GAME #15: The USD Toreros (11-3, 2-0 WCC), under the direction of head coach Lamont Smith, play the first of three away games this coming Thursday, January 4th, when they take on the Portland Pilots (6-9, 0-2 WCC) in a 7:00 p.m. game at the Chiles Center.
SERIES RECORD: This is the 82nd meeting between USD and Portland with the Toreros owning a 51-30 series edge... Portland snapped a 5-game USD winning streak in the series with a 60-55 win in the 1st round of the WCC Tournament (March 3, 2017)... USD closed out the regular-season on Feb. 25th by holding on for a 85-82 home win over Portland (Olin Carter III led six Toreros in double-digits with 21 points)... The Toreros earned a 68-52 win at Portland on January 28th (Olin Carter, 24 points, 5 made treys).
TICKETS: USD single game, 3-game mini-packs, group tickets and season tickets for games at the Jenny Craig Pavilion are available by contacting the USD Athletics ticket office (619-260-7550) or by visiting www.usdtoreros.com.
RADIO/TV/STREAM: All USD home and away games will be broadcast on either The Mighty 1090AM or ESPN 1700AM with Jack Cronin (4th season) bringing you all the action; his pre-game show airs 15 minutes prior to tip-off. Cronin's call on Thursday will be broadcast on ESPN 1700AM. The game be televised by ROOT Sports Northwest (Tom Glasgow & Francis Williams) and will also air on NBC Sports Bay Area+ and Spectrum SportsNet (delayed, 9:00 p.m.). Additionally, the game will stream on TheW.tv.
WCC STANDINGS (as of Jan. 2): Saint Mary's College (2-0, 13-2), Gonzaga (2-0, 12-3), San Diego (2-0, 11-3), BYU (1-1 WCC, 12-3), San Francisco (1-1, 9-6), Santa Clara (1-1, 4-10), Pacific (1-1, 6-9), Portland (0-2, 6-9), Loyola Marymount (0-2, 5-8), Pepperdine (0-2, 3-11).
WCC PRESEASON COACHES POLL: The Toreros were picked to place sixth by the WCC head coaches in the 2017-18 Preseason WCC Coaches Poll. Saint Mary's was selected first with 81 points and 9 first place votes. Rounding out the top-5 was Gonzaga (73 points, 1 first place vote), BYU (62 points), USF (59 points) and Santa Clara (44 points). Following San Diego is Pepperdine (30 points), Pacific (24 points), Portland (21 points) and Loyola Marymount (19 points).
COACH SMITH (3RD YEAR): Coach Lamont Smith (San Diego, 1998) is in his third year at the helm of the Torero basketball program. This year's team was the first Torero team to reach eight wins in its first 10 contests, and now 11 wins in its first 14 games since USD joined the NCAA Division I ranks in 1979-80. The Toreros enter the Portland game with a 11-3 record and having won six of seven. Prior to USD, Smith was at the University of New Mexico where he was the Associate Head Coach. Prior to UNM he spent time at Washington, Arizona State, Santa Clara, Saint Mary's and Saint Louis. Smith returned to USD where he was a member of the men's basketball team from 1994-99. He started all 27 games his senior year in 1998-99 for the 18-9 Toreros. He was named the Toreros' Defensive Player of the Year in 1997 and 1999 and served as the team captain from 1997-99. Smith earned a BA degree in Communications from USD in 1998. Lamont and his wife Kimberly have two daughters -- Payton and Olivia.
A LOOK AHEAD: The Portland contest will be followed by games at Saint Mary's College (Sat., Jan. 6th, 8:00 p.m., NBCS BA & SPEC SN) and Pacific (Thur., Jan. 11th, 7:00 p.m., TheW.tv).
* The Toreros continue to be one of the top defensive teams in the country as they rank #1 in 3-point FG% defense (.241), #6 in FG% defense (.368) and #15 in scoring defense (61.6)... Over the last three games they have also protected the rim with 29 blocked shots (10 vs. Life Pacific; 9 vs. San Francisco, 10 vs. Pepperdine)... The USD record is 11 blocks in a game.
* Among WCC players, Isaiah Wright is #2 in assists (6.2), #4 in steals (1.5), #10 in scoring (13.8) and #14 in rebounding (5.9); Isaiah Pineiro is #5 in blocked shots (1.2), #7 in scoring (14.9) and #8 in rebounding (6.4); Olin Carter III is #2 in 3-pointers made per game (2.8) and Yauhen Massalski is #4 in blocked shots per game (1.6).
* USD now hits the road for three games where they have had success this season... The Toreros are 4-1 away from the JCP with wins coming against San Jose State (81-64), Grand Canyon (72-62), New Mexico State (65-60) and Colorado (69-59)... USD is the lone team to earn wins on three of the opponent's home courts - GCU (9-1), NMSU (6-1) and CU (5-1)... USD's lone loss was at UC Santa Barbara (67-57) who is currently 11-3 and 6-0 at home... In away games USD is paced by Isaiah Wright (17.2 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 5.0 assists, 2.4 steals), Isaiah Pineiro (15.4 ppg, 6.6 rpg) and Olin Carter III (13.2 ppg)... USD averages 68.8 ppg and limits opponents on average to 62.4 ppg, 36.0 FG% and 22.9% from beyond the 3-point line.
* USD heads to Portland having won six of seven... During this stretch the Toreros have been paced by Isaiah Pineiro (15.3 ppg, 6.4 rpg), Isaiah Wright (14.4 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 6.7 apg), Tyler Williams (12.4 ppg) and Olin Carter III (12.3 ppg)... USD is avergaing 76.7 ppg while limiting opponents to 62.3 ppg (+14.4 scoring margin)... USD also has blocked 42 shots (6.0).
* USD survived a pesky Pepperdine squad on Dec. 30 with a 74-66 victory... Olin Carter III scored a season-high 27 points (7-12 in threes) and Juwan Gray came off the bench for a double-double with 11 points & 11 rebounds... Isaiah Pineiro, USD's leading scorer and rebounder, fouled out with nine minutes to go and was limited to 4 points.
* In Thursday's WCC opening 73-63 win over USF the Toreros were paced by Isaiah Pineiro (23 points & 8 rebounds) and Isaiah Wright (17 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists)... Olin Carter III chipped in with 13 points... USD made 8-of-18 three-pointers (44.4%) while limiting the Dons to just 2-of-15 shooting beyond the arc.
* The Toreros closed out their non-conference slate with a 94-51 win over Life Pacific... Isaiah Wright notched a double-double with 14 points and 12 assists... Isaiah Pineiro scored a game-high 16 points and was followed by Tyler Williams (15) and Yauhen Massalski (14)... USD outrebounded the Warriors 49-23 and collected a season-high 10 blocked shots.
SCOUTING THE PORTLAND PILOTS: The Portland Pilots (6-9, 0-2 WCC) opened up league play with a road loss at BYU (69-45) followed by a home loss to San Francisco (84-61)... For the season the Pilots are being paced by 6-7 R-So. G/F Josh McSwiggan (13.4 ppg), 6-4 R-So. G Franklin Porter (11.6 pp) and 6-2 Fr. G Marcus Shaver Jr. (11.0 ppg)... JoJo Walker, a 6-1 freshman guard, was the lone Pilot to reach double-digit scoring against BYU with 11 points (3-5 on 3's) and Marcus Shaver was the only Pilot to get into the double-digit scoring column against USF with 12 points... Head Coach Terry Porter (2nd season, 17-31) welcomes a total of nine players that are either new or returning redshirts... Two of the players are his sons, Franklin and Malcolm, both 6-4 guards.
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