GAME #23: The San Diego Toreros (15-7, 6-4 WCC), under the direction of head coach Lamont Smith, head to the Pacific Northwest this week for a Thursday night showdown against the No. 14/12 Gonzaga Bulldogs (19-4, 9-1). Game time at the McCarthey Athletic Center (6,000 capacity) in Spokane, Washington is 6:00 pm.
SERIES RECORD: This is the 92nd meeting between USD and Gonzaga with the Bulldogs owning a commanding 69-22 series advantage... The Zags have won six straight in the series... In their last meeting (2-23-17), GU came to the JCP with a No. 1 national ranking and dealt USD a 96-38 loss (Olin Carter, 15 points)... In the first meeting (1-26-17) the No. 3 ranked Bulldogs earned a 79-43 victory... USD's last win over GU came on Feb. 23, 2014 (69-66)... USD's last win in Spokane was in the 2000 campaign (82-70).
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. Single game tickets for the Feb. 22 home game with Gonzaga are now also on sale.
RADIO/TV/STREAM: All USD games are 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 air on The Mighty 1090AM. The game will be televised by KHQ/ROOT NW (Greg Heister, play-by-play; Richard Fox & Dan Dickau, color analysts) and also air on NBCS CA, SPEC SN and TheW.tv.
WCC STANDINGS (as of Jan. 29): Saint Mary's College (10-0 WCC, 21-2), Gonzaga (9-1, 19-4), BYU (7-3, 18-5), San Diego (6-4, 15-7), Pacific (5-5, 10-13), Santa Clara (5-5, 8-14), San Francisco (4-6, 12-11), Portland (2-8, 8-15), LMU (1-9, 6-15), Pepperdine (1-9, 4-18).
WCC PRESEASON COACHES POLL: The Toreros were picked to place sixth in the 2017-18 Preseason WCC Coaches Poll. Saint Mary's is first with 81 points (9 first place votes). Rounding out the top-5 is Gonzaga (73 points, 1), BYU (62), USF (59) and Santa Clara (44). Following San Diego (37) is Pepperdine (30), Pacific (24), Portland (21) and LMU (19).
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 Gonzaga game with a 15-7 record, and the 15 wins is a new personal best for Smith. Prior to USD, Smith was at 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 was a member of the USD 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 in 1998. Lamont and his wife Kimberly have two daughters -- Payton and Olivia.
PINEIRO EARNS WCC PLAYER OF WEEK HONOR: Junior Isaiah Pineiro led the Toreros to two straight wins by averaging 20.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists in victories over Santa Clara (66-58) and LMU (89-82)... He totaled new season-highs in points (29) and assists (9) against LMU... He converted 14-of-18 shots (.778) over the two games.
A LOOK AHEAD: USD returns to the Jenny Craig Pavilion on Saturday, Feb. 3rd, to face the No. 13/14 Saint Mary's Gaels in a 6:00 p.m. contest (Spectrum SportsNet telecast).
* The Toreros continue to be one of the top defensive teams in the country as they rank #1 in 3-point FG% defense (.275), #15 in FG% defense (.393) and #21 in scoring defense (63.7)... USD has also protected the rim and is first in the WCC for blocked shots per game (4.3).
* 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 (5.5), #4 in steals (1.4), #7 in scoring (14.6) and #15 in rebounding (5.3); Isaiah Pineiro is #6 in scoring (15.9), #10 in blocked shots (0.9) and rebounding (6.0), #11 in FG% (.505) and #12 in FT% (.800); Olin Carter III is #4 in 3-pointers made per game (2.5) and #20 in scoring (11.8); Tyler Williams is #2 in FT% (.889), Yauhen Massalski is #4 in blocked shots per game (1.3) and Juwan Gray is #8 in blocked shots per game (1.0).
* The Toreros are 6-4 away from the JCP with wins coming against SJSU (81-64), Grand Canyon (72-62), New Mexico State (65-60), Colorado (69-59), Portland (81-74, ot) and LMU (89-82)... In away games USD is paced by Isaiah Wright (17.5 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 4.0 assists, 1.5 steals), Isaiah Pineiro (16.6 ppg, 5.3 rpg) and Olin Carter III (11.9 ppg)... USD limits opponents to 39.9 FG% and 25.6% from 3-point land (43-168).
* Behind 29 points and 9 assists from Isaiah Pineiro the Toreros earned an 89-82 road win at LMU (Jan. 27)... Four other Toreros reached double-digit scoring led by Isaiah Wright (15) and Tyler Williams (11).
* The Toreros snapped a 2-game WCC skid with a 66-58 home win over Santa Clara (Jan. 25)... Isaiah Wright (21 points) and Juwan Gray (14 points) paced the Toreros... USD's defense played a key role in limiting Bronco guard KJ Feagin (17.8 ppg) to nine points in 36 minutes.
