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WCC Weekly Men's Basketball Notes: Dec. 7, 2010

Dec. 7, 2010

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Bell named WCC Player of the Week
Pepperdine junior guard Keion Bell averaged 28.0 points and 5.0 rebounds in the Waves' two games last week. He had a game-high 25 points as the Waves rallied from a 19-point deficit to win at Pacific. He then had a game-high 31 points to go with a season-high seven rebounds in a loss to Texas-San Antonio. Over the two games, Bell hit 48% of his shots (14-29) and 47% of his three-point attempts (8-17). In his seven games this season, Bell has scored at least 22 points six times. He has surpassed the 30-point mark twice. For the season, he is averaging 25.3 points and 4.1 rebounds, and ranks sixth nationally in scoring.

Climbing the Leader Board
A number of West Coast Conference teams and student-athletes rank among the national statistical leaders, as released by the NCAA on Dec. 6.

Category: Team, Rank, Stat
Three-point FG pct.:POR,5,45.5%
Scoring margin:SMC,7,23.8
Scoring offense:SMC,8,85.9
Reb. margin:LMU,9,11.1
Field goal pct.:SMC,12,50.5
Three's per game:SMC,13,9.3
Free throw pct.:SMC,19,76.8

Category: Player, Rank, Stat
Free throw pct.:Jared Stohl (POR),5,96.3%
Free throw pct.:M. Dellavedova (SMC),10,94.4%
Scoring:Keion Bell (PEP),6,25.3
Rebounding:Luke Sikma (POR)6,12.1
Steals per game:Stephen Holt (SMC),11,2.9
Three's per game:Kevin Foster (SCU),11,3.5
Three's per game: Jared Stohl (POR),15,3.4
Three-point FG pct.:Mickey McConnell (SMC),11,53.5%
Three-point FG pct.:Jared Stohl (POR),15,52.5%
Assists per game:Demetri Goodson (GON),12,3.71

Preview of What Lies Ahead?
The Saint Mary's Gaels and Brigham Young Cougars squared off in a classic battle in the championship game of the South Padre Island Invitational in Texas (Nov. 27). 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, posting a 23-10 overall record.

Rackin' Up the Frequent Flyer Miles
Already this season, WCC teams haven't been afraid to hop on a plane to face the nation's best. West Coast Conference teams have played games in eleven states this season: California, Idaho, Illinois, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, and Washington. This week's schedule will add four more states to the WCC travel map: Colorado, Indiana, Kentucky, and Utah.

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.




Overall Record: 4-3
WCC Record: 0-0
  • The Bulldogs downed Eastern Washington, 86-57, and then fell to No. 20/21 Illinois, 73-61, at KeyArena in the annual Comcast Battle in Seattle.


  • Gonzaga, playing one of the nation's toughest schedules, has controlled the glass so far this season, out-rebounding opponents by an average of 8.4 per game. Gonzaga's rebounding margin is second in the West Coast Conference and ranks 25th nationally.


  • Senior guard Steven Gray ranks second in the WCC in both scoring (20.0 points) and assists (5.1 per game).


  • Gonzaga has another tough week lined up on the hardwood. The Bulldogs will visit Washington State (FSN) on Wednesday night, and then head to South Bend to take on No. 23/24 Notre Dame on Saturday (ESPN2).

  • Overall Record: 4-5
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Loyola Marymount dropped a 77-67 decision at UC Santa Barbara on Wednesday night, before rebounding for a 67-48 victory over Cal Poly at home on Saturday.


  • The Lions lead the West Coast Conference in rebounding, averaging 42.2 per game. Redshirt junior forward Drew Viney (7.7) and senior guard Vernon Teel (7.0) rank in the top five in the WCC in boards per contest.


  • Freshman guard Anthony Ireland scored a personal-best 14 points on 4-of-5 shooting in Saturday's win over Cal Poly. Through nine games, Ireland is averaging 8.1 points and two assists per contest.


  • The Lions continue their season-long four-game homestand on Tuesday night with a visit from Sacramento State. LMU then hosts South Dakota on Saturday.

  • Overall Record: 3-6
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • The Waves rallied from 19 points down to top Pacific, 70-60, in Stockton, and then fell 86-81 to Texas-San Antonio.


