Thursday, December 19, 2019

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.

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