Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Hawaii vs. UCSB Men's Basketball Game Preview, by Gaucho Dan

Hawai'i at UCSB
Thursday, February 6, 2020, 7 pm PST, BigWest.TV
Quick Bite
The State of the University of California, Santa Barbara men's basketball squad is...better, following a 25-point schlonging of the Long Beach State The Beach.  The difference in the two games vs. the basketball players formerly known as the 49ers caused me to stand up and ceremoniously tear up my notes. Going forward, it appears to be which Gaucho team shows up to play.

By the Numbers                                                              

Hawai'i UC Santa Barbara
Record 14-6 14-8
Away/Home/Neutral (D1) 1-3 (A) 6-3 (H)
Big West Conference 5-1 3-4
Record vs. Quadrant vs. Q3: 2-1 vs. Q4: 11-3
Composite (NET, kpi, sor, bpi, pom, sag) 154 184
DCI 179 202
DC2 192 170
RPI 164 212
NET 177 178
SOS (NET) 247 341
KPom Offensive Efficiency 190 89
KPom Defensive Efficiency 176 253
KPom Tempo 128 336
Points per game (overall/BWC) 71.3 (179th) / 71.0 (4th) 72.2 (152nd) / 67.4 (7th)
FG% (overall/BWC) 44.2% (152nd) / 43.1% (6th) 46.8% (37th) / 45.2% (4th)
2-pt FG% (overall/BWC) 50.6% (144th) / 48.6% (5th) 53.5% (51st) / 50.2% (4th)
3-pt FG% (overall/BWC) 34.4% (129th) / 34.5% (7th) 34.4% (126th) / 36.8% (5th)
FT% (overall/BWC) 69.6% (208th) / 64.8% (9th) 75.9% (37th) / 77.1% (1st)
Points allowed per game (overall/BWC) 68.2 (149th) / 69.5 (4th) 66.9 (114th) / 65.3 (2nd)
FG% allowed (overall/BWC) 43.4% (211th) / 45.9% (7th) 45.1% (290th) / 46.9% (8th)
2-pt FG% allowed (overall/BWC) 47.5% (127th) / 49.6% (4th) 50.3% (237th) / 52.3% (8th)
3-pt FG% allowed (overall/BWC) 32.8% (168th) / 35.6% (5th) 36.0% (315th) / 36.3% (6th)
Off. rebounds per game (overall/BWC) 9.5 (284th) / 9.8 (3rd) 10.3 (158th) / 8.4 (3rd)
Def. rebounds allowed per game (overall/BWC) 24.2 (28th) / 26.3 (3rd) 21.3 (15th) / 21.6 (1st)
Off. rebounds allowed per game (overall/BWC) 8.4 (14th) / 6.2 (1st) 7.6 (14th) / 6.9 (3rd)
Def. rebounds per game (overall/BWC) 24.8 (321st) / 26.0 (9th) 24.5 (255th) / 22.7 (8th)
Rebounds per game (overall/BWC) 34.3 (331st) / 35.8 (9th) 34.8 (227th) / 31.1 (8th)
Rebounds allowed per game (overall/BWC) 32.5 (13th) / 32.5 (1st) 28.9 (8th) / 28.4 (2nd)
Assists per game (overall/BWC) 9.6 (6th) / 8.2 (1st) 11.8 (117th) / 12.3 (4th)
Steals per game (overall/BWC) 6.8 (146th) / 5.2 (3rd) 4.5 (9th) / 3.4 (1st)
Blocks per game (overall/BWC) 3.0 (59th) / 3.8 (5th) 2.4 (28th) / 2.3 (2nd)
Best win (NET) vs. San Francisco (85) @ UT Arlington (118)
Worst loss (NET) vs. South Dakota (171) vs. Long Beach State (293)
Trend won 4 straight, won 6 of 7 won 1 straight, won 2 of 3

UCSB - Hawai'i History
UCSB and Hawai'i have officially played 24 times with each team having won 12 times. Last season, the Gauchos cruised to a 75-54 win on Oahu and a 79-61 victory at the Thunderdome. On Jan. 18, Hawai'i won 70-63 at Stan Sheriff to end a 3-game losing skid to UCSB.

