Toreros open up 2013-14 season Friday against South Dakota State in USD Classic

USDTOREROSDOTCOM
Bill Grier enters 7th Year

USDTOREROSDOTCOM
Bill Grier enters 7th Year
USDTOREROSDOTCOM

Nov. 6, 2013

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GAMES #1 & #2: The USD Toreros, under the direction of 7th-year head coach Bill Grier, open up the 2013-14 season by hosting the USD Classic Tournament this Friday and Saturday, November 8th & 9th. San Diego will take on South Dakota State on Friday in the second game at 7:05 pm. Loyola Marymount will face Grand Canyon in the opener at 4:30 pm. Saturday's match-ups pit LMU against South Dakota State at 3:30 pm, followed by the Toreros taking on Grand Canyon at 6:30 pm.

SERIES RECORDS: The USD Toreros and South Dakota Jackrabbits are meeting for the first time. San Diego and Grand Canyon have met 18 times with the Antelopes owning an 10-8 advantage. These two teams have not met since USD moved to Div. I in 1979-80.

RADIO-TV: All USD home and away games will be broadcast live on ESPN 1700 AM with Andy Masur (7th season) bringing you all the action; his pre-game shows air 15 minutes prior to tip-off. Saturday's game with Grand Canyon is being televised by COX and will air locally on 4SD (Matt Rosen and Rex Chapman).

WCC PRESEASON COACHES POLL: For the second consecutive year the USD men's basketball team has been picked to finish in 5th place in the West Coast Conference Preseason Coaches Poll. Additionally, junior guard Johnny Dee (Vista, Calif.) has been selected to the All-WCC Preseason Team that is also voted on by league coaches for the second consecutive year. Gonzaga received 8 of a possible 10 first place votes and 80 points to earn the top pick to win the league title in 2013-14. They were followed by BYU (72 points, 1 vote), Saint Mary's (66 points, 1 vote), San Francisco (51 points), San Diego (50 points), Loyola Marymount (44 points), Pacific (28 points), Santa Clara (25 points), Portland (24 points) and Pepperdine (10 points).

COACH GRIER (7TH YEAR): Coach Bill Grier (Oregon, 1990) begins his seventh season at the helm of the USD program... Last year's squad finished 16-18 overall and advanced to the semifinals of the WCC Tournament where they just missed out on advancing to the title game... The Toreros were playing their best basketball down the stretch highlighted by two wins over BYU... The 2011-12 team finished 13-18, winning 4 of its final 6 regular-season WCC games before falling to BYU by just 5 points in WCC quarterfinals... The 2010-11 season was highlighted by a 74-66 home win over #23 Saint Mary's, along with a 67-64 win over Utah... The 2009-10 season was highlighted by wins over Stanford, #25 Oklahoma, Houston and Boise State... His 2008-09 campaign (16-16) was highlighted by road wins over Oregon and Mississippi State... In his rookie year (2007-08) 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 with wins over Pepperdine, Saint Mary's and No. 20 Gonzaga... The Toreros then upset No. 15 UCONN in the NCAA Tourney 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... 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 in 2007-08 were also the most by a Torero coach in his first season at USD. 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... Bill and his wife, Nicole, have two daughters, Giselle & Ashley.

BIG SECOND HALF LEADS TOREROS TO EXHIBITION WIN: The USD Toreros fought back from a 17-point deficit early in the second half and rallied for a 90-81 victory over Cal State Monterey Bay in an exhibition game at the Jenny Craig Pavilion on Oct. 26th. USD junior guard Johnny Dee, recently named to the All-WCC preseason team, led all scorers with 28 points. He was followed in the scoring column by redshirt sophomore Duda Sanadze (16 points), senior forward Dennis Kramer (14 points) and junior guard Christopher Anderson (14 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists). In the first half it was all Cal State Monterey Bay as the Otters made 20-of-37 shots from the floor (54.1%), including 6-of-12 from beyond the arc in taking a 51-36 lead into the locker room. Nine different players scored for the visitors, while Dee paced the Toreros with 13 points. USD was just 12-of-33 from the floor in the first 20 minutes of action. After Alex Fertig's layup to open the second scoring gave the Otters a 53-36 advantage, the Toreros went on a 19-2 run that was capped off by a Sanadze three-pointer to knot the score at 55-all. A Dee three with 6:41 to go in the game gave the Toreros their biggest lead of the game at 14 points (80-66). Give CSMB credit as they fought back to 7 points twice, but the Toreros were able to close out the game. On the strength of their 57.1% shooting in the 2nd half (16-28), the Toreros finished the game converting 45.9% from the field (28-61). USD also canned 12-of-24 three-pointers (50.0%) and 22-of-31 free throws (71.0%).

QUICK GLANCE AT TORERO OPPONENTS: South Dakota State returns 3 starters from last year's club that finished 25-10 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive year... Forward Jordan Dykstra top returning scorer (12.5 ppg)... Head Coach Scott Nagy is in his 19th season (341-208)... Picked to finish 3rd in Summit League. Grand Canyon is moving