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WCC Weekly Men's Basketball Release, Nov. 16, 2010

Nov. 16, 2010

Complete Release in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader


2010-11 WCC Season Off to Memorable Start

Less than a week in to the 2010-11 West Coast Conference men's basketball season, there have already been some memorable moments and impressive wins, including a nationally-televised 76-71 victory by Saint Mary's over St. John's in Moraga late Monday night.

AROUND THE WCC

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

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.

Two Named To Wooden Preseason List
Gonzaga's Steven Gray and Elias Harris are on the John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 list announced by The Los Angeles Athletic Club. The list is comprised of 50 student-athletes who, based on last year's individual performance and team records, are the early frontrunners for college basketball's most prestigious honor. Gray, a senior from Irondale, Wash., and Harris, a sophomore from Speyer, Germany, give the Bulldogs 10 nominees in the history of the award. Gray and Harris each started all 34 games for the Bulldogs last season. They are the top two returning scorers for the Bulldogs, Harris averaging 14.9 ppg and Gray 13.6 ppg last season. Harris was the top field goal shooter last year, shooting 54.7 percent from the field (180-for-329), and also paced the Bulldogs in rebounds at 7.1 rpg. Both Bulldogs were named to the All-West Coast Conference first team, and Harris was tabbed the WCC Newcomer of the Year by the conference coaches.

Zappos.com Named 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.

Zappos.com WCC Championships Tickets On-Sale
Tickets for the 2011 Zappos.com WCC Men's and Women's Basketball Championships are now on-sale. The 2011 West Coast Conference Basketball Championships will once again be held March 4-7 at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. The 2011 Zappos.com WCC Championships will be held at the Orleans Arena for the third consecutive season, and the previous two tournaments were sellouts. Tickets can be purchased by logging on to www.orleansarena.com or by calling 1-888-234-2334. All-session tickets are $135 - less than $10 per game for the 14-game tournament.

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 beginning with the Saint Mary's-St. John's game on November 15. 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.

Make sure to download the full release to view the full TV schedule.


WCC TEAM NOTES

SCHOOL TEAM NOTES

Overall Record: 2-0
WCC Record: 0-0
  • Gonzaga, ranked 11th in this week's Associated Press poll, is off to a 2-0 start after home wins over Southern and IUPUI.

  • Senior Steven Gray was named Co-WCC Player of the Week after putting up impressive numbers over the weekend. The guard averaged 21 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 8.5 assists per game, while scoring his 1,000th career point. Gray is the only senior on the Zags roster.

  • With the pair of home wins to start the 2010-11 season, Gonzaga improved its record to 77-4 all-time at the McCarthey Athletic Center, a winning percentage of .951.

  • Gonzaga hosts No 25 San Diego State on Tuesday night on ESPN2 as part of the ESPN College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon. The game is also the first round of the O'Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic, which will see the Zags face Kansas State, and either Marquette or Duke.

  • Overall Record: 1-1
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Loyola Marymount lost its home opener by an 81-79 score to Morgan State on Friday, before rebounding to top La Sierra 100-62 on Sunday.

  • 6-8 freshman forward Godwin Okonji leads the West Coast Conference in offensive rebounds, pulling down an average of six per game. The Nigeria native is averaging nine caroms over the Lions' first two contests.

  • Preseason All-WCC selection Drew Viney leads the Lions in scoring, averaging 20.5 points per game - good for fifth in the WCC. Viney is shooting better than 59% from the floor.

  • Loyola Marymount visits Bradley on Wednesday, and then will head to Springfield, Mass. to take part in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Tipoff beginning Saturday, facing Dowling and then Rider.

  • Overall Record: 0-2
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Pepperdine was the only West Coast Conference team to open its 2010-11 season on the road. With Monday night's game at UCLA, the Waves began the season with two straight road games for the first time since 1984-85.

  • Junior guard Keion Bell, a Preseason All-WCC selection, is tops in the conference in scoring at 23 points per game. In the opener at Portland State, he become the 35th player in Pepperdine history to score 1,000 career points.

