GAME #24: The USD Toreros (11-12, 4-7 WCC) close out the week by hosting the No. 18/No. 19 Saint Mary's Gaels (20-2, 10-1 WCC) on Saturday, February 4th . The WCC Game of the Week is slated for a 4:03 p.m. tip-off at the Jenny Craig Pavilion (5,100 capacity).
SERIES RECORD: This is the 84th meeting between USD and Saint Mary's College with the Gaels owning a 47-36 edge... SMC has won six straight in the series including this season's first meeting (72-60) in Moraga on New Year's Eve... Last season SMC earned a convincing 79-46 victory in San Diego on Jan. 2nd, and followed up with a 60-43 win on Feb. 6th in Moraga when they owned a national ranking of No. 25... USD's last win over SMC came on Jan. 30, 2014 at the JCP (61-43).
RADIO/TV: All USD home and away games will be broadcast on ESPN 1700AM with Jack Cronin (3rd season) bringing you all the action; his pre-game show airs 15 minutes prior to tip-off. The game is being televised by Spectrum SportsNet (Steve Quis, play-by-play; Dan Dickau, color analyst) and will air on CSN California, ROOT Northwest, ROOT Rocky Mountain and TheW.tv (out-of-region). The WCC This Week presented by GEICO airs at 3:30 p.m. on Spectrum SportsNet, CSN California, TheW.tv (everywhere). The video feature will be on USD’s Coaching Pipeline.
WCC STANDINGS (thru Feb. 2nd): #1/#1 Gonzaga (11-0 WCC, 23-0), #18/#19 Saint Mary's (10-1, 20-2), BYU (7-4, 16-8), Santa Clara (7-4, 13-11), San Francisco (6-5, 16-8), Loyola Marymount (4-7, 11-11), San Diego (4-7, 11-12), Portland (2-9, 9-14), Pacific (2-9, 8-16), Pepperdine (2-9, 6-17).
COACH SMITH (2ND YEAR): Coach Lamont Smith (San Diego, 1998) enters his second year at the helm of the Torero basketball program... This year he owns an 11-12 record after he guided the Toreros to a 9-21 mark his rookie year that included a 53-48 win over SDSU at Petco Park, and WCC sweep of Portland... Prior to USD he 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 College and Saint Louis University... Smith returns 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 Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of San Diego in 1998... Lamont and his wife Kimberly have two daughters -- Payton and Olivia.
A LOOK AHEAD: Following the Saint Mary's game the Toreros will head to Stockton, California to take on the Pacific Tigers on Thursday, Feb. 9th (7:00 pm). USD then returns to the JCP to host the Pepperdine Waves on Saturday, Feb. 11th (6:00 pm).
TOREROS FALL TO LMU LIONS: On Thursday night the Toreros dropped a 72-53 decision to the visiting LMU Lions... Senior forward Brett Bailey scored a game-high 21 points, but no other Torero reached double-digit scoring... USD struggled from the field making just 18-of-46 shots (39.1%)... LMU on the other hand had one of their best shooting nights this season as they converted on 26-of-49 shots (53.1%) and made 10-of-22 (three-pointers... Guard Brandon Brown led the way with 18 points... LMU held a 20-point lead at halftime (45-25) and the closest the Toreros were able to get within during the second half was 13 points (55-42) with 12:14 to go.
* Sophomore guard Olin Carter III was recently recognized by the San Diego Hall of Champions as an Amateur Star of the Month for January... The month was highlighted by the team’s 88-75 home win over BYU on January 14th, and with its three WCC road wins over Pepperdine, LMU and Portland... For the month Carter averaged a team-best 15.1 points per game while converting 42.5% from the field (37-87), 37.3% from beyond the arc (22-59) and 90.9% from the free throw line (10-11)... He led all scorers with 28 points in the team’s upset over BYU as he made 8-of-15 shots overall, 5-of-8 threes and was a perfect 7-for-7 from the line.
* Carter scored a game-high 24 points in leading the Toreros to their third WCC road win with last Saturday's 68-52 victory over Portland... The sophomore guard from Allen, Texas converted 5-of-11 three-pointers... He was followed in double-digit scoring by Brett Bailey (16 points, 12 rebounds) and Cameron Neubauer (16 points)... San Diego converted 50.0% from the field (24-48), 44.4% from three-point range (8-18) and 92.3% from the charity stripe (12-13)... USD dominated in the rebounding department coming away with a 37-14 advantage.
