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WCC Men's Basketball Weekly Notes

Dec. 27, 2007

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WCC PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Saint Mary's Patrick Mills Earns Weekly Honor
Saint Mary's freshman guard Patrick Mills led the Gaels to the tournament title of the Outrigger Hotels Rainbow Classic. The Gaels defeated Tulane, 64-57, East Tennessee State, 89-65, and Ohio in the championship game, 70-63. Mills started the tournament by tossing in a game-high 23 points against Tulane. He followed that up with 11 points and a game-high eight assists against East Tennessee State. The Canberra, Australia native tossed in a team-high 23 points against the Bobcats. For the week, Mills averaged 19.0 ppg and 4.0 apg.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

Dec. 28
San Francisco at Weber State - 6:00 PM
14Denver at Santa Clara - 6:00 PM
15Saint Mary's vs. Howard - 7:30 PM

Dec. 29
San Diego at Kentucky - 11:00 AM
16Gonzaga vs. Tennessee - 1:00 PM
Cascade College at Portland - 7:00 PM
15Saint Mary's vs. TBD - 7:30 PM
14TBD at Santa Clara - TBA

Dec. 30
Sam Houston State at Loyola Marymount - 3:05 PM

Dec. 31
San Diego at Marshall - 11:00 AM
Utah at Gonzaga - 5:00 PM
San Francisco at Utah Valley State - 6:00 PM

Jan. 2
Portland at Yale - 4:00 PM

14 Cable Car Classic; 15 Shamrock Office Solutions Classic; 16 Battle In Seattle

AROUND THE WCC

Coaching Legend Eddie Sutton Takes Over Reins At San Francisco
USF Head Coach Jessie Evans was granted a leave of absence from his duties for the remainder of the 2007-08 season on December 26. Coaching legend Eddie Sutton was hired as the Dons' interim head coach and will guide USF for the rest of the season. Sutton enters his tenure with USF with 798 career Division I coaching victories. He needs just two more wins to become just the eighth coach in NCAA history to record 800 career wins.

Saint Mary's No. 2 In The RPI; WCC Ranked No. 11
The Saint Mary's Gaels are ranked No. 2 in the RPI, according to the Collegiate Basketball News RPI Report. At 10-1, 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. 11 in the latest RPI report.

WCC TEAM NOTES

Gonzaga Bulldogs (9-3 / 0-0 WCC)
- The Zags defeated Northern Colorado, 77-57, before falling to Oklahoma, 72-68.

- Freshman guard Steven Gray and junior forward Josh Heytvelt saw their first action of the season last week. Gray had a solid collegiate debut, tossing in 12 points to go along with four rebounds in 28 minutes of action against Northern Colorado, while Heytvelt chipped in five points versus Oklahoma.

- Junior guard Jeremy Pargo turned in a career-high 28 points on 11-of-18 shooting against the Sooners. Pargo, who handed out eight assists versus Northern Colorado and six more against Oklahoma, leads the WCC with 5.75 apg.

- The Zags face No. 11 Tennessee (12/29) in Seattle, before returning to Spokane to host Utah (12/31) on New Year's Eve.

Loyola Marymount Lions (3-10 / 0-0 WCC)
- The Lions dropped a pair of games last week, falling to Mississippi State, 85-54, before suffering an 82-79 overtime setback versus Wagner.

- Freshman Brad Sweezy became the ninth player on the season to go for double-digits, earning a career-best 10 points versus Mississippi State.

- Freshman Orlando Johnson scored a career-high 26 points versus Wagner on 8-of-12 shooting from the field. Johnson, who also added six rebounds, joins Chris Haney (1985) as the only two players in LMU history to have two games in the freshman top-five in scoring.

- The Lions forced 22 turnovers by the Bulldogs on a season-best 13 steals. Senior Jon Ziri had a career-best five to lead the Lions. Ziri ranks third in the WCC with 2.15 spg.

- The Lions look to snap a three-game losing skid against Sam Houston State (12/30).

Pepperdine Waves (5-9 / 0-0 WCC)
- The Waves dropped a pair of games last week, falling at Arkansas-Little Rock, 70-65, before being edged at Manhattan, 80-79.

- Freshmen have scored more than half of the Waves' points in all 14 games this season.

- Freshman guard Tyrone Shelley recorded his first career double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds against Manhattan.

