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WCC Weekly Men's Basketball Notes

Nov. 24, 2009

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ALL EIGHT WCC SCHOOLS ENTER THIRD WEEK OF NON-CONFERENCE PLAY

Gonzaga, Portland and Saint Mary's continued their hot starts last week as the three schools are off to a combined 9-2 start in the 2009-10 season. The WCC also pulled off a pair of Pac-10 wins on Saturday night with Portland defeating Oregon and Loyola Marymount winning at USC.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

All Times PST

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 24
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
LOYOLA MARYMOUNT at Tulsa Tulsa, OK
5:00 PM
GONZAGA vs. Wisconsin Lahaina, Maui
6:30 PM
ESPN
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 25
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
Montana State at SAN FRANCISCO San Francisco, CA
7:00 PM
Northern Arizona at SANTA CLARA Santa Clara, CA
7:00 PM
Cal Maritime at SAINT MARY'S Moraga, CA
7:05 PM
SAN DIEGO vs. Oklahoma Anchorage, AK
10:45 PM
GONZAGA vs. Cincinnati/Maryland Lahaina, Maui
TBA
ESPN/EPSN2
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
PORTLAND vs. UCLA Anaheim, CA
7:30 PM
ESPN2
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 27
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
PEPPERDINE vs. Hampton Laramie, WY
3:30 PM
PORTLAND vs. Minnesota Anaheim, CA
6:30 PM/8:30 PM
SAN DIEGO vs. Houston Anchorage, AK
8:30 PM
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 28
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
Fresno State at SANTA CLARA Santa Clara, CA
2:00 PM
PEPPERDINE vs. Monmouth Laramie, WY
3:30 PM
UC Santa Barbara at LOYOLA MARYMOUNT Los Angeles, CA
7:30 PM
SAN DIEGO vs. TBA Anchorage, AK
TBA
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 29
TEAMS LOCATION
TIME
RECAP
SAN FRANCISCO at Colorado State Fort Collins, CO
1:00 PM
PEPPERDINE at Wyoming Laramie, WY
2:00 PM
PORTLAND vs. TBA Portland, OR
Anaheim, CA
ESPN/ESPN2

AROUND THE WCC

WCC Co-Players of the Week
T.J. Campbell, Portland, G, 5-9, Jr., Phoenix, AZ
Campbell led Portland to home wins over Seattle (98-81) and Oregon(88-81). He averaged 18.5 points and 8.0 assists per game and shot71 percent from the field (10-of-14).

Omar Samhan, Saint Mary's, C, 6-11, RSr., San Ramon, CA
Samhan posted back-to-back double-doubles against San Diego Stateand Vanderbilt. He averaged 21.0 points, 17.5 rebounds, and 2.5 blocksper game and shot 17-of-35 (48.6 percent) from the field.

Also Nominated: Keion Bell (Pepperdine), Jarred DuBois (LMU), De'Jon Jackson (San Diego) and Robert Sacre (Gonzaga)

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.

2009-10 WCC Men's Basketball Preseason All-Conference
Keion Bell, PEP
Matt Bouldin, GON
T.J. Campbell, POR
Jared DuBois, LMU
Kevin Foster, SCU
Steven Gray, GON
Brandon Johnson, USD
Dior Lowhorn, USF
Nik Raivio, POR
Omar Samhan, SMC

Three WCC Teams Advance To The Postseason For Second Consecutive Season
For just the sixth time in conference history, three WCC men's basketball teams advanced to the postseason. Gonzaga, the WCC regular season and conference tournament champion, earned the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen before falling to eventual National Champion North Carolina. Saint Mary's was a No. 2 seed in the NIT and advanced to the quarterfinals, while Portland earned an invitation to the inaugural Collegeinsider.com Tournament.

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's Matt Bouldin Named 2010 John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 50
Gonzaga University senior guard Matt Bouldin has been named to the 2009-10 preseason candidates for the John R. Wooden Award All-American Team and Player of the Year trophy. Bouldin started 33 of 34 games a year ago, his only non-start coming on Senior Night. He averaged 13.6 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 3.4 apg and shot 49.1 percent from the field, going 156-for-318. He also shot 42.3 percent from 3-point range, connecting on 55-of-130 from long range. Eleven conferences are represented on the Wooden Award Preseason List. Leading the way is the Big East (11), followed by the ACC (10), Big 10 (8), SEC (7), Big 12 (6), Pac-10 (3), and Atlantic 10, CAA, Horizon, WAC and West Coast with one apiece.

