West Coast Conference upstart San Diego looks to ruin Saint Mary‘s perfect home record in an important game for both squads–they’re currently tied for third with a 4-1 mark. There’s some added incentive just in case winning isn’t enough–the winner moves up to at least a tie for second place as BYU (5-1) visits Gonzaga (4-0).
The season for San Diego has been that of streaks–two wins, two losses, a win, three losses, three wins, three losses, five wins and most recently a loss at BYU. Part of the reason they’ve been so up and down is because sophomore guard Johnny Dee is the only true scorer they’ve got. Dee averages 15 points per game but doesn’t really do much else for the Toreros–he’s only 6′ tall so rebounding isn’t his thing and neither is passing the ball (1 apg).
San Diego struggles putting points on the board (66.6 ppg) and struggles even more away from home–USD is 8-1 at home and just 3-8 everywhere else. They lack a true big man, but have two able bodies to help anchor their front line–Dennis Kramer and Simi Fajemisin–though neither are very good rebounders. The two account for only seven points and six boards per game–combined.
They’re a one-dimensional offense but several guys are willing and able to hoist up three-pointers–Dee, John Sinis and Ken Rancifer. The trio has accounted for 93 of their 122 made threes. They don’t shoot in particularly well from the floor either, managing to connect on only 44.3% of their shots.
Saint Mary’s is playing extremely well, having won three in a row, including a recent thrashing of a bad Portland club, 60-38. They’re extremely efficient on offense, shooting 49% from the floor and averaging 77.8 points per game, both good for top-20 in the nation. Returning WCC Player of the Year Matthew Dellavedova is putting up outstanding numbers once again, averaging 17 points, 6.5 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game. He’s also second in the WCC in three-pointers made and attempted (47-120, 39.2%).
The Gaels also have a pair of athletic 6’9″ forwards in Brad Waldow and Mitchell Young, which could create some match up nightmares for the Toreros.
The bottom line is Saint Mary’s doesn’t lose at home–over the past two-plus seasons, they’re 41-4 at cozy confines of the McKeon Pavilion. Stay classy San Diego, even when you lose by 20.