Nov. 11, 2007
GAME #2: The University of San Diego men's basketball team, under the direction of first year head coach Bill Grier, will be gunning for their second straight victory when they host the CSU-Monterey Bay Otters Monday night at 7:05 pm. This is the first contest in USD's three-game home stand, with UNLV (Nov. 17) and SDSU (Nov. 19) up next.
SERIES RECORD: This is the first meeting between USD and CSU-Monterey Bay.
RADIO/INTERNET: The game will be air live on XX Sports Radio (1090 AM & 105.7 FM) with Andy Masur (play-by-play) and John Kentera (color analyst) bringing you all the action. Jack Cronin, executive producer, will handle both the pre-game and post-game duties this season. The audio broadcast will also be available at www.usdtoreros.com and www.XXSportsRadio.com.
COACH GRIER (1ST YEAR): Coach Bill Grier (Oregon, 1990) is in his first season at the helm of the USD program, and also his first head coaching position at the NCAA Division I level. He brings a record of 1-0 into the CSU-Monterey Bay game. Hired on March 26, 2007, 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. The 44-year-old Grier spent the past 16 years at Gonzaga University, including the last 8 seasons as Mark Few's top assistant. Over the past eight years Gonzaga compiled a 21-52 record; won the WCC regular-season title seven times; the WCC Tournament title seven times; advanced to the NCAA Tournament eight times, including three trips to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen. Overall with Grier as an assistant coach, the Bulldogs combined for an overall record of 381-126; won 11 regular-season WCC titles; won nine WCC Tournament titles (33-7 WCC Tournament record); advanced to nine consecutive NCAA Tournaments, and ten overall, including four Sweet 16 appearances and the 1999 Elite Eight. Bill and his wife, Nicole, have one daughter, Giselle.
TOREROS WIN OPENER OVER HAWAII: The Toreros opened their 2007-08 campaign with a solid 73-72 win at Hawaii. With the game tied at 72-all and UH with the ball, Gyno Pomare stole a pass and dribbled the length of the floor where he was fouled with two seconds left. He made the first of two free throws to seal the win. Pomare finished with a double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds, while guard Brandon Johnson ran the team and scored a team-high 19 points. USD shot the ball well in the first half in building a 40-33 intermission lead. In fact, the Toreros made their first six three-point attempts. USD held a 14 point lead (37-23) with 3:15 to go after a Nathan Lozeau bucket, but the Rainbows closed out the final three minutes on a 10-3 run. Hawaii came out of the break and quicky established itself as Bobby Nash hit a three to make it 40-36, but every time UH made a run, USD answered with a key bucket. The game stayed close throughout and the host Rainbows tied the game at 70-all with 1:31 to go on a trey by Jared Dillinger. They took their first lead of the game with 0:43 seconds left on a Riley Luettgerodt bucket, but Pomare knotted it at 72-all with 0:21 seconds, then provided the last second heroics. Rob Jones would finish the game with 8 points and 9 rebounds in 32 minutes of action in his first collegiate game. Ray Murdock also added 8 points, while Chris Lewis (7 points) and Danny Brown (6 points) contributed as well. For the game the Toreros shot 45.9% from the field (28-61), 53.8% from beyond the 3-point line (10-21) and also outrebounded UH, 44-40. SAN DIEGO WINS BOTH EXHIBITION TUNEUPS: The Toreros played two exhibition contests and came away with wins in both... On October 31st the Toreros dealt Point Loma College a 71-62 defeat... Junior guard Brandon Johnson led four Toreros in double digit scoring with 16 points to go with 6 assists and 2 steals... Danny Brown (12), De'Jon Jackson (11) and Gyno Pomare (10 points, 8 rebounds) also reached double digit marks.. This past Sunday USD took on Occidental College and came away with a 71-62 victory... Gyno Pomare scored a team-best 16 points, while Brandon Johnson (16 points) and Chris Lewis (10 points) also tallied double-digit scoring.
TOREROS PICKED THIRD IN WCC PRESEASON COACHES POLL: The USD men's basketball team has been picked to finish in 3rd place in the WCC Men's Basketball Preseason Coaches Poll. Gonzaga edged out Saint Mary's as the favorite to capture their eighth consecutive regular-season WCC crown. The Zags earned 5 first place votes and 61 points, followed by Saint Mary's with 3 first place votes and 59 points. The Toreros (43 points) were followed by Santa Clara (38), San Francisco (34), Pepperdine (22), Portland (16) and Loyola Marymount (15).
POMARE & JOHNSON AMONG WCC'S BEST: In addition to predicting the 2007-08 West Coast Conference regular-season standings, WCC head coaches were also asked to submit who they thought were the top six returning players from last season. USD has two of the six players in junior center Gyno Pomare and junior point guard Brandon Johnson. The USD junior duo is joined by Josh Heytvelt and Jeremy Pargo of Gonzaga, Diamon Simpson of Saint Mary's College and Manny Quezada of USF. The Toreros have been picked to finish 3rd in the WCC Coaches Preseason poll. USD returns one of the quickest guards in the WCC in Brandon Johnson. The junior point guard is one of the top playmakers in the conference, leading the WCC in assists last season with 4.75 apg, while ranking 12th overall in scoring at 12.8 points per game. While he was making plays on the offensive end for USD, he tormented the Toreros' opponents on the defensive end, ranking fourth in the WCC in steals with 1.94 spg. Johnson needs just 33 more assists to crack into the Toreros' top five career assists chart. Last season, junior forward Gyno Pomare established himself as one of the top frontcourt players in the conference, earning All-WCC first team honors. Pomare teams up with point guard Brandon Johnson to give the Toreros one of the top inside-outside tandems in the league. Pomare was relentless on the boards, averaging a WCC-best 8.3 rpg. He finished the season ranked in the top ten in the WCC in scoring (14.9 ppg-6th), rebounding (1st), field goal % (.538-2nd), and blocks (1.31 bpg-6th).
