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WCC weekly men's basketball notes, March 1, 2011

March 1, 2011

Watch the All-Conference Team highlight video! | Zappos.com WCC Basketball Championships Tournament Central

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It's Tourney Time!
The wait is over, and the 2011 Zappos.com West Coast Conference Basketball Championships are here. All eyes will be on the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas this weekend, as eight teams vie for the title and automatic NCAA berth. The men's action tips off with an opening match-up between Portland and LMU at 6 p.m. Friday night.

McConnell Named WCC Player of the Year
The West Coast Conference has announced its All-WCC teams and individual award winners for the 2011 season as voted on by the league's eight head coaches. Saint Mary's and Gonzaga shared the West Coast Conference regular season crown, and the two teams combined to earn three of four major conference awards. Saint Mary's senior guard Mickey McConnell was named the WCC Player of the Year, Gonzaga junior transfer Marquise Carter was named the WCC Newcomer of the Year, and Santa Clara senior Troy Payne was recognized as the West Coast Conference Defensive Player of the Year. In addition, Gaels' coach Randy Bennett earns WCC Coach of the Year honors for the second time. Download the full release (above) for a complete list of award winners.

Santa Clara's Marc Trasolini named WCC Player of the Week
Santa Clara junior F Marc Trasolini is the WCC Player of the Week. Trasolini averaged 26 points and 7.5 rebounds,, shooting 56.7 percent. He hit 18 of 21 free throws (85.7%).His 17 free throws were the second most-ever for a Bronco. Trasolini finished league play with 12.5 ppg and 5.1 rpg, shooting almost 81 percent from the free throw line. He now ranks fourth at Santa Clara in career blocks.
Also nominated: Matthew Dellavedova, Saint Mary's; Elias Harris, Gonzaga; Mychel Thompson, Pepperdine.

WCC Offers Enhanced Fan Experience at This Year's Tournament
The West Coast Conference will offer fans an enhanced experience at this year's Zappos.com West Coast Conference Basketball Championships. Fans can access live, real-time box scores of in-progress games and completed tournament games on their smartphones. By visiting WCCstats.com on their mobile device, fans can access stats and more. Powered by StatBroadcast Systems, the service is available free of charge. Also new this year, the WCC has partnered with SmartBug to offer fans the ability to listen to their home team broadcast from anywhere inside Orleans Arena with the SmartBug device. Starting at $12, the SmartBug offers both home and away audio feeds of every tournament game, plus the option to hear the national network broadcasts. Smaller than most cell phones, the SmartBugs will be available for purchase inside the arena, and the device includes batteries and a headset.

Seeing Silver
2011 marks the 25th anniversary of the Zappos.com West Coast Conference Men's Basketball Championships. Gonzaga has won more tourney titles (10) than any other WCC school.

BYUtv to Televise First Two Rounds of This Year's TournamentThe West Coast Conference has partnered with BYUtv to air the first two rounds of the 2011 Zappos.com WCC Basketball Championships nationally on BYUtv. In addition, the games can be found on ESPN Full Court and ESPN3.com. Brigham Young University will join the West Coast Conference in 2011-12.

WCC Live To Broadcast On Location
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 will broadcast on-site at the Orleans Arena with a show each day leading up to the first men's semifinal game, An archive of each show is available on-demand 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 .
WCC Live Show Times:

  • Friday, March 4, 5 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 5, 5p.m.
  • Sunday, March 6, 4 p.m.
  • Monday, March 7, 5p.m.

Catch "The Road To Las Vegas" Each Wednesday
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 season finale:

  • West Coast Conference all-conference team and individual award winners
  • "Leaving Her Legacy:" Three-Time WCC Women's Player of the Year Courtney Vandersloot

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.

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: 22-9
WCC Record: 11-3
  • Gonzaga is peaking at the right time, having won seven in a row. The Bulldogs won a share of their eleventh straight WCC regular season title, the second longest mark in NCAA Division I history.
  • Redshirt junior guard Marquise Carter was named WCC Newcomer of the Year. Carter started GU's final eight games, shooting 63% in his final four WCC games. He is the third Bulldog to win the award, joining Elias Harris (2010) and J.P. Batista (2005).
  • Senior guard Steven Gray and junior center Robert Sacre were named to the WCC All-Conference team, while sophomore Elias Harris was an honorable mention selection. Sam Dower was an All-Freshman team honoree.
  • The Bulldogs will compete against San Francisco, Pepperdine, or San Diego in Sunday's second semifinal (7:30 p.m., ESPN2). Gonzaga split with USF, and swept the Waves and Toreros during the regular season.

