After the Gaucho men’s basketball team committed 18 turnovers in its 68-54 win over Division II Master’s College in an exhibition game at the Thunderdome on Friday night, Head Coach Bob Williams was thankful it was only the preseason.
[media-credit name=”Daniel Wade” align=”alignleft” width=”196″][/media-credit]“Offensively we were sloppy. We were jittery,” he said. “Our poise wasn’t very good. You want to get that stuff out of your system.”
Still, UCSB junior guard Orlando Johnson and forward James Nunnally combined for 43 of the team’s points in the win, teaming up for three separate fast break alley-oops and shooting a combined 53.5 percent from the field. Nunnally had 15 points in the second half to go with 10 rebounds.
“It’s not just a two-man game,” Nunnally said. “We try to get everyone involved.”
With the lack of Nunnally’s presence in the first half offensively, the Gauchos went to the locker rooms with a narrow lead, 30-28. Master’s struggled to move the ball inside thanks to the Gauchos’ size advantage, but the first half saw the team hit six of its 10 field goals from behind the three-point line. Master’s guard Anthony Cammon was 4-5 from behind the arc.
“That little guard is a good little player,” Williams said. “They’ve got two very good guards, but our pressure wore them out. [Our] defense is kind of like Chinese water torture. It just kind of wears on you as it goes on.”
Master’s committed 12 turnovers in the game — the maximum amount Williams hopes to get in future games. Williams went with his team’s tallest lineup to start the game, including 7’3” junior center Greg Somogyi, who started in one game all of last season. Somogyi had eight points but tied junior point guard William Brew with four rebounds.
“If his activity level is high, I like the idea of playing him some more,” Williams said. “There will be nights we start small and nights we start big.”
Listed at 6’6”, Nunnally may prove to be a significant part of the Gauchos’ lineup flexibility this season. On a few positions at the end of the game, he brought the ball up the court, joking after that he was a natural “point-forward.”
However, the wing’s team-leading number of boards on the night suggests to Williams that he could place Nunnally in the power forward spot.
“I love the flexibility of playing [Nunnally] at the four,” Williams said. “If Nun rebounds like he did tonight? He was a man out there. Nun could play small and big. Same with Orlando.”
While their regular season starts on Nov. 20 against Fresno State at the Thunderdome, the Gauchos will first travel to Eugene, Oregon on Nov. 12, where they will face Denver in the first of three games at the BTI Invitational.