Friday, November 19, 2021

Chicago St. vs UCSB Men's Basketball Preview, by Gaucho Freg

UCSB (0-1) vs Chicago State Cougars (2-1)
Saturday, November 20, 2021, 1 pm PST
Quick Bite:  The Gauchos open their home D1 season with the Chicago State Cougars of the WAC.  The Cougars are a surprising 2-1, defeating D1 newcomer St. Thomas and SIUE before getting rocked by 36 at mid-major power Loyola Chicago on Tuesday.  Last year they suffered an 0-9 season in which their average loss was by 33 points and they finished as the lowest rated team in D1.  They ran out of players and (mercifully) pulled the plug after losing to Northwestern by 44 on Dec 5.  Adding to the misery of the program, they were kicked out of the WAC and will be independent come July.
CSU-UCSB History
This will be the first game between the two schools.

CSU Head Coach:
Gerald Gillion is in his first season in what is the toughest job of D1 hoops.  He spent one year as an assistant coach at Samford before moving to Chicago.  Known as an excellent recruiter but his ties are in the Southeast.    

Roster & Overview of the Cougars
Coach Gillion hit the reset button with 4 starters, three of them freshmen, brand new to the team.  Only two players from last year are playing meaningful minutes this season.  Unlike the other Cougars the Gauchos faced in Pullman, these Cougars lack height yet they are still managing to outrebound their opponents by 6.4 per game.  43% of their fg attempts are from beyond the arc and they hit 40% of them.
Probable Starters
Guard Brandon Betson  #11  Junior, 6’1”, 180 lb  20.3 ppg, 3 apg, 2.7 rpg, 34 mpg
JC transfer.  Team’s leading scorer and 3pt shooter.  Also leads teams in assists and free throw makes.  Accurate, an outstanding 56% from deep, 54% overall, 7-8 from the stripe. 
Guard Bryce Johnson #3 Freshman, 6’3”, 172 lbs  6.3 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 20 mpg
4-9 from deep
Guard Andrew Lewis #1 Senior, 6’3”, 180 4.7 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 15 mpg
Came off the bench the first two games, started vs Loyola. Shooting just 30% from the field this season. Was the team’s starting SG at season start last year but played just two games due to injury.
Wing Jahsean Corbett #24 Freshman, 6’6”, 195   6.3 ppg, 6 rpg, 24 mpg

Forward Coreyoun Rushin  #15 Senior 6’6” 200 lbs  8.3 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 30 mpg
Leading rebounder.  Transferred from Idaho St previous year playing just 2 games for the Cougars due to transfer rules.
The Cougar’s best returning player by far.
Probable Top Reserves
Guard Kedrick Green #21  Freshman, 6’2”, 180  6.3 ppg, 2.3 apg, 3 rpg, 22 mpg
Started first two games.  Second on team in assists
Guard Jameon Harris #0 Freshman, 6’3”, 190 lbs, 5 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 13 mpg
Guard Dominque Alexander #2 Senior, 5’10”, 160 lb, 4.3 ppg, 14 mpg
JC transfer
Forward Teddy Bayi Ba Mandeng,  #22 Junior 6’9”, 200 lb,  10 mpg
JC Transfer
Match-up & prediction:
Given their lack of height, much of the damage done by the Cougars has been done by their backcourt, particularly from beyond the arc.  Norris should get untracked vs. this smaller opponent while Sow can do even more damage than he already has been doing.  The Cougars turn the ball over a lot (18 pg) and this is an opportunity for the Gaucho perimeter defense to improve.  Gauchos should be able to extend their defense out, with Norris & Sow able to help.
After an icy cold night of shooting from beyond the arc up in Pullman, expect at least some improvement in this area, especially if Cole Anderson gets a bit more time in the rotation.
Prediction:  UCSB 83 CSU 64
Official Site
Hey Guys!
How to Watch: ESPN+
CSU Season Preview and Game Preview Links:
Fun (?) facts about CSU
CSU is a predominantly African-American public school in Illinois. It was founded in 1867 as Cook County Normal School, undergoing several iterations & names, eventually becoming Chicago State University in 1971.  In the late 1890s, the school began to focus on underserved (but still white) communities laying the groundwork for the school to later focus on serving the African American community. The last century has been a struggle for the school with very low graduation rates, declining enrollment and some corruption scandals in the leadership. 
In 1984 their basketball team finished 3rd in the NAIA and moved to D1 right after.

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