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WCC weekly men's basketball notes, Feb. 22, 2011

Feb. 22, 2011

Watch this week's "WCC Weekend Rewind" | Listen to WCC Live each week!

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AROUND THE WCC

First Place on the Line Thursday Night
First place in the WCC standings is on the line Thursday night when Saint Mary's (10-2) hosts Gonzaga (9-3) in a key West Coast Conference showdown at 8 p.m. on ESPN2. A Gaels' victory gives them the top seed in the Zappos.com West Coast Conference Basketball Championships, while a Bulldogs win creates a first place tie entering the season's final day.

Gonzaga's Marquise Carter named WCC Player of the Week
Gonzaga junior guard Marquise Carter earns WCC Player of the Week honors on Feb. 21. For the weekend he averaged 19.0 ppg, went 13-for-19 from the field for 68.4 percent, went 5-for-8 from3-point range for 62.percent and 7-for-8 from the line for 87.5 percent. He grabbed 6 boards, dished out 8 assists, had 3 steals, 1 block and just 3 turnovers in 72 minutes of action. His assist/turnover ratio for the week was 2.7. Over the week, Carter established or matched single game career-highs in points, minutes, and rebounds.
Also nominated: Kevin Foster, Santa Clara; Chris Manresa, San Diego.

WCC Quick Hits...

  • Gonzaga and Saint Mary's meet in a first-place showdown Thursday night. A Bulldogs win creates a tie atop the standings; a Gaels triumph gives Saint Mary's the WCC regular season crown.
  • As a team, Portland ranks second in the country in three-point field goal percentage (42.4). Individually, Santa Clara's Kevin Foster leads the nation, averaging 3.6 made three's per night. Foster sank 15 three's over his last two games.
  • With a victory in either of their remaining two games, both Portland and Gonzaga would join Saint Mary's at the 20-win plateau. The WCC has produced multiple 20-win teams in each of the last four years (2011 would be five straight).
  • San Diego's Matt Dorr, Saint Mary's Rob Jones, and ESPN commentator Mark Neely are among the guests on Wednesday's "WCC Live." For more on the show, including where to listen, see below.
  • "The Road to Las Vegas," the WCC's weekly web video show, premieres each Wednesday. This week's show features highlights and a look at three WCC standouts with NBA ties. For more on 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
Don't miss the West Coast Conference's weekly Internet radio show, WCC Live. The hour-long show is hosted by Jeff Lampe and features live 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 .
Feb. 23 show (available live):

  • Saint Mary's junior Rob Jones
  • San Diego senior Matt Dorr
  • ESPN commentator Mark Neely
  • Pepperdine head women's coach Julie Rousseau

"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:

  • West Coast Conference weekly highlights
  • "My Dad Was an NBA Star"
  • "60 Seconds With..." ReZina TecleMariam and Tara Cronin of UP women's basketball

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 Continues as 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: 19-9
WCC Record: 9-3
  • Gonzaga has won six straight WCC games following victories last week over Santa Clara (85-76) and San Francisco (70-53).
  • Redshirt junior guard Marquise Carter was named WCC Player of the Week after he dropped a career-high 20 points while adding five assists in the win over Santa Clara on Thursday and added 18 more on 7-of-10 shooting Saturday. Carter is averaging 14.5 points per contest over his last four.
  • Senior guard Steven Gray scored 19 points and pulled down six boards in Saturday's win over USF. During conference play, Gray ranks sixth in the WCC in scoring (15.6 points per game).
  • The Bulldogs face Saint Mary's in a battle for first place in the WCC on Thursday night (8 p.m., ESPNU). The Zags close out their WCC regular season schedule at San Diego Saturday (6 p.m., FSN Northwest/4 SD).

Overall Record: 10-18
WCC Record: 2-10
  • Loyola Marymount put an end to its four-game skid with an 82-79 win over Pepperdine in the Lions' home finale on Wednesday. LMU then fell 84-75 at Portland State in the Sears BracketBusters event.
  • Redshirt sophomore forward Ashley Hamilton notched his third career double-double on Saturday, scoring 18 points and grabbing 13 boards at Portland State.
  • The Lions shot 54% from the floor and matched a season high with nine three-point field goals in the victory over the Waves on Wednesday.
  • Loyola Marymount wraps up the regular season with a pair of games in the Bay Area. LMU visits Santa Clara on Thursday (8 p.m., ESPNU) and San Francisco on Saturday (7 p.m., free video on usfdons.com).

