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WCC weekly men's basketball notes, March 16, 2011

March 16, 2011

Complete Release in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader


Bulldogs Start NCAA Play Thursday
Three West Coast Conference teams remain alive in the postseason. Santa Clara earned a CIT victory on Tuesday, San Francisco begins CIT competition on Wednesday, and Gonzaga starts NCAA Tournament play on Thursday night. The Bulldogs take on St. John's from Denver, in a nationally-televised game on CBS.

WCC Quick Hits...

  • For the first time in West Coast Conference history, five of the eight WCC member institutions 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.
  • Santa Clara earned its first postseason victory in 15 years on Tuesday night with a win in the CIT first round.
  • San Francisco will participate in postseason play for the first time since 2005.
  • Saint Mary's was the first WCC team to take part in the NIT since the Gaels were NIT participants in 2009. Current WCC members are 11-17 in the NIT all-time.
  • Portland made its third consecutive appearance in the Collegeinsder.com Postseason Tournament (CIT).

Record Five WCC Teams See Postseason Action
For the first time in conference history, five West Coast Conference men's basketball teams have advanced to the postseason following the 2011 WCC campaign. Gonzaga, the 2011 Zappos.com West Coast Conference Tournament Champion, will make its 13th consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament. 2011 WCC Regular Season Co-Champion Saint Mary's took part in the NIT for the second time in the last three seasons. Santa Clara, San Francisco, and Portland each earned an invitation to the Collegeinsider.com Postseason Tournament. The Broncos and Dons both hosted first round games, while the Pilots made their third consecutive CIT appearance.

Don't Miss a Special "WCC Live" Postseason Edition
The West Coast Conference's weekly Internet radio show, WCC Live, is back with a special postseason edition. Hosted by Jeff Lampe, the hour-long show features live interviews with WCC coaches and student-athletes throughout the basketball season. This week's stream premieres 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, and can also interact with guests through e-mail and Twitter. The show can be found at: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/WCCsports. Fans can and chat live by calling (877) 779-6383 or by e-mailing their questions at any time to radio@westcoast.org.

March 16 show (listen live or on-demand):

  • Gonzaga broadcaster Tom Hudson
  • WCCsports.com's George Devine live from the USF-Idaho CIT game
  • Gonzaga women's coach Kelly Graves

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.

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: 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: 20-12
WCC Record: 7-7
  • Portland came up on the short end of a 76-64 score to Hawai'i in the opening round of the Collegeinsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT) on Tuesday night.
  • 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.
  • The Pilots conclude their season with a 20-12 mark. UP has appeared in the postseason in each of the last three campaigns.

Overall Record: 25-9
WCC Record: 11-3
  •  Saint Mary's dropped a heartbreaking 71-70 game to Kent State in the opening round of the NIT on Tuesday night at McKeon Pavilion.
  • 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.
  • Saint Mary's caps its season with a 25-9 record. The Gaels captured a share of their first WCC regular season title since 1997.

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: 20-14
WCC Record: 8-6
  • Santa Clara held off Northern Arizona, 68-63, on Tuesday night in the opening round of the Collegeinsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT). Senior Troy Payne led the way with 18 points and nine boards.
  • 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 will continue action in the CIT with their next opponent and game date to be determined.