Feb. 9, 2009
GAME #25: The University of San Diego men's basketball team (5-4 wcc; 13-11), under the direction of 2nd-year head coach Bill Grier, begin a three-game road swing this Thursday, February 12th, when they face the Loyola Marymount Lions (0-8 wcc; 1-23) in a 7:05 p.m. contest at Gersten Pavilion. On Saturday, Feb. 14th, the Toreros head up the coast to face the Pepperdine Waves in a 5:00 p.m. showdown at Firestone Fieldhouse.
SERIES RECORD: This is the 77th meeting between USD and LMU with the series knotted at 38-all... USD has won three straight, including earlier this season with a 70-59 home victory on January 17th... Gyno Pomare (18 points, 9 rebounds) and Matt Dorr (11 points) paced the Toreros... Last year the Toreros won 72-48 in Los Angeles on Feb. 2nd, 2008 (Rob Jones 27 points, 13 rebounds), and again in San Diego on March 3rd, 2008 by the score of 86-65 (Brandon Johnson 25 points, Gyno Pomare 18 points).
RADIO/INTERNET/TV: The game will be broadcast on XX Sports Radio 1090 AM with Andy Masur (play-by-play) bringing you the action. Pregame begins at 6:45 pm. The game can also be heard via the internet at www.usdtoreros.com. Saturday's game at Pepperdine will be televised by Fox Sports West (Ron Pitts p-by-p, Jim Harrick analyst).
WCC STANDINGS (thru Feb. 9th): #18 Gonzaga (8-0 wcc; 17-5), Portland (6-2; 15-8), Saint Mary's (6-3; 19-4), San Diego (5-4; 13-11), Santa Clara (5-4; 13-13), Pepperdine (3-5; 6-18), San Francisco (1-8; 9-15), Loyola Marymount (0-8; 1-23).
UPCOMING WCC SCHEDULE: (Thur., Feb. 12th) San Diego at Loyola Marymount (7 pm), Portland at San Francisco (7 pm), Santa Clara at Pepperdine (7:30 pm), Gonzaga at Saint Mary's (8 pm). (Sat., Feb. 14th) San Diego at Pepperdine (5 pm), Portland at Saint Mary's (7 pm), Santa Clara at Loyola Marymount (7:30 pm), Gonzaga at USF (8 pm).
COACH GRIER (2ND YEAR): Coach Bill Grier (Oregon, 1990), 45, is in his second season at the helm of the USD program... He enters the LMU game with a season record of 13-11, and career mark of 35-25 (.583)... In his rookie year he guided the Toreros to an overall mark of 22-14 and 3rd place finish in the WCC race at 11-3... He guided the Toreros to three wins and the championship title at the WCC Tournament (hosted by USD) with wins over Pepperdine, Saint Mary's and No. 20 Gonzaga... The Toreros then upset No. 15 UCONN in the NCAA Tournament opener with a 70-69 overtime victory, before falling to Western Kentucky in the second round... His 11 WCC wins were the second most for league wins in a single season in program history... Hired on March 26, 2007, Grier is USD's 11th head coach overall and just the 4th head coach since the Torero program moved to the NCAA Division I ranks in 1979-80... His 22 wins were also the most by a Torero coach in his first season at USD - previous mark was 16 held by Hank Egan ('84-85) and Jim Brovelli ('73-74). In addition to knocking off Kentucky on the road, 81-72, the Toreros earned three wins over Top-25 teams: #21 Saint Mary's, #20 Gonzaga and #15 Connecticut... Prior to USD Grier spent 16 years at Gonzaga, including the last 8 seasons as Mark Few's top assistant. Bill and his wife, Nicole, have one daughter, Giselle.
TOREROS TO HOST PACIFIC IN ESPNU BRACKETBUSTERS ON FEB. 21ST: The Toreros found out they will host the University of the Pacific Tigers in this year's seventh annual ESPNU BracketBusters game on Saturday, February 21st. Tip-off time is 6 pm for the USD-UOP contest; the USD women's team will host Saint Mary's College at 2 pm that same day. San Diego, with an overall record of 12-10 and 4-3 in the WCC, will play five more league contests before hosting Pacific. The UOP Tigers currently own a record of 12-7 overall and 5-3 in the Big West Conference and will also play five more league games before heading to San Diego. This is USD's first appearance in the ESPNU BracketBusters, while it is UOP's fifth straight appearance. UOP leads the series with the Toreros 3-2, with the last meeting coming in 1996, a 63-57 Tiger victory. The seventh annual ESPNU BracketBusters event, a two-day men's college basketball extravaganza pitting potential NCAA Tournament hopefuls against each other on Feb. 20-21, will feature 13 nationally televised games--on either ESPN2, ESPNU, or ESPN360.com--selected from a pool of 102 teams. Saint Mary's is the only other WCC team to get in - they will host Utah State in one of the ESPNU televised contests.
