March 1, 2007
WCC MEN'S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT BEGINS THIS WEEKEND
With the regular season behind them, WCC men's basketball teams turn their attention to the conference tournament and the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Gonzaga, the WCC regular season champion, owns the No. 1 seed, while Santa Clara is the No. 2 seed, Saint Mary's the No. 3 seed, and San Francisco the No. 4 seed. San Diego is the No. 5 seed, LMU the No. 6 seed, Portland the No. 7 seed, and Pepperdine the No. 8 seed.
FIRST ROUND - Friday - March 2, 2007
No. 5 San Diego vs. No. 8 Pepperdine - 5:30 PM
No. 6 Loyola Marymount vs. No. 7 Portland - 8:00 PM !
QUARTERFINALS - Saturday - March 3, 2007
USD/PEP winner vs. No. 4 San Francisco - 6:00 PM
LMU/POR vs. No. 3 Saint Mary's - 30 min. after first game
SEMIFINALS - Sunday - March 4, 2007
USD/PEP/USF vs. No. 1 Gonzaga - 6:30 PM %
LMU/POR/SMC vs. No. 2 Santa Clara - 8:30 PM %
FINALS - Monday - March 5, 2007
WCC Tournament Championship Game - 6:00 PM $
! Televised on ESPNU; % Televised on ESPN2; $ Televised on ESPN
WCC PLAYER OF THE WEEK: MICAH DOWNS, GONZAGA UNIVERSITY
Gonzaga sophomore Micah Downs is this week's WCC Player of the Week for his performance in the Bulldogs' road wins at San Francisco and at San Diego. The two wins gave the Zags their seventh consecutive WCC regular-season title and locked up the No. 1 seed in the upcoming WCC tournament. Downs, a transfer from Kansas, was spectacular, averaging 18.0 ppg and 4.5 rpg, while shooting an impressive 63.6 percent from the field (14-for-22), including knocking down 6-of-9 attempts (66.7 percent) from beyond the arc.
WCC TEAM NOTES
Gonzaga Bulldogs (21-10 / 11-3 WCC)
- Gonzaga clinched its seventh consecutive WCC regular season title and ninth in the last 10 seasons with a 74-64 road win at San Diego.
- Senior guard Derek Raivio was named the WCC Co-Player of the Year. Raivio is the seventh consecutive Gonzaga player to earn the conference's top award. He follows former GU standouts Adam Morrison (2006), Ronny Turiaf (2005), Blake Stepp (2004, 2003), Dan Dickau (2002) and Casey Calvary (2001).
- Sophomore Micah Downs, a transfer from Kansas, is starting to show flashes of what made him a McDonald's All-American coming out of high school, averaging 18.3 ppg and 5.0 rpg over the Zags' last three games.
- Gonzaga, which owns a WCC-best 30-12 all-time record in the conference tournament, owns the No. 1 seed and will receive a bye until the semifinals (3/4).
Loyola Marymount Lions (13-17 / 5-9 WCC)
- Loyola Marymount finished the regular season with a 63-47 setback versus Saint Mary's on Monday. The Lions open the WCC Tournament as the No. 6 seed.
- Senior forward Matthew Knight earned his second consecutive All-WCC first team honor. Knight heads into the WCC Tournament ranked second in the WCC in scoring (16.5 ppg) and third in rebounding (7.7 rpg).
- Junior guard Damian Martin took home WCC Defensive Player of the Year honors. In WCC games, he led the league with more than 2.4 steals per game. He is the second LMU player to garner the league's top defensive award, following Sherman Gay, who earned the honor in 2004.
- LMU takes on WCC Tournament host Portland (3/2) in first round action on Friday.
Pepperdine Waves (8-22 / 4-10 WCC)
- Pepperdine played the role of spoiler, upsetting Santa Clara, 89-82.
- The Waves dropped in 15 threes in the win over Santa Clara to bring their WCC-leading total to 295. Pepperdine needs just four more threes to set a new WCC single-season record, breaking the 1989-90 LMU squad's mark of 298 treys made.
- Senior guard Chase Griffin scored a career-high 34 points on 11-of-16 shooting from the field in the Waves' win over the Broncos. Griffin, who averaged just 6.4 ppg and 2.5 rpg last season, was named an All-WCC honorable mention selection after averaging 15.8 ppg and 4.4 rpg.
