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WCC Weekly Men's Basketball Notes: Jan. 25, 2011

Jan. 25, 2011

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AROUND THE WCC

Saint Mary's remains unblemished in WCC play, and the Gaels travel to the Pacific Northwest for a pair of nationally-televised showdowns this week.

Santa Clara's Kevin Foster named WCC Player of the Week
Santa Clara sophomore G Kevin Foster helped lead the Broncos to wins over Gonzaga and Portland by scoring a league-best 36 points vs. the Zags and 19 against the Pilots - already the 27th time in his career with 19-plus points. Foster surpassed the 1,000 career point mark and ranks No. 35 nationally in points per game and No. 2 in threes per game. On the week, he averaged 53.6 percent from the floor, including 45.0 percent from the three-point line and 84.2 percent from the free throw line.Also nominated: Matthew Dellavedova, Saint Mary's; Cody Doolin, San Francisco; Chris Gabriel, San Diego; Lorne Jackson, Pepperdine.

WCC Quick Hits...

  • WCC Player of the Week Kevin Foster (SCU) scored a career-high 36 points in Thursday's win over Gonzaga. Foster's output was the most points scored by a player in a WCC game since Pepperdine's Keion Bell scored 37 at Gonzaga on January 21, 2010.
  • For the first time since 1996, four WCC teams have an RPI ranked in the top 100: Saint Mary's (40), Portland (56), Gonzaga (66), and San Francisco (96). Of 32 Division I conferences, the West Coast Conference is one of just nine with at least half of its membership in the Jan. 24 RPI top 100.
  • Saint Mary's, Gonzaga, and Portland are a combined 30-1 on their home floors this season. The Bulldogs and Pilots each host Saint Mary's and San Diego this week.
  • "The Road to Las Vegas," the WCC's weekly web video show, is available on-demand. This week's show features game highlights, and an exclusive chat with Gonzaga guard Steven Gray. For more on the show, see below.
  • Santa Clara's Kevin Foster and San Francisco's Perris Blackwell are among the guests on WCC Live this week. For more, including where to listen to the show, 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. 26 show (live):

  • Santa Clara guard Kevin Foster
  • San Francisco forward Perris Blackwell
  • Gonzaga beat writer Jim Meehan from the Spokesman-Review
  • Gonzaga junior women's guard/forward Katelan Redmon
  • "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 three highlights
    • An exclusive sit-down interview with Gonzaga senior guard Steven Gray
    • 60 Seconds With Santa Clara's Meagan Fulps and Lindsay Leo

    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.

     


 
WCC TEAM NOTES

SCHOOL TEAM NOTES

Overall Record: 13-7
WCC Record: 3-2
  • For the first time since 1995, Gonzaga lost a pair of games in the Bay Area on the same weekend. The Bulldogs fell 85-71 at Santa Clara on Thursday, and then lost at USF, 96-91, in overtime on Saturday.
  • Redshirt junior center Robert Sacre scored 17 and pulled down 16 boards on Thursday at Santa Clara. He added 14 points and nine rebounds against the Dons. In WCC play, Sacre is averaging 13.9 points and 6.8 rebounds per game.
  • Senior guard Steven Gray scored 17 points on Thursday night against the Broncos and added 20 at San Francisco. He is second in the WCC in scoring during conference play, averaging 17.8 points per contest.
  • The Bulldogs host Saint Mary's in a nationally-televised showdown on Thursday night (8 p.m., ESPN2), before welcoming San Diego on Saturday (5 p.m., KHQ, FSN Northwest).

Overall Record: 8-11
WCC Record: 1-4
  • Loyola Marymount fell at rival Pepperdine on Saturday night by a 78-75 score in its only action last week.
  • Redshirt sophomore forward Ashley Hamilton scored a season-high 19 points for the Lions, connecting on all seven field goal attempts at Pepperdine. Hamilton was 5-of-7 from the free throw line.
  • Senior guard Vernon Teel added 13 points and nine assists in the Lions' effort against the Waves. Teel was one of three LMU players to log 30 minutes or more in the game.
  • The Lions welcome San Francisco to Gersten Pavilion on Thursday night (7 p.m., free video on lmulions.com), and they host Santa Clara on Saturday (5 p.m., Fox Sports West).

