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WCC weekly men's basketball notes, Jan. 21, 2011

Jan. 21, 2011

Watch this week's "The Road to Las Vegas"

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Gonzaga's Robert Sacre named WCC Player of the Week
Gonzaga junior C Robert Sacre averaged 21.0 points and five rpg, with three assists, eight blocks, two steals and zero turnovers in a pair of Bulldogs wins last week. Sacre scored a career-high 24 points against Pepperdine and came back with 18 points against LMU. He shot 73.9 percent from the field, going 17-for-23 including a perfect 8-for-8 against the Waves. He also went 8-for-9 from the line, including 8-for-8 against Pepperdine. Sacre now has 104 career blocks to become the fourth player in school history with 100 career blocks.Also nominated: Luke Sikma, Portland.

WCC Quick Hits...

  • Saint Mary's is the second WCC team to earn a national ranking this season (Gonzaga, season's first four weeks).
  • Santa Clara's Kevin Foster scored a career-high 36 points in Thursday's win over Gonzaga. Foster's effort marked the most points scored by a player in a WCC game since Pepperdine's Keion Bell scored 37 at Gonzaga on January 21, 2010.
  • A pair of WCC teams boast a top 50 RPI rankings according to collegerpi.com: Saint Mary's (42) and Portland (50).
  • Saint Mary's, Portland, and Gonzaga are a combined 30-1 on their home courts this season.
  • San Francisco became the final WCC team to host a conference home game, when the Dons beat Portland Thursday night. USF hosts Gonzaga Saturday before heading back out on the road.
  • "The Road to Las Vegas," the WCC's weekly web video show, is available on-demand. This week's show features game highlights, and Pepperdine's Keion Bell interviews teammate Joshua Lowery. For more, see below.
  • This season marks the 25th anniversary of the Zappos.com WCC Men's Basketball Championship.
  • WCC Live is On the Air Each Week
    The West Coast Conference is proud to announce the return of its weekly Internet radio show, WCC Live. The hour-long show is hosted by Jeff Lampe and features interviews with WCC coaches and student-athletes throughout the basketball season. WCC Live premieres with a new live stream every Wednesday at 8 p.m., with an archive available on-demand and for free download. Listeners can call in to the show as it airs live each week, and can also interact with guests through e-mail and Twitter. The show can be found at: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/WCCsports.Fans can call in and chat live with the host and guests by calling (877) 779-6383 or by e-mailing their questions to radio@westcoast.org .
    Jan. 19 show (on-demand):

  • WCC Commissioner Jamie Zaninovich

  • Portland head coach Eric Reveno

  • Saint Mary's junior women's guard Jasmine Smith

  • "The Road to Las Vegas" correspondent George Devine
  • "The Road To Las Vegas" Returns
    The start of WCC play marked the return of the WCC's "The Road to Las Vegas" weekly web video show, "The Road to Las Vegas." Each Wednesday, a new "Road to Las Vegas" show will premiere on WCCsports.com, leading up to the Zappos.com West Coast Conference Basketball Championships in March. Join host Ted Robinson and various WCC TV correspondents as they present WCC coaches and student-athletes up-close in a fun setting. New episodes can be found on WCCsports.com each week, and are available for viewing on-demand.
    On this week's show:

  • WCC week two highlights

  • 60 Seconds With Pepperdine's Keion Bell and Joshua Lowery

  • A chat with the NCAA's all-time leader in blocked shots, SMC's Louella Tomlinson
  • A New Look
    The West Coast Conference has teamed with CBSSports.com College Network, its web site host and multimedia partner, to re-launch WCCsports.com. Among the new features on the site are front-and-center video content, larger images and graphics, campus updates, fan polls, and integration with other West Coast Conference social media platforms - such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Visitors to WCCsports.com can also find additional features such as a WCC insider blog, and interactive results.

    Rackin' Up the Frequent Flyer Miles
    Already this season, WCC teams haven't been afraid to hop on a plane to face the nation's best. West Coast Conference teams have played games in 18 states this season: California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Washington.

    Coaches Tab Gonzaga For Top Spot in Preseason Poll
    Gonzaga was selected as the favorite to win the 2010-11 West Coast Conference Championship after receiving six first place votes and 48 of a possible 49 points from conference head coaches in the annual WCC preseason poll. Loyola Marymount, which reached the College Insider.com Tournament last year for its first postseason appearance in 20 years, was picked to finish second. The Lions return 13 players from last year's 18-win team. Saint Mary's, which was picked third, is coming off the first NCAA Sweet 16 appearance in school history and the 2010 Zappos.com WCC Men's Basketball Tournament Championship. Santa Clara was picked to finish fourth by the coaches, followed by Portland, San Francisco, Pepperdine and San Diego.

