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WCC Weekly Men's Basketball Notes: Nov. 23, 2010

Nov. 23, 2010

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AROUND THE WCC

Coliaro named WCC Player of the Week
San Francisco junior forward Angelo Coliaro was named WCC Player of the Week on Nov. 22. He turned in one of the most electric performances of his career in USF's 83-81 overtime triumph against Colorado (11/20/10). Caloiaro shattered his career-high with 26 points on 6-for-7 shooting from three-point range to go along with eight rebounds and two assists in the Dons' come-from behind win. For the week, Caloiaro averaged 17.5 points per game, sinking eight three pointers. For the seaason, Caloiaro leads the Dons in scoring at 17.7 points per game, and is averaging nine boards per contest.

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.

Nothing Like Home Cookin'
Early on in the 2010-11 season, West Coast Conference teams are faring very well on their home floor.
SCHOOL (HOME RECORD)
Saint Mary's (4-0)
Portland (3-0)
Santa Clara (3-0)
San Francisco (2-0)
Gonzaga (2-1)
Loyola Marymount (1-1)
San Diego (1-2)
Pepperdine (0-1)
TOTAL (16-5)

Late Night Fun
The Saint Mary's Gaels made their first national television appearance of the season when they welcomed St. John's to McKeon Pavilion on Nov. 16 as part of the ESPN College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon. Though the game didn't tip until after 11 p.m., that didn't stop the fans at sold-out McKeon from getting into it. Junior forward Clint Steindl wowed the crowd by knocking down a career-high seven three pointers in a 76-71 Saint Mary's win. Steindl finished with a personal-best 22 points in the victory.

Rackin' Up the Frequent Flyer Miles
Although the season is young, WCC teams haven't been afraid to hop on a plane to face the nation's best. West Coast Conference teams have already played games in seven states this season (California, Idaho, Illinois, Massachusetts, Missouri, Oregon, Washington). Over the coming week, WCC teams will play games in Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, and Texas.

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. The 2011 Zappos.com WCC Championships will take place at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas for the third consecutive season. The previous two tournaments were sellouts, and tickets for 2011 are going fast. 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: 2-2
WCC Record: 0-0
  • Gonzaga, ranked 18th in this week's USA Today/ESPN coaches poll, dropped decisions to #25 San Diego State and #4 Kansas State last week.

  • Senior Steven Gray is the leading scorer in the West Coast Conference, averaging 23.0 points per game. Gray is also a key distributor, holding the top spot in assists in the WCC as well. He is averaging 6.5 helpers per contest.

  • Through four games, junior center Robert Sacre leads the Zags in rebounds per game (6.5) and blocked shots with 5.

  • Gonzaga faces Marquette on Tuesday in the O'Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic (ESPNU) in Kansas City and then will have a week off from game competition.

  • Overall Record: 2-3
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Loyola Marymount dropped a tough two-point decision at Bradley, and then went 1-1 at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Tipoff over the weekend, besting Dowling before falling to Rider.

  • The Lions have out-rebounded their opposition in each of their five games so far this season, by an average of over 13 boards per game.

  • Preseason All-WCC selection Drew Viney is averaging 17 points per game, good for fifth in the conference. Viney's 7.0 rebounds per contest places him in a tie for sixth overall.

  • Loyola Marymount travels to Cal Poly on Wednesday and Long Beach State on Saturday. The Lions are 1-2 away from Gersten Pavilion so far this season.

  • Overall Record: 1-4
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Pepperdine lost its first home game of the season to Cal State Bakersfield on Thursday, before traveling to Springfield, Mo. to take on Missouri State in the Dick's Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off.

  • Junior guard Keion Bell leads the Waves and ranks second in the conference in scoring at 22 points per contest. He scored a season-best 26 against CSU Bakersfield.

  • Senior forward Mychel Thompson is sixth in the WCC in scoring (16.8 points/game) and third overall in steals with ten.

