contention for the second seed in the BW tournament; they have at least the third seed locked up.  Meanwhile the Mustangs have hit rock bottom, they fired Head Coach Joe Callero then went on to suffer one of the worst losses in their history at the hands of first place Irvine.   

By the Numbers                                                             
 Quadrant 4 Game
Cal_Poly_Mustangs, small.jpg
UCSB logo small.png
Record 6-22 20-9
Home/Away vs D1 2-8 (H) 6-6 (A)
Big West Conference 2-13 9-6
Composite National Rankings
DCI 1&2, BPI, SOR, KP, Massey, NET, RPI, Sagarin 331 157
NET 333 161
SOS (NET) 329 287
Efficiency Rankings (Pomeroy) 
Offense 301 143
Defense 339 210
Scoring  (Overall  /  Big West) 66.0  /  65.7 73.4  /  69.3
FG% 41.1  /  40.1 45.4  /  42.8
3Pt % 32.6  /  30.1 34.0  /  33.4
FT% 64.5  /  62.4 71.5  /  71.8
PPG Allowed 74.7  /  77.2 65.5  /  66.7
FG % Defense 45.8  /  47.9 42.5  /  45.8
3Pt % Defense 36.7  /  36.9
30.3  /  32.8
Rebounding Margin -4.4  /  -6.2 +6.8  /  +4.0

Mustangs overview:
Nothing positive to be said for Cal Poly except that, mercifully, their season is nearly over. Some thought that the team may somehow find inspiration with the firing of Callero and they would step it up in their last two games but Irvine’s dominating win seems to put that to bed.  They still have Donovan Fields who gave the Gauchos trouble in the first game and wing Mark Crowe is an outstanding shooter, Marcellus Garrick has established himself as a scorer but not much else.   Mustang frontcourt players have not put up much in terms of numbers.  Poly does not rebound well and our front court should take advantage.

Best win (NET):  vs. Hawaii (203)
Worst Loss (NET):  @ Portland (326)
Trend:  Have lost 3 in a row, 8 of their last 9

CP-UCSB History/Game 1 Recap
This will be the 115th meeting between the schools; UCSB holds a 80-35 advantage and has won three in a row, including 65-56 in on January 9 in Santa Barbara.  In that game, Devearl Ramsey & JRoq led the way with 19 & 16 points, respectively.  Sow had one of his least productive games with only 4 points, 1 rebound and 4 fouls in 15 minutes.  Idehen and Blackmon filled in with 8 and 7 boards respectively with Idehen adding 6 points.   Fields led the way for Poly with 19 pts and 8 assists.

Mott Gymnasium
Built in 1960, renovated in 1998, has a capacity of 3,032.  The aging facility is considered a detriment to recruiting but is a fun & loud place when the fans show up.

Head Coach:  Joe Callero is in his 10th season which will officially be his last as he was notified of not being retained on Wednesday. This season is shaping up to be the worst in his tenure with not making the tournament extremely likely.  Only a victory over the Gauchos, a UCR loss to Davis and a win of a coin toss will gain them entry.

The Mustangs start three upperclassman and two underclassmen. Their bench has some experience in forwards Niziol and Hollingsworth.

Probable Starters
PG Donovan Fields   #3  5’10”, 160 lb, Senior  16.8 ppg, 4.1 apg, 82% FT, 34 mpg.  Poly’s unquestionable team leader.  Tops in scoring, FT attempts & assists.  His fg% has suffered from his junior year, hitting .298 from three and .397 overall.  He absolutely destroyed UCSB in the first game last year, penetrating the Gaucho defense at will, leading Poly to a surprising upset.
Guard Marcellus Garrick  #11  6’4”, 190 lb. 11.6 ppg, 27 mpg  Senior  Second on team in assists and getting to the line (78%)  Tied for team lead in 3pt makes, 35%
Guard Job Alexander  #1  6’4”, 200 lb. JC Transfer Junior 20 mpg.   5.2 ppg  Has started 11 games.
Wing Mark Crowe   #5  6’5”, 205lb RS Sophomore  10 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 33 mpg  Good shooter, hitting  44% overall and 41% from deep on 138 attempts.
Forward Karlis Garoza  #23  6’9”, 230 lb, Sophomore  12 mpg. 4 rpg. From Latvia

Key Reserves
Forward Kuba Niziol  #35  6’7”, 210 lb.  Senior  6.3 ppg, 3.6 rpg. 19 mpg  Former starter Fourth leading scorer.  Went for 8 on 2-4 from 3 against the Gauchos.
Forward Daxton Carr  #13  6’7”, 200 lb, Freshman 3.4 ppg, 2.9 rpg  18 mpg. Shooting .395 from the field and .321 from deep on 53 attempts.  Has started 12 games
Forward Hank Hollingsworth  #30  6’10”, 235 lb, Junior 4.6 ppg, 4.6 rpg  21 mpg.  Makes .589 of his fg attempts but only .432 of his FT attempts. 
Forward Tuuka Jaakola  #14  6’10”, 240 lb, Freshman 2.9 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 14 mpg, shooting an outstanding .625 from the field, 50% from the line.  From Finland

Guard Junior Ballard  #24  6’3”, 200 lb. Freshman  5 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 15 mpg    Shooting .315 from the field and .273 from deep.  Not sure if injured but has not played last couple games

Match-Up:  While there’s no strong incentive to win this game in terms of BWT seeding, we’re locked into playing Davis or CSUN regardless, there’s no way UCSB should lose this game or for it to be even close.  If they come out focused and get Sow involved early, fully exploit their rebounding advantage,  this should be a Gaucho win.

Keys to the game for the Gauchos:
·       No way Sow is a non-factor in this rematch.  He’s improved so much, should the Mustangs double him, our guards will make them pay.
·       McLaughlin slow down Fields.  While he got 19 in the first game, it was on a low %.  When we have not shut down the lead guard in our opponents (Shorts, Martin, Booker, Allman/Ahmed) UCSB has lost. 
·       Ramsey gets untracked.  Devearl has been a bit quiet of late, would be good for him to get untracked with another big game, as he had the first time and feeling confident going into the tournament. 

Prediction:  It’s the time of year that focus needs to be razor sharp, regardless of the opponent or relevance.  Gauchos come out strong and take it to them.  UCSB 86  CP 64

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