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WCC Men's Basketball Weekly Notes

Dec. 17, 2007

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WCC CO-PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: LMU's Johnson and USD's Pomare Share Weekly Honor
Loyola Marymount freshman guard Orlando Johnson and San Diego junior forward Gyno Pomare share this week's WCC Player of the Week award. Johnson led the Lions with a career-high 25 points to go along with eight rebounds in their 86-74 overtime setback at UC Riverside. Johnson's point total ranks tied for third all-time for points by a freshman at LMU. Pomare averaged 23.5 ppg and 7.0 rpg in the Toreros' contests versus Nevada and Stephen F. Austin. Pomare started the week by scoring 22 points and pulling down nine rebounds at Nevada. He followed that up with a career-high 25 points and five boards against Stephen F. Austin. On the week, Pomare shot .625 from the floor (15-24).

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

Dec. 17
Northern Colorado at Gonzaga - 5:00 PM
Portland at Eastern Washington - 7:00 PM
Montana at Santa Clara - 7:00 PM

Dec. 18
Pepperdine at Arkansas-Little Rock - 5:00 PM
San Francisco at Long Beach State - 7:00 PM

Dec. 19
Mississippi State at Loyola Marymount - 7:05 PM
Santa Clara at Stanford - 7:30 PM

Dec. 20
12Gonzaga vs. Oklahoma - 6:00 PM
13Saint Mary's vs. Tulane - 7:00 PM

Dec. 21
Northern Colorado at Portland - 7:30 PM
Pepperdine at Manhattan - 4:00 PM
13Saint Mary's vs. TBD - TBA

Dec. 22
Texas-San Antonio at San Diego - 1:00 PM
San Francisco at Notre Dame - 1:00 PM
Wagner at Loyola Marymount - 3:05 PM
Santa Clara at Minnesota - 4:00 PM
13Saint Mary's vs. TBD - TBA

12 All-College Challenge (Oklahoma City, OK); 13 Rainbow Classic (Honolulu, HI); All times PST

AROUND THE WCC

Saint Mary's No. 2 In The RPI; WCC Ranked No. 10
The Saint Mary's Gaels are ranked No. 2 in the RPI, according to the Collegiate Basketball News RPI Report. At 7-1, the Gaels are off to one of the best starts in program history. The Gaels have already notched some very impressive non-conference wins. The Gaels' resume includes wins over then-No. 11 Oregon (99-87), San Diego State (69-64), Seton Hall (85-70), and Drake (72-66). Led by Saint Mary's, the WCC is ranked No. 10 in the latest RPI report. The No. 10 ranking marks the fourth consecutive season that the WCC has been ranked in the top 10 of the RPI, including a conference-best No. 7 ranking to end the 2004-05 season.

The WCC's Diaper Dandies
The WCC's freshman class is proving to be one of the conference's best in years. Three of the WCC's eight schools have freshmen leading them in scoring, while two have freshmen leading them in rebounding. Meanwhile, five freshmen are ranked in the top 15 in the conference in scoring, while another five are in the top 15 rebounding. Below are just some of the accomplishments by WCC freshmen this season.

  • Three freshmen lead their respective teams in scoring.
    (Orlando Johnson, LMU; Tyrone Shelley, PEP; Patty Mills, SMC)

  • Two freshmen lead their respective teams in rebounding.
    (Malcolm Thomas, PEP; Luke Sikma, POR)

  • Four freshmen are ranked in the top 10 in the WCC in scoring.
    (Tyrone Shelley, PEP; Patty Mills, SMC; Malcolm Thomas, PEP; Myron Strong, USF)

  • Portland freshman Luke Sikma leads the WCC in rebounding.

  • Five freshmen rank in the top 10 in the WCC in steals.

  • Four freshmen rank in the top 10 in the WCC in assists.

  • Gonzaga freshman Austin Daye and Pepperdine freshman Malcolm Thomas rank 1-2 in the WCC in overall blocks (22 and 20).

  • Top two scoring performances in the WCC this season are by freshman.
    (37 - Patty Mills, SMC vs. Oregon 11/20; 34 - Tyrone Shelley, PEP vs. CSUN 11/17)

    WCC TEAM NOTES

    Gonzaga Bulldogs (8-2 / 0-0 WCC)
    - The Zags, idle last week, are off to an 8-2 start for the third straight season.

    - Gonzaga is averaging 74.7 ppg while opponents are scoring at a 61.0 clip for a +13.7 scoring margin.

    - The Zags own a 43-2 record in the McCarthey Athletic Center for a .956 winning percentage.

    - Freshman Austin Daye is a nightmare matchup for opposing teams, getting to the free throw line 52 times, fifth most in the WCC. Daye has made opponents play at the charity stripe, knocking down 88.5 percent from the line, the third best clip in the conference.

    - The Zags host Northern Colorado (12/17) before taking on Oklahoma (12/20).

    Loyola Marymount Lions (3-8 / 0-0 WCC)
    - The Lions dropped an 86-74 overtime decision at UC Riverside last week.

    - Freshman guard Orlando Johnson tossed in a career-high 25 points to go along with eight rebounds versus UC Riverside. His point total is tied for third all-time in LMU history by a freshman.

