Hopes high for rebound of Men’s Basketball.
By Sophia Fischer
There are lots of new faces in the UC Santa Barbara men’s basketball program.
Since being hired in April to replace former coach Bob Williams whose contract was not renewed, new Head Men’s Basketball Coach Joe Pasternack has hired five staff members and recruited two transfer students.
“It was very important to build a staff that I’m comfortable with and I’ve done that,” Pasternack said. “We are still looking to add a significant piece to our roster for next year.”
Pasternack’s next goal is to build a new culture on and off the court. Weight lifting has been increased from three days to five days per week, new shooting drills have been instituted and a new approach is being taught.
“We want a culture where we grind on the court, in study hall and in the weight room, and that holds everyone accountable,” Pasternack explained.
Here’s a quick rundown of new staff and players:
Assistant Coach Louis Reynaud: Reynaud was director of operations at the University of Houston. Prior, he was associate head coach at Rice University, helping lead the Owls to the program’s first winning season in seven years, and wins in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament, a postseason first. Reynaud and Pasternack served together at UC Berkeley, where Reynaud was associate head coach, helping lead the Golden Bears to four NCAA Tournaments and three National Invitation Tournaments. Reynaud was head coach at several successful high school programs, a standout player at Archbishop Riordan High School in his native San Francisco, and played two seasons at Skyline College in San Bruno. He earned a bachelor’s in liberal studies from San Francisco State and a master’s in health/physical education from Saint Mary’s College. “His ability as a teacher of the game, mentor for student athletes, and organizational skills are unparalleled,” Pasternack said.
Assistant Coach John Rillie: Since 2011, Rillie was assistant coach at Boise State. In 2014-15 the team set a school record with 297 three-point baskets and won a school record 25 games. Rillie played college basketball at Gonzaga and helped lead the team to its first NCAA berth in 1995 and a bid to the National Invitation Tournament in 1994. Rillie spent 16 years on the international pro basketball circuit with teams in Australia, New Zealand and Greece. He began coaching in his native Australia. “His recruiting ties overseas and on the west coast and his professional playing experience will be a great resource,” Pasternack said.
Assistant Coach Ben Tucker: Tucker leaves Northern Arizona University as assistant coach. Tucker previously was assistant director of basketball operations at the University of Arizona under Pasternack. Tucker also worked as a team manager at UA while earning a bachelor’s degree in physical education. He coached at the College of Idaho and at Walsh University in Canton, Ohio, where he earned a master’s degree in education. A Boise, Idaho native, Tucker is described by Pasternack as a “rising star” in coaching. “He is a detailed hard worker who knows the system we played at Arizona and will bring value on the court, in game preparation and recruiting,” Pasternack said.
Director of Basketball Operations David Miller: The Manhattan Beach, California native spent last season as Director of Player Development at the University of Alabama. Miller also spent five seasons at the University of Arizona as a student-manager and then as a graduate manager, aiding coaches in workouts and operational/video duties. During that time the Wildcats earned three Pac-12 championships and four NCAA Tournament berths, including Elite Eight appearances and one Sweet Sixteen showing. Miller played two seasons at El Camino College, then transferred to Arizona to earn a bachelor’s in English and master’s in education. His dad, David, was an assistant coach at Arizona, Texas, USC, Eastern Kentucky and the NBA’s New Orleans Hornets. “His basketball background, passion, and organizational skills will be a huge asset,” Pasternack said.
Guard Marcus Jackson: From Acton, the 6-foot-3 Jackson graduated from Rice University in May where he was a three-year starter. At UCSB, he will have one year of eligibility remaining and will work toward a master’s degree in education. Jackson started all 35 games last season for the Owls, was third in scoring and second in assists. He scored a season-high 20 points in games against Pittsburgh and Southern Mississippi. He is the 35th player in Rice history to eclipse 1,000 points. He scored in double-figures 25 times as the Owls won 23 games, the second most in school history, and advanced to the second round of the College Basketball Invitational. “On the court, he is a combo guard who can really score the ball and make his teammates better,” Pasternack said.
Point Guard Devearl Ramsey: A Los Angeles native, Ramsey, 5-foot-10, was a four-star recruit from Sierra Canyon High in Chatsworth, helping the team to the California State Division V state championship, and earning all-state and all-league honors. He was recruited by Nevada, USC, Texas, Michigan, Cal, North Carolina State, Memphis and Washington. During his freshman season at Nevada, Ramsey played in 26 games and made two starts. He had season-highs of five points and nine assists in an overtime win over New Mexico, and a best of six rebounds against UNLV. In his 213 minutes, Ramsey had 26 assists and a mere four turnovers. Ramsey competed for USA Basketball at the 2014 FIBA U17 World Championship and the 2013 FIBA Americas U16 Championship, both of which won gold medals. Pasternack has had his eye on Ramsey since the standout was in eighth grade. “He’s tough, smart and unselfish, every quality we want in a point guard,” Pasternack said.