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WCC weekly men's basketball notes, March 15, 2011

March 14, 2011

Complete Release in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader


AROUND THE WCC

Five WCC Teams See Postseason Action
For the first time in the history of the West Coast Conference, five of eight WCC teams will participate in the postseason. Three WCC teams will begin play Tuesday night, with Portland visiting Hawaii and Santa Clara hosting Northern Arizona in the CIT. At 8 p.m., Saint Mary's welcomes Kent State to Moraga for an NIT contest on ESPN2.

WCC Quick Hits...

  • For the first time in West Coast Conference history, five WCC teams will participate in postseason play.
  • The WCC has produced multiple 20-win teams in each of the last five years.
  • Gonzaga will participate in its 13th consecutive NCAA Tournament. The Bulldogs are 15-14 in NCAA Tournament games all-time, and current WCC teams have combined for 61 NCAA Tournament victories.
  • Saint Mary's becomes the first WCC team to take part in the NIT since the Gaels were NIT participants in 2009. Current WCC members are 11-16 in the NIT all-time.
  • Santa Clara will be making its first postseason appearance in 14 years.
  • San Francisco will participate in postseason play for the first time since 2005.
  • Portland will appear in the Collegeinsder.com Postseason Tournament (CIT) for the third consecutive season.

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.

2011 Zappos.com West Coast Conference Championships All-Tournament Team
At the conclusion of the Zappos.com WCC Basketball Championships, the conference announced the all-tournament team, as voted on by members of the media in attendance:

Marquise Carter, GON:14.5 ppg, 2.0 steals/game, 13-of-15 FT
Matthew Dellavedova, SMC:17.0 ppg, 4.5 apg., 80 min.
Steven Gray, GON:11.0 ppg., 6.0 rpg.
Mickey McConnell, SMC:17.0 ppg., 4.0 apg.
Michael Williams, USF:17.5 ppg., 4.5 rpg.
MVP: Marquise Carter, GON

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.

 


 
WCC TEAM NOTES

SCHOOL TEAM NOTES

Overall Record: 24-9
WCC Record: 11-3
  • Gonzaga won its sixth WCC tournament crown in the last eight years, beating No. 3 San Francisco 71-67 in the semis and top seed Saint Mary's 75-63 in the WCC title game. The Bulldogs won a share of their 11th straight regular season title.
  • Redshirt junior guard Marquise Carter was named Zappos.com WCC Tournament MVP and the WCC Newcomer of the Year. Carter started GU's final eight regular season games, shooting 63% in his final four WCC contests.
  • 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, winners of nine straight, are the 11 seed in the NCAA Southeast Region. Gonzaga will take on sixth seed St. John's Thursday at approximately 6:45 p.m. PDT (CBS).

Overall Record: 11-21
WCC Record: 2-12
  • Loyola Marymount topped No. 5 Portland, 72-68, in the opening round of the 2011 Zappos.com West Coast Conference Basketball Championships. The following day, the eighth-seeded Lions fell 76-68 to No. 4 Santa Clara.
  • 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 concludes its season with an 11-21 overall record. The Lions lose just two players from their 2010-11 roster.

Overall Record: 12-21
WCC Record: 5-9
  • Pepperdine outlasted No. 7 San Diego, 84-81, in the opening round of the 2011 Zappos.com WCC Basketball Championships. The sixth-seeded Waves then fell 76-59 to No. 3 San Francisco in the quarterfinals.
  • 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.
  • Pepperdine concludes its season with a record of 12-21. Following the tournament, head coach Tom Asbury announced his retirement, and Associate Head Coach Marty Wilson was promoted to lead the Waves beginning in 2011-12.

Overall Record: 20-11
WCC Record: 7-7
  • The fifth-seeded Pilots were upset by LMU, 72-68, in the opening round of the 2011 Zappos.com WCC Basketball Championships in Las Vegas.
  • 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 nearly 42% of their attempts from long range, good for second nationally. Both Mitrovic and Stohl are in the top 20 in three-point field goal percentage.
  • For the third consecutive season, the Pilots will participate in the Collegeinsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT). Portland will visit Hawaii in an opening round game on Tuesday night at 10 p.m. PST.

Overall Record: 25-8
WCC Record: 11-3
  •  Saint Mary's downed Santa Clara, 73-64, in the semifinal round of the Zappos.com WCC Basketball Championships, and fell 75-63 to Gonzaga in the title game. The Gaels captured a share of their first WCC regular season title since 1997.
  • Senior guard Mickey McConnell was named the WCC Player of the Year, 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 host Kent State Tuesday night in the first round of the NIT. Tip-off is set for just after 8 p.m. from McKeon Pavilion, with the game televised on ESPN2.

Overall Record: 6-24
WCC Record: 2-12
  • San Diego came up just short against No. 6 Pepperdine, falling 84-81 to the Waves in the opening round of the 2011 Zappos.com West Coast Conference Basketball Championships in Las Vegas.
  • Junior guard Darian Norris was San Diego's leading scorer this season, averaging 10.4 points per night.
  • Sophomore forward Chris Manresa was the team's leader in both rebounds (5.4) and blocked shots (22).
  • San Diego closes its season with a 6-24 record. One of the youngest teams in the West Coast Conference, the Toreros lose just two players to graduation: captain Devin Ginty and guard Matt Dorr.

Overall Record: 17-14
WCC Record: 10-4
  • San Francisco downed No. 6 Pepperdine, 76-59 in the Zappos.com WCC quarterfinals, before falling 71-67 to eventual champ Gonzaga in the semifinal round. Sophomore G Michael Williams was voted to the All-Tournament Team.
  • 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 makes its first postseason appearance since 2005, as the Dons have been invited to participated in the Collegeinsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT). USF will host Idaho at 7 p.m. on Wednesday night.

Overall Record: 19-14
WCC Record: 8-6
  • Santa Clara downed No. 8 Loyola Marymount, 76-68, in the quarterfinals of the Zappos.com WCC Basketball Championships. The Broncos fell 73-64 to Saint Mary's in the semifinals.
  • Redshirt sophomore guard Kevin Foster garnered All-Conference recognition. He leads the nation 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 make their first postseason appearance since 1987, hosting Northern Arizona on Tuesday night in the Collegeinsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT). Game time is set for 7 p.m. from the Leavey Center.