Jan. 7, 2008
WCC PLAY BEGINS THIS WEEKEND
West Coast Conference teams turn their attention to conference play this weekend as all eight schools begin league competition on Saturday. Santa Clara travels to Bay Area rival Saint Mary's, while Gonzaga plays at Loyola Marymount. San Francisco heads to San Diego, while Pepperdine hosts Portland. The first week of conference play is concluded on Monday as Portland travels to LMU for a showdown on ESPNU, while Pepperdine hosts Gonzaga in the WCC's first Big Monday appearance of the season on ESPN.
WCC PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Gonzaga's Matt Bouldin Earns Weekly Honor
Gonzaga sophomore guard Matt Bouldin was brilliant in the Zags' wins over Utah and Georgia. Bouldin started the week with a career-high 26 points on 8-of-11 shooting against the Runnin' Utes. The Highlands Ranch, CO native also added six rebounds and a pair of steals. He followed that up by tossing in 21 points to go along with four rebounds and four assists in the Bulldogs' 75-67 win over Georgia. For the week, Bouldin averaged 23.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 2.0 apg, and 1.5 spg, while shooting a blistering 62.5 percent from the floor.
Loyola Marymount at Cal State Bakersfield - 7:00 PM
San Jose State at Santa Clara - 7:00 PM
Hope International at Pepperdine - 7:00 PM
Saint Mary's at Fresno State - 7:00 PM
Cal State Bakersfield at San Diego - 7:00 PM
*Santa Clara at Saint Mary's - 4:00 PM
*Gonzaga at Loyola Marymount - 5:30 PM
*San Francisco at San Diego - 6:00 PM
*Portland at Pepperdine - 7:30 PM
*Portland at Loyola Marymount - 8:00 PM !
*Gonzaga at Pepperdine - 9:00 PM $
* Denotes WCC game; ! Televised on ESPNU; $ Televised on ESPN; All times PST
WCC TEAM NOTES
Gonzaga Bulldogs (11-4 / 0-0 WCC)
- The Zags improved to 11-4 overall with a 75-67 win over the Georgia Bulldogs.
- Sophomore guard Matt Bouldin led the Zags in scoring for the third straight game, tossing in 21 points. Bouldin, who has scored 20 or more points in the Bulldogs' last three games, leads Gonzaga in scoring with 14.7 ppg.
- Junior forward Josh Heytvelt made his first start of the season versus Georgia, scoring 11 points and grabbing five rebounds. Heytvelt, recovering from ankle surgery, is averaging 11 points and four rebounds per game.
- Gonzaga turns its attention to WCC play this weekend as the Zags travel to Loyola Marymount (1/12) and Pepperdine (1/14). The Bulldogs will be seeking their eighth straight WCC regular-season title and their 10th in the last 11 years.
Loyola Marymount Lions (3-12 / 0-0 WCC)
- The Lions suffered a 91-62 setback at BYU last week.
- Freshman Orlando Johnson led the Lions with 19 points. Johnson leads the team in scoring and is ranked 11th in the West Coast Conference at 13.1 ppg.
- Johnson also ranks second on the Lions' squad with 5.1 rpg. He is on pace to set LMU's all-time freshman record in scoring (Luther Philyaw - 1972-73 - 379 points) and rebounds (Andy Osborn - 2001-02 - 152 rebounds).
- The Lions have been getting balance from their young roster as no player averages more than 30 minutes and nine different players have scored 10 or more points in a game this season.
- The Lions play at Cal State Bakersfield (1/7) before opening WCC play by hosting Gonzaga (1/12) and Portland (1/14).
Pepperdine Waves (5-10 / 0-0 WCC)
- The Waves dropped a 90-53 decision at second-ranked Memphis.
- Freshman guard Tyrone Shelley posted his second consecutive double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds versus the Tigers. Shelley leads the Waves and ranks sixth in the WCC with 15.7 ppg. His point total is the second highest among freshmen in the WCC.
- Freshman forward Malcolm Thomas added 10 points and seven rebounds against Memphis. Thomas scored in double-figures for the 12th straight game.
