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WCC Men's Basketball Weekly Notes

Jan. 5, 2010

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CONFERENCE PLAY BEGINS THIS WEEK

After enjoying a strong showing during the non-conference portion of the season, WCC teams turn their attention to conference play beginning this weekend. Rivalries take center stage in the opening weekend as the conference season tips off on Friday, January 8th with San Francisco hosting Bay Area rival Saint Mary's and Santa Clara playing host to San Diego. On Saturday, Gonzaga travels to Northwest rival Portland for a showdown between the top two teams in the WCC Preseason Coaches poll. The Zags-Pilots game will be televised nationally on ESPNU. Also on Saturday, Loyola Marymount looks to keep its six-game winning streak alive as the Lions travel to rival Pepperdine. The first weekend of conference play comes to a close on Sunday as San Diego travels to San Francisco and Santa Clara hosts rival Saint Mary's.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

All Times PST

FRIDAY, JANUARY 8
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
TELEVISION
Saint Mary's at San Francisco San Francisco, CA
6:30 PM
Comcast Sports California
San Diego at Santa Clara Santa Clara, CA
7:00 PM
Comcast Sports California/SD Channel 4
SATURDAY, JANUARY 9
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
Loyola Marymount at Pepperdine Malibu, CA
7:00 PM
#18/#19 Gonzaga at Portland Portland, OR
7:00 PM
ESPNU
SUNDAY, JANUARY 10
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
San Diego at San Francisco San Francisco, CA
5:00 PM
Comcast CA/SD CH 4/Comcast NW
Saint Mary's at Santa Clara Santa Clara, CA
7:00 PM
Comcast Sports CA & Comcast Sports NW

AROUND THE WCC

WCC Co-Player of the Week
GON's Elias Harris & LMU's Vernon Teel Share Weekly Honor
Gonzaga's Elias Harris and LMU's Vernon Teel turned in impressive weeks in leading their teams to undefeated records last week. Harris led the Zags to wins over Eastern Washington, Oklahoma, and Illinois. For the week, Harris averaged a double-double with 18.7 points per game to go along with 10.7 rebounds per contest, while shooting 75 percent from the field (21-for-28). Teel was equally as impressive, averaging nearly a triple-double in the Lions' wins over Seattle and Cal State Bakersfield. Teel averaged 20.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, 9.5 assists and 4.0 steals per game in leading LMU to its longest winning streak since the 1995-96 season.

Also Nominated: Brandon Johnson (USD) & Omar Samhan (SMC)

WCC Best In The West Against The BCS
West Coast Conference teams are proving to be formidable opponents for teams from the BCS conferences. Of the four conferences primarily located in the West Region - WCC, Pac-10, Big West, and WAC - the WCC owns the most wins and the highest winning percentage against teams from the six BCS conferences with a 14-17 record. The Pac-10 is second with a 9-24 (.272) mark against teams from other BCS conferences, followed by the Big West (2-19; .095), and the WAC (0-7).


CONFERENCERECORD VS. BCS SCHOOLSPERCENTAGE

1. WEST COAST14-17.4522. Pacific-109-24.2723. Big West2-19.0954. Western Athletic0-7.000

Three WCC Teams Ranked In The RPI Top 55
Gonzaga, Saint Mary's, and Portland have enjoyed a tremendous amount of success in the non-conference season. As a result, all three teams are ranked in the latest RPI top 55 heading into conference play, according to the latest Collegiate Basketball News RPI Report. Gonzaga, which has played one of the most difficult schedules in the country, is ranked No. 20 in the RPI, followed closely by Saint Mary's, which is off to a 13-2 start, at No. 25 in the RPI. Portland, which entered a top 25 ranking for the first time in 50 years, checks in at No. 55 in the RPI listing.

2009-10 WCC Preseason All-Conference Team
If the WCC preseason all-conference team is any indication, it should be a very competitive season as all eight conference schools landed at least one player on the team. Gonzaga and Portland led the way with each team landing two players on the team. In addition, guard play in the WCC should be exciting to watch as eight of the 10 players named to the team play in the backcourt.

2009-10 WCC Men's Basketball Preseason All-Conference
Keion Bell, PEP
Matt Bouldin, GON
T.J. Campbell, POR
Jared DuBois, LMU
Kevin Foster, SCU
Steven Gray, GON
Brandon Johnson, USD
Dior Lowhorn, USF
Nik Raivio, POR
Omar Samhan, SMC

Zappos.com Named Title Sponsor of the WCC Basketball Championships
The West Coast Conference (WCC) and its multi-media rights partner, IMG College, announced Zappos.com as the official title sponsor of the WCC Men's and Women's Basketball Championships. The deal represents the WCC's first-ever title sponsorship. In addition, the WCC and Zappos.com will partner with Soles4Souls to challenge each West Coast Conference campus to collect the most shoes from December to the end of the conference basketball season. The gently used shoes will be distributed internationally through Soles4Souls to individuals in need. Last year's shoe drive resulted in over 5,200 shoes being donated to Soles4Souls by West Coast Conference institutions.