    2010-11 WCC Men's Basketball Preseason Coaches Poll
    Team - points (first place votes)
    1. Gonzaga - 48 (6)
    2. Loyola Marymount - 42 (1)
    3. Saint Mary's - 39 (1)
    4. Santa Clara - 28
    5. Portland - 25
    6. San Francisco - 18
    7. Pepperdine - 14
    8. San Diego - 10

    2010-11 WCC Preseason All-Conference Team
    The preseason All-WCC team, as selected by the conference's head coaches, features representatives from six of the eight schools. In addition, Gonzaga, Loyola Marymount, Saint Mary's, and Santa Clara each had two preseason all-conference selections apiece.

    2010-11 WCC Men's Basketball Preseason All-Conference Team
    Keion Bell, PEP
    Matthew Dellavedova, SMC
    Kevin Foster, SCU
    Steven Gray, GON
    Elias Harris, GON
    Mickey McConnell, SMC
    Jared Stohl, POR
    Vernon Teel, LMU
    Marc Trasolini, SCU
    Drew Viney, LMU

    What'd He Say?
    For the latest scores and news, follow the West Coast Conference on Twitter @WCCSports.

    Did you know that WCC Commissioner Jamie Zaninovich is on Twitter, too? See what The Commish has on his mind. Follow him @WCC_Commish.

    Four WCC Teams See Postseason Action
    For just the second time in conference history, four West Coast Conference men's basketball teams advanced to the postseason following the 2010 WCC campaign. Saint Mary's, the 2010 Zappos.com West Coast Conference Tournament champion, made an appearance in the Sweet 16 after knocking off Richmond and Villanova in the NCAA Tournament.

    Zappos.com Named Title Sponsor of the WCC 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 have partnered 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 Tournament to Remain at the Orleans Arena Through 2012
    On July 22, 2009, the WCC 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 WCC 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). Tickets for the 2010-11 event are available by visiting www.orleansarena.com or calling 1-888-234-2334.

    West Coast Conference to Welcome BYU in 2011-12
    The West Coast Conference announced that Brigham Young University has formally accepted an invitation to join the WCC with competition to begin in the 2011-12 academic year. BYU has been consistently recognized as one of the top-rated academic institutions in the nation and is home to an athletic program that has enjoyed success at both the conference and national levels. BYU, which will become an independent in FBS football, will compete in the West Coast Conference in baseball, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's cross country, men's and women's golf, women's soccer, men's and women's tennis and women's volleyball. This is the first time the West Coast Conference has formally invited an institution as a full member since Gonzaga University and the University of San Diego began competing in the WCC in 1979.

    Zappos.com WCC Championships Tickets Going Fast
    Tickets for the 2011 Zappos.com WCC Men's and Women's Basketball Championships are on-sale, and are going fast. The 2011 West Coast Conference Basketball Championships will once again be held March 4-7 at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas for the third consecutive season. The previous two tournaments were sellouts. Tickets can be purchased by logging on to www.orleansarena.com or by calling 1-888-234-2334. All-session tickets are $135 - less than $10 per game for the 14-game tournament.

    Shining on the National Stage
    The West Coast Conference will once again be a major player on the national television scene with a 24-game package on the ESPN family of networks. A total of seven non-conference games involving WCC teams will air on an ESPN property. There will be a total of 17 conference games on ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU in 2010-11, including the Zappos.com WCC Basketball Championship semifinals on ESPN2 on Sunday, March 6 and the championship game on ESPN on Monday, March 7. The West Coast Conference will once again be a centerpiece to ESPN's Thursday night coverage with weekly time slots on both ESPN2 and ESPNU in January and February.

    Download the complete release (PDF) above to view the full TV schedule.




    Overall Record: 13-6
    WCC Record: 3-1

  • Gonzaga saw its nine-game winning streak snapped with an 85-71 loss at Santa Clara on Thursday night. It was the Bulldogs' first loss at Santa Clara since February, 2000.
  • Redshirt junior center Robert Sacre was named the WCC Player of the Week on Jan. 17. He scored 17 and pulled down 16 boards on Thursday at Santa Clara.

  • Senior guard Steven Gray scored 17 points and was 10-for-11 from the free throw line on Thursday night against the Broncos. He is second in the WCC in scoring during conference play, averaging 17.8 points per contest.

  • The Bulldogs travel to San Francisco on Saturday to face the Dons (5 p.m., CSN California, FSN Northwest).

  • Overall Record: 8-10
    WCC Record: 1-3

  • Loyola Marymount dropped a heartbreaking 79-78 double-overtime decision at Portland on Jan. 13, and then fell 79-59 at Gonzaga two days later.

  • Redshirt junior forward Drew Viney scored 24 points and pulled down seven rebounds in the setback at Portland. He added 18 points two days later at Gonzaga.

