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WCC Men's Basketball Weekly Notes

Feb. 4, 2008

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GONZAGA TAKES ON SAINT MARY'S IN BIG MONDAY SHOWDOWN
Gonzaga puts its unblemished conference record on the line tonight as the Zags travel to No. 23 Saint Mary's for a "Big Monday" showdown on ESPN2. The Zags are in first place with a 6-0 conference record, while the Gaels are just a game back at 5-1 and tied with San Diego for second place. The Bulldogs and the Gaels are tied for first in the WCC in scoring margin, defeating conference opponents by an average of 19.8 points per game.

PORTLAND BATTLES SANTA CLARA ON ESPNU
The Portland Pilots travel to Santa Clara to take on the Broncos on ESPNU. The Pilots will be looking for their second conference win, while the Broncos currently sit in fourth place with a 3-3 league record. The Broncos nearly upset Gonzaga, dropping an 87-82 double-overtime heartbreaker to the Zags on Saturday. Santa Clara junior center John Bryant, who leads the WCC with nine double-doubles, will test the youthful Portland frontline.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

Feb. 4
*San Diego at Pepperdine - 7:00 PM !
*San Francisco at Loyola Marymount - 7:00 PM
*Gonzaga at Saint Mary's - 8:00 PM $
*Portland at Santa Clara - 8:00 PM &

Feb. 8
*San Francisco at Saint Mary's - 7:00 PM ^

Feb. 9
*Pepperdine at Gonzaga - 5:00 PM #%
*Loyola Marymount at Portland - 7:00 PM

* Denotes WCC games; ! Televised on FSN West; $ Televised on ESPN2; & Televised on ESPNU; # Televised on FSN and FSN Prime Ticket; ^ Televised on CSNW; All times PST

AROUND THE WCC

San Francisco's Eddie Sutton Reaches 800 Career Wins
San Francisco Head Coach Eddie Sutton became just the fifth Division I coach to win 800 games on Feb. 2 as San Francisco came back from a 19-point second-half deficit to beat Pepperdine 85-82. Sutton joins Bob Knight, Dean Smith, Adolph Rupp and Jim Phlean as the only Division I coaches to win 800, and trails only Knight among active coaches.

The WCC's Diaper Dandies
The WCC's freshman class is proving to be one of the conference's best in years. Three of the WCC's eight schools have freshmen leading them in scoring, while two have freshmen leading them in rebounding. Meanwhile, five freshmen are ranked in the top 15 in the conference in scoring, while six are in the top 15 in rebounding. Below are just some of the accomplishments by WCC freshmen this season.

  • Three freshmen lead their respective teams in scoring.
    (Orlando Johnson, LMU; Tyrone Shelley, PEP; Patty Mills, SMC)

  • Three freshmen lead their respective teams in rebounding.
    (Orlando Johnson, LMU; Malcolm Thomas, PEP; Luke Sikma, POR)

  • Five freshmen are ranked in the top 15 in the conference in steals.

  • Five freshmen are ranked in the top 15 in the conference in 3-pt. FGs made.

  • Six freshmen rank in the top 15 in the conference in blocks.

  • Gonzaga freshman Austin Daye leads the WCC in free throw percentage (.908).

  • Top two scoring performances in the WCC this season are by freshmen.
    (37 - Patty Mills, SMC vs. Oregon 11/20; 34 - Tyrone Shelley, PEP vs. CSUN 11/17)
  • WCC TEAM NOTES

    Gonzaga Bulldogs (17-5 / 6-0 WCC)
    - The Zags improved to 17-5 overall and kept their WCC record unblemished with a thrilling 87-82 double-overtime win at Santa Clara. Gonzaga is off to a 6-0 start in WCC play for the seventh time since 1999.

    - A pair of freshmen helped Gonzaga keep its WCC slate clean on Saturday. Freshman forward Austin Daye scored 13 of his career-high 22 points in overtime, including the go-ahead basket against the Broncos. Freshman guard Steven Gray, who scored 16 points, made a pair of free throws with 0.3 seconds left in regulation to send the game into overtime.

    - Daye knocked down 7-of-11 shots from the field against Santa Clara, including 3-of-4 attempts from beyond the arc. Daye is the WCC's most efficient scorer in conference play, pacing all players in field goal percentage (.717) and three-point percentage (.714).

    - The Zags travel to Saint Mary's (2/4) before returning home to host Pepperdine (2/9).

    Loyola Marymount Lions (4-18 / 1-5 WCC)
    - The Lions dropped a 72-48 decision to San Diego to fall to 4-18 overall and 1-5 in conference play.

    - Freshman Tim Diederichs led the Lions with 10 points, all in the first half, while senior Jon Ziri came off the bench to grab 11 rebounds.

    - Freshman Orlando Johnson continues to set new LMU freshman scoring and rebounding records. Johnson has scored 276 points through 22 games to rank seventh all-time in freshman scoring. He needs just 18 more points to past Andy Osborn (2001-02) for sixth place. Johnson is also ranked 6th in rebounds with 117 boards. He needs just two more rebounds to pass Luther Philyaw (1972-73) for fifth place.

