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WCC Weekly Men's Basketball Notes

Dec. 2, 2009

Complete Men's Basketball Release in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

West Coast Conference "Feasts" on Thanksgiving Week

The WCC is coming off an impressive week that included two tournament titles (Gonzaga@ Maui Invitational and Pepperdine @ World Vision Challenge), two tournamentrunner-up finishes (Portland @ 76 Classic and San Diego @ Great Alaska Shootout)and six victories over BCS teams in a five-day span (Colorado, Cincinnati, Minnesota,Oklahoma, UCLA and Wisconsin). Overall, the West Coast Conference is 9-6 againstBCS opposition this season, including a 6-3 record last week. Other notable wins thisseason include San Diego defeating Stanford, Portland beating Oregon, and LoyolaMarymount taking down USC.


All Times PST

SAINT MARY'S at San Jose State San Jose, CA
7:00 PM
SAN FRANCISCO at Colorado Boulder, CO
6:00 PM
SANTA CLARA at UC Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, CA
7:00 PM
Washington State at GONZAGA Spokane, WA
6:00 PM
Portland State at PORTLAND Portland, OR
7:00 PM
San Diego State at SAN DIEGO San Diego, CA
7:00 PM
Academy of Art at LOYOLA MARYMOUNT Los Angeles, CA
7:05 PM
SAN DIEGO at UC Riverside Riverside, CA
8:00 PM
Wake Forest at GONZAGA Spokane, WA
2:30 PM
3:00 PM
LOYOLA MARYMOUNT at Wyoming Laramie, WY
6:00 PM
SAINT MARY'S at Utah State Logan, UT
6:00 PM
PEPPERDINE at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, CA
7:00 PM
7:00 PM
SAN DIEGO at Fresno State Fresno, CA
4:00 PM
PORTLAND at Idaho Boise, ID
5:00 PM


WCC Co-Players of the Week
T.J. Campbell, Portland, G, 5-9, Jr., Phoenix, AZ
Campbell led Portland to a second-place finish at the 76 Classic afteraveraging 16.7 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. Hewas also named to the All-Tournament Team.

Steven Gray, Gonzaga, G, 6-5, Jr., Bainbridge, WA
Gray led Gonzaga to the Maui Invitational Championship and wasnamed Co-Tournament MVP with teammate Matt Bouldin. For thetournament Gray averaged a team-leading 18.3 points and 5.3 reboundsper game.

Also Nominated: Keion Bell (PEP), Brandon Johnson (USD)

Gonzaga, Portland Enter Top 25 After Impressive Tournament Performances
Gonzaga entered the top 25 for the first time this season after winning the Maui InvitationalChampionship with three wins over three BCS opponents in as many days. The Bulldogs, who are 16th in this week's ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll and 17th in the Associated Press Poll, have now been nationally ranked every year since 2001-02. At the Maui Invitational, the Bulldogs knocked off Colorado (76-72), Wisconsin (74-61) and Cincinnati (61-59, OT) as Matt Bouldin and Steven Gray shared Tournament MVP honors.

The Pilots are ranked 25th in this week's Associated Press Poll, which is their first AP national ranking since they were No. 19 in the February 24, 1959 poll. The 1958-59 season was the Pilots' first at the Division I level. Portland achieved this week's ranking with a pair of impressive national-television victories at the 76 Classic in Anaheim. The Pilots routed UCLA 74-47 on Thursday and upset No. T16/22 Minnesota 64-59 on Friday before falling to #8/8 West Virginia 84-66 in Sunday's championship game.

Monday's rankings mark the third consecutive year that the West Coast Conference has had two teams ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 on the same week. Saint Mary's and Gonzaga were both in the top 25 on December 11, 2007 (Gonzaga #19 & Saint Mary's #24) and January 27, 2009 (Gonzaga #20 & Saint Mary's #22).

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

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 deal represents the WCC's first-ever title sponsorship. In addition, 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. Last year's shoe drive resulted in over 5,200 shoes being donated to Soles4Souls by West Coast Conference institutions.

WCC Live To Cover Men's Hoops Season
This season, the West Coast Conference introduced a new internet based radio showcalled "WCC Live" to be hosted by veteran play-by-play announcer Jeff Lampe. The show will feature interviews with coaches and players from around the league as well asspecial guests throughout the year. In addition, fans will be able to participate by dialing in to ask questions of the guests by calling 646-378-1311, submitting questions via a live chat feature or by emailing questions to WCCLive@ymail.com. The program will air live each Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. ---- visit wccsports.com/wcclive for up-to-date guest information.

