The UC Santa Barbara men’s basketball team has been picked to finish second in the 2019-20 Big West Conference regular season standings, while senior guard Max Heidegger and sophomore forward Amadou Sow were chosen to the preseason all-league team in the annual media poll released by the conference Thursday. 

The Gauchos finished with a total of 256 points and 15 first-place votes, second to defending league champion UC Irvine, which also received 15 first-place votes but totaled 258 points. Cal State Northridge was picked third with 202 points, while Hawai’i and Cal State Fullerton rounded out the top-five with 155 and 152 points respectively. The only other first-place vote went to UC Davis, which was picked to finish eighth. 

Heidegger and Sow were joined on the Preseason All-Big West Team by Lamine Diane and Terrell Gomez of Cal State Northridge, Evan Leonard of UC Irvine and Dikymbe Martin of UC Riverside.

Heidegger, a First Team All-Big West selection in 2018 when he averaged 19.1 points per game and set a UCSB record with 95 three-point baskets, was limited to 21 games last season. He finished the year averaging 11.9 points and 3.0 rebounds per game while making 29 three-point baskets. The 6-foot-9 Sow had one of the finest freshman seasons in school history and was named Second Team All-Big West in 2019. He averaged 12.2 points and 6.6 rebounds per game and set school freshman records for points (391), field goals (150), field goal percentage (56.4%) and free throw attempts (127). Sow’s total of 210 rebounds were the second most by a Gaucho freshman.

Last season, the Gauchos went 22-10 overall and 10-6 in conference play, good for second-place. In addition to Heidegger and Sow, they return numerous other major contributors, including Devearl Ramsey (10.3 ppg, 3.4 RPG, 3.2 APG, 38 3-Pt. baskets), JaQuori McLaughlin (10.3 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 3.3 APG, 48 3-Pt. baskets), Robinson Idehen (3.7 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 68.4% FGs) and Jay Nagle (3.5 PPG, 30 3-Pt. baskets, 44.1% 3-Pt. FGs).

UCSB will also add transfer junior guard Brandon Cyrus (DePaul), graduate transfer forward Matt Freeman (Oklahoma), community college transfer guard Roberto Gittens (College of Southern Idaho) and freshman forward Jakov Kukic (La Lumiere HS in La Porte, Ind.).

The regular season will tip-off on Wednesday, Nov. 6 at 7 p.m. against Jackson State. That game will begin a 16-game home schedule for the Gaucho