Jan. 7, 2013
GAME #17: The USD Toreros (8-8; 1-0 WCC) travel to the bay area this week to take on the San Francisco Dons (7-8; 0-2 WCC) on Thursday, January 10th. Game time is 7:05 p.m. at USF Memorial Gymnasium (4,800 capacity). The Toreros will be looking to improve on their current two-game win streak while the USF Dons will be looking to snap their 2-game skid.
SERIES RECORD: This is 69th meeting between the USD Toreros and USF Dons with San Francisco owning a 35-33 advantage... The Dons have won the last six meetings, with last year's results being 81-70 (Feb. 10 in San Diego) and 84-70 (Jan. 29 in San Francisco)... In the last meeting, guard Johnny Dee scored 23 points to set a new USD single season scoring record for freshman, and John Sinis chipped in with 16 points; USF was paced by Perris Blackwell (18 points, 11 rebounds)... In the game played at War Memorial Gymnasium, Ken Rancifer scored a team-best 17 points for the Toreros... Prior to USF's current 5-game win streak the Toreros owned a 5-game win streak of their own in the series.
RADIO-TV: All USD home and away games will be broadcast live on The Mighty 1090 or ESPN 1700 AM with Andy Masur (6th season) bringing you all the action; his pre-game shows air 15 minutes prior to tip-off. Thursday's game will air on The Mighty 1090. The game will also have a WCC digital broadcast (Dave Lewis) at www.WCCSports.com.
A LOOK AHEAD: The Toreros close out the week with their second straight league road contest in Malibu, California against Pepperdine (9-6, 1-1 WCC) on Sat., Jan. 12th, 7pm. USD has won the last three meetings against Pepperdine, having won all three last season, including a 76-54 first round win at the 2012 WCC Basketball Championships. Pepperdine leads the overall series, 56-37.
WCC STANDINGS (thru Jan. 7th): Gonzaga (2-0 WCC, 15-1), BYU (2-0, 12-4), Saint Mary's (1-0, 12-3), San Diego (1-0, 8-8), Santa Clara (1-1, 12-4), Pepperdine (1-1, 9-6), Loyola Marymount (0-2, 7-8), San Francisco (0-2, 7-8), Portland (0-2, 7-10).
COACH GRIER (6TH YEAR): Coach Bill Grier (Oregon, 1990) is in his sixth season at the helm of the USD program... He enters the San Francisco contest with a 8-8 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.
RANCIFER RECOGNIZED BY SAN DIEGO HALL OF CHAMPIONS: Senior forward Ken Rancifer (Oakland, Calif.) was recently honored by the San Diego Hall of Champions as an amateur star of the month for December. The 6'5" forward started all eight games in December with the team going 4-4 (3-0 at JCP). For the month Rancifer averaged 13.0 points per game, 3.4 rebounds per game, while converting 51.4% of his shots from the field (37-72) and 47.1% from beyond the three-point arc (16-34). Additionally he chipped in with 9 assists and 5 steals. He reached double-digit scoring in six of the eight contests, including a career-high 27 points in the team's win oer Arizona Christian. In that contest he made 10-12 shots from the field, and 6-of-8 from beyond the three-point arc. He also scored a game-high16 points in home win over Tulane, and 16 points in road loss at then #15 SDSU. For the season he has started all 16 games for the 8-8 Toreros and is averaging 9.9 ppg and 4.3 rpg.
TORERO TIDBITS: The Toreros will be looking for their second 3-game win streak this season... Head Coach Bill Grier is 2-3 in WCC road openers... Point guard Christopher Anderson ranks in the top-25 in two NCAA statistical catagories - #19 in steals per game (2.53) and #23 in assists (6.0)... Through 1 1/2 seasons and 46 games, Anderson now has 246 career assists (5.34) and 100 steals (2.17)... USD scoring leader Johnny Dee is still the lone WCC player this season to garner two player of the week honors... Dee leads the team at 14.8 points per game, while converting 90.5% from the free throw line (38x42)... Through 1 1/2 seasons (47 games), Dee has now made 114 three-pointers, which is 50.6% of his overall made baskets (225)... Over the past five games Chris Manresa is averaging a double-double in points & rebounds (11.6 ppg & 10.4 rpg)... With two double-doubles this season (10 points & 13 rebounds vs. James Madison & Morgan State), Manresa now owns 10 career double-doubles.
TOREROS DEAL PORTLAND 61-50 DEFEAT IN WCC OPENER: The USD Toreros used a strong defensive effort to put the clamps on visiting Portland in earning a 61-50 victory in each team's WCC opener last Thursday. The 50 points the Toreros limited Portland to is a season-low for USD opponents. Guard Christopher Anderson, who missed his first collegiate game in USD's previous outing with the flu, returned to the lineup to spark the Toreros with 14 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals. Forward Ken Rancifer chipped in with 10 second half points and forward Chris Manresa just missed on his third straight double-double with 9 points and 11 rebounds.The first half saw the game knotted at 27-all. In the second half Portland edged ahead by 3 points on three different occasions, the last coming at 36-33 with 14:43 to go. From there Rancifer added a three-pointer and an old-fashioned three-point play to give USD a 39-36 lead with 12:37 left. A layup by Thomas van der Mars gave Portland their final lead at 42-41 with 7:55 to go. USD's Mike Davis answered with a layup, and the game was tied for the final time at 43-43 with 6:13 to go. From there it was all Toreros as they closed the game on an 18-7 run. USD's final offensive surge was paced by Anderson (6 pts) and Dee (5 pts). For the game USD shot 40.8% from the field, 37.5% from the three-point arc (6-16) and a solid 78.9% from the free throw line (15-19).
SCOUTING THE SAN FRANCISCO DONS: The San Francisco Dons (7-8; 0-2 WCC) dropped two very close league games last week - 74-69 at Santa Clara (Jan. 2) and 80-76 to BYU (Jan. 5)... In the road game at Santa Clara, junior forward Cole Dickerson notched a double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds... Junior guard Cody Doolin chipped in with 16 points and 8 assists... In the home loss to BYU, the Dons were paced again by Dickerson (22 points, 9 rebounds) and Doolin (22 points, 10 assists)... In the two games combined the Dons converted 20-of-46 three-pointers (43.5%)... After getting off to a 5-1 record to begin the season, the Dons have now gone 2-7 over their last nine contests... San Francisco is 5-2 in home games... Season leaders include Dickerson (15.9 ppg, 11.7 rpg), junior guard De'End Parker (14.1 ppg) and Doolin (12.9 ppg)... Dickerson is averaging 3.6 offensive rebounds per contest... As a team the USF Dons are averaging 70.3 ppg and 35.1 rpg while limiting its opponents to 68.0 ppg and 33.5 rpg... Head Coach Rex Walters (Kansas, '93) is in his 5th season with the USF Dons (69-74 record)... Former USD head coach Jim Brovelli, who was also head coach at USF, provides color analysis for USF home radio broadcasts.