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WCC Men's Basketball Teams Head To Las Vegas For Zappos.com WCC Basketball Championships

March 2, 2010

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WCC TEAMS BEGIN CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT PLAY THIS FRIDAY

With the conclusion of the West Coast Conference men's basketball regular season, conference squads now turn their attention to the 2010 Zappos.com WCC Basketball Championships, which begin on Friday, March 5 at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Gonzaga secured the top seed, posting a 12-2 record in conference play to win its record 10th consecutive WCC regular season title and the Bulldogs' 12th in the last 13 seasons. Gonzaga moved into a tie with Connecticut (1951-60 Yankee Conference) and UNLV (1983-92 Big West) for the second-longest conference regular season title winning streak in NCAA history. UCLA is first with 13 straight Pac-10 titles from 1967-79. Saint Mary's owns the No. 2 seed and like Gonzaga will earn a bye until the semifinals on March 7. Portland earned the No. 3 seed, while San Francisco earned the No. 4 seed. USF and LMU tied for fourth in the conference standings, but the Dons earned the No. 4 seed thanks to a season sweep of the Lions. The Pilots and the Dons earn first round byes and will play in the quarterfinal round on March 6. LMU is the No. 5 seed, while San Diego is the No. 6 seed. Santa Clara is the No. 7 seed, while the Pepperdine Waves are the No. 8 seed.

TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE

All Times PST

FRIDAY, MARCH 5
TEAMS TIME
COVERAGE
#5 Loyola Marymount vs. #8 Pepperdine 6:00 PM
Live video stream on WCCsports.com/Live audio broadcast on Sirius Satellite Radio
#6 San Diego vs. #7 Santa Clara 30 mins after 1st game Live video stream on WCCsports.com/Live audio broadcast on Sirius Satellite Radio
SATURDAY, MARCH 6
TEAMS TIME
COVERAGE
#5 LMU/#8 PEP vs. #4 San Francisco 6:00 PM
ESPN360.com/ESPN Full Court/SD Ch. 4/CSNNW/CSN BA Plus/Live video stream on WCCsports.com/Live audio broadcast on Sirius Satellite Radio
#6 USD/#7 SCU vs. #3 Portland 30 mins after 1st game ESPN360.com/ESPN Full Court/SD Ch. 4/CSNNW/CSNBA/Live video stream on WCCsports.com/Live audio broadcast on Sirius Satellite Radio
SUNDAY, MARCH 7
TEAMS TIME
COVERAGE
#4 USF/#5 LMU/#8 PEP vs. #1 Gonzaga 5:30 PM
ESPN2/ESPN360.com/Live audio broadcast on Sirius Satellite Radio
#3 POR/#6 USD/#7 SCU vs. #2 Saint Mary's 7:30 PM ESPN2/ESPN360.com/Live audio broadcast on Sirius Satellite Radio
MONDAY, MARCH 8
TEAMS TIME
COVERAGE
Semifinal #1 winner vs. Semifinal #2 winner 6:00 PM
ESPN/ESPN360.com/Live national audio coverage on Westwood One Radio/Live broadcast on Sirius Satellite Radio

AROUND THE WCC

WCC Announces 2010 All-Conference Teams
The Gonzaga Bulldogs captured their record 10th consecutive WCC regular season title crown and were reward with three of the four yearly conference awards. Gonzaga senior Matt Bouldin was named the WCC Player of the Year, while freshman Elias Harris was named the Newcomer of the Year, and head coach Mark Few was selected as the Coach of the Year. Saint Mary's senior Omar Samhan was named the conference's Defensive Player of the Year.

2010 WCC Player of the Year
Matt Bouldin, GON

WCC Defensive Player of the Year
Omar Samhan, SMC

Newcomer of the Year
Elias Harris, GON

Coach of the Year
Mark Few, GON

2010 All-WCC First Team
Matt Bouldin, GON
T.J. Campbell, POR
Steven Gray, GON
Elias Harris, GON
Dior Lowhorn, USF
Mickey McConnell, SMC
Omar Samhan, SMC
Robin Smeulders, POR
Vernon Teel, LMU
Drew Viney, LMU

Honorable Mention
Keion Bell, PEP
Matthew Dellavedova, SMC
Brandon Johnson, USD
Luke Sikma, POR
Jared Stohl, POR
Mychel Thompson, PEP
Marc Trasolini, SCU

All-Freshman Team
Matthew Dellavedova, SMC
Ashley Hamilton, LMU
Elias Harris, GON
Chris Manresa, USD
Robert Smith, SCU

WCCTV Presents The Road To Las Vegas
Each week, the Road To Las Vegas will chronicle each WCC men's and women's basketball team's journey through conference play culminating with the 2010 Zappos.com WCC Basketball Championships at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas on March 5-8. With your host George Devine, the Road To Las Vegas will provide highlights from the previous week's action, have exclusive interviews with players, coaches, and key basketball personnel, as well as take a look at the upcoming matchups. The WCC's first-ever weekly web-based feature show will provide fans with unprecedented coverage of WCC men's and women's basketball. Check back each week as new episodes will be posted exclusive on WCCsports.com and on the WCC's official YouTube page (www.youtube.com/WCCsports).