    - The Lions host San Francisco (2/4) before traveling to the Pacific Northwest to take on Portland (2/9) this weekend.

    Pepperdine Waves (7-15 / 1-5 WCC)
    - The Waves fell to San Francisco, 85-82, on Saturday to fall to 1-5 in conference play.

    - All seven Pepperdine players that saw action versus San Francisco scored in double-figures, led by freshman Tyrone Shelley's 16 points. Shelley continues to lead all WCC freshmen in scoring with 15.5 ppg.

    - In the four games since Interim Head Coach Eric Bridgeland took over the Pepperdine program, the Waves have improved their scoring (78.2 ppg/82.2 ppg), field goal percentage (.424/.488), three-point percentage (.296/.392) and even free throw percentage (.718/.785)

    - Freshmen are scoring 64.9 percent of the Waves' scoring so far this season.

    - The Waves host San Diego (2/4) before traveling to Gonzaga (2/9) this weekend.

    Portland Pilots (7-15 / 1-5 WCC)
    - The Pilots (7-15, 1-5 WCC) dropped an 86-49 decision at No. 20 Saint Mary's on Saturday, the second straight road defeat for Portland.

    - Sophomore guard Nik Raivio led the Pilots with 18 points against the Gaels, while senior forward Sherrard Watson joined him in double figures with 11. Raivio has led the Pilots in scoring six times this season and paces the team with 12.4 ppg.

    - Sophomore Robin Smeulders grabbed a team-high nine rebounds against Saint Mary's. Despite coming off of the bench, Smeulders has led the Pilots in rebounding in four consecutive games and in five out of the last six. He has stepped up his production over the last 10 games, averaging 11.0 ppg and 7.2 rpg.

    - The Pilots travel to Santa Clara (2/4) before returning to the Bluff to host Loyola Marymount (2/9) this weekend.

    Saint Mary's Gaels (18-3 / 5-1 WCC)
    - Saint Mary's improved to 18-3 overall and 5-1 in conference play with an 86-49 win over Portland.

    - Junior forward Ian O'Leary scored a season-high 20 points on 8-of-9 shooting from the field, including 3-for-4 from beyond the three-point line. O'Leary is proving to be one of the top three-point shooters in the WCC, knocking down 45.5 percent from behind the arc during conference play.

    - Junior forward Diamon Simpson notched his eighth double-double of the season in the Gaels' win over the Pilots, scoring 13 points and grabbing 15 rebounds. Simpson leads the WCC in rebounding with 9.4 rpg and ranks second in double-doubles.

    - Saint Mary's hosts Gonzaga (2/4) in a "Big Monday" showdown before welcoming Bay Area rival San Francisco (2/9) to McKeon Pavilion this weekend.

    San Diego Toreros (12-11 / 5-1 WCC)
    - San Diego improved to 5-1 in conference play with a 72-48 win over Loyola Marymount.

    - The last time USD started WCC play with a 5-1 mark was in 1990-91 when the team got off to a 6-1 WCC start.

    - Freshman forward Rob Jones had a career-high 27 points and grabbed 13 rebounds for his first career double-double in the Toreros' win over Loyola Marymount. Jones has been one of the top freshman in WCC play, averaging 9.7 ppg and 6.5 rpg during conference games.

    - Junior guard Brandon Johnson leads the conference in steals with 47 and in three-point field goals with 51.

    - USD travels to Pepperdine (2/4) before heading to San Francisco (2/9) this weekend.

    San Francisco Dons (6-15 / 2-4 WCC)
    - San Francisco Head Coach Eddie Sutton became just the fifth Division I coach to win 800 games Saturday night as the Dons came back from a 19-point second-half deficit to beat Pepperdine 85-82. Sutton joins Bob Knight, Dean Smith, Adolph Rupp and Jim Phlean as the only Division I coaches to win 800, and trails only Knight among active coaches.

    - Sophomore forward Dior Lowhorn scored a game-high 28 points to go along with eight rebounds for his 11th 20-plus scoring performance of the season. Lowhorn, who leads the WCC in scoring at 21.0 ppg, has scored in double-digits in every game of his USF career.

    - Junior guard Manny Quezada turned in his first career double-double with 11 points and a career-high 12 assists.

    - The Dons play at LMU (2/4) before traveling to Bay Area rival SMC (2/9) this weekend.

    Santa Clara Broncos (11-10 / 3-3 WCC)
    - The Broncos fell to Gonzaga, 87-82, in a double-overtime thriller on Saturday.

    - Senior guard Brody Angley scored a career-high 28 points to lead the Broncos, while junior center John Bryant scored 22 points and set a career-high with his 12-of-13 effort from the foul line.

    - After scoring 28 against Gonzaga, Angley currently has 991 points in his career at SCU. He is attempting to become the 26th player in school history to reach 1,000 points.

    - Bryant leads the WCC with nine double-doubles on the season and is the only player in the conference to average a double-double in WCC games (17.3 ppg and a WCC-high 10.3 rpg).

    - Santa Clara hosts Portland (2/4) on Monday in a showdown televised on ESPNU.