#82 UC Santa Barbara Men's Basketball 2021-2022 Preview

UC Santa Barbara Gauchos
2021-2022 Overall Rank: #82
Conference Rank: #1 Big West
 UCSB Logo
Despite having plenty of success in the Big West, UC Santa Barbara finally returned to the NCAA Tournament in 2021 after a 10-year drought. The Gauchos nearly upset Creighton in the first round too, falling 63-62. Heading into the 2021-2022 campaign, UCSB does have a little reloading to do. Three starters are gone, including Jaquori McLaughlin and his 15.6 points per game.
2020-21 Record: 22-5, 13-3
2020-21 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Joe Pasternack
Coach Record: 88-34 at UCSB, 142-94 overall
Key Departed Players:
Jaquori McLaughlin, Guard, 15.6 ppg
Devearl Ramsey, Guard, 7.7 ppg
Destin Barnes, Forward, 3.2 ppg
Brandon Cyrus, Guard, 3.0 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Amadou Sow, Senior, Forward, 13.0 ppg
Ajare Sanni, Junior, Guard, 11.5 ppg
Miles Norris, Senior, Forward, 9.6 ppg
Josh Pierre-Louis, Junior, Guard, 5.7 ppg
Robinson Idehen, Senior, Forward, 5.2 ppg
Sekou Toure, Senior, Guard, 2.9 ppg
Jay Nagle, Senior, Forward, 1.8 ppg
Jakov Kukic, Sophomore, Forward, 1.4 ppg
Gage Gomez, Sophomore, Guard, 0.9 ppg
Key New Players:
Cole Anderson, Freshman, Guard
Zach Harvey, Junior, Guard, Transfer from Cincinnati
Ajay Mitchell, Freshman, Guard
Ariel Bland, Freshman, Forward
David Pickles, Freshman, Forward
Henry Hartwell, Freshman, Guard
Max Sheldon, Freshman, Guard
Calvin Wishart, Senior, Guard, Transfer from Georgia Southern
The focus moves to the frontcourt where Amadou Sow and Miles Norris will continue to dominate the Big West. Sow is a great interior scorer and an even better rebounder. Last year he averaged 13.6 points and 7.6 rebounds. Norris added 9.7 points and 4.6 rebounds. Robinson Idehen is another experienced big body who will provide quality depth. The backcourt lost all three starters, but Ajare Sanni returns after averaging 10.9 points per game. Sanni was largely a shooter off the bench last year, but he can score in a variety of ways and should be ready to step into a larger role in 2021-2022. Josh Pierre-Louis transferred in from Temple last year and showed some flashes. A couple transfers coming in this year will need to immediately step into large roles to help fill the holes on the perimeter. Calvin Wishart had a good sophomore season at Georgia Southern where he averaged 9.4 points and 2.7 assists. Zach Harvey saw limited minutes during his two seasons at Cincinnati, but last year he started to show that he can be a prolific scorer if given the opportunity. UCSB is the team to beat in the Big West and Coach Joe Pasternack has the talent to return to the NCAA Tournament.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 76.0 (63rd in nation, 2nd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 62.8 (20, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 48.2 (22, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.1 (102, 3)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.7 (231, 6)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.7 (125, 6)
Free-Throw Percentage: 75.1 (46, 3)
Rebound Margin: 5.5 (32, 3)
Assists Per Game: 16.2 (22, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 10.9 (26, 1)