San Diego Toreros
West Coast Conference (21-13, 11-3)
Big Wins: 12/29 at Kentucky (81-72), 3/9 St. Mary’s (75-69), 3/10 Gonzaga (69-62)
Bad Losses: 12/31 at Marshall (60-76), 1/9 Cal State Bakersfield (72-80), 11/28 at Boise State (71-77)
Last NCAA Appearance: 2003, First Round loss to Stanford
Coach: Bill Grier (First NCAA appearance)
Brandon Johnson, Junior, Guard, 16.9 ppg, 3.5 apg, 4.1 rpg, 2.2 spg
Trumaine Johnson, Freshman, Guard, 5.5 ppg, 2.8 apg
De’Jon Jackson, Sophomore, Guard, 7.7 ppg, 2.3 apg
Rob Jones, Freshman, Forward, 8.8 ppg, 5.8 rpg
Gyno Pomare, Junior, Forward, 13.7 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 1.4 bpg
Chris Lewis, Sophomore, Guard, 5.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg
Devin Ginty, Freshman, Guard, 2.5 ppg, 1.4 apg
Why They Can Surprise:
San Diego may have saved their best basketball of the season for the conference tournament on their home floor, but this is still a team that has dangerous weapons despite what could be viewed as an undeserved NCAA Tournament bid. Brandon Johnson leads the team with 16.9 points per game and can be a dangerous threat from long range. The 6-2 junior is not just the team’s main scoring threat; he is also the point guard and dishes out 3.5 assists per game. The turnovers are a little high, but Johnson’s great defense almost makes up for it.
The other USD weapon is on the inside. Gyno Pomare, a 6-8 junior, is a superb interior scorer and a great rebounder. On the defensive end of the floor, Pomare is just as effective, averaging 1.4 blocks per game and altering countless others. With his presence in the paint, Pomare opens up space for the shooters on the perimeter, or more accurately the shooter on the perimeter.
Why They Can Disappoint:
Brandon Johnson is the only shooter on the team. Nobody else comes close to being a threat from long range and the Toreros could certainly use a third scorer. De’Jon Jackson and Trumaine Johnson are pretty much the only choices. Jackson was named to the West Coast Conference All-Freshman team last season, but did not really explode during his sophomore season as many had hoped. Still, Jackson averages 7.7 points per game and has the potential to do a lot of scoring…like he showed during the conference tournament when he averaged 16.3 points per game.
Who To Watch:
Rob Jones has had a great freshman season and could be that third scorer USD is looking for. The 6-6 forward averages 8.8 points and 5.8 rebounds per game, but he has much more potential than that. Jones has shown some of that potential late in the season. In February Jones tallied 27 points and 13 rebounds against Loyola Marymount and scored 24 points a few weeks later in Santa Clara. If Jones is a threat and if Jackson or Trumaine Johnson can be a threat from outside to compliment Brandon Johnson, then the Toreros can be dangerous.