Nov. 20, 2012
GAME #6: The USD Toreros (3-2), coming off of four games in five days from the 2012 NUCDF Basketball Challenge that they hosted this past week (Nov. 14-18) at the Jenny Craig Pavilion, hit the road now for four straight away contests. It begins on Wednesday with a 7:00 p.m. contest against the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos (1-2) at UCSB's Thunderdome.
SERIES RECORD WITH UCSB: This is the 21st meeting between USD and UCSB with the Gauchos owning a 14-6 series lead... UCSB won last year's Dec. 14th meeting in San Diego by the score of 65-61 (Johnny Dee 15 points; UCSB was paced by Jaime Serna, 22 points). This season UCSB is off to a 1-2 start. The Gauchos opened with road losses at LSU (77-63) and Illinois State (100-72) before returning home to defeat Master's College (80-60). Alan Williams (15.3 ppg) and Taran Brown (15.0 ppg) lead the scoring attack.
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.
DEE NAMED WCC PLAYER OF THE WEEK: The West Coast Conference announced that USD sophomore guard Johnny Dee (Vista, CA) is the WCC Men's Basketball Player of the Week award-winner for November 19, 2012. Dee was named to the All-Tournament team of the NUCDF Basketball Challenge after averaging 18.5 points for the Toreros, who played four games in five days. He combined to shoot 51.1% from the field (24-47), 57.9% from beyond the three-point arc (11-19) and 83.3% from the charity stripe (15-18). He also chipped in with 3.0 rebounds per contest and 1.5 steals per game. Dee scored in double digits in each game with a season-best 27 points (17 in 1st half) in USD's final game, a 77-60 win over Siena. In that contest Dee made 7-of-12 shots from the floor, 4-of-6 in threes and a perfect 9-9 from the line. He also netted 17 points (Tulsa), 16 points (CS Northridge) and 14 points (win over Northern Kentucky).
GRIER (6TH YEAR): Coach Bill Grier (Oregon, 1990) is in his sixth season at the helm of the USD program... He enters the UCSB contest with a 3-2 mark and 71-95 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.
TORERO TIDBITS: The Toreros hit the road for the first time this season after coming out of the blocks with five straight home games where they went 3-2... Last season the Toreros were 4-7 in "true" away games, and including neutral site contests, were 7-10 away from the JCP... With his 27 point outburst against Siena, sophomore guard Johnny Dee came within 3 points of matching his career high (30 vs. Pepperdine, 3-1-12)... The 27 points is the second most in a single game for him, but the 9th time he has totaled 22 points or more... Dee, a preseason All-WCC First Team pick, currently ranks 7th among all WCC players with his 16.4 points per game average... Torero sophomore guard Christopher Anderson tied a USD single game record when he recorded 7 steals against Tulsa last Thursday... It matched the mark set by three other Toreros during NCAA Division I play... After opening the season with 14 points, senior center Chris Manresa has missed the team's last four games nursing a sore back... Freshman center Jito Kok has shown he'll be a factor in the shot blocking department - he already has 13 on the season with a personal-best 4 (Siena)... As a team, USD is starting to heat up behind the 3-point arc - in its first 2 games they managed to convert just 24% (6-25); over last three, 48% (24-50).
TOREROS DEAL SIENA 77-60 LOSS: Reeling from two straight losses, the USD men's basketball team (3-2) regrouped to take care of the Siena Saints, 77-60, in its final game of the NCUDF Basketball Challenge on Sunday afternoon. "It certainly was a win we needed, from a confidence standpoint," USD head coach Bill Grier said. "It just energized us going into this next week." After consecutive outings where they struggled offensively, the Toreros (3-2) took advantage of their day off and managed to find their form, hitting 51 percent of their shots from the field throughout the contest. USD sophomore guard Johnny Dee headlined the offensive spark, finishing the game with 27 points. Dee also hit 4-of-6 from beyond the arc and was a perfect 9-for-9 from the charity stripe. At the tip, Siena (2-3) came out strong and forced a 10-3 run that pushed the Toreros on their heels. But USD fought back and ended up tying the game at 16-all on a Jito Kok statement slam-dunk with 10:24 left to play in the first half. The Toreros took advantage of the momentum switch and continued to force their style of play on the Saints. They wouldn't surrender the lead for the rest of the game. Adding to the USD offensive effort was senior forward Ken Rancifer, who played his best game of the season, finishing with 13 points and eight rebounds. Senior guard Cameron Miles came off the bench to spark the team with a solid outing of 10 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists. On the defensive side, the Toreros had their hands full in trying to contain Siena big man O.D. Anosike. He finished the day with double-double numbers, shooting for 19 points and hauling in 13 rebounds. Sunday marked his fifth consecutive double-double.