Thursday, February 11, 2021

UCSB vs. Hawaii Game Preview, by Gaucho Freg

UCSB @ Hawaii
Friday February 12, Saturday, February 12, 2021, 9 PM PST
Gauchos ride an 8 game winning streak out to the islands to take on Hawaii, in the first of three weekends vs. teams in the top half of the conference.  Hawaii is coming off an easy sweep of lowly Cal Poly and the week prior they had a most improbable comeback victory over 1st place UCI.  UCSB now sits tied atop the standings at 6-2 with Irvine but their 6 wins have come against the bottom third of the conference.  Hawaii is 5-5 having split their series with UCI & UCR and being swept by Bake.
This will be the 26th meeting between the two teams with the series with the Gauchos holding a 13-12 advantage.  Last year the team’s split the series, each holding serve at home.
Hawaii experienced significant roster turnover from last season with nearly all players new to the program.  They have four players averaging in double digits and Coach Ganot has not settled on a set  starting lineup.  Last weekend their second and third leading scorers for the season came off the bench. They are led by sophomore guard Justin Webster, one of the few holdovers from last season and emerging star Junior Madot, a JC transfer from Australia. 

Probable Starters
Guard Jovon McClanahan  #3  5’11”, 170 lb, Sophomore 2.6 ppg, 2.6 apg, 20 mpg.
Recent addition to the starting line-up.  Leads team in assists,  JC transfer.  UCSB offered him. 
Guard Justin Webster  #2  6’3”, 180 lb, Sophomore 13.8 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 31 mpg.
Leads team in scoring, minutes played, three point makes, steals and getting to the line.  Despite high usage, is shooting 52% from the field including 45% from deep
Wing Junior Madut  #0 6’6”, 180lb, Junior JC transfer.   11.3 ppg, 29 mpg.  Came off the bench vs. Poly.  He is skilled
Forward Casdon Jardine  #22  6’7”, 215 lb. Senior  11 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 28 mpg. 
Transfer from Utah Valley
Center Mate Colina  #11  7’0”, 240 lb  Junior.  6.8 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 20 mpg
From Australia, has started the last two games but just five for the season.  Team’s leading rebounder.
Key Reserves
Forward/Center James Jean-Marie  #1  6’8”, 230 lb. Senior  12.5 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 19 mpg. 
Team’s second leading scorer, has started 7 games but did not start last weekend. Second on the team in getting to the line, 79%.   Transfer from USD, just like teammate Noel Coleman.
Guard Noel Coleman  #4  6’1”, 175 lb, Sophomore  5.5 ppg, 17 mpg
Started last weekend vs. Poly and may be in the starting lineup this weekend.  Transfer from USD. 
Guard Biwali Bayless  #14  6’1”, 185 lb, Freshman 4.9  ppg, 2.4 apg 20 mpg
Has started 5 games.  Second on team in assists. From Australia 
Forward Justin Hemsley  #42  6’6”, 195 lb. Junior  3.8 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 13 mpg. 
With the 8 game win streak and Sow’s history of dominating Hawaii’s bigs, its tempting to predict a sweep for the Gauchos.  But UH has splits vs. UCR & UCI which also have strong front courts.
Hopeful for a sweep but a split more likely.

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