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Toreros open up 2016-17 season at SDSU on Friday
Nov. 9, 2016

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GAME #1: The USD Toreros open up their 2016-17 regular-season schedule this Friday, November 11th, with an 8:00 p.m. road contest against the San Diego State Aztecs at Viejas Arena.

SERIES RECORD: This is the 48th meeting between these two programs with the Aztecs owning a 29-18 advantage... The Toreros snapped a 9-game Aztecs win streak last year with a 53-48 neutral site victory played outdoors at Petco Park on December 6th... Senior wing Duda Sanadze scored a game-high 15 points and freshman point guard Olin Carter III added 12 points, all coming in the first half on three-pointers... In USD's last trip to Viejas Arena, the No. 13 Aztecs won 57-48 on December 4th, 2014... Prior to last season's Torero victory, USD's last win over SDSU had come on November 30, 2005; a 90-80 victory at the JCP.

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 contest will also be televised on the ESPNU (Drew Fellios and Adrian Branch) and will also air locally on the Mighty 1090 (Ted Leitner).

WCC COACHES PRESEASON POLL: The Toreros were picked 10th in the 2016-17 WCC Preseason Men's Basketball Coaches Poll... Team (First Place Vote) - 1. Gonzaga (7), 79 points; 2. Saint Mary's (3), 75 points; 3. BYU, 65 points; 4. Pepperdine, 53 points; 5. Santa Clara, 49 points; 6. Loyola Marymount, 34 points; 7. Pacific, 29 points; 7. Portland, 28 points; 9. San Francisco, 27 points; 10. San Diego, 11 points.

HEAD COACH Lamont Smith (2ND YEAR): Coach Lamont Smith (San Diego, 1998) enters his second year at the helm of the Torero basketball program... Last year he guided the Toreros to a 9-21 record 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 Friday's game at SDSU the Toreros will return to the Jenny Craig Pavilion for their home opener against Samford on Monday, November 17th. Tip-off is slated for 7:05 pm in the Jenny Craig Pavilion. This will be the first of four home games billed under the San Diego Classic, a multi-team event that includes Nicholls State, Bethune Cookman and New Mexico State.

MONDAY HOME OPENER BILLED AS LINDA VISTA COMMUNITY NIGHT: USD Athletics has billed its home opener this Monday, November 14th, against Samford University as Linda Vista Community Night. Community members can reach out to Donte' Carty, Assistant AD for Marketing & Promotions, for ticket information. He can be reached at (619) 260-7989 or dcarty@sandiego.edu.

TOREROS' PREVIEW: Head Coach Lamont Smith, who enters his second season at the helm of the Torero men's basketball program, will have one of the youngest rosters in NCAA Division I basketball this season. Senior forward Brett Bailey and junior forward Cameron Neubauer will be the only upper class returners from last year's squad that finished 9-21. Bailey (6.9 ppg) is joined by sophomore guard Olin Carter III (7.3 ppg) as the team's two returning starters.

Carter is one of four sophomores back that earned valuable experience in their rookie year. He is joined by 6-5 guard Tyler Williams, 6-8 forward Alex Floresca, and 6-4 walk-on guard Hunter Summy. Coach Smith and his staff were busy in the offseason and signed five freshmen -- 6-0 guard Nassir Barrino (Newark, NJ), 6-2 guard Mark Carbone (Wethersfield, CT), 6-8 forward Juwan Gray (Dover, DE), 6-10 forward José Martinez (Cayey, Puerto Rico) and 6-10 forward Frank Ryder (Boulder, CO). Nick Busch, a 6-4 guard from Santa Barbara, joins the squad as a walk-on.

Two junior transfers, Isaiah Wright (6-2 guard from Utah) and Isaiah Pineiro (6-6 forward from Portland State) will make the Toreros better each and every day with their leadership and experience, but due to NCAA transfer rules, will not be eligible until the 2017-18 campaign.

This season the Toreros will have a seventeen-game home schedule that will be highlighted with non-conference games against New Mexico State (Nov. 26), USC (Nov. 30) and UC Santa Barbara (Dec. 11), along with its usual key WCC games later in the season against perennial powers BYU (Jan. 14), Saint Mary's College (Feb. 4) and Gonzaga (Feb. 23). USD's youthful squad will be tested early with its season opener at San Diego State on Nov. 11th, along with a Nov. 17th contest at UCLA.

USD's six returning players gained valuable experience in Coach Smith's first season. They will be looked upon to fill the void left from graduated seniors Duda Sanadze (12.8 ppg) and Jito Kok, the school's all-time leading shot blocker. Last year's non-conference season was highlighted by the team's exciting 53-48 win over San Diego State on December 6th in the first collegiate game played outdoors at Petco Park. The Toreros would also earn solid WCC wins over LMU and Pacific, in addition to sweeping the league series with Portland.

TOREROS VS. AZTECS RECAP FROM 2015: The USD Toreros pulled off a stunning victory with their 53-48 victory over the San Diego State Aztecs on Dec. 6th, 2015, in the first collegiate basketball game played at Petco Park. Senior wing Duda Sanadze scored a game-high 15 points and freshman point guard Olin Carter III added 12 points, all coming in the first half on four three-pointers. The win snapped SDSU's 9-game winning streak in the City Championship series. It was all USD in the first half as the Toreros took a commanding 31-13 halftime lead. Freshman guard Olin Carter III buried 4-of-5 treys in the first 20 minutes and senior wing Duda Sanadze added 9 points with three of his own long balls. For the half USD made 11-of-29 shots from the floor, but more importantly, connected on 7-of-16 three-pointers. The Torero defense also held the Aztecs to 15.0% shooting (3-20). In the second half the Sanadze opened with another three ball to extend USD's lead to 34-13. Following a Trey Kell trey for the Aztecs, Torero guard Marcus Harris canned a three-pointer. Over the next eight minutes the Aztecs were able to pull within ten at 43-33 on an old-fashioned three point play from freshman guard Jeremy Hemsley. After Sanadze answered with his fifth three-pointer of the game, the Aztecs made another strong run and pulled to within one at 46-45 on two free throws from Dakari Allen with 1:16 to go. Over the final minute of play, Jito Kok cashed in on a free throw; freshman Tyler Williams converted two key free throws with 29 seconds left for a 49-45 cushion; and guard Marcus Harris made two free throws with 18 seconds to go for a 51-45 lead. SDSU's Trey Kell buried a three with 11 ticks left, but Brett Bailey sealed in victory with a dunk with one second to go for the final 53-48 margin of victory. For the game USD turned over the ball just 11 times and finished with 9 steals as they outscored the Aztecs off of turnovers, 13-10. Bailey chipped in with 8 points and 7 rebounds, and Sanadze added 6 rebounds and 5 steals to his game-high 15 points.

The Last Meeting
San Diego53
San Diego State48
December 6, 2015
San Diego, Calif. (Petco Park)
Toreros stun Aztecs 53-48 at Petco Park
SAN DIEGO, CALIF -- The USD Toreros pulled off a stunning victory with today's 53-48 victory over the San Diego State Aztecs in the first collegiate basketball game played at Petco Park. Senior wing Duda Sanadze scored a game-high 15 points and freshman point guard Olin Carter III added 12 points, all coming in the first half.


 

 

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