GAME #18: The USD Toreros (12-5, 3-2 WCC), under the direction of head coach Lamont Smith, return to the Jenny Craig Pavilion this Saturday, January 13th, to host the LMU Lions (6-10, 1-4) in a 7:00 p.m. contest.
SERIES RECORD: This is the 96th meeting between USD and LMU with the Lions own a 48-47 advantage... Last season in the first meeting at LMU on Jan. 19, the Toreros held on for a 69-62 win with Brett Bailey (23 points) and Cameron Neubauer (15 points) leading the way... In the most recent meeting, the Toreros dropped a 72-53 decision to the Lions back on Feb. 2, 2017... Brett Bailey scored a game-high 21 points.
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 1090. The game will be televised by Spectrum SportsNet (Steve Quis and Brad Holland) and also air on NBC Sports California+ and TheW.tv (out-of-market).
WCC STANDINGS (as of Jan. 12): Saint Mary's College (5-0 WCC, 16-2), Gonzaga (5-0, 15-3), BYU (3-2, 14-4), San Diego (3-2, 12-5), Pacific (3-2, 8-10), Santa Clara (3-2, 6-11), San Francisco (2-3, 10-8), LMU (1-4, 6-10), Portland (0-5, 6-12), Pepperdine (0-5, 3-14).
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 had 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 Loyola Marymount game with a 12-5 record and having won seven of ten. 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 returns home to the JCP on Thursday, January 18th, when they play host to the Portland Pilots in a 7:00 p.m. contest. The Toreros won the first meeting this season in Portland by the score of 81-74 in overtime. Junior guard Isaiah Wright scored a career-high 30 points.
* The Toreros continue to be one of the top defensive teams in the country as they rank #1 in 3-point FG% defense (.234), #6 in FG% defense (.376) and #21 in scoring defense (63.5)... USD has also protected the rim and is first in the WCC for blocked shots per game (4.5)... USD limited Portland (1-9) and SMC (1-11) to a combined 2-20 (10%) shooting beyond the arc in recent road games.
* USD is getting some mid-major attention... In the NBC Sports Midseason Mid-Major Power Rankings, USD was listed at No. 12... In the CollegeInsider.com Top-25 poll (as of Jan. 8), 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 #3 in assists (5.5), #5 in steals (1.4), #7 in scoring (14.9) and #14 in rebounding (5.5); Isaiah Pineiro is # (15.1) and blocked shots (1.1), #11 in rebounding (5.9) and #13 in steals (1.1); Olin Carter III is #3 in 3-pointers made per game (2.6) and #19 in scoring (12.4), and Yauhen Massalski is #4 in blocked shots per game (1.4).
* USD is now 7-2 at home this season... The Toreros are averaging 73.6 ppg while limiting its opponents to 61.1 ppg (+12.5 scoring margin)... Four Toreros average in double-digits at the JCP - Isaiah Pineiro (14.7), Olin Carter (12.8), Isaiah Wright (11.9), Tyler Williams (10.5)... USD's fifth starter, Cameron Neubauer, is just outside double-digits at 8.3 ppg... USD has made 83 three-pointers at home while limiting opponents to just 35 (3.9 per game).
* The Toreros dropped a 74-70 decision at Pacific (Jan. 11)... Despite 23 points from Isaiah Pineiro and 20 points from Tyler Williams, the Toreros couldn't overcome the Pacific's performance at the free throw line (33-35, 94.2%)... USD attempted 20 less free throws in the four point loss... The Toreros found themselves down 13 inside of three minutes to go before rallying to get within four. Isaiah Wright chipped in with 13 points and USD made 11-of-24 threes (45.8%).
* The Toreros battled Saint Mary's tough but came up a little short in 70-63 loss (Jan. 6)... USD led by eight with 14 minutes to go and were within two (63-61) with three minutes to go... Isaiah Wright (18), Isaiah Pineiro (17) and Juwan Gray (16, 6-6 FG, 4-4 3PT shooting) paced the Toreros... Saint Mary's was paced by point guard Emmett Naar (24 points) and center Jock Landale (22 points, 9 rebounds).
* 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 LMU LIONS: The Lions come to town with an overall record of 6-10 and 1-4 WCC mark... LMU earned its first league victory this past Thursday with a 67-65 home victory over San Francisco.... The win also snapped a six-game skid by the Lions... Jeffery McClendon knocked down all three free throws with 0.8 on the clock after being fouled on the game-winning three-point attempt... For the game LMU was paced by forward Eli Scott (18 points), guard Steven Haney (17 points) and center Mattias Markusson (12)... For the season the Lions are being paced by James Batemon (16.7 ppg), Scott (13.0 ppg) and Haney (12.9 ppg)... LMU is averaging 74.2 ppg but surrendering 77.7 ppg on average to its opponents... Head Coach Mike Dunlap is in his 4th season (43-65 record, 19-40 WCC).
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