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WCC Men's Basketball: Monday Morning Storylines

Feb. 9, 2009

Big Matchups Highlight Sixth Week Of Conference Play
The WCC regular season title race is beginning to heat up as crucial matchups highlight the sixth week of conference play. Gonzaga and Portland, which rank 1-2 in the conference standings, play at Bay Area schools Saint Mary's and San Francisco this week. Meanwhile, The streaking Santa Clara Broncos and the San Diego Toreros play at Southern California schools Loyola Marymount and Pepperdine this week.

Portland at San Francisco San Francisco, CA 7:00 PM
San Diego at Loyola Marymount Los Angeles, CA 7:00 PM
Santa Clara at Pepperdine Malibu, CA 7:30 PM
Gonzaga at Saint Mary's Moraga, CA 8:00 PM
San Diego at Pepperdine Malibu, CA
5:00 PM
Portland at Saint Mary's Moraga, CA
7:00 PM
Santa Clara at Loyola Marymount Los Angeles, CA
7:30 PM
Gonzaga at San Francisco San Francisco, CA
8:00 PM

Santa Clara's John Bryant Turns In Another Big Week
Santa Clara senior center John Bryant continued to establish himself as one of the most dominant big men in all of college hoops with another monster week. Bryant started the week with his nation-leading sixth 20+ point/20+ rebound game of the season in the Broncos' win at San Diego. Bryant tossed in 23 points and hauled down 20 rebounds against the Toreros. Bryant followed that up with a 21-point, 15-rebound effort in Santa Clara's win over Saint Mary's on Saturday. Bryant continues to lead the nation in total rebounds with 358, followed by Oklahoma's Blake Griffin, who is second with 336 rebounds. Bryant also ranks sixth in the nation in blocks (69), and is averaging 17.5 points per game on an outstanding 60.3 percent shooting from the field. The San Pablo, CA native is also shooting a career-best 75.6 percent from the free throw line.

WCC Freshmen Making An Impact
Though the standout upperclassmen in the WCC have received the majority of the attention, several freshmen have made a significant impact for their respective teams. Santa Clara's Kevin Foster headlines four freshmen ranked in the top 15 in the WCC in scoring during conference play. Foster ranks fifth in the conference with 16.2 ppg in WCC games, followed closely by Pepperdine's Keion Bell, who is averaging 16.1 ppg. LMU's Jared DuBois is 13th in the conference with 13.2 ppg, while Santa Clara's James Rahon is tied for 14th with 12.9 ppg. Just outside the top 15 is LMU's Kevin Young, who is averaging 10.9 ppg, while averaging 7.2 rpg, during conference play.

Saint Mary's Diamon Simpson Nears Rebounding Milestone
Saint Mary's senior forward Diamon Simpson is closing in on a historic rebounding milestone. Simpson, the Gaels' all-time leading rebounder with 993 career boards, needs just seven more rebounds to reach the 1,000 career rebound mark. Simpson would become just the 15th player in WCC history to reach the rebounding mark and the second player this season, joining Santa Clara's John Bryant, who cleared the milestone on Jan. 31st. When Simpson reaches 1,000 career rebounds, the WCC will be the only conference in the country with two active players with 1,000 career boards.