Scouting Report: St. Louis

Close, heartbreaking losses have been the story of this early season for the St. Louis Billikens. Gonzaga hopes to keep the C-USA team on the losing track and go 7-1 into Finals Week.


Brought to you by Courtyard by Marriott. Receive a Zags discount while visiting Gonzaga and Spokane. For details, Click Here.

LAST SEASON:

St. Louis went 19-13 overall last season, and 9-7 in Conference USA. They finished tied for 6th in the conference, and lost in the second round of the postseason NIT to Iowa.

HEAD COACH:

SLU is fronted by 3rd year head coach Brad Soderberg, who landed the job in April 2002. Soderberg came to SLU after a six year stint as an assistant at Wisconsin, where he served under Dick Bennett. He also served as the Wisconsin's interim head coach after Bennett's sudden retirement part way into the 2000-01 season.

THIS SEASON:

The Billikens are 1-5 thus far this season, with a win over Troy, and losses to Austin Peay, Eastern Michigan, Oral Roberts, Hawaii and Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

After taking the Billikens to two straight postseason NIT appearances, Soderberg had high hopes for this year's bunch – even suggesting in the preseason that they might be able to make the leap into the NCAA tournament. However, this season has been a struggle so far, partly due to having a freshman point guard directing an offense that struggled most of last season and most of this season. It should be noted, however, that the Billikens could easily be 4-2, as 3 of their losses have been by 3 points or less.

PROJECTED STARTERS:

PG – #00 Dwayne Polk (5-9, Fr.) = St. Louis is very excited about Polk, who lead his high school team to three Missouri state titles. He is enormously quick and creative, and will certainly help the problems SLU had handling full court pressure last year. He is averaging 6.7 PPG and 3.8 APG so far this season.

G - #21 Reggie Bryant (6-2, Sr.) = Bryant is not only SLU's best player, but he is one of the best players in C-USA. An athletic guard who can score from the 3 point line (37% 3PT last year), but who also has a great mid range game, Bryant averaged 16.4 PPG last year. He is off to a great start so far in this his senior season.

F - #33 Vas'Shun Newborne (6-6, Jr.) = Newborne is a juco transfer from Florida who averaged 11.2 PPG and 7.5 RPG last season. He is a good shooter, and an excellent, aggressive defensive player.

F - #30 Izik Ohanon (6-9, Sr.) = Ohanon is an experienced big who played 21.6 MPG and started 21 games for the Billikens last year. A former member of the Israeli Army, Ohanon has been terrific so far, averaging 12.2 PPG and 8 RPG.

C = #1 Tom Frericks (6-9, Sr.) = Frericks led the Billikens in rebounding last year, and started in 19 games. Frericks has had health problems in the past (asthma related), and can be foul prone, but when playing well, is a highly effectively post presence. Frericks led C-USA in field goal percentage last season.

KEY RESERVES:

Anthony Drejaj (#20, 6-2, Jr.) is SLU's first option off the bench, and is in many ways a starter as he averages 27 minutes a game. He is averaging 7 PPG so far this year, and can stroke it from 3 (36% 3PT last year), but his specialty is defense. He is a fierce competitor and a terrific on ball defender. Ian Vouyoukas (#15, 6-10, So.) is SLU's main back up big man. He is a good passer with a soft touch underneath. Luke Meyer (#32, 6-5, Fr.) is a backup swing with a terrific mid range game. He was a first team all state high selection in Missouri last year, where he averaged an astounding 28.6 PPG. Danny Brown (#3, 6-4, Fr.) provides additional guard play off the bench. He averaged 20 PPG last year in prep school.


Inside The Kennel Top Stories