    - Johnson is proving to be one of the top freshmen in the WCC. He leads the Lions and ranks 12th in the conference in scoring with 12.7 ppg. In addition, Johnson is averaging 5.5 rpg and 2.1 apg.

    - The Lions use a balanced scoring attack as five players average at least 7.5 ppg.

    - LMU hosts Mississippi State (12/19) and Wagner (12/22) this week.

    Pepperdine Waves (5-7 / 0-0 WCC)
    - The Waves pressure defense forced 29 BYU turnovers, but the No. 25 Cougars still earned an 86-67 win over Pepperdine.

    - The 29 turnovers matched a season high by a Pepperdine opponent.

    - Freshmen scored more than half of the Waves' points against BYU for the 12th time in 12 games, getting 39 of the 67 points (58 percent).

    - Freshman forward Malcolm Thomas tossed in 14 points and a team-high seven rebounds in 24 minutes versus BYU. Thomas, who reached double-figures in scoring for the ninth straight game, is putting together an impressive freshman campaign, ranking eighth in the WCC in scoring (14.5 ppg), second in rebounding (9.1 rpg), and third in field goal percentage (.579)

    - The Waves play at Arkansas-Little Rock (12/18) and Manhattan (12/21) this week.

    Portland Pilots (3-7 / 0-0 WCC)
    - The Pilots dropped a 67-63 decision at Washington last week.

    - Sophomore guard Nik Raivio led all scorers with a career-high 23 points against the Huskies. He leads the Pilots and ranks 14th in the WCC in scoring with 12.4 ppg.

    - Freshmen Luke Sikma and Jared Stohl both grew up in the Seattle area and had solid homecomings against the Huskies. Sikma finished with six points, seven rebounds and a game-high four assists, while Stohl made all three of his field goal attempts to finish with eight points.

    - Sophomore guard Taishi Ito tossed in 13 points, dished out three assists and swiped four steals against UW. Ito averages a team-high 31 minutes per game.

    - The Pilots travel to Eastern Washington (12/17) before returning to the Chiles Center to host Northern Colorado (12/21).

    Saint Mary's Gaels (7-1 / 0-0 WCC)
    - Saint Mary's suffered its first setback of the season, falling 71-56 at Southern Illinois.

    - The Gaels own the No. 2 RPI in the country, according to the Collegiate Basketball News RPI Report.

    - Senior guard Todd Golden is one of the most sure-handed ballhandlers in the conference, committing just five turnovers this season, while handing out 23 assists for an impressive 4.6-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio.

    - Freshman guard Patty Mills is one of the most accurate free throw shooters in the country, knocking down 37-of-40 (.925) to rank 14th in the nation in free throw percentage.

    - The Gaels take on Tulane (12/20) in the first round of the Rainbow Classic at Hawai'i.

    San Diego Toreros (5-8 / 0-0 WCC)
    - San Diego dropped a pair of games last week, falling at Nevada, 76-62, before suffering a 56-50 setback to Stephen F. Austin.

    - Junior forward Gyno Pomare enjoyed a strong week, tossing in 22 points and grabbing nine rebounds at Nevada before scoring a career-high 25 points against Stephen F. Austin. Pomare, voted as one of the top returning players by the league's coaches at the beginning of the season, ranks 7th in the WCC in scoring (14.8 ppg) and rebounding (7.1 rpg), while ranking 4th in field goal percentage with a .569 clip.

    - Pomare needs just 20 more points to break the 1,000-point barrier. Pomare has also grabbed 507 career rebounds and needs just 33 more boards to tie former standout Corey Belser for fifth place on the Toreros' all-time list.

    - San Diego hosts Texas-San Antonio (12/22) in its lone game this week.

    San Francisco Dons (4-6 / 0-0 WCC)
    - The Dons fell at UC Irvine, 72-59, in their lone game last week.

    - Freshman guard Myron Strong continued to play well for the Dons, chipping in 11 points to go along with four assists, three steals and only two turnovers in 33 minutes against UC Irvine. Strong continues to lead the WCC in steals (2.50 spg).

    - Junior forward James Morgan scored a career-high six points with two rebounds in 20 minutes.

    - The Dons continued their struggles at the free throw line. Through the first seven games, USF shot at a .775 (86-111) clip to rank second in the West Coast Conference. The last three games have been much tougher at the stripe, as the Dons have shot a dismal .519 ( 42-81) percent.

    - The Dons travel to Long Beach State (12/18) and Notre Dame (12/22) this week.

    Santa Clara Broncos (6-3 / 0-0 WCC)
    - The Broncos dropped a 71-65 decision to Pacific last week.

    - Senior forward Mitch Henke had a season high 21 points against Pacific, while freshman forward Andrew Zimmermann contributed nine points and nine rebounds, both career highs.

    - Junior center John Bryant ranks second in the WCC in scoring with 20.7 ppg and is the conference's most accurate shooter with a .625 field goal percentage. Bryant is also the only player in the nation to rank in the top 25 in both scoring (25th) and field goal percentage (24th).

    - Led by Bryant, the Broncos rank second in the nation in field goal percentage at .521.

    - Senior Brody Angley played in his 100th career game in SCU's contest versus Pacific.

    - SCU hosts Montana (12/17) before traveling to Stanford (12/19) and Minnesota (12/22).