THREE GAME HOME STAND BEGINS MONDAY: Monday's game with CSU-Monterey Bay begins a three-game home stand for the Toreros at the Jenny Craig Pavilion... The UNLV Rebels, a Sweet Sixteen team from a year ago, will visit the JCP on Saturday, Nov. 17th (6 pm), followed by the City Championship against San Diego State on Monday, Nov. 19th (7 pm)... Both the UNLV and SDSU games will be televised locally on Channel 4 San Diego.
GRIER TO SPEAK AT SPORTS AT LUNCH ON NOV. 14TH: First year head coach Bill Grier will speak for Sports at Lunch on Wednesday, Nov. 14th, 2007 at the San Diego Hall of Champions in Balboa Park. He'll be joined by SDSU coach Steve Fisher as they both preview the city championship game to be played at USD's Jenny Craig Pavilion on Nov. 19th... For more info, 619.699.2309.
ANAHEIM CLASSIC SET FOR THANKSGIVING WEEKEND: The schedule doesn't get any easier for the Toreros following their home stand... USD will take on the USC Trojans on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 22nd, in the fourth and final game of opening day of the Anaheim Classic... The eight-team, 12-game, bracketed tournament, which is being co-hosted by ESPN Regional Television, Inc. and the Big West Conference, will take place between Nov. 22, 23, and 25 at the Anaheim Convention Center... USD will face either Miami-Ohio or Southern Alabama on Nov. 23rd... Other participants include Southern Illinois, Tennessee-Chattanooga and Mississippi State. For more information, go to www.AnaheimClassic.com.
SCOUTING CSU-MONTEREY BAY: Cal State University Monterey Bay Otters is a NCAA Division II program that competes in the California Collegiate Athletics Association... Since they play at a lower division than USD, they elected for this game to count as an exhibition on their schedule (it does count towards USD's overall record)... CSU-MB dropped their first exhibition contest against Santa Clara this past Friday, 66-49... Senior forward Ryan McBride led the Otters with 16 points... Junior guard Augie Johnston added 13 points and senior guard D'Shon Cannon chipped in with 11... Johnston is the team's top returning scorer (15.0 ppg) from last year's 12-15 club... Second-year head coach Pat Kosta and the Otters open their regular-season slate vs. Seattle Pacific on Nov. 16th in the Sodexho Tip-Off Classic in Seattle, Washington.
TORERO COACHING STAFF: Bill Grier didn't waste anytime in assembling an outstanding staff... Associate Head Coach Bill Carr joins the Torero staff following a three-year stint up the freeway at UC San Diego where he was head coach... He also has WCC ties from his days as a player and assistant coach with the University of San Francisco. Assistant Coach Walter Roese joins USD following a two-year stay at BYU... When he first joined BYU in 2005 he became the first Brazilian full-time assistant coach in NCAA Division I Men's Basketball. Roese coached the Brazilian Junior National Team helping his native country qualify for the 2007 World Cup. This past summer, he was the head coach for the World University games in Thailand for Brazil. Assistant Kyle Bankhead played for coach Grier at Gonzaga and is in his first year as a full-time coach. Booker T. Harris, a former player at San Francisco, is the team's Basketball Operations Director.
ANDY MASUR ON XX SPORTS RADIO: Andy Masur will call all the Torero basketball games, home and away, on XX Sports Radio (1090 AM & 105.7 FM)... He will be joined by color analyst John Kentera for home contests... Masur recently completed his first season with the station announcing San Diego Padres baseball games... Jack Cronin, executive producer at XX Sports Radio, will assist with pre and post games.
USD HOME GAMES WEBCAST THROUGH TOREROS ALL-ACCESS: All of USD home games will be streamed live via video on the athletics department website... Fans can watch all the action live, along with listening to the play-by-play, by logging onto www.usdtoreros.com. Once on the home page, click the LIVE button on the top right of the page.
WEST COAST CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT RETURNS TO SAN DIEGO: The Jenny Craig Pavilion will be the site for the 2008 West Coast Conference Basketball Championships (Mar. 6-10). San Diego last hosted this event for a three-year run between 2001-03. For the sixth consecutive season, the men's championships will use an 8-team/Play-in format, while the women's championships will use the traditional 1 vs. 8 format with no byes for the fourth straight year. The men's games will begin on March 7th.
UP NEXT: The Toreros will host the UNLV Running Rebels this coming Saturday, November 17th in a 6 p.m. contest at the JCP... UNLV (1-0) opened with a 76-65 home win over Montana State, and will host Dixie State on Nov. 13th before heading to San Diego.