Sophomore John Sinis
Dec. 3, 2012
GAME #9: The USD Toreros (3-5) wrap up their four-game road swing with a contest at Southern Utah University (2-5) on Tuesday, December 4th. Game time is 6:00 p.m. (PST) at Centrum Arena in Cedar City, Utah.
SERIES RECORD: This will be the 10th meeting between USD and Southern Utah with the Toreros owning a 9-0 series lead. The last time these two teams met was during the 1997-98 campaign with USD winning 84-59 in Cedar City, Utah. The previous season the Toreros won 80-56 in a game played at the USD Sports Center.
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.
A LOOK AHEAD: The Toreros return back to the Jenny Craig for the first time since November 18th when they host Tulane University in a 6:05 p.m. contest (FoxSports San Diego TV; XX 1090 AM broadcast). USD is 3-2 in home games this season. Tulane is off to a 6-2 start and plays at Nicholls State on Dec. 4th before heading to San Diego.
WCC STANDINGS (thru Dec. 2nd): Gonzaga (8-0), San Francisco (4-1), Saint Mary's (5-2), Santa Clara (5-2), BYU (5-3), Pepperdine (4-3), Loyola Marymount (4-4), Portland (3-4), San Diego (3-5).
COACH GRIER (6TH YEAR): Coach Bill Grier (Oregon, 1990) is in his sixth season at the helm of the USD program... He enters the Southern Utah contest with a 3-5 mark and 71-98 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 close out their fourth straight road game at Southern Utah on Tuesday night... The road swing began at UC Santa Barbara on Nov. 21st (57-39), followed by Montana on Nov. 24th (67-66) and Stephen F. Austin (56-51)... Last season the Toreros were 4-7 in "true" away games, and including neutral site contests, were 7-10 away from the JCP... In their most recent outing at Stephen F. Austin, sopho more guard Christopher Anderson grabbed a career-high 9 rebounds, to go with a team-best 13 points and 6 assists... Senior forward Ken Rancifer was the other Torero to reach double-digits with 11 points... Anderson has led the Toreros in assists in 7 of 8 games with a season-best 8 dishes against CSUN... His 7 steals against Tulsa tied USD's single game mark... Three of USD's losses this season have been by 5 points or less - Cal State Northridge (74-71), Montana (67-66) and SFA (56-51).
TOREROS FALL AT SFA, 56-51: The Toreros dropped a 56-51 contest at Stephen F. Austin Saturday. The SFA Jacks, who are off to a 5-0 start for the first time since 1981, have yet to allow an opponent more than 60 points this season. USD committed 20 turnovers against the Jacks' defensive pressure. A Torero bright spot was the play of sophomore guard Christopher Anderson who scored 13 points to go with 9 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals. Senior forward Ken Rancifer chipped in with 11 points. Johnny Dee, who entered the contest averaging 16.0 points, was held to just 2 points on 1-of-6 shooting (0-3 in three-point attempts). USD shot 50% from the floor, and came out even in the rebounding department with SFA with 26 each, but tallied 10 more turnovers than the Jacks. SFA was paced by forward Taylor Smith (18 points) and guard Antonio Bostic (15 points).In the first half the Jacks battled their way to a 30-24 intermission lead. With 13:54 left in the game and SFA holding a 38-31 lead, the Toreros rallied to pull to within one at 38-37 as Dennis Kramer hit a jumper, Anderson added a three-pointer and guard Mike Davis cashed in on two free throws. That would be as close as the Toreros would get the rest of the way, although USD would get within 2 points with 3:21 left on a three-point play from Anderson. In the final 3 minutes of play the host Jacks got three key buckets from guard Antonio Bostic to hold off the Toreros.
SCOUTING THE SOUTHERN UTAH THUNDERBIRDS: Southern Utah is off to a 2-5 start, with both wins coming at home, including Saturday's 96-65 win over San Diego Chrisitan... This will be SUU's final tuneup before they begin their first year in the Big Sky Conference... Against the Hawks, Southern Utah saw all five starters reach double digit scoring led by forward Jackson Stevenett (15 points)... He was followed by guards Damon Heuir (12) and Wade Collie (13 points), center Jayson Cheesman (12 points, 9 rebounds), and forward Jaren Jeffrey (10 points)... Senior Jordan Johnson chipped in with a career-high 10 points off the bench as a total of six Thunderbirds were in double-diigt scoring as they converted 55.9% of their shots from the floor (33-59)... Their other win this season came against Carroll College (68-58) back on Nov. 21st... Season leaders include guard Damon Heuir (13.6 ppg) and forward Jackson Stevenett (13.5 ppg)... Head Coach Nick Robinson (Stanford, 2005) is in his first season at SUU, and his first season as a head coach. Prior to SUU he was an assistant for three seasons at LSU.