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Toreros host Portland on Thursday at 7:00 p.m.
Jan. 16, 2018

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GAME #19: The San Diego Toreros (13-5, 4-2 WCC), under the direction of head coach Lamont Smith, return to the Jenny Craig Pavilion this Thursday, January 18th, to host the Portland Pilots (6-13, 0-6) in a 7:00 p.m. contest.

SERIES RECORD: This is the 83rd meeting between USD and Portland with the Toreros owning a 52-30 series edge... The Toreros won the first meeting this season in Portland by the score of 81-74 in overtime on January 4th. Isaiah Wright scored a career-high 30 points. Last season 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 will be televised by Spectrum SportsNet (Steve Quis and Brad Holland) and also air on NBC Sports California+, ROOT Northwest, AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain and TheW.tv (out-of-market).

WCC STANDINGS (as of Jan. 16): Saint Mary's College (6-0 WCC, 17-2), Gonzaga (6-0, 16-3), BYU (4-2, 15-4), San Diego (4-2, 13-5), Pacific (4-2, 9-10), Santa Clara (3-3, 6-12), San Francisco (2-4, 10-9), LMU (1-5, 6-11), Portland (0-6, 6-13), Pepperdine (0-6, 3-15).

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 Portland game with a 13-5 record and having won eight of ten at home. 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 Toreros close out the week with a game at BYU on Saturday, January 20th. The game is slated for 6:00 p.m. (PST) and will televised by BYU.tv.

TORERO TIDBITS:
* The Toreros continue to be one of the top defensive teams in the country as they rank #1 in 3-point FG% defense (.255), #9 in FG% defense (.382) and #20 in scoring defense (63.9)... USD has also protected the rim and is first in the WCC for blocked shots per game (4.4).

* 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 #2 in assists (5.6), #6 in steals (1.4), #7 in scoring (15.0) and #14 in rebounding (5.4); Isaiah Pineiro is in #6 in scoring (15.1), #7 in blocked shots (1.0), #10 in rebounding (5.8) and #14 in steals (1.1); Olin Carter III is #3 in 3-pointers made per game (2.6) and #18 in scoring (12.2), and Yauhen Massalski is #4 in blocked shots per game (1.4).

* USD is now 8-2 at home this season... The Toreros are averaging 73.7 ppg while limiting its opponents to 62.1 ppg (+11.6 scoring margin)... Four Toreros average in double-digits at the JCP - Isaiah Pineiro (14.7), Olin Carter (12.4), Isaiah Wright (12.3) and Tyler Williams (10.0)... USD has made 91 three-pointers at home while limiting opponents to just 46 (4.6 per game).

* USD snapped a 2-game WCC skid with a 75-71 win over LMU (Jan. 13)... Juwan Gray came off the bench to score a career-high 17 points... He was followed by Isaiah Wright (16) and Isaiah Pineiro (15)... LMU became the first team to make 10 or more threes against USD this season (11-21)... Guard James Batemon scored a game-high 30 points for the Lions.

SCOUTING THE PORTLAND PILOTS: The Portland Pilots (6-13, 0-6 WCC) head to San Diego in search of their first WCC win this season Following an 81-74 overtime loss to USD, they dropped a two-point contest at Santa Clara (70-68) on Jan. 6th... For the season the Pilots are being paced by 6-7 R-So. G/F Josh McSwiggan (12.7 ppg), 6-2 Fr. G Marcus Shaver Jr. (11.5 ppg), and 6-4 R-So. G Franklin Porter (10.9 ppg)... This past week they dropped a 103-57 contest at Gonzaga (Jan. 11) and a 66-54 loss at Pacific (Jan. 13)... Head Coach Terry Porter (2nd season, 17-35) 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.

The Last Meeting
San Diego81  
Portland74ot
January 4, 2018
Portland, Ore.
Toreros hold off Pilots in overtime 81-74
The USD Toreros survived an 81-74 overtime victory at Portland to improve their season record to 12-3 overall and a perfect 3-0 in the West Coast Conference. Junior guard Isaiah Wright scored a career-high 30 points to lead the winning effort.


 

 

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