START OF OFFICIAL PRACTICES BEGIN SUNDAY, OCT. 1: USD men's basketball head coach Lamont Smith, along with his coaching staff, will kick-off the 2017-18 season with their first official team practice on Sunday, October 1st. The practice is set for 2:00 p.m. at the Jenny Craig Pavilion.
TOREROS PREVIEW: Coach Smith, who enters his third season at the helm of the Torero men's basketball program, returns four starters from last year’s 13-18 club. Leading the way will be 6-7 senior forward Cameron Neubauer (11.0 ppg & 5.4 rpg) and 6-2 junior guard Olin Carter III (15.3 ppg). They are joined by 6-5 junior guard Tyler Williams (6.7 ppg & 4.6 rpg) and 6-8 sophomore forward Juwan Gray (7.2 ppg & 5.6 rpg).
USD’s depth will be helped immediately with the return of three redshirts from last season. Sophomore Alex Floresca, a 6-8, 230 lb. forward/center, returns after sitting out with a shoulder injury. Isaiah Pineiro, a 6-7 forward from Portland State, is expected to help out at both ends of floor as well as with his toughness and leadership. USD will have a true point guard with 6-2 junior Isaiah Wright (Univ. of Utah) expected to start. Wright saw action as a back-up to the Utah Utes for two seasons, including their NCAA Sweet Sixteen run in 2014-15.
The Toreros are excited about their incoming freshman class that includes Joey Calcaterra (6-3 G; Novato, CA), Emanuel Hylton (6-3 G; Washington, D.C.), Akim-Jamal Jonah (6-11 C; Berlin, Germany), Andrew Ferguson (7-0 C; Perth, Australia), Vinny Ferrari (5-11 G; Burlingame, CA) and Jake Gilliam (6-10 C; San Diego, CA).
This season the Toreros will have a sixteen-game home schedule that will be highlighted with non-conference games against San Diego State (Nov. 30) and North Texas (Dec. 16), along with its usual key WCC games later in the season against perennial powers Saint Mary's College (Feb. 3), BYU (Feb. 17) and Gonzaga (Feb. 22). The Toreros open up the 2017-18 season at San Jose State on Nov. 12th, with their home opener slated for Nov. 15th against Robert Morris. USD’s WCC opener will come on December 28th against the USF Dons at the Jenny Craig Pavilion.
KEY LOSS FROM 2016-17 CLUB: USD will miss the services of graduated senior team captain Brett Bailey who earned All-WCC Second Team honors after leading the Toreros in scoring (15.6) and rebounding (6.9).
SIXTH MAN NIGHT ON OCTOBER 12TH: USD basketball will host their 16th annual Sixth Man Night on Thursday, October 12th, on campus in the University Center Forum A&B. The program's main fundraiser, this year's theme will highlight New Heights (1984-94) - A Journey through USD Men's Basketball History. Former head coach Hank Egan will be on hand, along with a number of his players from those years. Tickets are $175 per person. For sponsorship opportunities and more information, please contact the Athletics Development Office at (619) 260-5917.
WCC BASKETBALL TIP-OFF EVENT OCTOBER 19TH: The West Coast Conference will host the 2017-18 WCC Basketball Tip-Off Event on Thursday, October 19th. The event will begin at 10:00 a.m. and be held at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada to help celebrate the 10th anniversary of hosting the tournament there. Media members interested in attending should contact Ryan McCrary (firstname.lastname@example.org) to request a credential.
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