Dec. 3, 2007
GAME #10: The University of San Diego men's basketball team, under the direction of first year head coach Bill Grier, will host the San Jose State Spartans (3-1) this coming Wednesday, December 5th, in a 7:05 p.m. game at the Jenny Craig Pavilion. The Toreros, coming off a solid 81-67 win over Hawaii, will be looking to get their record back to the .500 mark.
SERIES RECORD: This is the 13th meeting between USD and San Jose State with the Toreros holding a 7-5 lead... SJSU won the first ever meeting back in 1963-64 with a 75-41 win... Since jumping to the NCAA Division I ranks in the 1979-80 campaign, USD is 6-3 against the Spartans... USD strung together five straight wins between 1984-98, but SJSU has won two of the last three meetings, including a 79-68 home win in 2005-06.
RADIO/INTERNET: The game will 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. Pregame begins at 6:45 pm. The audio broadcast is also available at www.usdtoreros.com and www.XXSportsRadio.com.
WCC STANDINGS (as of Dec. 3): Saint Mary's (6-0), Gonzaga (7-1), Santa Clara (5-2), San Diego (4-5), Pepperdine (4-5), San Francisco (3-4), Portland (2-6), LMU (2-6).
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 4-5 into the SJSU 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 DEAL HAWAII 81-67 SETBACK: The USD defense put the clamps on visiting Hawaii for a 81-67 victory. The first half was the difference as the Toreros took a 49-33 advantage into the locker room. Junior Brandon Johnson scored 13 of his game-high 25 points in the first half as USD overcame an early 12-6 deficit. Gyno Pomare, who scored the team's first eight points, finished with 18 points and 8 rebounds. Chris Lewis came off the bench to tally his second straight double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Hawaii's Bobby Nash, saddled with 3 first half fouls, scored a team-best 15 points (matched by Stephen Verwers). In the 2nd half USD built a 23-point lead twice, the last coming with 13 minutes to play at 69-46 on two free throws by Pomare. From there Hawaii made a strong comeback bid getting to within 10 points at 72-62 with 4:40 to go on a Nash jumper. Brandon Johnson connected on a driving layup at the 5:00 minute mark to end a stretch of 8:52 where USD did not make a basket. That gave the Toreros a 72-60 advantage. Hawaii would not get closer than 12 points the rest of the way.
TORERO TIDBITS: Among all WCC players, Brandon Johnson ranks 4th in scoring (18.0 ppg), 4th in steals (2.22), 6th in assists (3.56), 3rd in 3-pointers made per game (2.11) and 7th in assist/turnover ratio (1.03); Gyno Pomare ranks 9th in scoring (14.2), 7th in rebounding (8.0), 6th in field goal percentage (.540) and 2nd in offensive rebounds per game (3.33); Rob Jones ranks 9th in blocked shots (0.75)... Sophomore forward Chris Lewis has posted back-to-back double-doubles against Boise State (10/10) and Hawaii (11/10)... Pomare leads the team with 3 double-doubles this season, the last coming against SDSU (20/10)... The 6-8 junior from Oceanside owns 13 career double "D's"... USD's 49 first half points against Hawaii in their last outing was their biggest output this season - their previous first half high was 45 points against CSU-Monterey Bay on Nov. 12th.
TOREROS AT THE JCP: USD is currently 2-2 in games played at the JCP this season - Torero leaders at the JCP include Gyno Pomare (17.8 ppg/8.5 rpg), Brandon Johnson (17.3 ppg/4.0 apg) and Chris Lewis (9.3 ppg/6.5 rpg)... USD is averaging 71.8 ppg while giving up 69.5... The Toreros are also outrebounding their opponents in games at the JCP - 34.8 to 29.8... Since opening its doors back in November of 2000, the Toreros are a combined 61-39 overall (61.0 winning percent).
TORERO 1,000 POINT CLUB: During the past 52 seasons (1955-2007) of USD men's basketball, there have been just 20 Toreros to reach the 1,000 point mark... The most recent addition to this list was guard Ross DeRogatis last season who sits tied at #15 with 1,090 points... This year's squad has two juniors that should crack this milestone this season - Gyno Pomare (916) and Brandon Johnson (849).
WHERE ARE THEY NOW: Recent Toreros still playing professional ball include Ross DeRogatis (2004-07) - Geneva Devils (Switzerland); Nir Cohen (2005-07) - Ramat Gan (Israel); Corey Belser (2001-06) - Olimpia L. (Greece); Nick Lewis (2001-06) - LA Defenders (NBDL); Brandon Gay (2003-05) - Antwerp (Belgium); Brice Vounang (2003-05) - Rouen (France); Jason Keep (2001-03) - Basket (Poland); Jason Blair (2001-03) - Plasencia (Spain); Andre Laws (1998-2002) - Halcones UV C. (Mexico).
SCOUTING THE SAN JOSE STATE SPARTANS: The San Jose State Spartans have played just four games to date, but are off to a 3-1 start under third-year head coach George Nessman... SJSU is coming off a 78-63 road win over Cal State Bakersfield this past Friday... Junior forward Tim Pierce led the Spartans with 17 points while sophomore center C.J. Webster grabbed 13 rebounds... Prior to that contest Webster tallied a double-double with 19 points and 15 rebounds in the team's lone loss, a 79-72 decision to Lipscomb... SJSU also owns wins over Middle Tennessee (78-77) and Appalachian State (64-62)... The Spartans have started the same five this season - 6-9 sophomore center C.J. Webster (12.5 ppg, 10.5 rpg); 6-7 junior forward Tim Pierce (11.5 ppg); 6-4 freshman guard Justin Graham (10.3 ppg); 5-11 senior guard Jamon Hill (10.3 ppg) and 6-9 forward Oliver Caballero (5.5 ppg)... SJSU is averaging 73.0 ppg; giving up 70.2 ppg.
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).
ANDY MASUR & JOHN KENTERA TEAM UP 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.
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: USD's hits the road to take on the University of New Mexico this coming Saturday, December 8th... Game time at 'The Pit' is 12:00 p.m (12:00 p.m. PST).