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WCC Weekly Men's Basketball Notes: Dec. 14, 2010

Dec. 14, 2010

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Foster named WCC Player of the Week
Santa Clara redshirt sophomore G Kevin Foster was a huge part of the Broncos 67-63 victory over cross-town rival San Jose State on Friday night. Foster scored 26 points, including hitting 9-of-11 free throws. He played a team-high 35 minutes with a team-best 4 assists. Playing 31.7 mpg this season, he is averaging 18.7 points per game and leads the WCC in threes made per contest. Foster is also averaging a team-leading 3.8 assists per game. Portland's Luke Sikma, LMU's Vernon Teel, and San Francisco's Michael Williams were also nominated.

Top of the Heap
The Portland Pilots are tops in the nation in three-point field goal percentage, connecting on over 45-percent of their attempts. For a complete look at WCC teams and student-athletes among the national leaders, download the full release (pdf) above.

A New Look
The West Coast Conference has teamed with CBSSports.com College Network, its web site host and multimedia partner, to re-launch WCCsports.com. Among the new features on the site are front-and-center video content, larger images and graphics, campus updates, fan polls, and integration with other West Coast Conference social media platforms - such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. In the coming weeks, visitors to WCCsports.com will find additional features such as a WCC insider blog, interactive results, weekly video series, the new Hall of Honor class, and more.

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 29-11 overall record, good for a .725 winning percentage.

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 fifteen states this season: California, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah, and Washington.

Double Trouble
The West Coast Conference has already seen a number of double-double performances on the hardwood so far this season. WCC teams are 13-4 so far this season when at least one player notches a double-double.

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.

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.

Download the complete release (PDF) above to view the full TV schedule.




Overall Record: 4-5
WCC Record: 0-0
  • The Bulldogs continued with the nation's toughest non-conference, schedule, falling at Washington State, 81-59 on Wednesday and then 83-79 at No. 23 Notre Dame on Saturday.
  • Gonzaga leads the West Coast Conference in assists, averaging 16 per game. Individually, senior guard Steven Gray ranks second, averaging 5.7 helpers per contest.

  • Bulldogs junior guard Demetri Goodson ranks ninth nationally, with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 3.88.Gonzaga's schedule doesn't get any easier. After hosting Lewis-Clark State on Thursday (FSN NW/KHQ), the Zags will take on ninth-ranked Baylor on Saturday in Dallas (ESPN2).

  • Overall Record: 6-5
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Loyola Marymount ran its winning streak to three with a pair of home wins last week: 69-49 over Sacramento State on Tuesday and 72-67 over South Dakota on Saturday.
  • The Lions have three players averaging double figures in the scoring column, led by redshirt junior forward Drew Viney, who is averaging 15.3. Vernon Teel (13.8) and Jarred DuBois (10.2) are also averaging ten-plus.
  • Loyola Marymount is averaging 42.5 rebounds per game, tops in the West Coast Conference. The Lions are out-rebounding their opposition by 9.9 boards per game, good for eleventh-best nationally.
  • The Lions welcome Florida State to Gersten Pavilion (8 p.m., ESPNU) on Saturday night.

  • Overall Record: 4-8
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • The Waves lost at Utah, 67-60, on Tuesday. After downing Redlands 89-71 two days later, Pepperdine came up short at Fresno State, 64-51 on Saturday.
  • Junior guard Keion Bell continues to pace the West Coast Conference in points per game, scoring at a 23.1 clip. Bell is the only player in the WCC with over 200 points scored, and he ranks tenth nationally in scoring average.
  • Senior forward Mychel Thompson leads the Waves and is second in the conference with 16 blocked shots.
  • Pepperdine hosts UC Irvine on Saturday.

  • Overall Record: 8-3
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Senior forward Luke Sikma notched his conference-leading fifth double-double (11p, 10r) as Portland won 71-64 at Denver on Saturday in its only action of the week.
  • The Pilots lead the country in three-point field goal percentage, knocking down 45.6 percent of their attempts from beyond the arc. Their 89 three-pointers made is 20 more than any other WCC team (Pepperdine, 69).
  • Senior guard Jared Stohl is 28-for-29 from the free throw line this season. His .966 free-throw percentage is best in the nation.
  • The Pilots will visit cross-town rival Portland State on Saturday night at 7 p.m.

  • Overall Record: 7-2
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Saint Mary's dropped Denver, 77-47, in its only game last week. The Gaels improved to 6-0 at home with the win.
  • The Gaels lead the West Coast Conference in scoring, averaging 84.9 points per game. That mark is good for seventh-best nationally.
  • Senior guard Mickey McConnell ranks fifth nationally in three-point field goal percentage, connecting on 54.5% of his attempts. Through nine games, McConnell is 24-of-44 from downtown.
  • The Gaels host UC Riverside Tuesday night at McKeon Pavilion. On Saturday, Saint Mary's takes on Long Beach State in the Wooden Classic at Honda Center in Anaheim.

  • Overall Record: 2-8
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • San Diego lost to Fresno State, 74-70, and at No. 14 San Diego State, 77-59, before rebounding to top La Verne, 82-57, on Monday.
  • Five Toreros scored in double figures in the win over La Verne. Ken Rancifer, Chris Gabriel, and Darian Norris all dropped 14 in the USD victory. Jordan Mackie poured in 13, and Matt Dorr added 12.
  • Junior guard Darian Norris leads San Diego in assists (2.8 per game) and steals (16). Norris also leads the squad in scoring by two points over Ken Rancifer.
  • The Toreros are busy with final exams, and have no games on the schedule this week.

  • Overall Record: 4-5
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • The Dons fell 61-35 at 24th-ranked Louisville on Wednesday. San Francisco rebounded to outlast Montana, 50-48, in overtime Sunday.
  • Sophomore guard Michael Williams posted a pair of personal bests in the win over the Grizzlies. Williams scored 23 points and pulled down 13 rebounds for the Dons. Williams was 8-of-12 from the floor on the afternoon.
  • Sophomore forward Perris Blackwell notched his second double-double in four games with a 12-point, ten-rebound effort against Montana. Blackwell is the Dons' leading rebounder, averaging 7.1 per game.
  • San Francisco travels to the Pacific Northwest to take on Washington on Saturday night. The game will be televised on FSN Northwest.

  • Overall Record: 5-4
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Santa Clara rallied for an impressive 67-63 win at San Jose State on Friday night.
  • Redshirt sophomore guard Kevin Foster was named the WCC Player of the Week after his 26-point effort in the San Jose State win. Foster was 9-of-11 from the charity stripe and doled out four assists in the victory. His 3.4 three's per game ranks eighth in the nation.
  • The Broncos have fared well in tight contests this season, posting a 4-0 mark in games decided by five points or fewer.
  • Santa Clara travels to Pacific on Tuesday night, and then welcomes Washington State to the Leavey Center on Sunday evening..