GAME #31: The USD Toreros (13-17, 6-12 WCC), the No. 7 seed for the 2017 WCC Championships, will take on the No.10 seed Portland Pilots (10-21, 2-16 WCC) in first round action this coming Friday, March 3rd. The 8:00 p.m. (approx.) game follows the #8 Pepperdine vs. #9 Pacific first game slated to tip-off at 6:00 p.m. at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.
SERIES RECORD: This is the 81st meeting between USD and Portland with the Toreros owning a 51-29 series edge, and a streak of five straight wins... USD closed out its regular-season on Saturday by holding onto a 85-82 home win over Portland... Olin Carter III led six Toreros in double-digits with 21 points... In the first meeting back on Jan. 28th in Portland, the Toreros came away with a 68-52 victory... Carter scored 24 points and knocked down 5 three-pointers... Last season outcomes: 82-71 in Portland on Jan. 14th; 85-76 in San Diego on Feb. 27th... Duda Sanadze paced USD in both games with a career-high 38 point in last year's regular-season finale, and with 29 points at the Chiles Center... In four WCC Tournament games the series is tied 2-2 with the last meeting coming in 2010, a 72-57 Portland win.
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. Friday's game will be televised on BYUtv, TheW.tv and Twitter. Dave McCann, play-by-play; Steve Cleveland, color analyst.
WCC STANDINGS (thru Feb. 26th): #4/#4 Gonzaga (17-1 WCC, 29-1), #20/#18 Saint Mary's (16-2, 26-3), BYU (12-6, 21-10), San Francisco (10-8, 20-11), Santa Clara (10-8, 16-15), Loyola Marymount (8-10, 15-14), San Diego (6-12, 13-17), Pepperdine (5-13, 9-21), Pacific (4-14, 10-21), Portland (2-16, 10-21).
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 a 13-17 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.
BAILEY & CARTER EARN ALL-WCC RECOGNITION: The WCC released the 2016-17 All-WCC Men's Basketball Teams today... Senior forward Brett Bailey (Spokane, WA) was named to the five-member All-WCC Second Team while sophomore guard Olin Carter III (Allen, TX) was selected All-WCC Honorable Mention... Bailey ranks 6th in the WCC in both scoring (15.5 ppg) and rebounding (6.9 rpg), while ranking 8th in free throw percentage (.760)... He owns nine games of 20 or more points this season. Carter ranks 8th in the WCC in scoring (15.4), second in 3-pointers made per game (3.1) and 5th in free throw percentage (.782)... He has reached double-digit scoring a team-best 25 times this season, including a personal-best 34 points vs. Bethesda.
John Cunningham, former USD baseball coach and a longtime member of the USD athletics staff, will be inducted into the 2017 West Coast Conference Hall of Honor class on Saturday, March 4 at 9:00 a.m. at the Mardi Gras Ballroom in the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.Cunningham, along with one inductee from each of the other nine WCC schools, will be honored throughout the course of the basketball championships. Cunningham was head coach for USD's baseball program from 1964-1998, and was an assistant basketball coach for USD from 1962-1977. A native San Diegan, he attended USF where he was a standout basketball and baseball player. He was named the 1959 USF Athlete of the Year.
* This past Thursday the Toreros held on for an 85-82 home win over Portland... Sophomore guard Olin Carter III scored a team-high 21 points and was one of six Toreros to score in double-digits... Carter was followed by Cameron Neubauer (18 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists), Brett Bailey (12 points, 8 rebounds), Tyler Williams (11 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists), Jose Martinez (11 first half points in 4 minutes, 3-3 in 3s) and Juwan Gray (10 points)... The Toreros held a 43-31 halftime lead and extended that advantage to 51-33 with 17:29 to go... The Pilots, who were led by guard D'Marques Tyson with 24 points (7-9 in 3s), rallied to get within two points at 55-53 with 9:47 to go... The Toreros would answer with an 8-0 run to take control again only to have to hold off the Pilots final rally to the end... USD made 13-of-31 three-pointers and shot 53.8% overall from the field (28-52).
* In the first meeting with Portland, Olin Carter III scored a game-high 24 points in leading the Toreros to their third WCC road win with a 68-52 victory... The sophomore guard from Allen, Texas converted 5-of-11 three-pointers... He was followed in the double-digit scoring column 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... The host Pilots jumped out to a 6-0 lead to start the game but USD rallied to take a 38-30 halftime lead behind Carter's 13 points... It was USD's 4th straight win over the Pilots... UP was paced by Jazz Johnson with 19 points.
* Through 30 games the Toreros have converted 247-of-708 three-pointers (.349)... Top marksmen include Juwan Gray (.415, 27-65), Tyler Williams (.382, 29-76) and Olin Carter III (.378, 90-238)... Cameron Neubauer (46-140, .329) and Brett Bailey (29-89, .326) rank 2nd & 3rd in makes... Last year through 30 games USD was 192-673 (.285) beyond the arc.
* Including games played through Feb. 25th, USD has two players that rank in the top-10 in various WCC statistics - Brett Bailey (#6 in scoring, 15.5; #6 in rebounding, 6.9; #8 in FT%, .760) and Olin Carter III (#2 in 3-pointers made per game, 3.1; #5 in FT%, .782; #8 in scoring, 15.4).
* Through 30 games the Toreros are being paced by Brett Bailey (15.5 ppg, 6.9 rpg), Olin Carter III (15.4 ppg) and Cameron Neubauer (11.0 ppg, 5.4 rpg)... As a team the Toreros are averaging 65.7 ppg and 33.2 rpg while holding its opponents on average to 71.7 ppg and 34.3 rpg... Freshman Juwan Gray ranks second on the team in rebounding (5.9) and fourth in scoring (7.2)... Sophomore Tyler Williams ranks 5th in scoring (6.7) and 4th in rebounding (4.6).
SCOUTING THE PORTLAND PILOTS: The Portland Pilots finished the regular-season with a 10-21 overall record and 2-16 WCC mark ... On Saturday night they dropped an 85-82 contest at USD despite 24 points from D'Marques Tyson (7-9 in 3s)... Portland snapped a recent 14-game skid with their Feb. 20th 96-58 win over Walla Walla - the game was added to the schedule to replace the Boise State game in December that was postponed due to inclement weather... UP lost all-WCC guard Alec Wintering to a season-ending knee injury on Jan. 19 at USF... With Wintering (19.5 ppg in 18 starts) out, Jazz Johnson is the team's leading scorer with his 15.5 ppg average... He is followed by junior forward Gabe Taylor (11.7 ppg)... As a team the Pilots are averaging 67.6 ppg and 33.7 rpg while giving up 72.5 ppg and 36.8 rpg on average to its opponents... Head Coach Terry Porter, a Portland basketball icon, is in his first season.
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USD Invite: Take a Lap
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Head Coach Dale Lindsey and Senior Ray Clark discuss upcoming season
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