  • Pepperdine is making its third all-time appearance in the NIT Season Tip-Off. The Waves also appeared in the event in 1985 and 2000.

  • The Waves take on Nevada Tuesday in the 2010 Dick's Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off, then open their home schedule vs. Bakersfield on Saturday.

  • Overall Record: 3-0
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Senior forward Luke Sikma was named Co-WCC Player of the Week after his MVP performance in the Athletes in Action Classic. Sikma averaged 11.3 points and 13 rebounds per game over the weekend.

  • Portland ran out to its second straight 3-0 start (5-0 last season) after winning the Athletes in Action Classic over the weekend. The Pilots are receiving top 25 votes (Associated Press poll) for the second straight season.

  • Senior guard Jared Stohl, a WCC preseason all-conference selection, scored his 1,000th career point in Sunday's win over Florida Atlantic.

  • Portland returns to the hardwood Friday night, when the Pilots host Kentucky at the Rose Garden. The Pilots hit the road for the first time this season Saturday evening at Idaho.

  • Overall Record: 2-0
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Saint Mary's is off to a 2-0 start after Monday night's 76-71 victory over visiting St. John's in the ESPN College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon.

  • Junior forward Clint Steindl buried a career-high seven three-pointers en route to a personal best 22-points in the Gaels' win over St. John's.

  • Through its first two games, Saint Mary's leads the West Coast Conference in steals, averaging 12.5 take-aways per game. The Gaels' 1.4 assist-to-turnover ratio ranks second in the conference.

  • Saint Mary's will play Point Loma Nazarene on Thursday, and then host Mississippi Valley State on Sunday in the first round of the South Padre Island Classic - a week-long event that will see the Gaels play four games, including a possible tilt against future WCC member BYU.

  • Overall Record: 1-1
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • The Toreros opened their season with a 17-point win over Occidental on Friday night before falling at Stanford on Monday.

  • Junior guard Darian Norris is leading the young Toreros (five freshmen, ten underclassmen) through the first two games of the season. He is 6-of-12 from the floor, averaging 11.5 points per contest.

  • Through a pair of games, San Diego is connecting on 39.5% of its three-point tries (15-of-38), and 81.5% of its attempts from the free throw line (22-of-27).

  • San Diego returns home on Friday night to host Boise State in a game to be televised on Cox 4 in San Diego. The Toreros will wrap up the weekend against CSU Fullerton on Sunday afternoon.

  • Overall Record: 1-0
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • San Francisco began the 2010-11 season with a 97-76 home victory over Seattle, improving head coach Rex Walters' record to 3-0 in openers.

  • Junior forward Angelo Caloiaro got off to a strong start once again for the Dons, scoring 18 points and pulling down 13 boards in the win over the Redhawks. He also tallied four assists and three steals in 29 minutes of action.

  • Sophomore guard Michael Williams had an impressive debut performance as well, scoring 18 points and grabbing eight rebounds in the Seattle game.

  • USF will hit the road for the first time on Wednesday night, when the Dons make the short trip south to take on San Jose State. San Francisco is back home on Saturday, and will be paid a visit by Colorado of the Big XII Conference.

  • Overall Record: 1-1
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • The Broncos opened their 2010-11season with an 82-77 victory over CSU Bakersfield on Friday night before falling at USC on Monday.

  • Junior forward Marc Trasolini got off to a strong start against the Roadrunners, scoring 17 points and pulling down ten boards. Trasolini ranks fifth all-time at SCU in blocked shots with 88.

  • Redshirt sophomore guard Kevin Foster scored 26 points at USC on Monday, and is averaging 22 points per game through the Broncos' first two. The 2008-09 WCC Co-Newcomer of the Year missed a majority of last season with a right foot injury.

  • Santa Clara returns to the Leavey Center on Thursday night to host Rice before taking on Bethune-Cookman on Sunday in Las Vegas as part of the iBN Las Vegas Invitational.