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 Edges Portland For Top Spot in 2009-10 WCC Preseason Coaches Poll
Gonzaga was selected as the favorite to capture an unprecedented 10th consecutiveWest 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 were 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 Returns To The Airwaves "Down Under"
For the second consecutive year, the West Coast Conference has teamed up with ESPNAustralia and ESPN Pacific Rim to televise men's basketball games "Down Under". Thefollowing four games have been confirmed for air in Australia with more games expected to be added to the schedule: San Diego State at Saint Mary's (Nov. 17), Gonzaga at Saint Mary's (Jan. 14), Saint Mary's at Gonzaga (Feb. 11) and Saint Mary's at San Diego (Feb. 18).

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.



Overall Record: 5-1
WCC Record: 0-0
  • Gonzaga won the prestigious EA Sports Maui Invitational for the first time in three visits to the tournament. The Bulldogs finished off the tournament by beating Wisconsin (4-1) 74-61 in Tuesday's semifinals and defeating Cincinnati (5-1) 61-59 in overtime in Wednesday's championship game. Guards Steven Gray and Matt Bouldin shared Tournament MVP honors, while Gray was also named Co-WCC Player of the Week. Gray averaged 18.3 points and 5.3 rebounds per game in the tournament, while Bouldin averaged 15.0 points, 7.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists.

  • The Maui Invitational Championship lofted Gonzaga into the national rankings for the first time this season. The Zags are ranked 16th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll and 17th in the Associated Press Poll and have now been ranked every year since 2001-02.

  • The schedule doesn't get any easier for the Zags as they host two BCS schools this week. The Bulldogs take on Washington State (6-0) on Wednesday and Wake Forest (4-2) on Saturday.

  • Overall Record: 2-5
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • The Lions, who played just two of their seven November games at home, lost at Tulsa (5-1) 79-65 on Tuesday and fell at home to UC Santa Barbara (4-1) 89-84 on Saturday. Four of LMU's five losses this season have come by six points or less, and the combined record of those five teams is 20-9 (.690). Drew Viney had 18 points and seven rebounds against Tulsa and 25 points against UC Santa Barbara.

  • The Lions do not have a senior on the 2009-10 roster and feature eight freshmen, seven sophomores and three juniors. Two of those freshmen, Edgar Garibay (knee) and Quincy Lawson (hip), will miss the rest of the season with injuries. Coach Max Good has used four different starting lineups in seven games and has four players averaging in double figures.

  • The Lions wrap up a two-game homestand on Wednesday night against NCAA Division II Academy of Art (0-4) at Gersten Pavilion. The Lions then hit the road to take on Wyoming (3-4) on Saturday night in Laramie.

  • Overall Record: 3-4
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • The Waves won the tournament title at the World Vision Challenge in Laramie, Wyoming, by going 2-1 in the four-team round-robin event. Pepperdine defeated Hampton (2-5) 75-66 on Friday and Monmouth (2-5) 82-73 on Saturday before falling to host Wyoming (3-4) 86-82 in overtime on Sunday. Keion Bell was named Tournament Most Valuable Player after averaging 26.7 points over the three games.

  • Keion Bell, a 2009-10 WCC Preseason All-Conference Team selection, gained Pepperdine national publicity in mid-October. At Blue & Orange Madness, Pepperdine's event to kick off the start of practice, the sophomore guard finished up the dunk contest by leaping over five teammates and slamming it home. The dunk, which was recorded by a fan in attendance on an iPhone, now has nearly 1.1 million hits on YouTube.

  • The Waves conclude a stretch of five consecutive games away from home by visiting Cal Poly (0-5) on Saturday night in San Luis Obispo.

  • Overall Record: 5-1
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • The Pilots earned their first national ranking since Feb. 24, 1959 (Associated Press: #19) by recording an impressive second-place finish at the 76 Classic in Anaheim. Portland routed UCLA (2-4) 74-47 in the opening round on Thursday before upsetting #T16/#22 Minnesota (4-2) 61-56 in Friday's semifinals. The Pilots then dropped a 84-66 decision to #8/#8 West Virginia (5-0) in Sunday's championship game. The victory over Minnesota was the sixth in school history over a nationally-ranked opponent, and lofted the Pilots to the No. 25 spot in this week's AP Poll.

