Toreros head to SDSU riding 3-game win streak
Dec. 12, 2012
SERIES RECORD: This will be the 44th meeting between USD and SDSU with the Aztecs owning a 26-17 advantage... SDSU has won six straight and nine of ten... The Aztecs dealt USD a 74-62 loss last year at the Jenny Craig Pavilion on Dec. 7, 2011... USD jumped out to a 14-2, but SDSU battled back for a 37-36 halftime lead... Chris Manresa paced USD with 14 points and 10 rebounds; SDSU was led by Chase Tapley (23 points).
RADIO-TV: 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. The game will also be televised by 4SD with Chris Ello (play-by-play) and Jim Brogan (color analyst).
A LOOK AHEAD: Following Saturday's game at SDSU, the Toreros will not be in action again until Dec. 22nd when they play Oregon State in a 6:05 p.m. contest at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The two-day event, billed as the Vegas Holiday Hoops Classic, will see USD take on James Madison on Sunday, Dec. 23rd at 3:30 pm.
WCC STANDINGS (thru Dec. 11th): Gonzaga (9-1), Saint Mary's (7-2), Santa Clara (7-2), USF (5-2), BYU (6-3), Pepperdine (6-3), LMU (5-4), San Diego (6-5) Portland (3-6).
DEE EARNS SECOND WCC PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONOR: USD sophomore guard Johnny Dee (Vista, CA) has earned his second WCC Player of the Week honor after leading the Toreros to two wins last week over Southern Utah (67-53) and Tulane (78-72). Dee averaged 20.0 points over the two contests while converting 60% from the floor (12-20), 57.1% from behind the arc (8-14) and a perfect 8-8 from the free throw line. He scored a game-high 17 points against Southern Utah, including 13 in the first half as the Toreros jumped out to a 36-22 intermission lead. Against Tulane, he scored 15 of his game-high 23 points in the second half and canned 5-of-9 treys for the game.
COACH GRIER (6TH YEAR): Coach Bill Grier (Oregon, 1990) is in his sixth season at the helm of the USD program... He enters the SDSU contest with a 6-5 mark... 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 Championships before falling to BYU by just 5 points... The 2010-11 season was highlighted by a 74-66 home win over #23 Saint Mary's, along with a 67-64 win over Utah... The 2009-10 season was highlighted by wins over Stanford, #25 Oklahoma, Houston and Boise State... His 2008-09 campaign (16-16) 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 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... 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... Bill and his wife, Nicole, have two daughters, Giselle & Ashley.
TORERO TIDBITS: The Toreros enter Saturday's game with a three-game winning streak... The Toreros are 4-0 this season with senior center Chris Manresa in the line-up (he missed games 2 thru 8 with back issues)... Three of USD's five losses are by 5 points or less (74-71 vs. CS Northridge, 67-66 at Montana, 56-51 at Stephen F. Austin)... Senior forward Ken Rancifer has been on fire over the past two games making a combined 16-of-20 shots overall (80%) and 9-of-13 three-pointers (69.2%) while averaging 21.5 ppg... Sophomore guard Johnny Dee, who leads the team in scoring at 15.0 ppg, has already by tabbed the WCC Player of the Week twice (Dec. 10 & Nov. 19)... Over the past 5 games three Torero starters are averaging double-digit scoring - Dee (15.0 ppg), Rancifer (13.4 ppg) and point guard Christopher Anderson (10.2 ppg).
TOREROS WIN THIRD STRAIGHT WITH 88-65 WIN: The USD Toreros won their third straight game with a convincing 88-65 home win over Arizona Christian at the JCP. Senior forward Ken Rancifer scored a career-high 27 points as he made 10-of-12 shots overall, including 6-of-8 from beyond the three-point arc. In the first half both teams got off to slow starts as the game was tied at 8-all at the 13:41 mark. Over the next 4:19 the Toreros strung together a 10-0 run that ended with a Rancifer free throw and from there the closest the visiting ACU Firestorm would get is 7 points at 23-16 on a three-pointer from Mike Navar. Over the final 7 minutes of the first half the Toreros closed with a 24-11 run. Rancifer had 17 points by the break as the Toreros made 58.1% of their shots from the floor and 6-of-12 three-pointers.In the 2nd half the Toreros extended their lead to as many as 32 points (74-42) with 9:44 to go with Coach Grier having the luxury to get some of his reserves some increased minutes on the floor. Besides Rancifer, junior guard Mike Davis also chipped in with a new career-high of 15 points on 7-of-12 shooting. Sophomore guard Johnny Dee added 11 points. For the game the Toreros shot a season-best 60.0% from the floor (36-60), while connecting on 8-of-17 three-pointers.
TOREROS TO PLAY TWO GAMES IN LAS VEGAS CLASSIC: As a prelude to the 2013 Pac-12 Men's Basketball Championships, the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas will host the 2012 Vegas Holiday Hoops Classic December 22 & 23 with Oregon State, San Diego, James Madison, San Jose State, Boise State and New Orleans as participants. USD and Oregon State will kickoff the event on Saturday, Dec. 22nd with a 6:00 p.m. contest that will be televised on the Pac-12 Network. James Madison and San Jose State will face off in the second game at approximately 8:30 pm. On Sunday, December 23rd, Boise State will take on New Orleans at 1:00 p.m., followed by USD vs. James Madison at approximately 3:30 pm. The MGM Hotel is offering a package deal that includes free tickets to all four games if you book your room there. For more information, contact the MGM Hotel (www.mgmgrand.com) or Pac-12 (www.pac-12.org).
SCOUTING THE SAN DIEGO STATE AZTECS: The San Diego State Aztecs have a record of 7-1 and have now won seven straight since opening the season with a 62-49 loss to Syracuse on November 11th... They are currently ranked #15 in the USA Today Coaches' Poll, and #18 in the Associated Press Poll... They are currently 4-0 this season in games played at Viejas Arena, including an 84-70 win over UC Santa Barbara in their last outing on December 6th... Guard Chase Tapley led five Aztecs in double-digit scoring with 23 points... He was followed by guard Jamaal Franklin (14), JJ O'Brien (12), Xavier Thames (11) and James Rahon (10)... Franklin, last year's Mountain West Conference Player of the Year, leads the team in scoring at 19.1 points per game and 9.9 rebounds per game... Tapley is second in scoring at 13.6 ppg... The Aztecs are averaging 72.6 points and 39.8 rebounds while limiting its opponents to 58.4 ppg and 35.6 rpg... Head Coach Steve Fisher is in his 14th year at SDSU (265-161).