Overall Record: 8-14
WCC Record: 2-3
  • Pepperdine held off rival Loyola Marymount, 78-75, in a wild PCH Cup showdown on Saturday night. The game featured 24 lead changes.
  • Junior guard Lorne Jackson was 8-for-13 from the floor, scoring a game-high 24 points in the win over the Lions. Jackson has scored 20-or-more points three times in Pepperdine's last six games.
  • Junior guard Keion Bell remains the top scorer in the West Coast Conference, averaging 19.5 points per game this season.
  • The Waves host a pair of WCC games this week. Pepperdine welcomes Santa Clara on Thursday night (7:30 p.m., Prime Ticket). The Waves then take on San Francisco on Saturday night (7 p.m., live free video on pepperdinesports.com).

Overall Record: 14-6
WCC Record: 2-3
  • Portland lost 81-74 at San Francisco on Thursday night, and fell 72-59 at Santa Clara on Saturday.
  • Senior forward Luke Sikma posted his conference-leading ninth double-double against the Broncos, scoring a personal best 29 points while pulling down 14 boards. Sikma is averaging a double-double for the season (14.1 points, and 10.8 rebounds).
  • Senior guard Jared Stohl was 11-for-11 from the free throw line at San Francisco on Thursday night, but did not attempt a free throw on Saturday. In West Coast Conference play, Stohl has connected on 20-of-21 attempts (95.2%).
  • The Pilots are home for a pair this week, against San Diego on Thursday (7 p.m., Comcast SportsNet Northwest, 4 SD) and Saint Mary's on Saturday (4 p.m., ESPNU).

Overall Record: 17-3
WCC Record: 5-0
  • Saint Mary's won its eleventh straight home game on Wednesday, downing San Diego by a 67-56 score. On Saturday, the Gaels fell at Vanderbilt, 89-70.
  • Senior guard Mickey McConnell, a finalist for the Bob Cousy award, ranks tenth nationally in assists, averaging 6.5 per game. He is also sixth in the WCC in scoring at 14.6 points per night.
  • 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.
  • The Gaels, ranked No. 24 in this week's ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll, travel to the Pacific Northwest for a pair of nationally televised games this week. Saint Mary's visits Gonzaga Thursday (8 p.m., ESPN2) and Portland on Saturday (4 p.m., ESPNU).

Overall Record: 4-16
WCC Record: 0-5
  • San Diego came up on the short end of a 67-56 score at Saint Mary's on Wednesday. In non-conference action, the Toreros downed Cal State Bakersfield, 76-65, Saturday.
  • The Toreros established a new school record for single game field goal percentage on Saturday, shooting 69% (29-of-42) from the floor in the win over the Roadrunners.
  • Sophomore center Chris Gabriel scored a season-high 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting in the Bakersfield win.
  • The Toreros hit the road for a pair of conference games this week, traveling to Portland on Thursday (7 p.m., Comcast SportsNet Northwest, 4 SD) and Gonzaga on Saturday (5 p.m., KHQ, FSN Northwest).

Overall Record: 10-10
WCC Record: 4-1
  • San Francisco took over sole possession of second place in the WCC standings with home victories over Portland (81-74) and Gonzaga (96-91, OT) last week. At 4-1, the Dons are off to their best WCC start since 1982.
  • Freshman guard Cody Doolin scored a career-high 23 points in the win over Gonzaga, and added 14 points in the Portland triumph. He was 5-of-8 from beyond the arc last week.
  • Sophomore forward Perris Blackwell notched his sixth double-double of the season, with 15 points and 12 rebounds against the Bulldogs. In conference play, Blackwell is averaging 13.6 points and ten rebounds per game.
  • San Francisco heads south this weekend, visiting Loyola Marymount on Thursday (7 p.m., free video on lmulions.com) and Pepperdine on Saturday (7 p.m., free video on pepperdinesports.com).

Overall Record: 12-9
WCC Record: 3-2
  • Santa Clara knocked off visiting Gonzaga, 85-71, on Thursday night - the Broncos' first win over the Bulldogs in the Leavey Center since Feb. 22, 2000. SCU then topped Portland, 72-59, on Saturday.
  • Redshirt sophomore guard Kevin Foster, the West Coast Conference's leading scorer in WCC play (22.2 pts.), scored a career-high 36 in the Gonzaga win and added 19 against Portland. Foster was named WCC Player of the Week on Jan. 24.
  • Senior forward Ben Dowdell matched his career high with 22 points in the victory over the Pilots. Dowdell was 7-for-10 from the floor and 8-of-10 from the free throw line.
  • The Broncos wrap up the first half of WCC with a pair of road contests. Santa Clara visits Pepperdine on Thursday night (7:30 p.m., Prime Ticket) and Loyola Marymount on Saturday (5:00 p.m., Fox Sports West).