Thursday, January 28, 2021

UCSB vs. UCD Game Preview, by Gaucho Freg

UCSB @ UC Davis
Both games @ 4pm on Big West TV

Gauchos are on fire, having won 6 straight against teams in the bottom half of the BWC and playing the best defense of the Pasternack era. They have edged up to #60 in the NCAA NET rankings, easily their highest ever (this RPI replacement is just a couple years old).  They take on UC Davis who are playing their BWC home opener.  Last week the Aggies threw off the shackles of Yolo County then got promptly routed by UCSD.  With three weeks of rust to shake off, this was understandable.  They rebounded the next night to win by 7 but shot a blistering 9-20 from deep to turn it around.  They shot just 25% from 3 in the loss. 
Roster wise, the Aggies have run a smaller, four guard line up for the most part.  Junior forward Christian Anigwe just played his first two games vs. UCSD, coming off the bench in both games; I would not be surprised to see him inserted into the starting lineup to counter the Gaucho size.
Possible Starters
Guard Ezra Manjon  #5  5’11”, 170 lb. Sophomore 17.8 ppg, 3.5 apg, 33 mpg
The BWC FOY last year, Manjon is taking on a bigger scoring role this season, and is getting to the FT line for nearly 6 attempts per game, making 86%.  Struggling from deep, shooting just 26%.
Guard Damion Squire  #1  6’0”, 185 lb. Junior 11.8 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 30 mpg.  Leads team in assists, 3.7 apg, second in getting to the line, 79% on  33 attempts.  Shooting 33% from deep.
Guard Elijah Pepper  #40  6’4”, 200 lb. Sophomore  12.2 ppg, 4.3 rpg.  26 mpg  7-18 from deep.  Leads team with 11 steals.  Second leading scorer on 49% from the field.  6 assists vs. 13 TOs.
Guard Caleb Fuller  #11  6’5”, 210 lb. Junior 9.7 ppg, 20 mpg.    36% from deep.  Has been a starter most of the season but I am guessing Les may have him come in off the bench to get more size in the starting line up.  
Forward Kennedy Koehler  #10  6’7”, 220 lb, Senior 9.7 ppg, 4.8 rpg  25 mpg.
Can hit the 3, is 7/19 for the season.  Leads the team in blocks (6)
Possible Key Reserves
Forward Christian Anigwe  #4  6’9”, 220 lb, Junior 6.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg  20 mpg. 
Played his first two games of the season vs. UCSD
Guard Cameron Ba  #2  6’3”, 180 lb. Sophomore 6.2 ppg, 3.3 rpg,  Leads team in three point makes  (33%).  Playing starter minutes, 24 mpg. 
Forward Caleb McGill #4  6’7”, 215 lb, Freshman 11 mpg.   
Played his first two games of the season vs. UCSD, wouldn’t be surprised to see him starting vs. SB. 
Guard BJ Shaw  #20  6’6”, 195 lb. Sophomore 11 mpg 
Our favorite Gaucho’s son is playing some for the Aggies without too much to show statistically. 
Of interest is the Gauchos and Aggies have split the series every year in the Pasternack era with Davis winning the second game each time.  Different circumstances this year with the back-to-backs.  Pasternack has been going to the bench earlier and deeper with Toure in the regular rotation now and this depth is a key advantage for UCSB.  Predicting another sweep this weekend with the second game being closer.
In a perfect scenario, Gauchos win by 20 each game but BJ Shaw goes off over the weekend.

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