WCC Best In The West Against The BCS
West Coast Conference teams are proving to be formidable opponents for teams from the BCS conferences. Of the four conferences primarily located in the West Region - WCC, Pac-10, Big West, and WAC - the WCC owns the most wins and the highest winning percentage against teams from the six BCS conferences with a 14-17 record. The Pac-10 is second with a 9-24 (.272) mark against teams from other BCS conferences, followed by the Big West (2-19; .095), and the WAC (0-7).


CONFERENCERECORD VS. BCS SCHOOLSPERCENTAGE

1. WEST COAST14-17.4522. Pacific-109-24.2723. Big West2-19.0954. Western Athletic0-7.000

2009-10 WCC Preseason All-Conference Team
If the WCC preseason all-conference team is any indication, it should be a very competitive season as all eight conference schools landed at least one player on the team. Gonzaga and Portland led the way with each team landing two players on the team. In addition, guard play in the WCC should be exciting to watch as eight of the 10 players named to the team play in the backcourt.

Zappos.com Named Title Sponsor of the WCC Basketball 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 will partner 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 Live To Cover Men's Hoops Season
This season, the West Coast Conference introduced a new internet based radio showcalled "WCC Live" to be hosted by veteran play-by-play announcer Jeff Lampe. The show will feature interviews with coaches and players from around the league as well asspecial guests throughout the year. In addition, fans will be able to participate by dialing in to ask questions of the guests by calling 646-378-1311, submitting questions via a live chat feature or by emailing questions to WCCLive@ymail.com. The program will air live each Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. ---- visit wccsports.com/wcclive for up-to-date guest information.

WCC Tournament To Remain At The Orleans Arena Through 2012
On July 22, 2009, the West Coast Conference 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 West Coast Conference 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).

Gonzaga Edges Portland For Top Spot in 2009-10 WCC Preseason Coaches Poll
Gonzaga was selected as the favorite to capture an unprecedented 10th consecutiveWest Coast Conference men's basketball regular season title in the 2009-10 WCC Preseason Coaches Poll. The Zags received six first place votes and tallied 48 points to narrowly edge out Portland, which received the remaining two first place votes and collected 44 overall points. Saint Mary's was picked third with 34 overall points, followed by San Francisco and Santa Clara, which tied for fourth with 26 points. Rounding out this year's poll were San Diego in sixth place with 21 points, followed by Pepperdine in seventh place with 13 points, and Loyola Marymount in eighth place with 12.

2009-10 WCC Men's Basketball Preseason Coaches Poll
1. Gonzaga - 48 (6)
2. Portland - 44 (2)
3. Saint Mary's - 34
4. San Francisco - 26
Santa Clara - 26
6. San Diego - 21
7. Pepperdine - 13
8. Loyola Marymount - 12


WCC TEAM NOTES

SCHOOL TEAM NOTES

Overall Record: 25-5
WCC Record: 12-2
  • Gonzaga swept Bay Area schools Santa Clara (88-51) and San Francisco (75-69) to win the WCC regular season crown outright.

  • Gonzaga has now won 10 consecutive WCC regular season titles, extending the nation's longest conference regular season title streak and tying Connecticut (Yankee Conference - 1951-60) and UNLV (Big West - 1983-92) for the second longest streak in NCAA history.

  • Senior Matt Bouldin was named the WCC Player of the Year, while freshman Elias Harris was selected as the conference's Newcomer of the Year and Head Coach Mark Few was tabbed for Coach of the Year honors. Bouldin's selection marks the ninth time in the last 10 years a Bulldog has been named the top player in the conference as voted by the coaches, while Few took home his WCC record eighth Coach of the Year honor.

  • GU will be the #1 seed and will have a double-bye until the WCC Tournament semifinals.

  • Overall Record: 16-14
    WCC Record: 7-7
  • The Lions earned a road split to end the regular season, defeating San Diego, 72-69, before falling at Saint Mary's, 88-80. The Lions' 16 wins are the program's most since going 18-11 in 1995-96. LMU's 13-game improvement from last season is the second best turn-around in the nation this season as of Mar. 1. (Coastal Carolina is +14).

  • Junior Vernon Teel and sophomore Drew Viney were selected to the All-WCC First Team, while freshman Ashley Hamilton was selected to the All-WCC Freshman Team. Viney and Teel become just the 11th LMU duo to take home first-team All-WCC honors.

  • The Lions, who do not have a senior on the roster, have more than tripled last year's WCC win total.

  • The Lions enter the WCC Tournament as the #5 seed and will take on rival Pepperdine (3/5) in the first round this weekend.

  • Overall Record: 7-23
    WCC Record: 3-11
  • Pepperdine dropped a pair of games to close out conference play, falling at Saint Mary's, 76-49, and at San Diego, 65-48.

