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WCC Weekly Men's Basketball Notes: Nov. 30, 2010

Nov. 30, 2010

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AROUND THE WCC

Stohl named WCC Player of the Week
Portland senior G Jared Stohl was named WCC Player of the Week on Nov. 29. Stohl made 5-of-12 three-pointers en route to a team-high 21 points vs. Washington St. In a win over UCSB, Stohl dropped a game-high 26 points, including 6-of-9 from three-point range and 8-of-9 from the free throw line. For the week, he averaged 23.5 points per game, shooting a combined 12-for-23 from the field (.522), 11-for-21 from three-point range (.524), and 12-of-13 at the foul line (.923). Stohl, already Portland's career leader in three-pointers made, moved into fifth place in the WCC record books with 273 career threes. He leads the nation in three-pointers made with 28 on the season.

Preview of What Lies Ahead?
The Saint Mary's Gaels and Brigham Young Cougars squared off in a classic battle Saturday in the championship game of the South Padre Island Invitational in Texas. The 23rd-ranked Cougars handed the Gaels their first loss of the season, 74-73, behind 24 points from BYU senior Jimmer Fredette - including the game-winning three-pointer with just ten seconds remaining. Saint Mary's and BYU will meet at least twice a year beginning in 2012 when the Cougars join the West Coast Conference.

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 (5-0)
Portland (4-0)
Santa Clara (4-0)
San Francisco (2-1)
Gonzaga (2-1)
Loyola Marymount (1-1)
San Diego (1-2)
Pepperdine (0-2)
TOTAL (19-7)

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 eleven states this season: California, Idaho, Illinois, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, and Washington.

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: 3-2
WCC Record: 0-0
  • Gonzaga bested Marquette, 66-63 in the O'Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic third-place game on Tuesday in its lone contest of the week.

  • Senior Steven Gray is the West Coast Conference's leading scorer, averaging 22.4 points per game. Through five games, Gray is shooting an even 50% from the floor (38-76).

  • Newcomer Mathis Mönninghoff is second in the WCC in three-point field goal percentage, sinking 58.3% of his attempts (7-12). The 6-7 freshman is averaging six points per game.

  • After a week off from game competition, Gonzaga, ranked No. 24 in the USA Today/ESPN coaches poll, hosts Eastern Washington (KHQ/FSN NW) on Tuesday night. The Bulldogs then face No. 20/21 Illinois on Saturday at KeyArena in the annual Comcast Battle in Seattle (ESPN). The Zags won last year's match-up 103-91 over Davidson, their first win in the event since 2005.

  • Overall Record: 3-4
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Loyola Marymount wrapped up its six-game road swing with a setback at Cal Poly on Wednesday, but rebounded for an impressive 80-77 overtime win at Long Beach State on Saturday night.

  • The Lions lead the West Coast Conference in rebounding, averaging 45 per game. They have out-rebounded their opposition in each of their seven games so far this season.

  • Four Loyola Marymount players scored in double figures in the win at LBSU: Vernon Teel (20 points, 11 reb.); Drew Viney (18 pts., 12 reb.); Ashley Hamilton (13 pts., 11 reb.); and Anthony Ireland (12 points). Viney (16.1 points/game) is tied for fourth in the WCC in scoring.

  • Loyola Marymount travels to UC Santa Barbara on Wednesday night, and the Lions will host Cal Poly in the back end of a home-and-home on Saturday night.

  • Overall Record: 2-5
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Pepperdine concluded play in the 2010 Dick's Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off with a 69-62 win over Arkansas State. The Waves fell at home to Northern Arizona, 88-74, on Sunday.

  • After missing a pair of games due to injury, junior guard Keion Bell returned to the lineup on Saturday, scoring 33 points against Northern Arizona. Bell's 24.2 points per contest are more than any other player in the WCC.

  • Senior forward Mychel Thompson is tops on the team in blocks, steals, three-point field goals, and field goals made.

