G Darian Norris (10.4 pg, 4.2 rpg)
G Devin Ginty (7.9 ppg, 3.4 rpg)
G Matt Dorr (7.8 ppg, 3.5 rpg)
F Chris Manresa (7.3 ppg, 4.8 rpg)
F Ken Rancifer (10.3 ppg, 4.8 rpg)
Ken Rancifer - A terrific outside shooter, Rancifer has very good size. He leads the team with nine games in double-digit scoring with a season-best 19 points at New Mexico.
San Diego Game Notes
The USD Toreros (3-10) head to Raleigh, North Carolina for a New Year's Day afternoon contest against the North Carolina State Wolfpack (8-4). The game will tipoff at 12 noon (9:00 am PT) at the RBC Center (19,722 capacity).
This is the first meeting between the USD Toreros and North Carolina State Wolfpack.
Saturday's contest will air regionally in North Carolina on Fox Sports South (Mike Hogewood, play-by-play; Dan Bonner, color analyst). The contest will also be broadcast on XTRA Sports 1360 AM with Andy Masur calling the action; his pre-game show will air 15 minutes prior to tip-off. In addition to the live broadcasts airing on XTRA's terrestrial signal, fans will also be able to hear the broadcast on their computers via live stream at XTRASports1360.com and on their smart phones via the free iheartradio application. A audio feed is also available free of charge at www.usdtoreros.com.
WEST COAST CONFERENCE STANDINGS (thru Dec. 28th)
Saint Mary's College Gaels (10-2), University of Portland Pilots (11-3), Gonzaga University Bulldogs (7-5), Santa Clara Broncos (7-6), Loyola Marymount Unviersity Lions (6-7), Pepperdine University Waves (5-10), University of San Francisco Dons (4-9), and the San Diego Toreros (3-10).
HAWAIIAN AIRLINES DIAMOND HEAD CLASSIC RECAP
The Toreros dropped their first two games of the tournament before earning a solid 67-64 win over Utah in the 7th place contest on Christmas Day for their first Division I win of the season. In their opener USD lost to then No. 15 Baylor (83-50), followed by a 69-52 loss to Mississippi State. Butler defeated Washington State in the championship game.
COACH GRIER (4TH YEAR)
Coach Bill Grier (Oregon, 1990), 47, is in his fourth season at the helm of the USD program... He enters the North Carolina State game with a four-year mark of 52-61... Last season (team record of 11-21) was highlighted by wins over Stanford, #25 Oklahoma, Houston and Boise State... His second campaign (16-16 mark in 2008-09) 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 (hosted by USD) 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... Hired on March 26, 2007, 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... Prior to USD Grier spent 16 years at Gonzaga, including the last 8 seasons as Mark Few's top assistant. Bill and his wife, Nicole, have two daughters, Giselle & Ashley.
USD is just 0-1 all-time against schools from the ACC... USD's only contest against an ACC opponent came during the 2008-09 season, an 80-45 loss to Miami in the Paradise Jam in the U.S. Virgin Islands... As a team, USD ranks in the top-4 in three WCC team categories - 3rd in 3-point field goal percentage defense (.336), 4th in turnover margin (-1.2), and 4th in blocked shots (2.9 per game)... USD individuals listed among the WCC's top-10 include Darian Norris (4th in steals, 1.6; 8th in assist-turnover ratio, 1.1; and 9th in assists, 3.0), Ken Rancifer (7th in 3-point%, .440; and 10th in 3-pointers made per game, 1.7) and Chris Manresa (8th in blocked shots, 1.2 bpg)... Rancifer leads the team with nine games in double-digit scoring with a season-best 19 points at New Mexico... He is followed by Norris (8 games; season-high 18 points vs. Boise State)... Redshirt feshman guard Jordan Mackie is coming off a personal-best 14 points in the team's 67-64 win over Utah... Against the Runnin Utes he made 6-of-7 shots from the field, but struggled at the free throw line (just 2-of-7).... Over the past four games Mackie is averaging 9.5 ppg... Senior captain Devin Ginty posted his fourth double-digit scoring contest with his 13 point effort against Utah... His career-best came during his freshman season, an 18-point effort in road win over Kentucky... Head Coach Bill Grier owns 4 wins against ranked teams with his best coming against #15 UCONN in the first round of the 2008 NCAA Tournament in Tampa, Florida (70-69 overtime victory).
TOREROS DEFEAT UTAH 67-64
The USD Toreros delivered themselves their first Division I win this season on Christmas morning... Playing in the 7th place game at 9:00 a.m. Honolulu time in the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic, the Toreros held on for a solid 67-64 victory over the University of Utah... Devin Ginty made 5-of-6 free throws in the final 26 seconds and the USD men's basketball team held on for a three-point victory over Utah on Saturday... Jordan Mackie led the Toreros (3-10) with a season-high 14 points in their first win over a Division I opponent this season... Ginty added 13 points and Darian Norris 12... Will Clyburn scored 19 points, Jason Washburn 16 and Jay Watkins 13 for the Utes (7-6)... The Toreros led by as many as nine points in the first half and 12 early in the second, only to see Utah storm back for a 49-48 lead with 9:23 remaining... The game stayed close from there with Utah's Jason Washburn converting two free throws to tie it at 60-all with 1:31 left... USD's Chris Manresa was fouled on the Toreros next possession and he clutched up and converted both free throws to put his team up for good... Watkins drew the Utes within a point twice in the final 12 seconds... But Ginty, who was 7-of-8 from the line in the game, preserved the victory... Josh Watkins' 3-pointer at the buzzer was no good... For the game USD converted 46.9% from the field (23-49), 44.4% from beyond the line (4-9) and just 58.6% from the charity stripe (17-29)... Freshman forward Dennis Kramer chipped in with 4 points and 7 rebounds in just 9 minutes of action.
QUARTET OF SENIORS MOVE ON
USD's four leading scorers from a year ago have moved on due to graduation - guard Brandon Johnson (14.0 ppg), guard De'Jon Jackson (12.0 ppg), center Roberto Mafra (8.5 ppg) and forward Chris Lewis (7.6 ppg)... They accounted for 67% of USD's team scoring... Johnson left USD as the program's all-time leader in points (1,790) and assists (525)... Jackson made the biggest shot in program history with his step-back 18 footer with 1.2 seconds left in overtime that shocked the UCONN Huskies in the first round of the 2008 NCAA Tournament in Tampa, Florida.