WCC Live To Cover Men's Hoops Season
This season, the West Coast Conference introduced a new internet based radio showcalled "WCC Live" to be hosted by veteran play-by-play announcer Jeff Lampe. The show will feature interviews with coaches and players from around the league as well asspecial guests throughout the year. In addition, fans will be able to participate by dialing in to ask questions of the guests by calling 646-378-1311, submitting questions via a live chat feature or by emailing questions to WCCLive@ymail.com. The program will air live each Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. ---- visit wccsports.com/wcclive for up-to-date guest information.

WCC Tournament To Remain At The Orleans Arena Through 2012
On July 22, 2009, the West Coast Conference and the Orleans Arena announced a three-year contract extension that will keep the WCC Men's and Women's Basketball Championships in Las Vegas through 2012. The extension comes after the West Coast Conference sold out the Orleans Arena for the 2009 WCC Basketball Championships. The 2009 championship, which was the WCC's first-ever at a neutral site, set conference records for both total championship attendance (33,320) and single session championship attendance (7,845).

Gonzaga Edges Portland For Top Spot in 2009-10 WCC Preseason Coaches Poll
Gonzaga was selected as the favorite to capture an unprecedented 10th consecutiveWest Coast Conference men's basketball regular season title in the 2009-10 WCC Preseason Coaches Poll. The Zags received six first place votes and tallied 48 points to narrowly edge out Portland, which received the remaining two first place votes and collected 44 overall points. Saint Mary's was picked third with 34 overall points, followed by San Francisco and Santa Clara, which tied for fourth with 26 points. Rounding out this year's poll were San Diego in sixth place with 21 points, followed by Pepperdine in seventh place with 13 points, and Loyola Marymount in eighth place with 12.

2009-10 WCC Men's Basketball Preseason Coaches Poll
1. Gonzaga - 48 (6)
2. Portland - 44 (2)
3. Saint Mary's - 34
4. San Francisco - 26
Santa Clara - 26
6. San Diego - 21
7. Pepperdine - 13
8. Loyola Marymount - 12


WCC TEAM NOTES

SCHOOL TEAM NOTES

Overall Record: 11-3
WCC Record: 0-0
  • Gonzaga posted a 3-0 record last week with wins over Eastern Washington (94-52), Oklahoma (83-69), and Illinois (85-83 - OT). Six of the Zags' 11 non-conference wins have come against schools from BCS conferences.

  • Gonzaga has won nine consecutive WCC regular season titles, tying the University of Kentucky teams of 1944-52 for the fourth-longest conference title winning streak in NCAA history. UCLA holds the record with 13 straight league titles from 1967-79. Last season, the Zags posted their third undefeated conference record, becoming the only school since the WCC moved to its current eight team alignment in 1980-81 to accomplish the feat three times.

  • Matt Bouldin was named to the John R. Wooden Award Mid-Season Top 30 Watch List. The Highlands Ranch, Colo. native is the ninth Bulldog to be nominated for the award.

  • Gonzaga opens conference play at Portland (1/9) in a game televised on ESPNU.

  • Overall Record: 9-7
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • The Lions improved their winning streak to six straight with a 104-89 win over Seattle and an 81-73 road win at Cal State Bakersfield.

  • The Lions six-game winning streak is their longest streak since the 1995-96 season. They improve to 9-7 on the season and have won three straight on the road, the longest stretch since they won their last road game of the 1994-95 season and the first two of that 95-96 campaign.

  • Junior Vernon Teel led LMU over the weekend, nearly averaging a triple-double with 20.5 ppg, 8.5 rpg, and 9.5 apg. For his efforts, Teel earned his second WCC Player of the Week honor in the past month, sharing the weekly award with Gonzaga's Elias Harris.

  • Teel now ranks fourth in the nation and tops in the WCC with 6.5 assists per game.

  • Loyola Marymount opens WCC play at rival Pepperdine (1/9) this weekend.

  • Overall Record: 4-12
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • The Waves dropped their final two non-conference regular season games of the season, falling at Georgia, 64-47, and to Miami, 86-63.

  • Sophomore guard Keion Bell reached the 20-point mark for the ninth time this season in the Waves' setback versus Miami. Bell now leads the Waves and ranks second in the WCC in scoring with 19.8 points per game.

  • Pepperdine, which has no seniors and has a roster where 12 of the 16 players are underclassmen, has been led in scoring by its sophomore class in 16 of 16 games this season.