Overall Record: 10-20
WCC Record: 2-12
  • Loyola Marymount enters the Zappos.com West Coast Conference Basketball Championships as the eighth seed.
  • Senior guard Vernon Teel and junior forward Drew Viney were All-Conference honorable mention selections in 2011.
  • Guard Anthony Ireland was recognized as an All-Freshman Team selection. Ireland ranks in the top ten in the West Coast Conference in both assists (3.1 per game) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.7).
  • Loyola Marymount will take on No. 5 Portland in the first round of the tournament on Friday at 6 p.m. in Las Vegas (BYUtv, ESPN Full Court). The Pilots took both regular season meetings from the Lions, including a double overtime thriller in Portland.

Overall Record: 11-20
WCC Record: 5-9
  • Pepperdine will be the No 6 seed in the 2011 Zappos.com West Coast Conference Basketball Championships.
  • Senior forward Mychel Thompson and junior guard Lorne Jackson were each recognized as honorable mention selections by the WCC head coaches this season.
  • Thompson ranked fifth in the conference in scoring during WCC play, averaging 15.5 points per contest. Jackson was third, at 16.6 points per night.
  • The Waves begin tournament play against No. 7 San Diego on Friday (8:30 p.m., BYUtv/ESPN Full Court). Pepperdine won both regular season meetings between the two teams, including an overtime thriller at Jenny Craig Pavilion.

Overall Record: 20-10
WCC Record: 7-7
  • Portland enters this year's tournament as the fifth seed.
  • Junior guard Nemanja Mitrovic and senior forward Luke Sikma were named to the All-Conference team. Senior guard Jared Stohl was an honorable mention selection.
  • The Pilots are one of the nation's top three-point shooting teams, connecting on 42% of their attempts from long range, good for third nationally. Both Mitrovic and Stohl are in the top 20 in three-point field goal percentage.
  • The Pilots will face off against eighth seed Loyola Marymount in the tournament's first game at 6 p.m. on Friday night (BYUtv/ESPN Full Court). Portland won both regular season meetings between the two teams.

Overall Record: 23-7
WCC Record: 11-3
  •  Saint Mary's captured a share of its first WCC title since 1997. The Gaels are the top seed in this year's tournament by virtue of their sweep of No. 3 seed USF.
  • Senior guard Mickey McConnell was named the WCC Player of the Year after ranking among the national leaders in assists and WCC leaders in scoring. Head coach Randy Bennett earns Coach of the Year honors for the second time.
  • McConnell, sophomore guard Matthew Dellavedova, junior forward Rob Jones were named to the All-Conference Team. Guard Stephen Holt garnered All-Freshman Team recognition.
  • The Gaels will square off against Santa Clara, Portland, or LMU in Sunday's first semifinal (5 p.m., ESPN2). Saint Mary's split with the Pilots, while sweeping the Broncos and Lions in 2011.

Overall Record: 6-23
WCC Record: 2-12
  • By virtue of its victory over top seed Saint Mary's, the Toreros are the No. 7 seed in the Zappos.com West Coast Conference Basketball Championships this week.
  • Junior guard Darian Norris was San Diego's leading scorer this season, averaging 10.3 points per night.
  • Sophomore forward Chris Manresa is the team's leader in both rebounds (5.4) and blocked shots (22).
  • San Diego will take on Pepperdine in Friday's opening round. Tip-off is set for 8:30 p.m., and the game will be televised live on BYUtv and ESPN Full Court. The Waves won both regular season showdowns.

Overall Record: 16-13
WCC Record: 10-4
  • San Francisco posted its first 10-win season in conference play since 1982. The Dons are the third seed in the 2011 Zappos.com West Coast Conference Basketball Championships.
  • Junior guard Rashad Green and sophomore guard Michael Williams earned All-Conference Team recognition. Sophomore forward Perris Blackwell was named honorable mention.
  • Guard Cody Doolin was named to the West Coast Conference All-Freshman Team. Doolin was in the WCC top ten in three-point field goal percentage (.378) during conference play.
  • San Francisco earns a first round bye, and will take on the winner of the first round match-up between Pepperdine and San Diego in Saturday's quarterfinal round (8:30 p.m., BYUtv/ESPN Full Court). The Dons split with the Waves and swept the Toreros in 2011.

Overall Record: 18-13
WCC Record: 8-6
  • Santa Clara won its last two ballgames to earn the No. 4 seed for this year's tournament.
  • Redshirt sophomore guard Kevin Foster garnered All-Conference recognition. He ranks second nationally in three-point field goals per game (3.5).
  • Freshman guard Evan Roquemore was named to the All-Freshman Team by the league's head coaches. Roquemore averaged 5.1 helpers per WCC game, good for second in the conference.
  • The Broncos earn a bye to the quarterfinal round, and will take on the winner of the Portland-Loyola Marymount game on Saturday at 6 p.m. (BYUtv, ESPN Full Court). Santa Clara split the regular season series with the Pilots, and won both meetings over LMU.