TOREROS SPLIT TWO WCC HOME CONTESTS: The Toreros snapped their four-game skid with Saturday's 73-63 victory over the USF Dons... Gyno Pomare came off the bench to lead the Toreros with 16 points... Matt Dorr (13 points), Roberto Mafra (12 points) and De'Jon Jackson (11 points) also netted double-digit scoring in the win... USF was paced by Dior Lowhorn (22 points, 12 rebounds) and was able to stay within striking distance as the Toreros connected on just 16-of-32 free throws (12-24 in 2nd half). In Thursday's 64-62 overtime loss to Santa Clara, the Toreros missed four free throws in the overtime period and were just 10-19 for the game... USD entered the contest as the top WCC free throw shooting team... Sophomore guard Trumaine Johnson matched his career-high of 22 points and made the jumper in regulation with two seconds left that sent the game into OT... In the extra period he missed on two free throw opportunities with five seconds left, and also was off the mark with his game-winning attempt at the buzzer following a John Bryant missed free throw with four ticks left... Bryant, Santa Clara's 6-11 senior center, overcame a slow start to finish with 23 points and 20 rebounds... For USD, De'Jon Jackson chipped in with 15 points, Rob Jones added 12 points and 6 rebounds, and Gyno Pomare totaled 8 points and 10 rebounds
TORERO TIDBITS: The Toreros look to continue their winning ways this week against two teams 2nd-year head coach Bill Grier has had success against (7-0 combined record: 3-0 vs. LMU; 4-0 vs. PEP)... Against LMU Grier owns a scoring margin of victory of +18.7 ppg (76.0 ppg to 57.3 ppg)... Against Pepperdine the margin of victory is 10.0 ppg (68.25 ppg to 58.25 ppg)... Over the past two seasons, two Toreros have also had some success - forward Rob Jones and guard De'Jon Jackson... In three games against LMU, Jones is averaging 16.0 ppg and 10.0 rpg... Last year in Los Angeles (Feb. 2, 2008) he busted out for a career-game with 27 points and 13 rebounds in the team's convincing 72-48 victory... Against Pepperdine in his last four meetings, Jackson has averaged 14.5 ppg... He scored a career-high 24 points in last year's WCC Tournament victory; and also netted a team-best 20 points in the team's 61-58 victory in Malibu... The Toreros entered last week leading the WCC in free throw percentage (.734), but combined to go just 26-51 (.509) in their last two home outings, and now sit at 70.4% (4th in WCC)... USD's 13-11 record is exactly where the Toreros were at this point last season.
TOREROS IN WCC STATISTICAL RANKINGS: Among WCC teams for all games played this season, USD ranks first in scoring defense (60.5 ppg), and second in turnover margin (+2.04)... Torero players that rank in the top-10 for all games played include Gyno Pomare (3rd in FG% at .531; 5th in FT% at .765; 7th in scoring at 13.9 ppg; 7th in blocked shots at 1.09; and 8th in rebounding at 6.7 rpg), Trumaine Johnson (3rd in steals at 1.50; 8th in assists at 2.92; and 10th in FG% at .469), Matt Dorr (8th in 3-PT% at .403), and Roberto Mafra (9th in blocked shots at 0.83). For WCC games only, USD as a team ranks 1st in turnover margin (+4.0) and 2nd in scoring defense (59.0 ppg)... USD Toreros that rank in the top-10 for WCC games only include Gyno Pomare (6th in FT% at .789; 8th in rebounding at 6.9 rpg; 8th in blocked shots at 1.11; and 9th in FG% at .494), Trumaine Johnson (5th in assists at 3.33; and 6th in assist/turnover margin at +1.11), and Matt Dorr (7th in 3PT% at .429).
SCOUTING THE LOYOLA MARYMOUNT LIONS: The LMU Lions are 0-8 in the West Coast Conference and 1-23 overall on the season... LMU defeated Cal State Bakersfield 72-69 on January 4th, but has dropped eight straight league games since... This past weekend they dropped their lone WCC contest, a 58-43 home loss to travel-partner Pepperdine University on February 7th... Sophomore guard Vernon Teel paced the Lions with 17 points while freshman forward Kevin Young pulled down 13 rebounds... On the season the Lions are being led by Teel (15.4 ppg in 9 games) and freshman guard Jarred DuBois (12.8 ppg)... Senior guard Corey Counts leads the team in three-point shooting with 45 makes in 123 attempts (.366)... In WCC games only, Teel leads LMU at 15.4 ppg (5 games only), DuBois (13.3 ppg) and Young (10.9 ppg & 7.3 rpg)... For the season LMU is being outscored by an average of 18.0 points per game (72.3 ppg to 54.3 ppg)... LMU is 1-8 at Gersten Pavilion this season, and 0-3 in WCC home contests... First-year head coach Max Good officially took over the helm of the LMU program on January 12th... Prior to that he had been acting head coach during Billy Bayno's leave-of-absense... Bayno officially resigned on Jan. 12.
UP NEXT FOR USD: The Toreros continue their road swing at Pepperdine (Feb. 14, 5 pm, FSN - television) and at Saint Mary's (Feb. 19, 8 pm, ESPNU).
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