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WCC Men's Basketball Weekly Notes

Jan. 20, 2009

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WCC BEGINS THIRD WEEK OF CONFERENCE PLAY
The WCC begins the third week of conference play this Thursday. Five of the seven games this week will be televised, highlighted by three national telecasts on the ESPN family of networks. Gonzaga, Saint Mary's, and San Diego, the three teams favored by most preseason prognosticators to compete for the WCC regular season title, sit atop the WCC standings as the three lone unbeaten teams. The No. 22 ranked Saint Mary's Gaels and the San Diego Toreros, who square off this Thursday, are tied for first with 4-0 records, while No. 23 Gonzaga is just a half game back at 3-0.

Upcoming Schedule

All Times PST

THURSDAY, JANUARY 22
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
NETWORK/RECAP
Gonzaga at Pepperdine Malibu, CA 6:00 PM
FSN W/KHQ/KIRO-TV
Saint Mary's at San Diego San Diego, CA 6:00 PM
ESPN2
Portland at Loyola Marymount Los Angeles, CA 8:00 PM
ESPNU
FRIDAY, JANUARY 23
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
NETWORK/RECAP
San Francisco at Santa Clara Santa Clara, CA
8:00 PM
ESPNU
SATURDAY, JANUARY 24
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
NETWORK/RECAP
Portland at Pepperdine Malibu, CA
2:00 PM
Gonzaga at Loyola Marymount Los Angeles, CA
5:00 PM
FSN PT/FSN NW/KHQ
SUNDAY, JANUARY 25
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
NETWORK/RECAP
Houston Baptist at Santa Clara Santa Clara, CA
2:00 PM

AROUND THE WCC





Patrick Mills leads No. 22 Saint Mary's against Trumaine Johnson and the San Diego Toreros in a primetime showdown on ESPN2.


Two WCC Teams Ranked In The Top 25
For the second straight season, two WCC men's basketball teams are ranked in the top 25 at the same time. Saint Mary's moved up to No. 22 in the latest ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll, while Gonzaga jumped back into the rankings at No. 23 in the Associated Press poll. Before last season, the last time that the WCC had two teams ranked in the top 25 at the same time was during the 1973-74 season. San Francisco and UNLV, then a member of the WCC, formerly known as the West Coast Athletic Conference (WCAC), were ranked in the top-25 at the same time. Both San Francisco and UNLV earned preseason rankings and both were ranked in the AP's December 4, 1973 poll.

Saint Mary's And San Diego Put Winning Streaks On The Line
Saint Mary's and San Diego own two of the longest winning streaks in the nation. One of those streaks will come to an end this week as the two teams square off this Thursday (Jan. 22) at the Jenny Craig Pavilion in San Diego in a primetime showdown at 6:00 PM (PT) on ESPN2. The Gaels' 14-game run is the second longest active winning streak in the nation, trailing only Wake Forest's 16-game streak. The San Diego Toreros have built an impressive winning streak of their own, stringing together six straight victories. The Toreros' winning streak is tied for the 10th longest in the nation. The WCC and the ACC (Wake Forest & Duke) are the only conferences in the country with two teams on the top 10 winning streak list.

WCC Player of the Week: Gonzaga's Austin Daye Earns Weekly Honor
Gonzaga sophomore Austin Daye was spectacular in the Zags' wins over Santa Clara and San Francisco. Daye started the week with 20 points, on 8-of-10 shooting from the field, and seven rebounds in just 17 minutes of action in the Bulldogs' win over Santa Clara. The Irvine, CA native followed that up with a career-high 25 points, on 10-of-14 shooting, and nine rebounds in the Zags' win against USF. For the week, Daye averaged 22.5 ppg, 8.0 rpg, and 2.0 bpg, while shooting a blistering 75 percent from the field (18-for-24).


WCC TEAM NOTES

SCHOOL TEAM NOTES

Overall Record: 12-4
WCC Record: 3-0
  • Gonzaga turned in two impressive performances, defeating Santa Clara, 95-53, and San Francisco, 85-51.

  • Gonzaga, which has won four straight, jumped back into the national rankings at No. 23 in the latest Associated Press poll.

  • Sophomore Austin Daye was brilliant in the Bulldogs' wins last week en route to his first-ever WCC Player of the Week award. Daye averaged 22.5 ppg, 8.0 rpg, and 2.0 bpg, while shooting 75 percent from the field in the Zags' wins over Santa Clara and USF.

  • Daye has been on a tear during Gonzaga's four-game winning streak, averaging 17.0 ppg and 8.5 rpg, while shooting 59.5 percent from the field.

  • Gonzaga travels to Pepperdine (1/22) and Loyola Marymount (1/24) this week.
  • Overall Record: 1-18
    WCC Record: 0-3
  • The Lions dropped games at No. 22 Saint Mary's (78-53) and at San Diego (70-59).

  • Freshman guard Jarred DuBois finished with 25 points to lead all players in the Lions' setback versus San Diego. The 25 points match the fifth-best single-game scoring performance for a freshman in LMU history. He now ranks ninth on the Lions' all-time freshman record books with 261 points.

  • The Lions have faced a tremendous amount of adversity this season, with four key players suffering injuries (Tim Diederichs, Ashley Hamilton, Vernon Teel, and Terron Sutton). With the injuries, the Lions are down to seven scholarship players.