Head Coach
Eran Ganot, 38, is in his 5th season (83-49) at the helm of Hawai'i men's basketball. Ganot has won more games (77) in his first four seasons than any other coach at UH. In his first year, Ganot led Hawai’i to both the Big West regular-season and tournament titles, a school-record 28 wins and an opening-round upset of California for the program’s first-ever win in the Big Dance. Ganot also claimed Big West Coach of the Year honors after enjoying the most successful inaugural season of any coach in the history of the conference. Prior to becoming UH’s head coach, he enjoyed two successful assistant-coaching stints at Saint Mary’s. In between his two stints at Saint Mary’s, Ganot was on the staff at Hawai'i under Riley Wallace and then Bob Nash.

Probable Starters
  • Eddie Stansberry (3), SR, G, 6-3, 190, San Francisco, CA, Archbishop Riordan (CA), 17.0 Pts, 3.2 Reb, 1.4 Ast. Won Big West Player of the Week for the third time this season after scoring 22 points vs. CSUN. Hit game-winning 3-pointer vs. UC Davis. Held to 6 points in first meeting with UCSB. Prolific 3-point shooter (35% on 9 attempts per game). 89% at FT line. Does not get a lot of rebounds (just 4.9 per 100 possessions).
  • Zigmars Raimo (14), SR, F, 6-8, 230, Madona, Latvia, Riga Secondary School, 9.8 Pts, 7.4 Reb, 3.7 Ast. Leads team in steals per 100 possessions (2.8), and doesn't get into foul trouble. Sow has had success vs. him in post. Not a remarkable rebounder, and hits just 47.5% of his twos. Not a threat from three (25% on less than 1 attempt per game). Had 20 pts vs. CSUN.
  • Drew Buggs (1), JR, G, 6-3, 195, Long Beach, CA, Long Beach Polytechnic High School, 9.5 Pts, 4.2 Reb, 6.3 Ast. Leads the Big West and ranks 20th nationally in assists per game. In the last three games he has 33 assists to four turnovers. Just 12 assists away from breaking the school's all-time assists record currently held by Troy Bowe (412). Scored 12 points and added 12 assists to help UH pull away from UCSB. Must make him shoot (.408 from 2, .286 from 3) vs. pass.
  • Justin Webster (2), FR, G, 6-3, 175, Dallas, TX, Hargrave Military Academy, 8.2 Pts, 1.5 Reb, 0.8 Ast. Has been starting in place of injured Avea. A good shooter (.529 from 2, .362 from 3). Got 17 points at CSUN...Avea may be available, but Webster has held down the fort with no dropoff.
  • Dawson Carper (44), SO, C, 7-0, 250, Colorado Springs, CO, Rampart HS, 5.6 Pts, 4.1 Reb, 0.3 Ast. Has started 16 of 20 games, but averages less than 16 minutes per game. Averages 9.9 personal fouls per 100 possessions. Hits 61% of his shots (4.2 attempts per game). Just a 36% FT shooter.
Key Reserves
  • Samuta Avea (32), JR, G, 6-6, 195, Hauula, HI, Bingham High School, 11.0 Pts, 4.0 Reb, 1.3 Ast. Has been injured since UCSB game (started, but played just 10 minutes). Began participating in full practices last week, but he didn't play Saturday at CSUN. Hits 38% of his threes, taking 4.7 per game. Only .446 from two.
  • Bernardo Da Silva (5), FR, F, 6-9, 200, Rio Das Ostras, Brazil Wasatch Academy, 5.8 Pts, 4.2 Reb, 0.4 Ast. Originally headed for BYU, but was released from his letter of intent when head coach Dave Rose retired. Has missed the last 3 games due to injury. Their best rebounder at 17.2 per 100 possessions.
  • Justin Hemsley (42), SO, G, 6-5, 190, Rancho Cucamonga, CA, Damien HS, 4.5 Pts, 2.3 Reb, 0.5 Ast. Has averaged 10.3 ppg the last 3 games. Hits 64% of 2's, but just 28% of 3's (which he takes a good chunk of shots from, lowering his effective field goal% to 55%). Averages 19.5 minutes per game.
  • Mate Colina (11), SO, C, 7-0, 240, Melbourne, Australia, Lake Ginninderra (Australia), 1.9 Pts, 1.6 Reb, 0.3 Ast. Hits 63% of his twos in 7.1 minutes per game. Not a good rebounder for his size, and averages a team-high 11 personal fouls per 100 possessions.
  • Owen Hulland (15), SO, F, 7-0, 230, Adelaide, Australia, Lake Ginninderra (Australia) 3.0 Pts, 2.0 Reb, 0.0 Ast. First game was vs. UCSB. Came off the bench to hit a couple of threes. Hit another one vs. UC Davis. Is 3-for-7 (.429) from 3 and 0-for-3 from 2 in 8 minutes per game.
Match-up overview:
The Rainbow Warriors are off to a 5-1 Big West start, their best since the 2015-16 season, and sit a half game behind first-place UC Irvine. UH has come from behind late in the second half in each of its last two wins. The 'Bows are 5-0 this year in games decided by five points or less. In the first meeting, UCSB led at halftime but Hawai'i quickly gained control in the 2nd half. Drew Buggs killed UCSB with his speed, which has been a pattern vs. our man-to-man defense.