* USD owns a 6-7 record in games played at the JCP, and are 1-4 in WCC home games... The Toreros are averaging 69.7 ppg & 33.8 rpg while surrendering 71.7 ppg & 35.4 rpg... A trio of Toreros average double-digits in home games - Brett Bailey (17.5 ppg), Olin Carter III (16.7 ppg) and Cameron Neubauer (10.2 ppg).
* The Toreros are 2-3 over its last five games... During this stretch USD has averaged 55.2 ppg & 34.0 rpg, while giving up 65.0 ppg & 27.4 rpg... USD has been paced in scoring by Brett Bailey (16.6 ppg, 7.4 rpg), Olin Carter III (10.3 ppg) and Cameron Neubauer (10.2 ppg).
* Through 23 games the Toreros have converted 188-of-521 three-pointers (.361) with three players shooting 40% or better - Juwan Gray (.429, 21-49), Tyler Williams (.426, 23-54) and Brett Bailey (.403, 25-62)... Olin Carter III (.374, 67-179) leads the Toreros in makes and attempts... Last year through 23 games USD was just 143-516 (.277) beyond the arc.
* Including games played through Feb. 2, USD has four players that rank in the top-10 in various West Coast Conference statistics - Brett Bailey (#4 in FT%, .788; #5 in rebounding, 6.9; #6 in scoring, 17.0), Olin Carter III (#2 in 3-pointers made per game, 3.0; #8 in scoring, 15.9), Juwan Gray (#10 in rebounding, 6.0) and Tyler Williams (#3 in FT%, .852; #7 in 3-PT%, .426).
* The Toreros are tied for 2nd among WCC teams in free throw percentage with their .741mark (354-478)... Against Pacific on Jan. 5th the Toreros were a perfect 17-for-17; a new school record for 15 or more attempts... The previous record was 95.8% (23-24) vs. CSUN (3-2-93)... Three Toreros are converting better than .780 from the charity stripe - Mark Carbone (.917, 11-12), Tyler Williams (.852, 46-54) and Brett Bailey (.788, 115-146)... USD's single season team record is .750 (469-625) from the 2004-05 team.
* Through 22 games the Toreros are being paced by Brett Bailey (16.8 ppg, 7.1 rpg), Olin Carter III (16.6 ppg) and Cameron Neubauer (10.8 ppg, 5.2 rpg)... As a team the Toreros are averaging 69.0 ppg and 34.3 rpg while holding its opponents on average to 71.0 ppg and 33.8 rpg... Freshman Juwan Gray ranks second on the team in rebounding (6.0) and fifth in scoring (7.5)... Sophomore Tyler Williams ranks 4th in scoring (7.7) and rebounding (4.8).
* In their first meeting back on New Year's Eve, the Toreros took on No. 19 Saint Mary's in Moraga... After jumping out to a 9-2 lead and holding the lead for the first 13 minutes of action, the Toreros would go on to drop a 72-60 decision to the Gaels... Brett Bailey paced USD with 19 points and was followed in the double-digit scoring column by Tyler Williams (13 points, 9 rebounds), Olin Carter III (11 points) and Juwan Gray (11 points)... SMC was led by center Jock Landale with 14 points and 9 rebounds.
SCOUTING THE SMC GAELS: The Saint Mary's Gaels come to town with an overall record of 20-2 and 10-1 in the WCC... They are ranked No. 18 in the AP Top-25 and No. 19 in the USA Today Coaches Poll... Thursday night they earned a 74-70 road win at Pacific to run their current winning streak to five straight... Their lone WCC loss came at Gonzaga (79-56) back on January 14th... Against Pacific the Gaels were paced by center Jock Landale with 22 points and 12 rebounds... He was followed by guard Joe Rahon (14 points), forward Dane Pineau (12 points, 10 rebounds) and guard Emmett Naar (12 points, 8 assists)... Season leaders include Landale (17.0 ppg, 9.6 rpg), forward Calvin Hermanson (12.9 ppg) and Naar (10.1 ppg)... Saint Mary's is averaging 72.8 ppg and giving up just 57.9 ppg (#1 in WCC)... Head Coach Randy Bennett, a former USD assistant coach under Hank Egan and Brad Holland, is in his 16th year with the Gaels... He owns an overall record of 353-153.
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