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 three-year deal, effective through the 2011-12 season, marks the WCC's first-ever title sponsorship. In addition to its financial sponsorship, 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.

Gonzaga Edges Portland For Top Spot In 2009-10 WCC Preseason Coaches Poll
Gonzaga was selected as the favorite to capture an unprecedented 10th consecutive West 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 is 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 Men's Basketball Teams To Make 31 Appearances On ESPN's Family Of Networks
ESPN recently announced its 2009-10 men's basketball schedule which will feature approximately 1,100 games across the networks multiple platforms. The West Coast Conference is among the featured conferences as WCC teams are scheduled to make 31 appearances, including 14 WCC regular season games, on ESPN's family of networks.

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


WCC TEAM NOTES

SCHOOL TEAM NOTES

Overall Record: 3-1
WCC Record: 0-0
  • The Bulldogs opened the week with a 75-71 nationally-televised loss at #2/2 Michigan State (4-0) in a game where the Zags led by as many as 13 points. Gonzaga returned home to post a 90-55 victory over Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne (1-3) on Friday before recording a 76-72 win over Colorado (3-1) in the opening round of the EA Sports Maui Invitational on Tuesday.

  • Junior Steven Gray had a career-high 27 points in the win over Colorado as the Bulldogs came all the way back from a 15-point first half deficit (36-21).

  • Thanks to the near-upset win at #2/2 Michigan State, the Bulldogs are now just outside the top 25 in both polls. The Bulldogs moved from 38th to 26th in this week's Associated Press Poll and from tied for 36th to 28th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll.

  • Gonzaga will face Wisconsin (3-0) on ESPN in the semifinals of the Maui Invitational on Tuesday night, and will play either Cincinnati (3-0) or #21/22 Maryland (4-0) on national television in the final round of the Maui Invitational on Wednesday.

  • Overall Record: 2-3
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Loyola Marymount won its first game at USC (1-1) since the 1976-77season opener with a 67-59 victory over the Trojans on Saturday night at theGalen Center. The Lions trailed 46-36 with 15:18 remaining, but finished the game on a 31-13run to win going away and snap a 24-game road losing streak that dated back to the 2007-08season (last road win was Dec. 8, 2007 against Boise State).

  • The Lions opened the week with a 82-76 home loss to UC Irvine (2-2) despite 30 points from junior Drew Viney.

  • The Lions do not have a senior on the 2009-10 roster and feature eight freshmen, sevensophomores and three juniors. This youth has led to four different starting lineups in the Lions'first five games.

  • The Lions take on a pair of unbeatens this week as they visit Tulsa (4-0) on Tuesday beforereturning home to host UC Santa Barbara (3-0) on Saturday. The Lions play five of their first sixon the road, but will then play five of eight at home in the month of December.

  • Overall Record: 1-3
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • The Waves went 1-2 in a stretch of three games in seven days, includinga 72-70 victory over NCAA Division II Cal State San Bernardino (1-1) on Friday that was their firstwin of the season. Pepperdine fell at home to Long Beach State (3-1) 75-71 on Tuesday, despitea 54-33 rebounding advantage, and dropped a 71-52 decision at UCLA (2-1) on Monday.

  • Sophomore guard Keion Bell had 22 points, including 19 in the second half, at UCLA and hasscored 20 or more points in all four games this season. He is the first Wave to accomplish thatfeat since Glen McGowan in January 2005 and the first Pepperdine player to start a seasonwith four 20-plus point games since Dane Suttle Sr. in 1982-83 (Dane Suttle Jr. is currently asophomore guard for the Waves).

  • The Waves travel to Laramie, Wyoming, this weekend for the four-team World Vision Challenge.Pepperdine will play Hampton (0-3) on Friday, Monmouth (1-3) on Saturday and hostWyoming (2-1) on Sunday.

  • Overall Record: 3-0
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Portland jumped out its first 3-0 start since 2002-03, and second in thelast 10 years, with a pair of home wins against regional opponents. ThePilots defeated Seattle (2-2) 98-81 on Tuesday before knocking off in-staterival Oregon (3-2) 88-81 on Saturday.

  • The win over Oregon was the WCC's third over a Pac-10opponent this season (3-2 overall). The Pilots erased a 45-37 halftime deficit against the Ducks,and have outscored opponents 144-114 in the second half this season.

  • Junior guard T.J. Campbell was named WCC Co-Player of the Week for Nov. 16-22 afteraveraging 18.5 points and 8.0 assists per game in wins over Seattle and Oregon.

