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UC Santa Barbara Gauchos Game Preview/Open Thread

How to Watch, In-Depth Preview, and Open Thread

NCAA Basketball: Big West Conference Tournament-UC Irvine v UC Santa Barbara Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

The Essentials

Date: Sunday, 12/2/18

Tip-Off Time: 5:00 pm PT

TV: Pac-12 Networks


Radio: KOMO 1000 AM/97.7 FM and TuneIn

Location: Seattle, Washington

Betting Line: Washington -12

UC Santa Barbara 2018-19 Statistics:

Record: 6-1

Points For per Game: 74.0 (153rd)

Points Against per Game: 66.5 (66th)

Adjusted Offensive Efficiency: 103.7 (151st)

Adjusted Defensive Efficiency: 103.5 (180th)

Strength of Schedule: -6.25 (315th)

UC Santa Barbara Key Players:

F- Amadou Sow, Fr. 6’9, 235: 9.3 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 0.6 bpg, 53.3% FG, 63.0% FT

Sow is a true freshman who was in the Nate Roberts tier of the recruiting rankings. He has mostly lived up to expectations as a bruiser who draws fouls and gets tough rebounds but he’s not much of a shot blocker and yet is very foul prone. If he’s forced to guard Noah Dickerson all night then he’ll quickly pick up a few early ones and sit on the bench the rest of the half.

F- Jarriesse Blackmon, Sr. 6’6, 190: 5.6 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 1.7 bpg, 58.6% FG, 71.4% FT

Blackmon has been a reserve in his first 3 years in Santa Barbara and has put up solid but not exceptional numbers in his first time with significant minutes. He has a limited offensive game but converts on dunks, gets offensive rebounds, and is a very good shot blocker. Just about everything you could want from your 5th option big man.

G- Ar’mond Davis, Sr. 6’6, 190: 14.3 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 1.0 apg, 41.9% FG, 22.9% 3pt, 76.9% FT

The Tacoma native was one of the top JUCO recruits in the country in 2016 and went to Alabama where he was unable to secure a starting job in year 1. He decided to transfer to UCSB and sat out last season. He’s a career 25% 3-pt shooter but still takes a lot of shots from outside so UW should hope that the zone encourages him to be passive.

G- Jaquori McLaughlin, So. 6’4, 190: 12.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 3.4 apg, 33.8% FG, 32.3% 3pt, 76.5% FT

Another familiar name as the Gig Harbor star began his career as a 4 star recruit in Corvallis but decided to transfer after 5 games last season and wound up in Santa Barbara. He’s a solid shooter and solid passer but is at his best driving to the hoop where he’s drawing a ton of fouls early on this year.

G- Devearl Ramsey, So. 6’0, 185: 9.9 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 4.1 apg, 38.2% FG, 31.3% 3pt, 84.6% FT

Yet another 1+ year transfer, this one from Nevada, Ramsey has split the PG duties with McLaughlin but both have a tendency to turn it over (2+ TO’s per game). He’s a much less willing shooter though and similarly prefers to drive and kick or get to the line rather than settle behind the arc.

2018-19 UC Santa Barbara Shot Chart

UCSB has been great at the rim but struggles both in the midrange and anywhere beyond the arc except in the left corner. Unless they prove they can make that foul line jumper I would expect whoever is playing center at the time for the Huskies to stay at the rim and dare UCSB to shoot it.

Synergy Sports

The Outlook

Joe Pasternak’s Gauchos have gotten off to a very good start in the wins column but the Huskies will be a huge challenge from anything they’ve faced so far. UCSB hasn’t played a team in the top-190 according to KenPom. In fact, this game is the only one on their schedule against a power conference opponent all season.

And that easy schedule isn’t an accident as the Gauchos have almost an entirely new roster this season. They’re 343rd in KenPom’s minutes continuity stat as only 2 of their 10 rotation players actually played for UCSB last season although several were on the team but sitting due to transfer rules. The rotation includes transfers from Alabama, Oregon State, Seattle U, and Nevada in addition to several freshmen. So while they haven’t played together much they still have some D-1 experience.

The Gauchos excel in several categories although it’s hard to judge how much of that is real given their paper thin competition so far. They’re in the top-25 nationally in drawing fouls, getting offensive rebounds, and not getting their shots blocked. UCSB will pound the ball inside time and again and so far have been able to out-physical their opponents. However, they also give up a ton of foul shots on the defensive end so expect both Sam Timmins and BPJ to see some time in this one especially if the officiating crew is whistle happy.

That bruising team identity is evident when looking at their 3-point numbers. The Gauchos are 337th in the percentage of their points gotten from beyond the arc and shoot just over 30% from there. Expect the Huskies to really pack the zone and dare UCSB to shoot over them. Two bench guys have gone 12/23 (52%) but the rest of the team is a combined 26.4%. Also anticipate a low possession game as UCSB is 345th in length of possession on offense while the Huskies are 344th in length of possession on defense. Santa Barbara will poke and prod this zone trying to find ways to get the ball inside and aren’t likely to just throw up shots early in the clock.

When the Huskies have the ball they may find themselves back in a shooting slump as opponents have only shot a paltry 24.5% from 3-point range against UCSB. If Noah Dickerson is back to fully healthy then UW should continually get the ball inside to him against a team that is among the worst at surrendering trips to the foul line as well as getting steals and turnovers.

Santa Barbara is a solid team with more pure talent than you find on most mid major squads. But unless they change their team identity on the fly this seems like a good matchup for the UW zone.


Washington Huskies- 72, UC Santa Barbara Gauchos- 56


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