  • Sophomore Dane Suttle Jr. is one of the WCC's best three-point shooters this season, ranking fifth in three-pointers made per game (2.1) and three-point accuracy (31-of-68 - 45.6%).

  • The Waves host rival Loyola Marymount (1/9) to open conference play.

  • Overall Record: 9-5
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Portland dropped a 78-69 decision at Nevada before earning wins versus The Evergreen State College (101-77) and Army (67-57).

  • Five Pilots reached double figures in their win versus The Evergreen State College as Portland eclipsed 100 points for the first time since opening the 1998-99 season with a 102-52 win over Patten College.

  • Junior forward Luke Sikma came off the bench for Portland with 12 points and a career-high 19 rebounds in the Pilots' win over Army. Sikma is now tied for second in the WCC in rebounding with 7.6 rebounds per game.

  • Junior Jared Stohl leads the WCC in made three-pointers per game (2.6).

  • Portland opens conference play by hosting Northwest rival Gonzaga (1/9) on ESPNU.

  • Overall Record: 13-2
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Saint Mary's defeated Binghamton, 85-57, and Howard, 94-46, to win the Shamrock Office Solutions Classic.

  • Senior center Omar Samhan was one blocked shot shy of a triple double in the Gaels' win over Howard as he had 23 points, 11 boards, and nine blocks. Samhan tied the Saint Mary's school record, tying Brad Millard, who recorded nine blocks against Colorado on Nov. 9, 1999. Samhan now leads the WCC in scoring (20.8 ppg), rebounding (11.0 rpg), and blocks (2.5 bpg).

  • The Gaels are one of the top three-point shooting teams in the nation, ranking sixth in the country in three-pointers made (133) and ranking 12th in three-point accuracy (41.6%).

  • Mickey McConnell ranks second in the WCC and seventh in the nation with 6.4 apg.

  • The Gaels open WCC play at Bay Area rivals USF (1/8) and Santa Clara (1/10).

  • Overall Record: 7-9
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • San Diego had a busy week, defeating Savannah State (63-56) and Florida A&M (74-64), but falling to Mississippi State (77-68).

  • Senior guard Brandon Johnson enjoyed a career weekend. Against Mississippi State, Johnson tossed in a career-high 31 points. The 6-0 guard followed that up with a 23-point, seven assist effort in the Toreros' win versus Florida A&M. The seven assists increased his career total to 468, moving him into first place on the school's all-time list.

  • Johnson also ranks second on the Toreros' all-time scoring list with 1,606 career points. He needs just 120 more points to become the school's all-time leading scorer, passing former teammate Gyno Pomare (1,725). If Johnson becomes USD's all-time leading scorer, he would become the only player in WCC history to be his school's career points and assists leader.

  • San Diego opens WCC play at Santa Clara (1/8) and at San Francisco (1/10) this week.

  • Overall Record: 5-10
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • The Dons improved to 5-1 at home with a 129-64 win over Holy Names. USF set new single-game records for points (129) and margin of victory (65). The Dons' previous single-game scoring record was set in 1971 against San Francisco State.

  • Senior forward Dior Lowhorn tossed in 21 points in the Dons' win over Holy Names. Lowhorn enters conference play with 1,504 career points in 75 games for a 20.1 points per game average and currently rates 12th on the Dons all-time scoring ladder. USF Hall-of-Famer and former NBA All-Star Phil Smith (1971-74) scored 1,523 points for 11th place.

  • The Dons have compiled a 5-1 record so far at home during the non-conference schedule and own an 12-6 mark on the Hilltop under head coach Rex Walters.

  • The Dons open WCC play by hosting Saint Mary's (1/8) and San Diego (1/10).

  • Overall Record: 8-9
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • The Broncos earned a win versus New Hampshire (71-68), but dropped games against Northeastern (62-50), Wofford (80-72), and Harvard (74-66).

  • Sophomore guard Kevin Foster, the 2008-09 WCC Co-Newcomer of the Year, is out indefinitely with a right foot injury. Foster, who was averaging 19.8 points per game this season, injured his foot in the final minutes of Santa Clara's 79-68 victory at UC Santa Barbara on Dec. 1.

  • Sophomore Marc Trasolini topped the 20-point mark for the fourth time this season in the Broncos' setback versus Harvard. Trasolini, who also added six rebounds and three blocks, is putting together a terrific second season, ranking 9th in the conference in scoring (14.2 ppg), 6th in rebounding (6.7 rpg), 6th in FG percentage (.531), and 2nd in blocks (31).

  • SCU hosts San Diego (1/8) and Bay Area rival Saint Mary's (1/10) to open WCC play.