  • The Waves conclude play in the 2010 Dick's Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off against Arkansas State on Tuesday, and return home to host Northern Arizona on Sunday.

  • Overall Record: 4-1
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Portland fell to Kentucky in front of over 10,000 at Rose Garden on Friday, but got back on the winning track the following night with a 13 point victory at Idaho.

  • Last week's WCC Co-Player of the Week Luke Sikma leads the WCC and ranks second nationally on the glass, averaging 13.8 rebounds per game.

  • Senior guard Jared Stohl, a WCC preseason all-conference selection, is already the school's all-time leader in three-point field goals. His 17 so far this season ranks second in the WCC.

  • The Pilots travel to Seattle on Tuesday night (FSN Northwest) to take on Washington State in the Cougar Hardwood Classic. Portland is back home Saturday night to take on UC Santa Barbara.

  • Overall Record: 4-0
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Saint Mary's remains the lone unbeaten after home wins over Point Loma Nazarene and Mississippi Valley State.

  • Senior guard Mickey McConnell averaged over 15 points, four assists and two steals last week as the Gaels won three home games. Overall, McConnell is 12-for-24 beyond the arc.

  • The Gaels lead the WCC in scoring defense (58.5 points allowed), scoring margin (+29), free throw percentage (82.2%), and field goal percentage defense (35.2%).

  • Saint Mary's continues play in the South Padre Island Invitational on Tuesday against Chicago State. The Gaels then head to South Padre Island, Texas, to complete the tournament over the weekend in a pair of TV games (Fox College Sports) against Texas Tech and either South Florida or future WCC member BYU.

  • Overall Record: 1-3
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • The Toreros dropped home decisions to both Boise State and CSU Fullerton over the weekend.

  • Junior guard Darian Norris, senior guard Matt Dorr, and sophomore forward Ken Rancifer have all scored in double figures in three of the Toreros' four games.

  • Sophomore forward Chris Manresa is the WCC's leading shot-blocker, with nine blocks through the team's first four games. Overall, San Diego is tied for the West Coast Conference lead, blocking an average of four shots per contest.

  • San Diego does not return to action until Sunday, when the Toreros visit New Mexico. That game precludes a stretch where the Toreros will play three games in a seven-day span.

  • Overall Record: 2-1
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • San Francisco fell at San Jose State last week before topping Colorado on Saturday in an overtime thriller at War Memorial Gym. Dating back to last season, the Dons have won five straight at home.

  • Junior forward Angelo Caloiaro was named WCC Player of the Week. He turned in a career effort in the Dons' 83-81 win over Colorado, scoring a personal best 26 points, while knocking down 6-of-7 attempts from beyond the arc. For the season Caloiaro ranks fourth in the WCC in scoring (17.7 ppg) and is tied for second in rebounding (9.0 rpg).

  • Sophomore guard Michael Williams drained the decisive free throws with 1.7 seconds on the clock in the Colorado win. Williams ranks second on the team in scoring (15.3 ppg).

  • USF travels to Bozeman on Wednesday night to take on Montana State. The Dons return home Saturday afternoon to host Loyola (Chicago).

  • Overall Record: 3-1
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • The Broncos ran their record to 3-0 at the Leavey Center with wins over Rice and Bethune-Cookman last week.

  • Junior forward Marc Trasolini is among the West Coast Conference leaders in scoring (13.3 ppg), rebounding (7.5 rpg), and blocked shots (1.5 blocks per game).

  • Redshirt sophomore guard Kevin Foster scored 21 points and was 6-of-10 from long range in Santa Clara's win over Bethune-Cookman. Three days earlier, the former WCC Co-Newcomer of the Year sank the game-winning shot in the come-from-behind win over the Owls.

  • Santa Clara hosts Northern Colorado in the iBN Sports Las Vegas Invitational on Tuesday night , before taking on Arizona and and Ohio at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas on Friday and Saturday.