Tuesday, November 22, 2016

San Diego Toreros host Bethune Cookman on Tuesday at 7:00 p.m.

GAME #5: The USD Toreros (1-3) play host to the Bethune Cookman Wildcats (2-2) on Tuesday, November 22nd. Game time is 7:05 p.m. at the Jenny Craig Pavilion. This is the third of four games that fall under the umbrella of the San Diego Classic.

SERIES RECORD: This is the first meeting between USD and Bethune Cookman.

RADIO/TV: All USD home and away games will be broadcast on ESPN 1700AM with Jack Cronin (3rd season) bringing you all the action; his pre-game show airs 15 minutes prior to tip-off. The game will be streamed on TheW.tv. (The West Coast Conference TV)

WCC STANDINGS (thru Nov. 20): BYU (3-0), #11 Gonzaga (3-0), Pepperdine (3-0), Portland (3-0), #15 Saint Mary's (3-0), San Francisco (2-0), Santa Clara (2-2), LMU (1-2), Pacific (1-2), San Diego (1-3).

WCC COACHES PRESEASON POLL: The Toreros were picked 10th in the 2016-17 WCC Preseason Men's Basketball Coaches Poll... Team (First Place Vote) - 1. Gonzaga (7), 79 points; 2. Saint Mary's (3), 75 points; 3. BYU, 65 points; 4. Pepperdine, 53 points; 5. Santa Clara, 49 points; 6. Loyola Marymount, 34 points; 7. Pacific, 29 points; 7. Portland, 28 points; 9. San Francisco, 27 points; 10. San Diego, 11 points.

COACH SMITH (2ND YEAR): Coach Lamont Smith (San Diego, 1998) enters his second year at the helm of the Torero basketball program... Last year he guided the Toreros to a 9-21 record that included a 53-48 win over SDSU at Petco Park, and WCC sweep of Portland... Prior to USD he 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 returns 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 Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of San Diego in 1998... Lamont and his wife Kimberly have two daughters -- Payton and Olivia.

TOREROS EARN 81-72 WIN OVER NICHOLLS STATE: The USD Toreros used a strong second half to pull away from the Nicholls State Colonels in earning the team's first victory of the 2016-17 campaign with an 81-72 final score... Sophomore guard Olin Carter III netted a new career-high with 21 points on 6-of-10 shooting (4-6 in threes), and was followed in the double-digit column by senior Brett Bailey (19 points), freshman Juwan Gray (14 points, 5 rebounds, 3 steals) and junior forward Cameron Neubauer (13 points)... The Toreros got off to a slow start against the Colonels as they found themselves down 8-2 out of the gate and then 13-4 before they started chipping away... By halftime USD held a slim 36-35 advantage... Over the final 20 minutes of action the Toreros shot 50% from the field (13-26), converted 15-18 free throws (83.3%), and outrebounded the Colonels 21-14... Freshman Juwan Gray scored 12 of his career-high 14 points in 17 minutes of action during the second half... Carter and Bailey each scored 12 points in the second half... Sophomore Tyler Williams grabbed a team-high 9 rebounds... For the game the Toreros canned 10-of-20 from beyond the arc.

* Senior Brett Bailey has put together strong back-to-back performances against UCLA (22 points, 9 rebounds) and Nicholls State (19 points, 4 rebounds)... Combined he has averaged 20.5 ppg and converted 48.1% from the field (13-27), 77.7% beyond the arc (7-9) and 80.0% from the charity stripe (8-10). During this two-game stretch he is followed by Olin Carter III (17.0 ppg) and Cameron Neubauer (13.5 ppg).
* USD is one of the youngest basketball teams in the NCAA Division I ranks this season with just two upperclassmen - senior forward Brett Bailey (Spokane, Washington) and junior forward Cameron Neubauer (Berlin, Germany).
* USD will miss the services of graduated seniors Duda Sanadze (12.8 ppg, 4.0 rpg) and Jito Kok (USD career leader with 269 blocked shots). Guards Vasa Pusica (8.3 ppg, 4.0 rpg) and Marcus Harris (6.6 ppg) both transferred out. Pusica ended up at Northeastern, while Harris landed at Sam Houston State.
* David Fizdale, a 1996 graduate of the University of San Diego, was officially introduced on May 29th as the new head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies. Fizdale played at USD from 1992-96 and following an internship with the Miami Heat video staff in 1997-98, returned to USD as an assistant coach for the Torero men’s basketball program from 1998-2002. Fizdale, 41, becomes the fifth former Torero basketball player to be named an NBA head coach. He follows in the footsteps of Bernie Bickerstaff (Seattle, Denver, Washington, Charlotte, and Los Angeles - interim), Eric Musselman (Golden State & Sacramento), Mike Brown (Cleveland & Los Angeles) and James Borrego (Orlando - interim).

SCOUTING THE BETHUNE COOKMAN WILDCATS: The Bethune Cookman Wildcats are from Daytona Beach, Florida... A member of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC), they bring a record of 2-2 to the Jenny Craig Pavilion... They opened the season with a 100-53 loss at St. John's, then followed up with wins over Kennesaw State (75-72) and Trinity- Florida (82-52)... On Sunday they dropped an 89-73 decision at New Mexico State (NMSU is USD's next opponent this coming Saturday)... Against the Aggies on Sunday, Bethune Cookman was paced by junior forward Brandon Tabb (26 points, 6 rebounds) and junior point guard Jeffrey Altidort off the bench with 19 points... Through four games the Wildcats are led by Tabb (18.5 ppg), RS-senior guard Reggie Baker (14.5 ppg) and senior guard Diamante Lewis (10.5 ppg)... Head Coach Gravelle Craig is in his 6th season at the helm and owns a career mark of 66-103.


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