GAME #12: The USD Toreros (8-3), under the direction of head coach Lamont Smith, return to the Jenny Craig Pavilion this Friday, December 22nd, for a 7:00 p.m. contest against Life Pacific College (6-6). This is USD's final tuneup before West Coast Conference play begins on Thursday, December 28th, against the USF Dons (6:00 p.m., JCP).
TOREROS WINNING WITH DEFENSE: This is the 39th season that USD has competed at the NCAA Division I level, and this season marks the first time a Torero team won eight games in its first ten contests out of the gates... USD's current 8-3 start can mainly be attributed to their team defensive effort, as well as unselfish play at both ends of the floor... USD currently is tops in the WCC and among NCAA leaders in 3-point field goal percentage defense (.238, #1 NCAA), FG% defense (.374, #11 NCAA) and scoring defense (62.0, #15 NCAA).
SERIES RECORD: This is the first meeting between USD and Life Pacific College.
TICKETS: USD single game, 3-game mini-packs, group tickets and season tickets for games at the Jenny Craig Pavilion are available by contacting the USD Athletics ticket office (619-260-7550) or by visiting www.usdtoreros.com.
RADIO/STREAM: All USD home and away games will be broadcast on either The Mighty 1090AM or ESPN 1700AM with Jack Cronin (4th season) bringing you all the action; his pre-game show airs 15 minutes prior to tip-off. Cronin's call on Friday will be broadcast on ESPN 1700AM. The game will also be streamed on TheW.tv.
WCC STANDINGS (as of Dec. 17): BYU (9-2), Gonzaga (9-2), Saint Mary's College (9-2), San Diego (8-3), San Francisco (6-4), LMU (5-5), Pacific (5-7), Portland (4-7), Santa Clara (3-7), Pepperdine (3-8).
WCC PRESEASON COACHES POLL: The Toreros were picked to place sixth by the WCC head coaches in the 2017-18 Preseason WCC Coaches Poll. Saint Mary's was selected first with 81 points and 9 first place votes. Rounding out the top-5 was Gonzaga (73 points, 1 first place vote), BYU (62 points), USF (59 points) and Santa Clara (44 points). Following San Diego is Pepperdine (30 points), Pacific (24 points), Portland (21 points) and Loyola Marymount (19 points).
COACH SMITH (3RD YEAR): Coach Lamont Smith (San Diego, 1998) is in his third year at the helm of the Torero basketball program. This year's team was the first Torero team to reach eight wins in its first 10 contests since USD joined the NCAA Division I ranks in 1979-80. Prior to USD, Smith was at the University of New Mexico where he was the Associate Head Coach. Prior to UNM he spent time at Washington, Arizona State, Santa Clara, Saint Mary's College and Saint Louis University. Smith returned to USD where he was a member of the men's basketball team from 1994-99. He started all 27 games his senior year in 1998-99 for the 18-9 Toreros. He was named the Toreros' Defensive Player of the Year in 1997 and 1999 and served as the team captain from 1997-99. Smith earned a BA degree in Communications from USD in 1998. Lamont and his wife Kimberly have two daughters -- Payton and Olivia.
A LOOK AHEAD: The Toreros return from Christmas to begin West Coast Conference play with back-to-back home games against the San Francisco Dons (Thur., Dec. 28, 6:00 p.m.) and Pepperdine Waves (Sat., Dec. 30, 1:00 p.m.).
* Among all WCC players, Isaiah Wright is #2 in assists (5.5) and #5 in steals (1.6); Isaiah Pineiro is #8 in scoring (15.1) and #10 in rebounding (6.2); Olin Carter III is #2 in 3-pointers made per game (2.6) and Yauhen Massalski is #4 in blocked shots (1.3).
* Despite Tyler Williams leading five Toreros in double-digits with 18 points, USD dropped an 86-83 overtime decision to North Texas (Dec. 16)... UNT was paced by guard Roosevelt Smart who netted 31 points (7-14 in threes)... Olin Carter hit a three-ball with 18 seconds left to send the game into overtime... Juwan Gray chipped in 14 points off the bench.
* USD's 69-59 road win at Colorado (Dec. 12) was its first win over a Pac-12 team since the first game of the 2009-10 season (77-64, Stanford)... Isaiah Wright scored a game-high 20 points to go with 6 rebounds... Tyler Williams (13), Isaiah Pineiro (10) and Olin Carter (10) also reached double digits... USD's defense held the Buffs to 14-of-54 shooting (25.9%) and 3-18 shooting from beyond the arc (.167).
* The Toreros jumped out to a 15-0 start and 26-3 advantage over the NAU Lumberjacks (Dec. 9) on their way to a 79-51 victory... Cameron Neubauer made 4-of-5 threes and scored a game-high 17 points... Isaiah Pineiro (16 points, 7 rebounds) and Tyler Williams (11 points, 7 rebounds, 3 steals)... USD made a season-high 13 three-pointers on 32 attempts (40.6%).
* USD earned an impressive 65-60 road win at New Mexico State (Dec. 6)... The Aggies entered the game with a 5-0 home record and had won 21 of their last 22 home dates... Isaiah Pineiro paced the Toreros with a season-high 23 points, and was followed by Isaiah Wright (17 points, 8 rebounds) and Tyler Williams (13 points, 10 in 2nd half, 3-3 in threes).
SCOUTING LIFE PACIFIC COLLEGE: Life Pacific College is an NAIA Division I program based in San Dimas, California and is member of the Gold State Athletic Conference (GSAC)... The Warriors currently have a record of 6-6 and this past Saturday dropped a 96-62 exhibition contest at Utah State... Forward Jonathan Cortez led the way with 16 points... LPC will play a game against Cal State Los Angeles this Wednesday before heading south to take on the Toreros... Season leaders include senior Jonathan Cortez (16.8 ppg), senior point guard Mark Eden (16.3 ppg), freshman guard Trey Huckabay (13.7 ppg) and senior forward James Noble (13.5 ppg)... Head Coach Tim Cook is in his second season at the helm... Cook previously was head coach of the San Diego Christian program.
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