  • Loyola Marymount continues to lead the West Coast Conference in rebounding, averaging 41.0 per game as a team. In WCC play, the Lions are also averaging 41.0 boards per game.

  • The Lions lone game of the week takes place on Saturday night when they visit rival Pepperdine (7 p.m., live video on pepperdinesports.com).

  • Overall Record: 7-14
    WCC Record: 1-3

  • Pepperdine dropped a 92-75 decision at Gonzaga on January 13 in its first conference road test, and then lost 57-42 at Portland on Saturday.

  • Three Waves scored in double figures at Gonzaga on Thursday, led by 18 points from junior guard Lorne Jackson. Jackson added eight at Portland, and he is tied for fourth in the WCC during conference play, averaging 16.8 points per WCC game.

  • Pepperdine struggled mightily from the floor in its loss at Portland, connecting on just 31% of its field goal attempts.

  • Pepperdine looks to stop its three-game slide on Saturday, when the Waves host rival Loyola Marymount at 7 pm. A live video stream (free) will be available on pepperdinesports.com.

  • Overall Record: 14-5
    WCC Record: 2-2

  • Portland lost 81-74 at San Francisco on Thursday night. The Pilots had won four straight against the Dons.

  • Senior guard Jared Stohl was 11-for-11 from the free throw line at San Francisco on Thursday night. In West Coast Conference play, Stohl has connected on 20-of-21 attempts (95.2%).

  • Senior forward Luke Sikma posted his conference-leading eighth double-double on Thursday night, scoring 18 points and pulling down ten boards at USF. Sikma is averaging a double-double for the season (13.3 points, and 10.6 rebounds).

  • The Pilots travel to Santa Clara for a 3 pm. tilt on Saturday (CSN California, CSN Northwest).

  • Overall Record: 17-2
    WCC Record: 5-0

  • Saint Mary's won its eleventh straight game on Wednesday, downing San Diego by a 67-56 score. It was win No. 200 for head coach Randy Bennett.

  • Redshirt junior forward Rob Jones scored 18 points and pulled down 13 rebounds in the win over USD. In West Coast Conference play, Jones is averaging 14.4 points and 9.4 rebounds per game.

  • Senior guard Mickey McConnell, a finalist for the Bob Cousy award, ranks in the national top twenty in four different statistical categories. On Wednesday against the Toreros, he scored 17 points and dished out six assists.

  • The Gaels, ranked No. 21 in this week's ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll, visit Vanderbilt on Saturday (11 a.m.).

  • Overall Record: 3-16
    WCC Record: 0-5

  • San Diego hung tough with first place Saint Mary's, but ultimately came up on the short end of a 67-56 score in Moraga on Wednesday night.
  • Junior guard Darian Norris led San Diego offensively with 14 points at Saint Mary's. Norris is averaging 10.8 points per game in conference play, ranking tenth in the WCC.

  • Senior guard Matt Dorr added 13 for the Toreros on 5-of-8 shooting against the Gaels on Wednesday. Dorr also had three steals.

  • The Toreros welcome Cal State Bakersfield to Jenny Craig Pavilion for a non-conference showdown on Saturday (4:30 p.m., usdtoreros.com).

  • Overall Record: 9-10
    WCC Record: 3-1

  • San Francisco won for the fifth time in its last six games, topping visiting Portland by an 81-74 score on Thursday night. The victory moved the Dons into a second place tie with Gonzaga in the WCC standings.

  • Sophomore forward Perris Blackwell notched his fifth double-double of the season, with 12 points and ten rebounds against the Pilots. In conference play, Blackwell is averaging 13.3 points and 9.5 rebounds per game.

  • Freshman guard Cody Doolin scored 14 points and added five assists in the victory over the Pilots. Doolin is averaging 4.5 assists per game in WCC play.

  • San Francisco hosts Gonzaga on Saturday evening in a match-up of second place WCC teams (5 p.m., CSN California, FSN Northwest).

  • Overall Record: 11-9
    WCC Record: 2-2

  • Santa Clara knocked off visiting Gonzaga, 85-71, on Thursday night. It was the Broncos' first win over the Bulldogs in the Leavey Center since Feb. 22, 2000.

  • Redshirt sophomore guard Kevin Foster, the West Coast Conference's leading scorer in WCC play (23.0 pts.), scored a career-high 36 in the Gonzaga win. It was the biggest individual output in a WCC game since Pepperdine's Keion Bell scored 37 at Gonzaga on Jan. 21, 2010.

  • Freshman guard Evan Roquemore scored 13 and had 5 assists against Gonzaga. In conference play, Roquemore is tied for second in the WCC, averaging 5.8 assists per game.

  • The Broncos take on Portland Saturday afternoon (3 p.m., CSN California, CSN Northwest).