  • Junior guard T.J. Campbell was named WCC Co-Player of the Week for the second consecutive week after being named to the 76 Classic All-Tournament Team. Campbell averaged 16.7 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists in three games in Anaheim.

  • Portland returns to the Chiles Center to take on crosstown rival Portland State (1-4) on Wednesday before heading back out on the road to take on Idaho (4-1) on Sunday.

  • Overall Record: 5-1
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Saint Mary's extended its winning streak to three games with a 100-59 home win over NAIA Division II Cal Maritime (3-7) on Wednesday and a 78-71 win at San Jose State (2-3) on Monday. The Spartans led by 15 (48-33) with 18:17 remaining, but the Gaels finished the game on a 45-23 run to pick up their first road win of the year. Mickey McConnell led the Gaels with 19 points and eight assists, while Wayne Hunter chipped in 16 points including four three-pointers.

  • Saint Mary's fifth-year senior center Omar Samhan is living up to his billing as a WCC Preseason All-Conference Team selection. Samhan is averaging 19.2 points, 11.7 rebounds and 2.7 blocked shots per gamne while shooting 60.8 (45-of-74) percent from the floor. Samhan has five double-doubles in seven games this season to give him 27 for his career.

  • The Gaels travel to Utah State (3-2) on Saturday in an ESPN BracketBusters return game. Saint Mary's defeated the Aggies 75-64 last year in Moraga.

  • Overall Record: 4-2
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • USD finished an impressive second at the Great Alaska Shootout last week. The Toreros opened the tournament by winning Pool B with a 2-0 record, including a 76-64 upset win over #25/-- Oklahoma (3-3) on Wednesday and a 72-65 victory over Houston (3-2) on Friday. USD then fell 93-56 to Washington State (6-0) in the championship game of the six-team tournament on Saturday. Three Toreros - De'Jon Jackson, Brandon Johnson and Chris Lewis - were named to the All-Tournament Team.

  • Senior guard Brandon Johnson enjoyed a big weekend in Alaska by averaging 16.7 points, 4.0 assists and 2.7 rebounds over the three games. Johnson scored 18 of his 22 points in the first half to spark the upset over nationally-ranked Oklahoma and had 15 points and seven assists in the win over Houston that moved USD into the tournament championship game.

  • The Toreros host San Diego State (4-2) on Wednesday before hitting the road to play UC Riverside (3-2) on Friday and Fresno State (2-4) on Sunday.

  • Overall Record: 2-5
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • The Dons have dropped five straight after falling at home to Montana State (2-3) 70-66 on Wednesday and going 0-2 on a road trip through Colorado. USF lost at Colorado State (4-3) 91-75 in double overtime on Sunday and fell at Colorado (5-2) 78-54 on Tuesday. The Dons are 0-4 away from home this season.

  • Senior Dior Lowhorn, who was named to the 2009-10 WCC Preseason All-Conference Team, became the first player to lead the WCC in scoring during conference play in back-to-back seasons since Gonzaga's Jeff Brown accomplished the feat in 1992-93 and 1993-94. Lowhorn, who ranks 14th on USF's all-time scoring list with 1,368 career points, averaged 20.5 points per game in conference play in both 2007-08 and 2008-09. Lowhorn currently leads the Dons in scoring and rebounding with 18.3 points and 5.0 rebounds per game.

  • The Dons, who are in the middle of a stretch where they are playing nine of 12 away from home, visit BYU (5-0) on Saturday afternoon in Provo.

  • Overall Record: 4-3
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • The Broncos finished the five-team West Coast Classic with a 1-3 record after splitting a pair of home games last week. Santa Clara fell to Northern Arizona (2-3) 88-72 on Wednesday before rebounding to defeat Fresno State (2-4) 74-67 on Saturday afternoon. The Broncos then won a non-conference contest at previously unbeaten UC Santa Barbara (4-1) 79-68 on Tuesday.

  • 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 WCC Preseason All-Conference Team.Foster has scored in double figures in all six games he has appeared this season, including a season-high 25 off the bench against Fresno State on Saturday. He is averaging 19.8 points, 2.8 assists and 2.8 rebounds per game.

  • Santa Clara opens a two-game homestand by taking on #21/24 UNLV (5-0) on Saturday night at the Leavey Center.