GAME #16: The USD Toreros (12-3, 3-0 WCC), under the direction of head coach Lamont Smith, close out the week with a road game at Saint Mary's College (14-2, 3-0 WCC) in Moraga, California. Game time is 8:05 p.m. at McKeon Pavilion.
SERIES RECORD: This is the 85th meeting between USD and Saint Mary's College with the Gaels owning a 48-36 edge... SMC has won seven straight in the series... In the most recent match-up on Feb. 4, 2017, the No. 18 Gaels downed the Toreros 71-27 in San Diego... USD, just 9-of-46 from the field, was paced by Olin Carter III (11 points)... In the first meeting, played on New Year's Eve in Moraga, the host Gaels earned a 72-60 victory... Brett Bailey (19 points) and Tyler Williams (13 points, 9 rebounds) led USD.
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 Saturday will be broadcast on The Mighty 1090AM. The game will be televised by NBC Sports Bay Area (Glen Kuiper and Dan Belluomini) and also air on Spectrum SportsNet. Additionally, the game will stream on TheW.tv.
WCC STANDINGS (as of Jan. 5): Saint Mary's College (3-0, 14-2), Gonzaga (3-0, 13-3), San Diego (3-0, 12-3), BYU (2-1 WCC, 13-3), Santa Clara (2-1, 5-10), San Francisco (1-2, 9-7), Pacific (1-2, 6-10), Portland (0-3, 6-10), LMU (0-3, 5-9), Pepperdine (0-3, 3-12).
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 have extended their best start to 12 wins in the first 15 games (since USD joined the NCAA Division I ranks in 1979-80). The Toreros enter the Saint Mary's game with a 12-3 record and having won seven of eight. 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: USD's third straight road contest will come on Thursday, January 11th, with a 7:00 p.m. contest at the University of the Pacific (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 (.236), #6 in FG% defense (.372) and #17 in scoring defense (62.4)... USD has also protected the rim with 34 blocked shots over the last four games (10 vs. Life Pacific; 9 vs. USF, 10 vs. Pepperdine, 5 vs. Portland)... USD's record is 11 blocks in a game.
* USD is getting some mid-major attention... In the NBC Sports Midseason Mid-Major Power Rankings, USD was listed at No. 12... In the most recent CollegeInsider.com Top-25 poll, USD is ranked No. 19. Joe Teitel of hoopsHD.com selected Isaiah Pineiro and Isaiah Wright among the WCC's top five players thus far in the season... the Isaiahs are joined by Jock Landale (SMC), Yoeli Childs (BYU) and James Batemon (LMU).
* Juniors Isaiah Wright (Boise, Idaho) and Isaiah Pineiro (Auburn, Calif.)were recently honored by the San Diego Hall of Champions as Amateur Stars of the Month for December after leading USD to a 6-2 mark and impressive road wins over New Mexico State and Colorado and two WCC victories.
* Among WCC players, Isaiah Wright is #2 in assists (5.9), #4 in steals (1.6), #7 in scoring (14.9) and #14 in rebounding (5.8); Isaiah Pineiro is #5 in blocked shots (1.2), #8 in scoring (14.5) and #9 in rebounding (6.2); Olin Carter III is #2 in 3-pointers made per game (2.9) and Yauhen Massalski is #4 in blocked shots per game (1.6).
* The Toreros are 5-1 away from the JCP with wins coming against San Jose State (81-64), Grand Canyon (72-62), New Mexico State (65-60), Colorado (69-59) and Portland (81-74, ot)... USD is the lone team to earn wins on three of the opponent's home courts - GCU (9-1), NMSU (6-1) and CU (6-1)... 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 (19.3 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 4.5 assists, 2.5 steals), Isaiah Pineiro (14.2 ppg, 6.2 rpg) and Olin Carter III (13.7 ppg)... USD averages 70.8 ppg and limits opponents to 64.3 ppg, 37.0 FG% and 21.9% from 3-point land.
* USD heads to Saint Mary's having won seven of eight... During this stretch the Toreros have been paced by Isaiah Wright (16.4 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 6.1 apg), Isaiah Pineiro (14.4 ppg, 6.1 rpg), Olin Carter III (12.8 ppg), and Tyler Williams (12.1 ppg)... USD is averaging 77.2 ppg while limiting opponents to 63.8 ppg (+13.4 scoring margin)... USD also has blocked 47 shots (5.9).
* Isaiah Wright scored a career-high 30 points on Thursday (Jan. 4) in USD's 81-74 overtime win at Portland... Olin Carter III followed with 16 points and hit a big go-ahead three-pointer in overtime... Tyler Williams chipped in with 10 points... Both Wright and Isaiah Pineiro fouled out before the OT.
SCOUTING THE SAINT MARY'S GAELS: The WCC preseason favorites, the Gaels are 14-2 on the season, 3-0 in WCC play and are riding a nine game winning streak... They are coming off 74-56 home win over Pacific with Evan Fitzner scoring 16 and Jock Landale notching a double-double with 13 points and 17 rebounds... Emmett Naar dished out 15 assists... For the season Landale has been named the WCC Player of the Week three times and leads the WCC in scoring (21.3), rebounding (10.3) and FG% (.649)... Naar leads the WCC in assists (9.5)... Calvin Hermanson (13.0 ppg) and Naar (11.0 ppg) also average double-digit scoring... Head Coach Randy Bennett is in his 17th season (376-158; 173-70 WCC)... Last year the Gaels finished 29-5 overall and 16-2 in the WCC.
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Football: Week One
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USD Athletics Highlight Video 2016-17
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