Saturday, December 28, 2019

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.

No comments: