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Gauchos picked fourth in men’s basketball

UC Santa Barbara has been selected to finish fourth in the Big West in the annual conference’s annual media poll and junior guard Gabe Vincent has been selected to the Preseason All-Big West Team, it was announced Wednesday.

UCSB, which finished 19-14 overall and 11-5 in league play in 2015-16, received 147 points in the poll. Long Beach State is the overwhelming favorite with 203 points and 19 first-place votes. UC Irvine was picked second with 158 total points and one first-place vote while Cal State Northridge was chosen third with 155 points and two first-place votes.

The gap between the top four teams and the rest of the league was very pronounced. UC Davis was picked fifth with 88 points, 59 points behind the Gauchos. Cal State Fullerton (83), UC Riverside (76), Hawai’i (73) and Cal Poly (52) round out the poll.

“I think Long Beach is the clear pick as we enter the season,” said UCSB head coach Bob Williams. “I’m not saying that some of the other teams won’t compete with them, but on paper that is a very good team. We have a lot of new faces that need to step-up, but if they do I think we’ll be fine by the time conference rolls around.”

Vincent was joined on the Preseason All-Big West Team by Justin Bibbins and Gabe Levin of Long Beach State, Khalil Ahmad and Tre’ Coggins of Cal State Fullerton, Luke Nelson of UC Irvine and Kendall Smith of Cal State Northridge.

As a sophomore, Vincent was named Honorable Mention All-Big West after averaging 14.2 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. He led the Gauchos in three-point baskets with 80, the second most in school history.

UCSB will open the season with an exhibition game against Fresno Pacific on Sunday, Nov. 6. Tip-off is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.

(story courtesy of UCSB Media Relations)

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