  • Portland travels to Southern California to face a talented field in the nationally-televised 76Classic in Anaheim, California. The Pilots open up against UCLA (2-1) on Thursday at 7:30p.m. on ESPN2 and will face either #10/12 Butler (3-0) or #T16/22 Minnesota (3-0) on Fridayon ESPNU.

  • Overall Record: 3-1
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Saint Mary's continued its season-opening five-game homestand with a72-70 loss to Vanderbilt (2-1) on Friday and a 92-67 victory over Cal Poly(0-4) on Monday. Vanderbilt led by 14 points (57-43) with just under 15 minutes remaining butthe Gaels cut the lead to one (71-70) with nine seconds remaining and missed a potential gamewinning3-pointer at the buzzer.

  • The Gaels shot 58.9 (33-of-56) percent from the floor againstCal Poly, including 66.7 (18-of-27) percent in the first half.

  • Saint Mary's fifth-year senior center Omar Samhan picked up the Gaels' second WCC Co-Playerof the Week honors in as many weeks by averaging 21.0 points, 17.5 rebounds and 2.5 blocksagainst San Diego State and Vanderbilt (Nov. 16-22). Samhan followed that up with a career-high33 points and 12 rebounds against Cal Poly for the 26th double-double of his career.

  • The Gaels play host to the NAIA Division II Cal Maritime Keelhaulers (2-6) on Wednesdayand will be idle over Thanksgiving weekend.

  • Overall Record: 2-1
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • USD opened the week with a 56-55 loss at Pacific (4-0) on Monday in anESPN BracketBusters return game. The Toreros erased a 10-point deficitin the final seven minutes, but missed a potential game-winning shot at thebuzzer. The Toreros responded with an 84-66 win over NAIA Division I Point Loma Nazarene(1-3) on Wednesday. USD tied a school single game record with 10 blocked shots in the win.

  • Senior guard De'Jon Jackson was named WCC Co-Player of the Week from Nov. 9-15, andfollowed up the accolades with another big week. Jackson averaged 17.5 points, 6.5 rebounds,3.5 assists and 1.5 steals against Pacific and Point Loma Nazarene.

  • San Diego makes its first-ever trip to the Great Alaska Shootout this week and will play threegames in four days.

  • In pool play of the six-team event, the Toreros take on #25/-- Oklahoma (2-1) on Wednesday and Houston (1-1) on Friday. USD will play Alaska Anchorage (2-0), NichollsState (0-5) or Washington State (3-0) in the final round on Saturday.

  • Overall Record: 2-2
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • USF opened a stretch of five of six away from home with a 104-65 defeatat Arizona State (4-0) on Friday and a 76-65 loss at UC Santa Barbara(3-0) on Monday. Senior Dior Lowhorn had a game-high 26 points againstthe Gauchos and 12 points against the Sun Devils, while sophomore Kwame Vaughn had 17points at ASU and 11 points at UCSB.

  • Senior Dior Lowhorn, who was named to the 2009-10 WCC Preseason All-WCC Team,became the first player to lead the WCC in scoring during conference play in back-to-backseasons since Gonzaga's Jeff Brown accomplished the feat in 1992-93 and 1993-94. Lowhorn,who ranks 15th on USF's all-time scoring list with 1,322 career points, averaged 20.5 pointsper game in conference play in both 2007-08 and 2008-09.

  • San Francisco returns home to take on Montana State (1-2) on Wednesday before startinga three-game road swing at Colorado State (2-2) on Sunday.

  • Overall Record: 2-2
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • The Broncos opened the five-team West Coast Classic by falling at SanDiego State (3-1) 86-53 on Wednesday and at Pacific (4-0) 84-57 on Sunday.Freshman Niyi Harrison had a team-high 14 points and seven rebounds against San DiegoState, while Kevin Foster had a game-high 22 points and five steals at Pacific.

  • Sophomore guard Kevin Foster (14.7 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 2.5 apg last year), the 2009 WCC Co-Newcomer of the Year, was named to the 2009-10 Preseason All-WCC Team. Foster broke former Bronco Steve Nash's single-season record for 3-pointers last season when he hit 85 (Nash hit 84 in 1995). Foster has picked up where he left off by averaging 20.7 points, 3.0 steals and 2.3 assists thus far this season.

  • Santa Clara wraps up play in the West Coast Classic with a pair of home games this week.The Broncos, who play their first nine games in the state of California, take on Northern Arizona (1-3) on Wednesday and Fresno State (2-2) on Saturday.