SCOUTING THE GONZAGA BULLDOGS: The Bulldogs (9-1 WCC, 19-4) are ranked No. 14 in this week's AP top-25 and No. 12 in the USA Today Coaches Poll... They are riding a 3-game win streak and this past week earned wins at Portland (95-79) and at home on Saturday against USF (82-73)... Gonzaga's balanced offensive attack includes six players that average double-digit scoring: Jonathan Williams (13.7 ppg, 7.0 rpg), Josh Perkins (13.2), Killian Tillie (12.7), Zach Norvell Jr. (12.0), Rui Hachimura (11.2) and Silas Melson (10.5)... The Zags 88.2 points per game (#1 WCC, #3 NCAA) and limit opponents to just 69.7 (+18.5 scoring margin, #5 NCAA)... Head Coach Mark Few is in his 19th year (522-117) and has directed the Zags to the NCAA Tourney each year including last season's national runner-up finish.
Men's Basketball: Day in the Life
Guard Olin Carter III knows the games starts long before tip-off
Rowing, tennis, basketball and baseball, a winning day in the books
Baseball: For the Love of the Game
Baseball celebrates 60 years
Women's Basketball: Women in Sports Day
Julie Foudy spoke to student-athletes and guests for National Women in Sports Day
Men's Basketball: At LMU
Men's basketball on the road
Women's Rowing: Day in the Life
Senior Lizzie Bader shows how three-a-day practices are done
Men's Basketball: Youth Basketball Clinic
Toreros lead clinic in local community
Men's Rowing: Winter Camp 2018
There are plenty perks to being the early bird
60 Years of USD Baseball
Milestones on the road to Omaha
USD Honors Local Military Members
Toreros showed their support and hosted local military members at the men's basketball game
USD Athletes Sing "Santa's Coming to Town"
Toreros show their talent out of uniform
Basketball: City Championship
Toreros play SDSU Thursday night at 8
Football: Week Fourteen
Football preps for second round of playoffs at NDSU
Football: NAU From the Sidelines
Toreros win in first round of playoffs at NAU
Football: Week Thirteen
Football travels to NAU for the first round of the FCS Playoffs
A day to give to Torero Athletics
Football: Week Twelve
Toreros gear up for last game of conference play
Football: Week Eleven
Toreros prep for game day
Torero Timeout with Summer Mason
USD junior women's soccer player takes a timeout during a study break
On Saturday We Dominate
Big wins for both USD Football and USD Volleyball Saturday afternoon
Torero Timeout with Henry Lander
Men's soccer sophomore Henry Lander takes a Timeout between classes
Football: Week Ten
Toreros gear up for home game against Drake
Men's and women's basketball teamed up to host a Halloween event
Football: Week Nine
Big day in the weight room for the Toreros
Seamus McFadden's Legacy
39 years in review by former players and coaches
Alumni, staff and the San Diego community gathered to celebrate Men's Soccer Head Coach Seamus McFadden
Sixth Man Night: The Event
Recap video of the October 12 fundraiser event
Women's Basketball: WCC Hoops Tip-Off
Coach Fisher and Maya Hood attend media day in Las Vegas
Men's Basketball: New Heights
Men's basketball celebrates the third era of the program
Alumni and family gathered together for an eventful Homecoming weekend
Torero Timeout with Kristen Gengenbacher
Take a Timeout with the senior setter at her house in South Mission Beach
Football: Week Seven
Football preps for this Saturday's Homecoming game
Torero Timeout with Jonathan Petersen
USD Football's Petersen strolls through Belmont Park during his bye week
USD Basketball: Practice No. 1
Check out what practice looks like for the Torero ballers
Football: Week Five
Toreros prep for big game against Dayton
Football: FaceTime with Lion's Jamal Agnew
USD Head Coach Dale Lindsey congratulates Torero alum Agnew on his first NFL touchdown
Football: Brian Fogarty PFL Classic
From tailgates to touchdowns, we got it all
Football: Week Four
Hard work follows these Toreros on and off the field
Cross Country: USD Invite
Missed Saturday's race? Don't stress, we have it right here
Football: Week Three
Sights and sounds of USD Football at work
USD Invite: Take a Lap
Men's and women's cross country host the USD Invite: the only home race for the Toreros
Football: Week Two
Football hard at work for their first away game at UC Davis
Three Games - One Day
Ole Weekend was one to remember for USD Athletics
Football: Week One
Toreros preps for their home opener against Western New Mexico
2017 Football Season Preview
Head Coach Dale Lindsey and Senior Ray Clark discuss upcoming season
USD Athletics Highlight Video 2016-17
Don't miss the best highlights from this past year in USD Athletics