Get those yellow shirts from out of the closet, blow the dust off, and do something with that nasty beer stain, for it’s that time of year again.
Yes, the Thunderdome will be aglow with v-cuts, arching jumpers, and swaggering young men tonight with the arrival of the hoops season. The UCSB men’s basketball team will take to the court for the first time this season in an exhibition game against Division II Cal State Los Angeles.
The game won’t count on the Gauchos’ record, but it does serve as a chance for Coach Bob Williams and the rest of Santa Barbara to survey the squad in a formal game setting for the first time all season.
Due to injury, UCSB will be without three of its impact players in the exhibition opener. Freshman forward Chris Devinewill miss an estimated three months of the season following knee surgery, junior forward Cameron Goettsche will be out with a groin injury that will likely keep him out of high-tops for three to four weeks, and sophomore forward Glenn Turner is out one to two games with an ankle sprain.
The injuries will likely give redshirt sophomore David Kennedy the start at forward alongside senior Casey Cook. Coach Williams is expected to give the nod to senior Chrismen Oliver at the point and juniors Josh Davis and Cecil Brown on the wings.
The contest will be the first for the Gauchos since they were upset in the second round of last year’s Big West Tournament, a 61-58 loss to Cal State Northridge.
Wednesday, UCSB was tabbed by the Big West’s coaches and media to finish fourth in the conference behind Utah State, Pacific and Northridge. The ranking comes a year after the Gauchos were picked to finish first in the Big West.