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WCC Men's Basketball Weekly Notes

Jan. 19, 2010

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WCC TEAMS BEGIN THIRD WEEK OF CONFERENCE PLAY

WCC men's basketball teams begin the third week of conference play with crucial matchups this Thursday. Highlighting this week's action is Gonzaga and Pepperdine, the two remaining unbeaten teams in conference play, which will go head-to-head on Thursday in Spokane. The Zags have jumped out to a 3-0 start thanks to three straight road wins to open WCC play. Meanwhile, Pepperdine has also opened conference play with a 3-0 record, marking the Waves' best WCC start since the 2002 season. Four of the six games this week are televised, including the San Diego at Saint Mary's game which can be seen nationally on ESPNU.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

All Times PST

THURSDAY, JANUARY 21
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
TELEVISION
Pepperdine at Gonzaga Spokane, WA
6:00 PM
Fox Sports Northwest/KHQ Spokane/Fox Sports Prime Ticket
Loyola Marymount at Portland Portland, OR
7:00 PM
San Diego at Saint Mary's Moraga, CA
8:00 PM
ESPNU
SATURDAY, JANUARY 23
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
Loyola Marymount at Gonzaga Spokane, WA
5:00 PM
Fox Sports Northwest/KHQ Spokane
Santa Clara at San Francisco San Francisco, CA
5:00 PM
Comcast Sports California
Pepperdine at Portland Portland, OR
7:00 PM

AROUND THE WCC

WCC Co-Player of the Week
GON's Elias Harris & PEP's Lorne Jackson Share Weekly Honor
Gonzaga's Elias Harris and Pepperdine's Lorne Jackson share this week's WCC Player of the Week award after leading their respective teams to conference sweeps last week. Harris averaged 25.5 ppg, 11.0 rpg, shot 63.6 percent from the field (21-33) and had 4 blocks as Gonzaga went on road and defeated Saint Mary's and San Diego to open WCC play 3-0 with three straight road victories. Jackson averaged 18.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists as Pepperdine defeated both Santa Clara and San Francisco and improved to 3-0 in the WCC for the first time since 2002.

Also Nominated: N/A

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

WCC Ranked No. 6 In Non-Conference Strength Of Schedule
West Coast Conference men's basketball teams have played very challenging non-conference schedules, leading to the WCC's No. 6 non-conference strength of schedule rating, according to the latest Collegiate Basketball News report. Over half the league -- Gonzaga (24), San Francisco (63), Saint Mary's (71), San Diego (90), Portland (102) -- is ranked in the top 105 in strength of schedule.

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: 14-3
WCC Record: 3-0
  • Gonzaga held on to defeat Saint Mary's, 89-82, in a highly anticipated showdown in Moraga on Thursday before downing San Diego, 68-50, to remain unbeaten in WCC play. Nine of Gonzaga's 14 wins have come away from the McCarthey Athletic Center as the Zags own a 9-2 mark in road and neutral site games.

  • 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.

  • Freshman Elias Harris tossed in 31 points to go along with 13 boards against SMC. Harris' outing was GU's first 30-point performance since Adam Morrison scored 35 in a win over Xavier in the first round of the 2006 NCAA tournament.

  • Gonzaga hosts Pepperdine (1/21) and Loyola Marymount (1/23) this week.

  • Overall Record: 10-9
    WCC Record: 1-2
  • The Lions dropped a 70-67 decision to San Francisco, but bounced back to earn their first WCC win with an 81-70 victory over Santa Clara

  • The Lions were without leading scorer and rebounder Drew Viney due to an injured right leg suffered against Pepperdine. Viney is one of the biggest reasons for the Lions' turnaround this season, leading the team in scoring (16.5 ppg) and rebounding (7.2 rpg).

  • Junior guard Vernon Teel scored 13 points and dished out a game-high eight assists against USF. Teel is one of the nation's leaders in assists, ranking sixth in the country with 6.3 assists per game.

  • Ashley Hamilton had his first career double-double with 15 pts and 10 rebs against SCU.

  • The Lions travel to Portland (1/21) and Gonzaga (1/23) this week.

  • Overall Record: 7-12
    WCC Record: 3-0
  • The Waves edged Santa Clara, 61-60, before downing San Francisco, 83-68, to improve to 3-0 in conference play for the first time since 2002.

