Nov. 23, 2012
SERIES RECORD: This is the 7th meeting between USD and Montana with the series tied at 3-all. Montana defeated the Toreros in San Diego last season by the score of 73-60. Chris Manresa paced the Toreros with a double-double (19 points, 11 rebounds). Montana was led by forward Kareem Jamar (14 points) and guard Will Cherry (13 points).
RADIO: All USD home and away games will be broadcast live on XX 1090 AM or ESPN 1700 AM with Andy Masur (6th season) bringing you all the action; his pre-game show will air 15 minutes prior to tip-off. A audio feed is also available for free of charge at www.usdtoreros.com. Saturday's game airs on XX 1090 AM.
DEE NAMED WCC PLAYER OF THE WEEK: The West Coast Conference announced that USD sophomore guard Johnny Dee (Vista, CA) is the WCC Men's Basketball Player of the Week award-winner for November 19, 2012. Dee was named to the All-Tournament team of the NUCDF Basketball Challenge after averaging 18.5 points for the Toreros, who played four games in five days. He combined to shoot 51.1% from the field (24-47), 57.9% from beyond the three-point arc (11-19) and 83.3% from the charity stripe (15-18). He also chipped in with 3.0 rebounds per contest and 1.5 steals per game. Dee scored in double digits in each game with a season-best 27 points (17 in 1st half) in USD's final game, a 77-60 win over Siena. In that contest Dee made 7-of-12 shots from the floor, 4-of-6 in threes and a perfect 9-9 from the line. He also netted 17 points (Tulsa), 16 points (CS Northridge) and 14 points (win over Northern Kentucky).
Bill Grier (6TH YEAR): Coach Bill Grier (Oregon, 1990) is in his sixth season at the helm of the USD program... He enters the Montana contest with a 3-3 mark and 71-96 career record... Last season's squad finished 13-18, but won 4 of its final 6 regular-season WCC games and then advanced to the quarterfinals of the WCC Basketball Championships before falling to BYU by just 5 points... The 2010-11 season was highlighted by the team's 74-66 home win over #23 Saint Mary's, along with a 67-64 win over Utah on Christmas... The 2009-10 season was highlighted by wins over Stanford, #25 Oklahoma, Houston and Boise State... His second campaign with USD (16-16 mark in 2008-09) 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 (hosted by USD) with wins over Pepperdine, Saint Mary's and No. 20 Gonzaga... The Toreros then upset No. 15 UCONN in the NCAA Tournament 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... 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... 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... Prior to USD Grier spent 16 years at Gonzaga, including the last 8 seasons as Mark Few's top assistant. Bill and his wife, Nicole, have two daughters, Giselle & Ashley.
TORERO TIDBITS: After starting the season with 5 straight home games, the Toreros play the second of four straight away games when they face Montana Saturday... Last season the Toreros were 4-7 in "true" away games, and including neutral site contests, were 7-10 away from the JCP... With his 27 point outburst against Siena on Nov. 18th, sophomore guard Johnny Dee came within 3 points of matching his career high (30 vs. Pepperdine, 3-1-12)... The 27 points is the second most in a single game for him, but the 9th time he has totaled 22 points or more... Dee, a preseason All-WCC First Team pick, currently ranks 8th among all WCC players with his 15.0 points per game average... Torero sophomore guard Christopher Anderson tied a USD single game record when he recorded 7 steals against Tulsa last Thursday... It matched the mark set by three other Toreros during NCAA Division I play... After opening the season with 14 points, senior center Chris Manresa has missed the team's last five games nursing a sore back... Freshman center Jito Kok has shown he'll be a factor in the shot blocking department - he already has 13 on the season with a personal-best 4 (Siena).
QUICK GLANCE AT THE MONTANA GRIZZ: Currently 2-1 under 7th-year head coach Wayne Tinkle (118-72)... Opened season with 72-65 loss at Colorado State, followed by back-to-back wins over Minot State (82-53) and Idaho (66-63) on road... Scoring leaders include forwards Kareem Jamar (14.7 ppg) and Mathias Ward (13.3 ppg)... Montana won the 2012 Big Sky Post-Season Tournament to advance to NCAA Tournament (73-49 loss to Wisconsin).
COLD SHOOTING SINKS TOREROS AT SANTA BARBARA 57-39: The USD Toreros (3-3) dropped a 57-39 decision to the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos (2-2) Wednesday evening. A second half that saw the Toreros connect on just 3-of-27 shots did them in as no Torero reached double digit scoring on the night. Down just 6 points at the half (34-28), the Toreros were unable to get anything going offensively in the final 20 minutes of play. Johnny Dee led the Toreros in scoring with 8 points, followed by John Sinis (7 points). Ken Rancifer had a productive night on the boards with a game-high 9 caroms. UCSB was paced by guard Taran Brown (17 points, 8 rebounds) and guard Alan Williams (12 points, 8 rebounds). In the first half USD held a 21-12 advantage in the rebounding department, but by the end of the game the Gauchos edged them 36-35. For the game USD shot a season-low 24.5% from the field (13-53) while the Gauchos finished at 46.0% (23-50). The Toreros were without the services of senior center Chris Manresa for the fifth straight game (sore back).
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