  • The Lions return home to host Northwest foes Portland (1/22) and Gonzaga (1/24) this week.
  • Overall Record: 4-15
    WCC Record: 1-2
  • The Waves dropped a 62-47 decision at San Diego on Thursday before falling at No. 22 Saint Mary's, 96-46.

  • Freshman guard Keion Bell and sophomore forward Mychel Thompson combined to score 31 of the Waves' 46 points against Saint Mary's. Bell scored 20 points, his second-highest output of the season, and added seven rebounds and three steals, while Thompson scored 11 points. Thompson now leads the Waves with 11.3 ppg, while Bell is second with 10.9 ppg.

  • Of the 12 players that saw action for the Waves against the Gaels, nine were freshmen or sophomores and seven weren't on the roster last year. Pepperdine has been starting four freshmen and one sophomore, and has played five freshmen on the court at one time on an occasional basis.

  • The Waves host No. 23 Gonzaga (1/22) and Portland (1/24) this week.
  • Overall Record: 11-7
    WCC Record: 2-1
  • The Pilots picked up their first two conference wins of the season, defeating San Francisco, 78-60, on Thursday before edging Santa Clara, 53-52.

  • Sophomore guard Jared Stohl set a school record, drilling nine three-pointers en route to a career-high 33 points off the bench to lead the Pilots past the Dons. Stohl broke the previous school record of eight three-pointers, accomplished twice by Peter McKelvey during the 1991-92 season. As a team, the Pilots tied a school record with 14 three-pointers in a single game.

  • Junior guard T.J. Campbell finished with 15 points, seven assists and only one turnover in the Pilots' win over Santa Clara. Campbell has made an immediate impact in his first season on the Bluff, ranking second in the WCC with 5.1 apg to go along with 10.5 ppg.

  • Portland travels to Loyola Marymount (1/22) and Pepperdine (1/24) this week.
  • Overall Record: 17-1
    WCC Record: 4-0
  • Saint Mary's extended its winning streak to 14 straight games, setting a new school record, with wins over Loyola Marymount (78-53) and Pepperdine (96-46). The Gaels' 14-game winning streak is the second longest active streak in the country, trailing only No. 1 Wake Forest's 16 straight wins.

  • Saint Mary's, off to the best start in school history, moved up to No. 22 in the latest ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll.

  • Against Pepperdine, Ian O'Leary grabbed eight rebounds, giving him 500 for his career. The senior wing is the 27th player in school history to reach the 500-rebound plateau for a career. O'Leary is a vital component to one of the best rebounding teams in the country this season. The Gaels are currently averaging 42.3 rebounds per game, which ranks seventh in the country.

  • The Gaels put their 14-game winning streak on the line at San Diego (1/22) this week.
  • Overall Record: 12-7
    WCC Record: 4-0
  • The Toreros improved to 12-7 overall and 4-0 in conference play with wins against Pepperdine (62-47) and Loyola Marymount (70-59).

  • The Toreros' 4-0 record to start conference play is the best in program history.

  • San Diego has won six straight and eight of its last nine games after opening the season with a 4-6 record. The Toreros' six-game winning streak is tied for the 10th longest active streak in the nation.

  • Sophomore guard Trumaine Johnson returned to the Toreros' lineup seven games ago and has made an immediate impact, averaging 13.1 ppg and 2.7 apg, while shooting 49.3 percent from the field. In addition, the Toreros are 6-1 since Johnson's return.

  • San Diego hosts No. 22 Saint Mary's (1/22) in a showdown on ESPN2 this week.
  • Overall Record: 8-11
    WCC Record: 0-4
  • San Francisco dropped a 78-60 decision at Portland on Thursday before falling at Gonzaga, 85-51.

  • Junior forward Dior Lowhorn matched Bill Russell as the fastest USF player to score 1,000 career points, finishing with a team-high 22 points against Portland. Lowhorn reached the 1,000 point milestone in his 49th career game in the Green and Gold. Russell tallied his 1,000th career point in the 1955 NCAA Tournament Semifinals against Colorado. Lowhorn now has 1,248 career points (230 points at Texas Tech). Lowhorn now leads the WCC and ranks 28th in the nation in scoring with 20.1 ppg.

  • Freshman guard Peter Smith, son of USF legend Phil Smith, scored a career-high 13 points in the Dons' contest at Portland.

  • The Dons travel to Bay Area rival Santa Clara (1/23) in their lone game this week.
  • Overall Record: 7-13
    WCC Record: 0-4
  • The Broncos dropped a 95-53 decision at Gonzaga on Thursday evening, before being edged at Portland, 53-52.

  • The Broncos have faced the toughest WCC schedule to start conference play. Santa Clara has started off the WCC season with the top three teams in the league, including road games at Saint Mary's and Gonzaga and a home contest against San Diego.

  • Senior center John Bryant scored 15 points and tied his career-high with 22 rebounds in the Broncos' setback versus Portland. Bryant leads the nation in overall rebounds with 251 and has notched three 20+ rebound games this season, tying him with Oklahoma's Blake Griffin for the most 20+ rebound games in 2008-09. Bryant's 22 rebounds is tied for the third highest single-game total in the nation this season.

  • Santa Clara hosts Bay Area rival USF (1/23) and Houston Baptist (1/25) this weekend.