GAME #1: The USD Toreros, under the direction of head coach Lamont Smith, open up their 2017-18 schedule on the road against the San Jose State Spartans this coming Sunday, November 12th. Game time is 2:00 p.m. at the Event Center (5,000 capacity).
SERIES RECORD: This is 15th meeting between USD and San Jose State with the series tied at 7-7... The Spartans have won the last two meetings, including 76-67 in their most recent matchup at the Great Alaska Shootout on on November 27, 2015.
RADIO/STREAM: All USD home and away games will be broadcast on either The Mighty 1090AM or ESPN 1700AM with Jack Cronin (4th season) bringing you all the action; his pre-game show airs 15 minutes prior to tip-off. Sunday's opener will air on ESPN 1700 AM. A Mountain West Network video stream link can be found at usdtoreros.com and sjsuspartans.com.
WCC PRESEASON COACHES POLL: The Toreros were picked to place sixth by the WCC head coaches in the 2017-18 Preseason WCC Coaches Poll. Saint Mary's was selected first with 81 points and 9 first place votes. Rounding out the top-5 was Gonzaga (73 points, 1 first place vote), BYU (62 points), San Francisco (59 points) and Santa Clara (44 points). Following San Diego is Pepperdine (30 points), Pacific (24 points), Portland (21 points) and Loyola Marymount (19 points).
COACH SMITH (3RD YEAR): Coach Lamont Smith (San Diego, 1998) enters his third year at the helm of the Torero basketball program. He welcomes back four starters from last year's squad that finished 13-18 overall. The Toreros earned a home victory over BYU and swept Portland during league play. Brett Bailey, last year's lone senior and team captain, earned All-WCC Second Team honors. Prior to USD Smith 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 returned 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 the San Jose State opener the Toreros will return for a three-game homestand with Robert Morris (Nov. 15), Norfolk State (Nov. 18) and Little Rock (Nov. 20). These three games are all part of the Grand Canyon Classic, a multi-team event with the Toreros closing out the tournament at Grand Canyon on Nov. 25th.
TOREROS TEAM UP WITH ASU FOR CHARITY EXHIBITION: The USD Toreros hosted the Arizona State Sun Devils in a charity exhibition on November 1st. All of the funds raised from tickets went to Catholic Charities, USA toward relief efforts in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria. Arizona State held on for an 85-77 win in a competitive game that was closer than the final score. In the first half the Sun Devils took a 48-45 lead into the intermission break. Junior guard Olin Carter III paced three Toreros in double-digit scoring with 19 points. He was followed by Isaiah Pineiro (15 points, 7 rebounds) and Cameron Neubauer (14 points). Jose Martinez, a sophomore forward from Puerto Rico, turned in some quality play with 8 points and 4 rebounds in 11 minutes of action. ASU had four players reach double-digits with guards Remy Martin (25 points) and Tra Holder (21 points) leading the way.
* The Toreros return four starters (20 or more starts) from last year's 13-18 club: junior guard Olin Carter, III (15.3 ppg), senior forward Cameron Neubauer (11.0 ppg), sophomore forward Juwan Gray (7.2 ppg) and junior guard Tyler Williams (6.7 ppg).
* Carter was named to the 2017-18 Preseason All-WCC team... He ranks second among WCC returning scorers behind Jock Landale of Saint Mary's (16.9 ppg).
* A trio of juniors have been selected by the coaching staff and teammates to be team captains this season: guard Olin Carter III (Allen, TX), guard Tyler Williams (Plano, TX) and guard Isaiah Wright (Boise, ID).
* Last season Carter (92) and Neubauer (49) combined to make 141 three-pointers... In a survey taken by Andrew Sogn, Assistant SID at South Dakota State, USD's tandem rank 22nd in the top-25 list of returning 3-pointer duos based on replies he received from across the country.
* Last season Carter totaled 34 points in a win over Bethesda on Dec. 17th... His point total matched two other Toreros and has only been bettered by five others in program history... USD's Division I record is 37 points (three players) and the all-time mark is 40 by Robert "Pinky" Smith in 1972). On Nov. 22, 2016, Juwan Gray pulled down 17 rebounds to go with 16 points vs. Bethune-Cookman. USD's Div. I record is 21 (Robby Roberts, 1982 vs. NAU) and the all-time mark is 24 by Gus Magee (1969 vs. Trinity).
* The Toreros have added size to the roster in 2017-18 with the addition of four freshmen 6'10 or taller: 7'0" center Andrew Ferguson (Perth, Australia), 6'11" center Akim-Jamal Jonah (Berlin, Germany), 6'10" forward Yauhen Massalski (Minsk, Belarus) and 6'10" Jake Gilliam (San Diego, Calif.).
* Two new staff members join the Toreros this season. Assistant coach Terrence Rencher comes to USD from the University of New Mexico. Lance LaVetter, Director of Operations, was an assistant coach at Seattle University the past three seasons, and was at the University of Washington as Director of Operations with Lorenzo Romar for twelve seasons.
* The Toreros are partnering with Fox Sports San Diego to televise three games this season beginning with Norfolk State on Nov. 18th. The San Diego State game on Nov. 30th has been pushed back to an 8:00 p.m. start with the game being broadcast on Fox Sports West. The third contest will be on Dec. 9th against Northern Arizona.
* USD has a new radio deal this season with all games airing on the Mighty 1090AM or ESPN 1700 AM. Jack Cronin, voice of the Toreros, returns for his 4th season. Ten games will air on the Mighty 1090AM: SDSU (Nov. 30), New Mexico State (Dec. 6), Saint Mary's (Jan. 6), LMU (Jan. 13), BYU (Jan. 20), LMU (Jan 27), Gonzaga (Feb. 1), Saint Mary's (Feb. 3), BYU (Feb. 17) and Gonzaga (Feb. 22). The remaining games will be on ESPN 1700AM.
* The Toreros will miss the services of graduated senior forward Brett Bailey who led the squad in scoring (15.6 ppg) and rebounding (6.9 rpg) while earning All-WCC Second Team honors.
* USD's opponent on Sunday, San Jose State, is under the direction of first year head coach Jean Prioleau... Prioleau inherits three starters and four letterwinners back from last year's 14-16 club (7-11 MWC)... The three returning starters include: junior guard Ryan Welage (13.2 ppg), senior guard Jalen James (6.4 ppg) and junior guard Jaycee Hillsman (5.9 ppg)... SJSU opens their season on Friday night against University of Antelope Valley.
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