- Freshman forward Malcolm Thomas posted team highs of 18 points and 12 rebounds against Arkansas-Little Rock for his fourth double-double of the season. Thomas, who also added a season-high four blocked shots, has scored in double-figures in 12 of 13 games, including the last 10 straight.

- The Waves are off until Jan. 5th when they travel to Memphis to take on the No. 2 Tigers.

Portland Pilots (4-8 / 0-0 WCC)
- The Pilots fell at Eastern Washington, 84-75, but bounced back to defeat Northern Colorado, 70-63.

- Sophomore guard Nik Raivio led all scorers in both games, tossing in a career-high 28 points against Eastern Washington, before dropping in 15 points against Northern Colorado. Raivio has been on a tear for UP, averaging 20.8 ppg and 4.8 rpg over the Pilots' last four games.

- Despite not having a single post player with Division I game experience entering the season, Portland has a +3.7 rebounding margin, third best in the WCC. The Pilots have out-rebounded eight of 12 opponents thus far this season.

- UP is the top free-throw shooting team in the WCC, converting at the line at a .714 clip

- The Pilots host Cascade College (12/29) in their lone game this week.

Saint Mary's Gaels (10-1 / 0-0 WCC)
- Saint Mary's captured the tournament title of the Outrigger Hotels Rainbow Classic, defeating Tulane, 64-57, East Tennessee State, 89-65, and Ohio, 70-63.

- Saint Mary's owns the No. 2 RPI in the country, according to the Collegiate Basketball News RPI Report. The Gaels also boast six wins versus the RPI top 100, tying them with Vanderbilt for the most wins in the country against the RPI top 100.

- Freshman guard Patty Mills was named the Rainbow Classic MVP, averaging 19.0 ppg to go along with 4.0 apg during the tournament. Mills is the top scoring freshman in the WCC, ranking fourth overall with 16.5 ppg.

- The Gaels return to Moraga to host the Shamrock Office Solutions Classic. Saint Mary's will face Howard (12/28) in the first round and either Furman or CS Fullerton the next night.

San Diego Toreros (6-8 / 0-0 WCC)
- San Diego snapped its three-game skid with a 69-54 victory over visiting Texas-San Antonio.

- Junior guard Brandon Johnson sits in the fourth spot all-time on USD's career assists chart with 321. He needs just four more to tie Dana White (1997-01), who holds down the third spot with 325.

- Junior forward Gyno Pomare needs just five more points to break the 1,000-point barrier. Pomare has also grabbed 512 career rebounds and needs just 29 more boards to move into fifth place on the Toreros' all-time list. Pomare will become just the 12th player in program history to score at least 1,000 points and grab at least 500 rebounds.

- The Toreros hit the road as they travel to Kentucky (12/29) to take on the Wildcats before taking on Marshall (12/31) on New Year's Eve.

San Francisco Dons (4-8 / 0-0 WCC)
- The Dons dropped a pair of games last week, falling at Long Beach State, 71-68, before being edged at Notre Dame, 84-76.

- San Francisco head coach Jessie Evans announced on Dec. 26th that he will be taking a leave of absence from his duties for the remainder of the 2007-08 season. Legendary coach Eddie Sutton will serve as the Dons' interim head coach for the remainder of the season.

- Sutton enters his tenure with USF with 798 career Division I coaching victories after stops at Creighton (1969-74), Arkansas (1974-85) and Kentucky (1985-89) before spending 16 seasons at his alma mater, Oklahoma State (1990-06). With two wins, Sutton will become only the eighth coach in NCAA history to record 800 coaching triumphs and is second only to Texas Tech's Bobby Knight on the career wins chart among active coaches.

- Sutton will lead USF against Weber State (12/28) and Utah Valley State (12/31).

Santa Clara Broncos (7-5 / 0-0 WCC)
- The Broncos defeated Montana, 60-49, before falling at Stanford, 74-48, and at Minnesota, 68-50.

- Junior center John Bryant notched his fourth double-double of the season in the Broncos' win over Montana with 14 points and 12 rebounds.

- The Broncos boast three of the top four most accurate three-point shooters in the WCC in senior guard Brody Angley, junior guard Calvin Johnson, and sophomore guard Jonathan Gunderson. Angley leads the conference with a .515 clip, followed by Johnson with a .500 average. Gunderson ranks fourth with a .464 average. All but two of Johnson's 44 field goal attempts have been from beyond the arc.

- Santa Clara returns to the Leavey Center to host the Cable Car Classic. The Broncos face Denver (12/28) in the first round before taking on Niagara or Morgan State the next evening.