Scouting the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos

Cal State Fullerton lays its longest winning streak in 21 years on the line Thursday night at UC Santa Barbara, where it also will attempt to protect its early lead in the Big West standings. Here is a quick rundown of the Gauchos of UCSB.

The Titans (9-3) face UC Santa Barbara (6-5). Tip-off is Thursday, 7:00 PM at UCSB's Thunderdome.

The Rankings

UCSB 84 148 88 76 83 96
CSF 221 (10) 115 (--) 198 (11) 231 (7) 167 (5) 180


UC Santa Barbara Gauchos Scouting Report

  • Notable wins include Santa Clara by 33 at home and CP-SLO by 1 on the road. Little surprised there's not really any other 'good' wins. They beat a bad San Diego team by 4 on the road and they beat Portland (not the good one) by 14 at home.
  • Close losses include SDSU by 1 at home, UNLV by 6 at home and Washington by 7 on the road.
  • Return 4 of 5 starters from last year.
  • Have lots of seniors, including 6-5 Orlando Johnson, 6-5 James Nunnally, 6-7 Jaime Serna (listed at 235 lb. but closer to 250 or more), 6-3 Christian Peterson and 7-3 Greg Somogyi (242 lb.). All play significant minutes and are included in a 10 or 11 man rotation.
  • Leading scorers are Orlando (20.2) and Nunnally (16.4). Leading rebounders are the same at 6.8 and 5.7. Somogyi has 3.7 rpg in only 11.6 minutes.
  • This will be the best team, computer rankings-wise, the Titans have faced since their 15 point loss to Wichita State.
  • Titans and Nachos are 1-2 in the conference in scoring and 1-3 in FG percentage. They are also 1-3 in rebounding margin.
  • UCSB is the leader in blocked shots with Somogyi leading the way at 2 per game.
  • Sounds like a broken record but look for UCSB to attack the post to either get Amoke/Chin in foul trouble or to get some easy baskets because of defensive mismatches. Amoke will have a very hard time covering the taller/wider Serna and an even more difficult time covering 7-3 Somogyi. Expect Johnson and Nunnally to continue to do what they do best: Drive, shoot three's, rebound and score.
  • Freshman Alan Williams may also be a factor as he's another big body at 6-7, 240 pounds. He's averaging only 10 mpg but had 29 minutes against CP-SLO where he had 13 points and 10 rebounds. Williams is like the John Underwood for the Titans. Numerous fans have been clamoring all season long for coach Bob Williams to play him more and BW finally delivered. Perhaps fans do know what they are talking about once in a while. ;)
  • The Nachos have five players who will put up the three (another Titans weakness on defense), three of them starters and two off the bench. Sophomore Kyle Boswell leads the team at 42.5% while Johnson has made -- and taken -- the most (21 for 51).
  • UCSB will try to run with the Titans but may slow it down if that's not working.
  • Keys to game for Titans: No. 1, contain Orlando. Nunnally and Johnson average 6 turnovers per game so make them pass the ball (and not to each other). No. 2, limit the turnovers. No. 3, continue rebounding. No. 4, hope that UCSB goes cold from the outside as Titans are going to have to double down low with the height/weight disadvantage.

    I would also say stay out of foul trouble but our post players need to be more aggressive if they are going to have any shot at stopping the Gauchos. If the game's close, which means that Omondi Amoke and/or Orane Chin are likely in foul trouble, this may mean Underwood or Sedric Martin see some real action. (Hey, you never know. It's going to happen sooner or later)
  • Vegas: Nachos by 10 with a score of 78-68 (o/u 145).