Monday, November 4, 2019

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

UCSB vs. Jackson State
Wednesday, November 6, 2019, 7pm

Quick Bite:
UCSB opens their 2019-20 campaign with the Jackson State Tigers of the SWAC.  The Tigers finished last year mid-pack in conference play and had just one victory out of conference, vs. Chicago State, which finished the year as the #353 the NET ratings.  Fun note, there were 353 teams in D1 last year.
The Tigers lost in the first round of the SWAC tournament, did not play in the post season, finishing the season as the 328th team in the nation.
They do return possibly the best player in the SWAC, Jayveous McKnight, the preseason DPOY,  plus three other starters and add an impact transfer so could be much improved.  The Tigers play at Cal Baptist Tuesday night so will have the advantage of getting their first game under their belts but may also be a bit tired.   The Tigers are the first of three SWAC teams that will visit Santa Barbara this season (Grambling & Southern).  No truth to the rumor that the HBCU Foundation recently put up a picture of Pasternack on their lobby wall in gratitude for all the buy $$ he’s sending their way…

By the Numbers  (2018-19 season)                                                           
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UCSB logo small.png (7.12KiB)
Preseason Conference
Pick (range)
5th  2nd
CBS Preseason Rank 183 162
SI Preseason Rank 332 137
2018-19 Record 13-19 22-10
      Home/away vs D1 3-14 (away) 12-3 (home)
 National Rankings (Final, 2018/19)
Composite: DCI 1&2, BPI, SOR, KP, Massey,
NET, RPI, Sagarin
322 162
NET 328 164
SOS 308 339
Efficiency Rankings (Pomeroy)
                     Offense 351 160
                     Defense 167 208
Scoring 61.7 73.4
FG% 40.4 45.4
3Pt % 28 34.3
FT% 63.4 71.6
PPG Allowed 65.8 66.1
FG % Defense 42.1 42.6
3Pt % Defense 35.1 30.7
Rebounding Margin +0.8 +6.6

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

Head Coach:  Wayne Brent enters his 7th season at the helm of the Tigers, has a record of 81-114.  Last year was the third time he’s led the Tigers to a 3rd place finish in conference which is the highest he’s finished.  His best season was 2015-16, the Tigers went 20-16, 12-6 in the SWAC losing by a point to Southern in the conference championship and advancing to the second round of the CIT.

Roster: Return 2 of their top five in terms of minutes played, 3 of their top five scorers but graduated a lot of depth.  Kevin Sweeney of CBB Central tweeted this: “Seeing well-traveled forward Roland Griffin has landed at Jackson State. Most recently at Iona, where he was tracking to be a first-team all-MAAC guy before punching an assistant coach preseason. A Griffin/Jayveous McKinnis frontcourt could wreck the SWAC”.  Add talented scoring guard Venjie Wallis to form a high-powered trio that should allow the Tigers to contend for a conference title. McKinnis was voted preseason DPOY and the all conference team by the conference coaches.  The Tigers have a slew of new JC transfers and freshmen filling out the roster and some of them will be playing important roles, just not clear who yet. 

Possible Starters
Point Guard Dontelius Ross, #5  5’9” 175 lbs, Senior  Led team in assists, 3.1 pg.  5.3 ppg on only .259 from the field  30 mpg
Guard Venjie Wallis  #0  6’6”, 185 lb, Senior Led team in scoring, ft attempts and minutes played last season.   12.5 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 31 mpg ~2 apg.
Wing Roland Griffin  #1  6’6”, 215 lb, Senior Transfer from Iona where he was kicked off the team for punching an assistant coach.  One of the best players in the MAAC last year.
Forward Jayveous McKinnis  #11  6’7”, 215 lb, Sophomore Team’s leading rebounder last year with 7.8 per game.  Added 8.4ppg in 26 minutes per game.  Strictly an in the paint scorer, makes less than 50% of his FTs. Impressive shot blocker, had 59 swats.
Forward Lemmie Howard  6’7”, 205 lb, Junior #21  Started 13 games scoring 6.3 ppg and pulling 2.9 boards per game.  Top returning 3 point shooter, 34%.

Possible Key Reserves:
Forward Justin Johnson  #23   6’7”, 208 lb Senior Started 13 games, averaged 13 mpg
Forward Khahil Spencer #30 6’4”, 230 lb.  Senior.  Played in 29 games, averaging 2 boards and 2 pts on .583 shooting

Match-up & prediction:  JSU struggled to score last year, averaging less than 62 ppg and ranked 351 in KenPom on offense.  Coach Brant worked on that end of their game over the summer.  Unfortunately for Brant, Coach Pasternack has emphasized defense since his arrival at UCSB and with so many returning players having a full year in his system, I think we see a vastly improved defense.   UCSB should be able to defend JSU well.  Wing Roland Griffin is a concern and I do look forward to seeing him matched up against Cyrus who was considered one of the best defenders in the Big East.  JSU does not have a ton of size and the Gauchos should be able to get Sow and Freeman going.
Keys to the game for the Gauchos:
·       Contain Griffin
·       Get Sow his touches.
·       Sow able to pass out of double teams.
Prediction:  Probably a bit rusty early but Gauchos take this going away  74-55

Official Site:
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How to Watch: ... &path=ucsb

Jackson State Pre-Season Preview Links: ... c-preview/

Jackson State Fun Fact:  Jackson State is a HBCU and is the fourth largest university in Mississippi.  It has been a school in various forms since 1877.  Its most famous alum is Sweetness, former Chicago Bear Walter Payton, one of the greatest running backs that’s ever played.

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