- Freshmen are providing most of the Waves' scoring, with over 60 percent of the points thus far. They have also scored at least half of the Waves' points in all 15 games.
- The Waves host Hope International (1/8) before opening conference play by hosting Portland (1/12) and Gonzaga (1/14).
Portland Pilots (5-10 / 0-0 WCC)
- The Pilots suffered a pair of road setbacks, falling at Yale, 88-70, and at Army, 70-66.
- Sophomore forward Robin Smeulders netted a career-high 22 points in the Pilots loss to Yale. The trip to Yale marked their longest road trip in school history.
- Sophomore guard Nik Raivio is proving to be one of the top free throw shooters in the WCC. Raivio, who's older brother Derek is the most accurate free throw shooter in conference history at 92.7 percent, ranks second in the WCC with an 87.5 percent clip.
- Freshman guard Jared Stohl is one of the best young long-range shooters in the WCC, ranking eighth in the conference in both threes per game (1.79) and three-point percentage (.410).
- The Pilots open WCC play at Pepperdine (1/12) and Loyola Marymount (1/14).
Saint Mary's Gaels (12-2 / 0-0 WCC)
- Saint Mary's dropped just its second game of the season, falling at No. 14 Texas, 81-62.
- Despite the loss, Saint Mary's still owns the No. 3 RPI in the country, according to the Collegiate Basketball News RPI Report. The Gaels also boast seven wins versus the RPI top 100, tying them with North Carolina and Butler for the most in the country.
- Led by Yusef Smith's eight rebounds and seven boards apiece by Diamon Simpson and Omar Samhan, the Gaels out-rebounded the Longhorns, 41-34. Simpson leads the WCC with 9.4 rpg, while Samhan ranks sixth with 7.1 rpg.
- Simpson (28) and Samhan (22) have combined to block 50 shots this season.
- The Gaels play at Fresno State (1/8) before hosting Santa Clara (1/12) to open WCC play.
San Diego Toreros (7-9 / 0-0 WCC)
- The Toreros, who were idle last week, have won two of their last three games.
- Junior forward Gyno Pomare topped the 1,000-point plateau, becoming just the 19th player in program history to reach the scoring milestone. Pomare, who has 525 career rebounds, also became just the 12th player in program history to score at least 1,000 points and grab at least 500 rebounds.
- Junior guard Brandon Johnson is just 33 points away from joining Pomare in the 1,000-point club. Johnson, who has 967 career points, already ranks third on the Toreros' all-time assists list with 326 assists.
- The Toreros host Cal State Bakersfield (1/9) in their last non-conference tune-up before hosting San Francisco (1/12) to open WCC play.
San Francisco Dons (4-11 / 0-0 WCC)
- The Dons dropped a 67-63 overtime thriller to Holy Cross in their lone game last week.
- Sophomore forward Dior Lowhorn paced the Dons with a game-high 24 points and also pulled down nine rebounds. Lowhorn leads the WCC and ranks 19th in the country in scoring with 20.9 ppg.
- Sophomore center Hyman Taylor has been very active on the glass in the Dons' previous two games, corralling 21 boards in the two contests.
- Freshman guard Myron Strong leads the conference in steals with 35 steals overall and 2.33 spg.
- The Dons open conference play this weekend at San Diego (1/12).
Santa Clara Broncos (8-6 / 0-0 WCC)
- Santa Clara was idle last week.
- Junior center John Bryant has notched five double-doubles this season, tying him with Saint Mary's Diamon Simpson for the league lead. Bryant is the only player in the WCC to rank in the top five in the conference in scoring (2nd-18.1 ppg), rebounding (3rd-8.7 rpg), field goal percentage (1st-.591), and blocks (3rd-1.86 bpg).
- Santa Clara is one of the most accurate shooting teams in the nation, ranking 14th in the country in field goal percentage (.498). The Broncos have shot 50 percent or better in seven of their 14 games this season.
- Senior Brody Angley ranks third on SCU's all-time assist charts with 412 career assists.
- SCU is idle this week and will host San Jose State (1/7) next Monday.