When Jerry Pimm brings his 6-3 Santa Barbara Gauchos into the Spectrum tonight at 7:30 for a Big West basketball game against 4-6 Utah State, it will be the 61st time Pimm has met the Aggies as a coach.
Sixty-one times!That includes 16 times as head coach at UCSB, 19 as head coach at Utah and the balance as a Utah assistant for 13 years prior to getting the head job.
He can probably find his way around Logan.
Pimm's head-coaching record against the Aggies is 17-17 overall, 6-9 with the Gauchos and 11-8 with the Utes.
Pimm leads a team picked to place fourth in the Big West, a spot or two above the preseason media/coaches' expectations for the Aggies.
It's been an odd season for the beefy Gauchos, described as a power team. They started with a loss to Pepperdine, then won two, lost to Texas in overtime on national TV and won two, lost to Princeton in the Cable Car Classic and then won their next two, including Wednesday's Big West opener 70-62 at San Jose State.
The Gauchos average 69.6 points on offense, 65.5 on defense. They're shooting 44 percent from the field - exactly what the Aggies are averaging. Gary Gray (17.3), who had 25 Wednesday, and Lucius Davis (17.2) are both the leading scorers and rebounders for Pimm.
Santa Barbara's overall size could pose a threat to Utah State's newly successful starting combination of Wednesday that saw freshmen Bryon Ruffner and Eric Franson open at forwards in a 111-88 Aggie win over Cal-Irvine in the Spectrum. "We can't play that lineup with really big teams," says Coach Kohn Smith.
The Gauchos start 6-foot-9, 247-pound Gray; 6-7, 215 Davis; 6-9, 235 Bob Erbst and 6-6, 203 guard Paul Johnson along with a smaller guard (Ray Kelly). "They're very athletic and play very hard; they're big and strong," says Smith. But, he noted, they don't shoot as well as last year's Gauchos, who beat Utah State 91-66 and 91-82.
Following tonight's game, the Aggies leave Sunday for games Monday at Cal-Fullerton and Wednesday at No. 1-ranked UNLV.