- Junior center Jarrad Henry has blocked 68 shots on the season for the 10th highest single-season mark in WCC history.
- Pepperdine opens the WCC Tournament versus San Diego (3/2) on Friday.
Portland Pilots (8-22 / 4-10 WCC)
- The Pilots dropped a 70-67 decision at San Francisco on Monday.
- Senior guard Darren Cooper, who scored his 1,000th career point in the loss to the Dons, was named to the All-WCC first team. Cooper is the 30th player in program history to reach the scoring milestone.
- Junior Sherrard Watson scored a career-high 27 points versus the Dons. Watson enters the WCC Tournament on a hot streak, averaging 24 ppg in the Pilots' last two games.
- Freshman point guard Taishi Ito was named to the league's all-freshman team. During WCC play, Ito led all freshmen in assists (3.8), assist/turnover ratio (1.5), free throw percentage (.775), three-pointers made (1.4 per game) and minutes played (35.6) and was third in scoring (8.4).
- The Pilots take on LMU (3/2) in WCC Tournament first round action on Friday (3/2).
Saint Mary's Gaels (16-14 / 8-6 WCC)
- Saint Mary's finished the regular season with a 63-47 win at Loyola Marymount to clinch the No. 3 seed in the WCC Tournament.
- Sixth-year Head Coach Randy Bennett earned his 100th victory at Saint Mary's in the Gaels win over Pepperdine on February 24, becoming just the second head coach in the history of the program to reach 100 wins. James Weaver holds the record with 110 career wins in seven seasons, from 1955-62.
- Sophomore forward Diamon Simpson earned All-WCC first team honors this season. Simpson, who blocked four shots versus Loyola Marymount, turned away 44 shots in conference play, the fourth highest single season total in WCC history.
- Saint Mary's, the No. 3 seed, has earned a first round bye and will take on the Loyola Marymount/Portland winner in the quarterfinals on Saturday.
San Diego Toreros (16-13 / 6-8 WCC)
- San Diego ended the regular season with a 74-64 setback versus Gonzaga on Monday.
- Senior guard Ross DeRogatis, already the program's all-time 3-point field goal leader, knocked down six treys versus Gonzaga to bring his career total to 214. With 84 3-pointers made this season, DeRogatis eclipsed his own USD single-season record of 82 set last season.
- Sophomore forward Gyno Pomare, who leads the WCC in rebounding with 8.1 rpg, was named to the All-WCC first team.
- For the second straight season, the Toreros paced the conference with two players on the All-WCC freshman team in Chris Lewis and De'Jon Jackson.
- San Diego closes out the regular season by hosting Gonzaga (2/26) on Monday.
San Francisco Dons (13-17 / 8-6 WCC)
- The Dons finished tied for third place in the conference standings after a 70-67 win over Portland to close out the regular season.
- Sophomore guard Antonio Kellogg, who along with senior guard Armondo Surratt was named All-WCC honorable mention, became the second USF player in the last three seasons to lead the league in scoring (17.2 ppg) during conference play, following John Cox, who accomplished the feat in 2005.
- Senior forward Alan Wiggins, Jr., who was named to the All-WCC first team, scored 14 points and grabbed a career-high 14 rebounds in the win over Portland. The 14 points propelled him into 22nd place on the Dons' all-time scoring list, while his 14 rebound gave him a WCC-leading eight double-doubles on the season.
- USF will take on USD or Pepperdine in the WCC Tournament quarterfinals on Saturday.
Santa Clara Broncos (20-9 / 10-4 WCC)
- The Broncos suffered their second straight heartbreaking loss, falling to Pepperdine, 89-82, in overtime on Monday. The Broncos finished the regular season in second place and locked up the No. 2 seed in the WCC tournament. The No. 2 seed is the highest SCU has been seeded in the WCC Tournament in a decade (1997-No. 1 seed).
- Head Coach Dick Davey, who has guided the Broncos to the 17th 20-win season in program history, earned his fourth career WCC Coach of the Year honor.
- Senior Sean Denison shared Player of the Year honors with Gonzaga's Derek Raivio and was also named to the All-WCC first team for the first time in his career. The last Bronco WCC Player of the Year was in Marlon Garnett in 1997. Seniors Scott Dougherty and Danny Pariseau joined Denison on the All-WCC first team.
- Santa Clara has a bye until the WCC Tournament semifinals (3/4).