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WCC weekly men's basketball notes, Jan. 28, 2011

Jan. 28, 2011

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

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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...

  • 24th-ranked Saint Mary's handed Gonzaga just its second-ever conference setback at the McCarthey Athletic Center on Thursday. The Bulldogs are 44-2 all-time against WCC opponents there since the building opened in 2004.
  • With four straight wins and a 5-1 WCC mark, San Francisco is off to its best conference start since 1982.
  • For the first time since 1996, four WCC teams have an RPI ranked in the top 100: Saint Mary's (34), Portland (62), Gonzaga (78), 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. 28 RPI top 100.
  • Saint Mary's and Portland are a combined 22-0 on their home floors this season. The Gaels visit the Pilots on Saturday afternoon (ESPNU).
  • "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.
  • WCC coaches, and coaches around the country, are wearing sneakers in support of Coaches vs. Cancer this weekend.
  • 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 (available on-demand):

  • 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.




Overall Record: 13-8
WCC Record: 3-3
  • Gonzaga dropped its third straight WCC game, falling 73-71 to No. 24 Saint Mary's in Spokane on Thursday. It was the Bulldogs' first home WCC setback since 2007.
  • Redshirt junior center Robert Sacre and sophomore forward Eilas Harris each scored 17 points to pace the Bulldogs against Saint Mary's. Sacre, who was 9-of-10 from the free throw line, also pulled down eight rebounds.
  • Redshirt freshman center Sam Dower scored 15 points in 16 minutes off the bench Thursday against the Gaels.
  • The Bulldogs host San Diego on Saturday (5 p.m., KHQ, FSN Northwest).

Overall Record: 8-12
WCC Record: 1-5
  • Loyola Marymount dropped a 61-60 home decision to San Francisco on Thursday night at Gersten Pavilion. The Lions have lost four straight games, by a grand total of six points.
  • Freshman guard Ayodeji Egbeyemi posted his first career double-double, with a 15-point, ten-rebound effort against the Dons on Thursday.
  • Freshman guard Anthony Ireland scored eight points and registered six assists in the USF tilt. In WCC play, Ireland is averaging nearly four assists per game.
  • The Lions host Santa Clara on Saturday (5 p.m., Fox Sports West) to conclude the first half of WCC play.

Overall Record: 8-15
WCC Record: 2-4
  • Pepperdine was unable to overcome a sluggish start, falling 71-59 to visiting Santa Clara on Thursday night.
  • Sophomore guard Joshua Lowery scored 12 points and dished out six assists against the Broncos. Both marks matched Lowery's career high.
  • Senior forward Mychel Thompson scored 17 points and pulled down six rebounds for the Waves on Thursday. For the season, Thompson ranks in the top 15 in scoring (12.7 ppg.) and top ten in rebounding (5.6 rpg.) in the West Coast Conference.
  • The Waves take on 5-1 San Francisco on Saturday night (7 p.m., live free video on pepperdinesports.com).

Overall Record: 15-6
WCC Record: 3-3
  • Portland improved to 11-0 at the Chiles Center with a 79-64 victory over San Diego on Thursday night. The Pilots are one of two WCC teams that remain unbeaten at home (Saint Mary's, 11-0).
  • Making his first career start, freshman guard Tim Douglas scored 14 points and dished out six assists over 26 minutes Thursday night in the USD win.
  • Senior forward Luke Sikma posted his conference-leading tenth double-double against the Toreros, scoring 13 points while pulling down 11 boards. Sikma is averaging a double-double for the season (14.0 points, and 10.8 rebounds).
  • The Pilots host No. 24 Saint Mary's on Saturday (4 p.m., ESPNU).

Overall Record: 18-3
WCC Record: 6-0
  • No. 24 Saint Mary's improved to 6-0 in West Coast Conference action with a thriling 73-71 comeback win at Gonzaga on Thursday.
  • Senior guard Mickey McConnell, a finalist for the Bob Cousy award, scored 10 of Saint Mary's final eleven points - including the game-winning jumper in the final seconds - in the Gaels' victory at Gonzaga Thursday night. McConnell finished with 27 points.
  • Redshirt junior forward Rob Jones scored 15 points and pulled down 13 rebounds in the win over the Zags. In West Coast Conference play, Jones is averaging 14.5 points and 10.0 rebounds per game.
  • The Gaels look to hand Portland its first home loss on Saturday (4 p.m., ESPNU).

Overall Record: 4-17
WCC Record: 0-6
  • Down 22 points in the second half, the Toreros cut Portland's lead to just ten, but it wasn't enough as San Diego dropped a 79-64 decision to the Pilots on Thursday night.
  • In West Coast Conference play, the Toreros rank second in turnover margin, at +2.17. USD has committed fewer turnovers against WCC opponents (61) than any other team.
  • Sophomore center Chris Gabriel scored a team-high 13 points, while grabbing five boards on Thursday in Portland. Over the last week, Gabriel is averaging 14.5 points per game.
  • The Toreros wrap up the first half of WCC play at Gonzaga on Saturday (5 p.m., KHQ, FSN Northwest).

Overall Record: 11-10
WCC Record: 5-1
  • San Francisco rallied from a 17-point second half deficit to top Loyola Marymount, 61-60, in Los Angeles on Thursday. It was the Dons' fourth straight win.
  • Junior guard Rashad Green scored 20 points and yanked down 12 rebounds at Loyola Marymount Thursday night. It was Green's third career double-double effort.
  • Senior center Moustapha Diarra contributed with a 15-point, four-rebound effort in 18 minutes off the bench for the Dons.
  • San Francisco visits Pepperdine on Saturday (7 p.m., free video on pepperdinesports.com).

Overall Record: 13-9
WCC Record: 4-2
  • Santa Clara ran out to a 17-1 lead and never looked back in a 71-59 triumph at Pepperdine on Thursday. It was the Broncos' third straight victory.
  • Junior forward Marc Trasolini scored 18 points and grabbed seven boards in the Pepperdine win Thursday night. In West Coast Conference play, Trasolini is averaging 11.7 points and just over five rebounds per game.
  • Freshman guard Evan Roquemore scored 14, pulled down seven boards, and dished out a pair of assists Thursday. Roquemore ranks third in the WCC in helpers during conference play.
  • The Broncos wrap up the first half of WCC play at Loyola Marymount on Saturday (5 p.m., Fox Sports West).