  • The Waves travel to Stockton to take on Pacific on Wednesday. Pepperdine returns to Malibu in search of its first home win on Saturday to host the Roadrunners of Texas-San Antonio.

  • Overall Record: 5-2
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Portland fell to Washington State in Seattle on Tuesday, and then returned home to top UC Santa Barbara at the Chiles Center on Saturday, improving to 4-0 at home.

  • Senior guard Jared Stohl was named the WCC Player of the Week on Nov. 29, averaging 23.5 points over the Pilots' two games. Stohl leads the nation with 28 three-point field goals.

  • Senior forward Luke Sikma is tops in the West Coast Conference and ranks sixth nationally on the glass, averaging 12.6 rebounds per game.

  • The Pilots' challenging non-conference schedule continues Tuesday night, as Portland entertains St. Louis. The Pilots head out on the road for a four-game swing beginning Friday night at Montana and continuing Monday at Washington.

  • Overall Record: 6-1
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Saint Mary's improved to 5-0 at home with a 59-point thrashing of Chicago State on Tuesday. The Gaels then rolled past Texas Tech 88-68 in the seminfinal of the South Padre Island Invitational before falling 74-73 to 23rd-ranked and future-WCC member BYU in the title game.

  • Redshirt junior forward Rob Jones notched his first career double-double (21 points, 11 rebounds) in the win over Chicago State. In three games last week, Jones averaged 17 points and eight rebounds.

  • Averaging 90.3 points per game, the Gaels rank ninth nationally in scoring. Saint Mary's average margin of victory (29.0 points per game) is third best in the nation.

  • Saint Mary's travels south to visit No. 17/19 San Diego State on Wednesday night (The Mtn.) in its lone contest of the week.

  • Overall Record: 1-4
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • The Toreros lost at New Mexico on Sunday in their only game action last week.

  • Sophomore guard Ken Rancifer leads the team in scoring (11.6 ppg.), and is one of three Toreros averaging double figures (Matt Dorr, 10.3 ppg.; Darian Norris, 10.0 ppg.).

  • Sophomore forward Chris Manresa is the WCC's leading shot-blocker, averaging 1.8 blocks through the team's first five games. He also leads the Toreros in rebounding, at 5.2 boards per contest. As a team, the Toreros rank second in the West Coast Conference in scoring defense, allowing 66.4 points per game.

  • San Diego kicks off a three-game stretch over the next week at home against UC Irvine on Wednesday. The Toreros will also visit Cal State Fullerton on Saturday.

  • Overall Record: 2-3
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • San Francisco fell at Montana State on Wednesday and then dropped a heartbreaking 63-62 decision to unbeaten Loyola (Chicago) - its first home setback of the season.

  • Sophomore guard Michael Williams leads the Dons in scoring, averaging 15.0 points per contest, good for sixth in the West Coast Conference.

  • Junior forward Angelo Caloiaro is tops on the team from beyond the three-point arc, connecting on 12-of-22 attempts from long-range (54.5%). Overall, Caloiaro is averaging 13.6 points per game.

  • San Francisco welcomes Holy Names to War Memorial Gym on Wednesday, looking to stop a two-game slide. The Dons will then visit Cal State Bakersfield on Saturday.

  • Overall Record: 4-3
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • The Broncos improved to 4-0 at home with an 87-84 win over Northern Colorado on Tuesday. Santa Clara fell to both Arizona and Ohio in the iBN Sports Las Vegas Invitational at the Orleans Arena over the weekend.

  • Redshirt sophomore guard Kevin Foster is third in the WCC and tops on the team in scoring, averaging 16.7 points per game. Foster sank four three's (in seven attempts) and dropped 19 in the Northern Colorado victory.

  • Junior forward Marc Trasolini scored 19 points in each of the Broncos' contests in Las Vegas over the weekend. On the season, the Canadian is averaging 14 points per game.

  • Santa Clara welcomes UC Santa Barbara to the Leavey Center on Saturday night in its only contest of the week.