  • Junior guard Keion Bell continues to score at a torrid pace. The WCC Player of the Week averaged 28 points in last week's games. Bell, the West Coast Conference Player of the Month for November, has scored 22+ points in six of his seven games, and his 25.3 ppg. scoring average is sixth-best nationally.


  • The Waves have come back from double-digit deficits in each of their three victories this season. Nevada had a 10-point lead in the second half, Arkansas State had an 11-point advantage in the first half, and Pacific was up by 19 points in the first half.


  • Pepperdine has a busy stretch ahead, with three games this week. The Waves are at Utah on Tuesday, host Redlands on Thursday, and visit Fresno State on Saturday.

  • Overall Record: 7-3
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Portland downed St. Louis, 69-60, and won at Montana, 58-54. On Monday, the Pilots fell at No. 21 Washington, 94-72.


  • The Pilots have been shooting the lights out from long range, leading the West Coast Conference in three-pointers (77), three's per game (7.7), and three-point field goal percentage (43.5%).


  • Senior forward Luke Sikma is tops in the West Coast Conference and ranks sixth nationally on the glass, averaging 12.1 rebounds per game. Sikma has pulled down ten or more rebounds in a game six times this season, including 16 at Washington.


  • The Pilots visit Denver on Saturday (FSN Rocky Mountain) in their only game on the hardwood this week.

  • Overall Record: 6-2
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Saint Mary's fell to No. 17/19 San Diego State, 69-55, in its lone outing of the week.


  • Redshirt junior forward Rob Jones scored 17 points and sank five three-pointers (in ten attempts) at San Diego State. Through eight games, Jones is tops on the team in scoring at 13.5 points per contest.


  • Despite the setback against the Aztecs, Saint Mary's ranks seventh nationally in scoring margin at 23.8 points per game. Overall, SMC is averaging 85.9 points per game, good for eighth best in the nation.


  • The Gaels host Denver on Wednesday night in their only game of the week. Saint Mary's is 5-0 at McKeon Pavilion this season.

  • Overall Record: 1-6
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • San Diego lost at home to UC Irvine and at Cal State Fullerton last week.


  • Sophomore forward Chris Manresa poured in a career-high 18 points at UC Irvine, and followed that up with a 16-point effort at Cal State Fullerton. For the week, Manresa averaged 17 points and six rebounds. He is fourth in the West Coast Conference in field goal percentage (60.4%).


  • The Toreros are the most balanced offense in the WCC, with four USD players averaging double-figures. Sophomore forward Ken Rancifer leads the way, at 11.4 points per game.


  • It's a busy week for the Toreros, with three games on the docket. Fresno State comes to Jenny Craig Pavilion on Tuesday, before the Toreros travel to cross-town rival No. 14/16 San Diego State (Ch. 4 SD) for the annual City Championship on Saturday. USD hosts La Verne on Monday.

  • Overall Record: 3-4
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • The Dons outlasted Holy Names, 89-86, at War Memorial Gym on Wednesday before falling 77-69 at Cal State Bakersfield on Saturday.


  • Freshman guard Cody Doolin had a breakout game against Holy Names, scoring a career-high 20 points and pulling down ten boards in the win. Doolin was 3-for-5 from beyond the arc against the Hawks.


  • Sophomore forward Perris Blackwell notched his first double-double of the season, scoring 11 points and grabbing 13 rebounds in the win over Holy Names. Blackwell is the Dons' leading rebounder, averaging 6.6 per game.


  • San Francisco visits 24th-ranked Louisville of the Big East on Wednesday, and then returns home to host Montana in a Sunday matinee.

  • Overall Record: 4-4
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Santa Clara dropped its first home contest of the season, falling to UC Santa Barbara, 80-69, at the Leavey Center on Saturday.


  • Redshirt sophomore guard Kevin Foster matched his career high with six three-pointers (in 11 attempts) on Saturday, en route to a 25-point effort. Through eight games, Foster leads the West Coast Conference in three's per game, averaging 3.5. His 17.8 points scored per contest ranks third in the WCC.


  • Junior forward Marc Trasolini leads Santa Clara in both rebounds per game (6.6) and blocked shots (6). Trasolini is second on the squad in scoring, at 12.3 points per game.


  • The Broncos visit San Jose State on Friday in their only game action of the week.