Hello, it is five days till the exhibition versus the Masters. I cannot wait for Gaucho Basketball. In our first preview, I reveal who I believe will be at the cellar of the Big West, my Coach of the Year, a breakout player, the Gaucho starting lineup, and some other news.
Bottom of the Pack
Last year it was UC Riverside. They finished a game back of CSUN and UCI for the 8th and 7th seeds. This was a huge dissapointment in which many people thought they could be the breakout team.
My pick this year is UC Riverside. They lack the firepower without Kyle Austin to even compete in this league. I think Jim Woolridge has a year left at the helm of the program. 3-13 in league sounds about right.
The Golden One on the Sideline
Last year it was your favorite coach, Bob Williams of you know who. He led the Gauchos to a 20-10 record and a Big West Title. It was a good comeback season after a dissapointing 2008-2009.
My pick this year is Gary Stewart of UC Davis. I think UCD will be in the title hunt and I believe will finish high in the standings. They have Joe Harden and a healthy Mark Payne returning. I believe UCD also gets a postseason berth of some sort this year.
Gaucho out of Nowhere
Last year was a breakout year for many guys on the 'Chos. Orlando Johnson was the best player in the league in his 1st season and Will Brew ran the point like an upperclassmen. Also, Jordan Weiner improved his game and James Nunnally was the 2nd best scorer during conference play.
This year I think it is Chris Brew. We all know he has fantastic ability but didn't get many minutes in his freshman year. With James Powell the 6th man gone, Brew will step right in. He will be a high flying combo guard who can give lots of spark to this Gaucho team.
The Starting Five
Last year had many different lineups in non-conference play. In conference play, they got it right with Serna, Nunnally, OJ, Weiner, and Brew. This year will not look much different except one change.
I believe Will Brew will be the starting point guard. I think though they go a little bigger by playing OJ at the 2, Nunnally at the 3, Serna at the 4, and yes, Greg Somogyi at the 5. Somog showed much improvement late last year and I think is primed for double-double averages this season.
Publications such as Presidio Sports and Rush the Court have labeled Orlando Johnson as MVP, James Nunnally as All-Conference, and UCSB as the Big West Champs.
The Big West Media tabbed the Gauchos as the front runners for the conference crown.
Friday, 7 p.m., Thunderdome, vs. the Masters, UCSB Basketball 1st Game