Overall Record: 11-18
WCC Record: 5-7
  • Pepperdine rallied in the second half, erasing a 14-point halftime deficit, but the Waves ultimately came up on the short end of an 82-79 score at LMU on Wednesday.
  • Senior forward Mychel Thompson and junior guard Lorne Jackson combined for 42 second half points (49 total) at LMU. Jackson is fourth in the WCC in scoring during conference play, averaging 16.0 points per game.
  • Junior center Corbin Moore was 8-for-10 shooting, scoring 16 points and pulling down seven boards off the bench Wednesday night in Los Angeles.
  • The Waves travel to San Francisco on Thursday night (7 p.m., free video on usfdons.com) and Santa Clara on Saturday night (7 p.m., free video on santaclarabroncos.com).

Overall Record: 19-9
WCC Record: 6-6
  • Portland split a pair of home games last week. The Pilots fell 82-73 to San Francisco - just their second home loss of the season - but rebounded to down Santa Clara, 78-68.
  • Junior guard Nemanja Mitrovic scored a career-high 26 points against the Dons on Thursday. He was 7-for-15 from beyond the three-point arc in two games last week, and ranks second nationally from long range, connecting on 48.3% of his attempts.
  • Making his first start of the season, senior center Jasonn Hannibal was 6-of-6 from the floor with a career-high 15 points in the Pilots' win over Santa Clara. The victory moved UP into a fourth place tie with the Broncos with two games remaining.
  • The Pilots travel to San Diego on Thursday (8 p.m., 4 SD/CSN Northwest) and Saint Mary's on Saturday (8 p.m., CSN California/CSN NW).

Overall Record: 22-6
WCC Record: 10-2
  •  Saint Mary's dropped back-to-back games for just the second time this season last week. After falling 74-66 at San Diego on Wednesday, the Gaels dropped their first home contest of the season, 75-65 to No. 24 Utah State in the Sears BracketBusters event.
  • Sophomore forward Mitchell Young posted a double-double Saturday, with 11 points and 11 rebounds against Utah State. He had 24 points and nine rebounds off the bench at San Diego.
  • Senior guard Mickey McConnell scored 21 points, had six assists, and came away with four steals at USD. He ranks among national leaders in assists, three-point field goal percentage, free throw percentage, and assist-to-turnover ratio.
  • The Gaels can clinch the WCC regular season title with a win over Gonzaga Thursday night (8 p.m., ESPN2). Saint Mary's hosts Portland on Saturday night (8 p.m., CSN California/CSN NW)

Overall Record: 6-21
WCC Record: 2-10
  • San Diego erased an eight-point halftime deficit, downing No. 23 Saint Mary's by a 74-66 score at Jenny Craig Pavilion on Wednesday.
  • Junior guard Darian Norris had 15 points and came away with three steals in the Saint Mary's victory. He was one of four Toreros to hit for double figures in scoring on the night.
  • Sophomore forward Chris Manresa registered his first double-double, with 17 points and ten rebounds in the win over the Gaels. In the month of February (five games), Manresa is averaging 9.2 boards per night.
  • The Toreros wrap up the regular season with a pair of home games this week. San Diego hosts Portland on Thursday night (8 p.m., 4 SD/Comcast SportsNet Northwest) and Gonzaga on Saturday evening (6 p.m., 4 SD/FSN Northwest).

Overall Record: 14-13
WCC Record: 8-4
  • San Francisco bested Portland 82-73 on Thursday, but fell into third place by virtue of a 70-53 loss at Gonzaga on Saturday. USF played both games without sophomore F Perris Blackwell, who was home with an illness.
  • Junior forward Angelo Caloiaro sparked the USF offense on Thursday night, connecting for 18 points (including four three's) while also adding seven rebounds.
  • Sophomore guard Michael Williams scored 18 points Thursday at Portland, and added 13 Saturday in Spokane. Williams is averaging 13.9 points per contest during WCC play.
  • The Dons host Pepperdine on Thursday night and Loyola Marymount on Saturday night. Both games tip at 7 p.m., and usfdons.com will provide live (free) video of each. USF is 10-3 at home this season.

Overall Record: 16-13
WCC Record: 6-6
  • Santa Clara fell into a fourth-place tie in the WCC after dropping an 85-76 decsion at Gonzaga and a 78-68 contest at Portland.
  • Redshirt sophomore guard Kevin Foster scored 27 points at Gonzaga, connecting on eight three pointers. During one stretch, Foster, the WCC's leading scorer (19.9 points per game), scored 10 points in 23 seconds. He added 7 more three-pointers and 29 points on Saturday.
  • Freshman guard Evan Roquemore scored 16 points and dished out a career-high eight assists on Thursday. Roquemore is averaging 5.1 helpers per WCC game, good for second in the conference.
  • The Broncos host Loyola Marymount in a nationally-televised game on Thursday (8 p.m., ESPNU) and Pepperdine on Saturday (7 p.m., free video on santaclarabroncos.com).