UCSB is coming off a very enjoyable drubbing of Long Beach State at the Pyramid. Max Heidegger was a facilitator, garnering 11 assists. Combined with a 30-point performance at CSUN, I think we can safely say that Heidegger is playing the best of his UCSB career in terms of points, assists, rebounds and defense. I mean, he just missed a triple-double...which is Brian Shaw territory. Regardless of how this season goes, we should savor the short time we have left with Mad Max.

Last week, we mentioned that Amadou Sow needed to avoid 1st-half foul trouble in order to be effective. Sow had just two fouls at Long Beach, which allowed him to stay on the floor for a career-high 35 minutes. Sow had a season-high 14 rebounds along with 15 points. He did a little bit better vs. double teams...he had no turnovers, but just one assist.

It has been said that Matt Freeman's greatest (only?) worth is his 3-point shooting. He was scoreless at CSUN, for example. The coaching staff convinced Pasternack to start at LB, and Freeman was on fire. Dan Monson said they allowed Freeman to get into a rhythm on his first nakedly-open attempt. Freeman finished 6-of-7 from the perimeter, including one sublime stretch in the first four minutes of the 2nd half when he buried 3 of them. He also hit 3-of-4 from inside, not exactly his specialty. And he played defense! Yes, he was in foul trouble and din't play much after his 2nd-half outburst, but he drew back-to-back charges that took one of the Beach's best big men out of the game.

JaQuori McLaughlin hasn't been the same since a) Heidegger's return and/or b) a groin injury that caused him to miss the first CSUN contest. He is 9-of-28 from the field (3-of-10 from 3) in his last 3 games. In the five games before his injury, J-Roq got to the free throw line 4.8 times per game. The last 3? Just 4 times total. We'll know he's 100% healthy when he gets that number back up.

Interestingly, the UCSB starters logged 157 minutes at Long Beach. Only Freeman had less than 32 minutes. Has Pasternack lost confidence in some players?

Keys to the game for the Gauchos 
  • Fumigate. We do not need a "Buggs infestation" in the Thunderdome (hat tip to GauchoFreg). If we can stop him from being a playmaker and turn him into a shooter, that gives us a better chance to win.
  • Sow stays out of foul trouble. Sow played a season-low 18 minutes at Hawai'i. He owned UH in 2018-19, hitting 60% of his shots while averaging 19 ppg. He had just 9 points on Jan. 18.
  • McLaughlin gets to FT line. This would tell me he's driving the lane like he was in December. 
  • Heidegger is Heidegger. Enjoy him while you can
  • The best version of Freeman is in the Thunderdome tonight.

DC2 trends: Hawai'i has an underwhelming DC2 of 41.61 in its last 5 games. UH enjoyed some home cooking, sweeping a 4-game homestand which included a 4-point win over Cal Poly, an Eddie Stansberry game-winning 3 vs. Davis and a CSUN collapse (the Matadors blew a 17-point, 2nd-half lead). UCSB raised its 5-game trend from a Big West-worst 28.78 to 40.50 with the Long Beach shellacking. It must be admitted that UCSB also played better vs. a team in a second meeting. Hmmm...what to do, what to do. I'm going with the Gauchos, baby! UCSB escapes, 66-63.

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