  • Sophomore guard Lorne Jackson scored a team-high 15 points to go along with five assists and four rebounds in the Waves' win over the Broncos. Jackson tied his career high with four three-pointers for the second straight 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 18 of 19 games this season.

  • Sophomore guard Keion Bell was just a few stats away from a triple-double against USF, as he added 18 points, dished out a career-high nine assists, and grabbed eight rebounds.

  • The Waves travel to Gonzaga (1/21) before playing at Portland (1/23) this weekend.

  • Overall Record: 10-7
    WCC Record: 1-2
  • The Portland Pilots picked up their first league win with a 63-54 win at San Diego before falling to Saint Mary's, 77-72.

  • The Pilots were once again led by senior Robin Smeulders, who scored 19 points and grabbed nine rebounds in their win over USD, before erupting for a career-high 29 points and eight boards against the Gaels. In three conference games, Smeulders ranks second in the WCC in scoring with 24.0 ppg, first in field goal percentage 70.3 percentage, and sixth in rebounding.

  • Nik Raivio and T.J. Campbell joined Smeulders in double figures with 14 and 13 points, respectively, in the Pilots' setback versus Saint Mary's.

  • Junior guard Jared Stohl ranks 16th in the country in three-point percentage (45.0).

  • The Pilots return to the Bluff to host Loyola Marymount (1/21) and Pepperdine (1/23).

  • Overall Record: 16-3
    WCC Record: 3-1
  • Saint Mary's dropped a hard-fought 89-82 decision to No. 14 Gonzaga on Thursday, before bouncing back to defeat Portland, 77-72, on Saturday.

  • Senior center Omar Samhan finished with a team-high 31 points, 25 of them coming in the second half, to go along with a team-high 12 rebounds against the Zags. For Samhan it was his WCC-leading 10th double-double of the season, and 33rd of his career.

  • Freshman guard Matthew Dellavedova has been unbelievable distributing the ball during conference play. Versus Gonzaga and Portland, Dellavedova handed out 15 assists, with only one turnover. He has been near perfect passing the ball during WCC play, handing out 32 assists, while committing just three turnovers. Dellavedova ranks seventh among all freshmen in the NCAA in assists (4.5 apg) and first among all rookies in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.83).

  • The Gaels host San Diego (1/21) in a nationally televised contest on ESPNU.

  • Overall Record: 8-12
    WCC Record: 1-3
  • The Toreros' dropped their two WCC home-openers, falling to Portland, 63-54, before suffering a 68-50 setback versus No. 14 Gonzaga.

  • Senior guard Brandon Johnson, who is already USD's all-time assists leader with 483 career assists, also ranks second on the Toreros' all-time scoring chart with 1,668 career points. He needs just 58 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.

  • Senior guard De'Jon Jackson scored a team-high 14 points to go along with six rebounds against Gonzaga. Jackson is averaging a team-best 15.8 points per game during conference play.

  • San Diego travels to the Bay Area to take on Saint Mary's (1/21) this Thursday.

  • Overall Record: 7-12
    WCC Record: 2-2
  • San Francisco earned a road split on their Sourthern California trip, earning a 70-67 win at Loyola Marymount on Thursday night before falling to Pepperdine, 83-68. The win was the first for the Dons on the Lions' home floor since the 2007 season and the two-game league winning streak is the first for USF since posting home wins against Pepperdine and LMU to close the 2008 WCC regular season.

  • Sophomore guard Kwame Vaughn led a balanced USF attack with a game-high 17 points at LMU. Vaughn is averaging 16.5 ppg on 47.7 percent shooting from the field during conference play to rank sixth in scoring and 10th in FG percentage.

  • Over the weekend, senior forward Dior Lowhorn moved past two-time All-WCC selection John Cox into sole possession of seventh place on the Dons' career scoring list.

  • The Dons return to the Hilltop to host Bay Area rival Santa Clara (1/23).

  • Overall Record: 8-13
    WCC Record: 0-4
  • The Broncos dropped a heartbreaking 61-60 decision at Pepperdine on Thursday before falling at LMU, 81-70.

  • Freshman guard Robert Smith once again turned in a strong week, tossing in a team-high 15 points to go along with three assists and three rebounds against Pepperdine before chipping in 12 points and handing out six assists versus the Lions. Smith is enjoying a strong start to WCC play. Through three games, he is leading the Broncos in scoring (14.5 ppg) and assists (3.5 apg) in WCC games.

  • 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.

  • The Broncos travel to Bay Area rival San Francisco (1/23) this weekend.