  • Sophomore guard Keion Bell and junior forward Mychel Thompson earned All-West Coast Conference honorable mention. Bell, who has scored 20 or more points 14 times this season, needs just 38 more points to become the 35th player in Pepperdine history to surpass 1,000 career points. Thompson is second on the team with 11.8 points overall and 12.4 points in WCC play. He leads the team with 48 three-pointers made and 19 blocked shots.

  • Pepperdine, which has no seniors and has a roster where 11 of the 15 players are underclassmen, was led in scoring by its sophomore class for the 27th time in 28 games.

  • The Waves are the #8 seed in the WCC Tournament and will take on rival Loyola Marymount (3/5) in the first round on Friday.

  • Overall Record: 20-9
    WCC Record: 10-4
  • The Portland Pilots closed out conference play by defeating San Francisco, 70-59, and Santa Clara, 68-55.

  • UP's leading scorer Nik Raivio has missed the last nine games with a strained Achilles.

  • The Pilots finished in third place in the WCC standings for the second straight season, a first in program history, while the 19 league wins over a two-year period are the most ever for the Pilots. Portland's 10 WCC wins this season tied the most in UP history (1994-95).

  • Portland seniors T.J. Campbell and Robin Smeulders were named to the All-WCC first team, while juniors Jared Stohl and Luke Sikma earned honorable mention honors.

  • The Pilots earned the #3 seed in the WCC Tournament and will have a first round bye before taking the court in the quarterfinals (3/6) on Saturday.

  • Overall Record: 24-5
    WCC Record: 11-3
  • Saint Mary's closed out WCC play with a 76-49 win over Pepperdine, before defeating Loyola Marymount, 88-80.

  • Senior center Omar Samhan tied his career-high with 33 points to lead the Gaels past LMU. Samhan now has 623 points on the season, breaking Eric Schraeder's SMC single-season record of 614 set in 1998-99 season. He also moved past David Vann (1978-82) for second on the Gaels' all-time list with 1,745 career points.

  • Samhan was named the WCC Defensive Player of the Year and was joined on the All-WCC first team by junior Mickey McConnell, while Matthew Dellavedova was selected to the All-WCC freshman team.

  • Saint Mary's is the #2 seed in the WCC Tournament and will have a double-bye until the semifinals (3/7) on Sunday.

  • Overall Record: 10-20
    WCC Record: 3-11
  • The Toreros closed out conference play by dropping a 72-69 decision to LMU before bouncing back to defeat Pepperdine, 65-48.

  • On Senior Night, seniors Brandon Johnson, Chris Lewis, and Roberto Mafra each scored in double digits to lift the Toreros over the Waves. The trio of senior Toreros combined to score 34 points, with Mafra leading all Toreros with 13 points and seven rebounds. Johnson, who is USD's all-time assists (518) and career scoring leader (1,772 career points), is the only player in WCC history to lead his school in both categories.

  • Senior guard De'Jon Jackson suffered a season-ending injury (ACL tear in left knee) in USD's 72-70 overtime loss to USF. This season Jackson appeared in 22 games with 21 starts and was second on the team in scoring at 12.0 ppg.

  • San Diego is the #6 seed and will take on #7 Santa Clara in first round (3/5) on Friday.

  • Overall Record: 12-17
    WCC Record: 7-7
  • San Francisco dropped a pair of road contests, falling 70-59 at Portland, before suffering a 75-69 loss at Gonzaga.

  • Senior forward Dior Lowhorn was named to the All-WCC first team for the third consecutive season. Lowhorn enters the 2010 Zappos.com WCC Tournament just shy of 2,000 career combined points at 1,985. The fifth-year senior scored 230 as a true freshman at Texas Tech in 2005-06. Lowhorn has an outside chance at moving into the No. 3 spot on the USF career scoring list and needs 51 points to pass three-time All-WCC selection Darrell Tucker (1999-03), who scored 1,805 in his standout four-year career.

  • USF's seven WCC triumphs are the most since going 8-6 in 2007.

  • The Dons earned the #4 seed in the WCC Tournament and will have a first round bye before taking the court in the quarterfinals (3/6) on Saturday.

  • Overall Record: 11-20
    WCC Record: 3-11
  • The Broncos ended the regular season with an 88-51 setback at Gonzaga before falling at Portland, 68-55.

  • Sophomore forward Marc Trasolini and freshman point guard Robert Smith earned league honors. Trasolini was named to the All-WCC honorable mention team and Smith was named to the five-man WCC all-freshman team. Trasolini leads the team with 14.0 ppg, 6.2 rpg and 1.7 bpg, while Smith is second on the team with 12.0 ppg and has broken the Santa Clara freshman school record for minutes, playing 1,020 minutes this season.

  • Sophomore guard Kevin Foster, the 2008-09 WCC Co-Newcomer of the Year, is out indefinitely with a right foot injury. Foster, who was averaging 19.8 points per game this season, injured his foot in the final minutes of Santa Clara's 79-68 victory at UC Santa Barbara on Dec. 1.

  • The Broncos are the #7 seed and will face #6 San Diego in the first round (3/5) on Friday.