San Diego Toreros

Associated Press

SUNDAY’S SNACKS: No. 25 Baylor comes back, No. 9 North Carolina rolls

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GAME OF THE DAY: No. 25 Baylor 69, No. 16 Vanderbilt 67

Taurean Prince scored 30 points and Lester Medford added 15 and five assists as the Bears erased a 13-point second half deficit to beat the Commodores in Waco. Medford’s three with 42 seconds remaining gave Baylor the lead for good, and the Bears’ work on the offensive glass was notable as well.

Baylor racked up 20 offensive rebounds, with Rico Gathers Sr. responsible for eight, which worked out to an offensive rebounding percentage of 46.5 percent despite going up against the likes of Damian Jones and Luke Kornet. Wade Baldwin IV led Vandy with 19 points, and more about Baylor’s win can be read here.


Florida State 76, VCU 71: The Seminoles managed to hang on in Atlanta, with VCU’s Melvin Johnson nearly leading the Rams to a comeback win. Johnson scored a career-high 36 in the loss, with 23 of those points coming in the second half. Xavier Rathan-Mayes led the winners with 23 points while also grabbing eight rebounds and dishing out three assists.

San Diego 53, San Diego State 48: In a game played outdoors at Petco Park the Toreros picked up the first big win of Lamont Smith’s tenure as head coach. USD wasn’t great offensively but their opponents were even worse in the first half, as SDSU shot 3-for-20 from the field and trailed 31-13 at the break. Steve Fisher’s team managed to pull to within one late in the second half, but the hole was too deep to crawl out of. Duda Sanadze led San Diego with 15 points and Olin Carter III added 12 (4-for-7 3PT).


Devin Patterson, Omaha: Not only did Patterson score 41 points Sunday, but his three-pointer as time expired gave the Mavericks a 100-97 win at Montana State.

Melvin Johnson, VCU: Johnson shot 14-for-24 in scoring his career-high 36 points in the Rams’ five-point loss to Florida State in Atlanta.

Taurean Prince, Baylor: Waller-Prince scored 30 points on 10-for-19 shooting to lead the Bears to a two-point win over No. 16 Vanderbilt.


San Diego State (first half): Shooting 3-for-20 from the field is bad. What was also bad for San Diego State was the fact that they allowed San Diego to grab eight offensive rebounds on the other end. They were outworked and outplayed Sunday.

Damian Jones, Vanderbilt: Jones, who did grab eight rebounds in a two-point loss at No. 25 Baylor, shot just 2-for-7 from the field in scoring nine points.


  • No. 9 North Carolina rolled to a 98-65 win over Davidson, as they limited the Wildcats to 34.3 percent shooting from the field. Nate Britt matched his career-high with 17 points, leading five Tar Heels in double figures.
  • No. 17 Cincinnati scored 51 points in the first half of its 87-66 win over Morgan State. Shaq Thomas posted 15 points, nine rebounds and four assists, and Gary Clark Jr. accounted for 13 points and 14 rebounds for the Bearcats.


  • Pittsburgh scored 50 points in both halves as they rolled to a 100-47 win over Central Arkansas. Damon Wilson scored 20 points, shooting 7-for-9 from the field, off the bench to lead the barrage.
  • Chris Mullin picked up his first head coaching win at Madison Square Garden as St. John’s held off St. Francis-Brooklyn 63-56. The win is also the 1,800th in the history of the program, making St. John’s the ninth Division I program to reach that number.
  • Hofstra capped the doubleheader at MSG with an 86-80 win over Appalachian State, as they scored 52 second-half points. Brian Bernardi scored 23 points to lead the way for the Pride.
  • James Madison moved to 8-3 on the season with a 107-84 win over Marshall. Shakir Brown scored 30 points and Ron Curry added 20 for the Dukes.
  • UMass-Lowell picked up its first-ever win over Boston College, beating the Eagles 68-66 in Chestnut Hill. The Eagles were shorthanded, as Eli Carter (ankle) and Dennis Clifford (stomach bug) both sat out.
  • Monmouth rebounded from its loss at Canisius Friday night with a comfortable 56-42 win at Niagara. The Hawks limited the Purple Eagles to 15 first-half points.
  • Two-time defending MAAC tournament champion Manhattan fell to 0-2 in league play, losing 75-70 to Marist at home. Khalid Hart scored 17 points and Brian Parker and Ryan Funk added 16 apiece for the winners.
  • Coastal Carolina moved to 1-1 in Big South play with a 63-58 win over Radford (als0 1-1). Jaylen Shaw and Marcus Freeman scored 12 apiece to lead a balanced offensive effort for Cliff Ellis’ Chanticleers.
  • Colorado State scored 52 first-half points and then went ice cold in the second half, with Colorado’s improved defense ultimately leading to the Buffaloes winning 88-77 in Fort Collins. Josh Scott, who struggled in each of the last two meetings in this series, scored 21 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for Colorado.
  • Jaelan Sanford’s three-pointer as time expired gave Toledo a 71-69 win at Green Bay. Nathan Boothe led the Rockets with 27 points.
  • Southern Miss picked up its first win of the season, beating North Dakota State 74-62. Quinton Campbell scored 17 points to lead four Golden Eagles in double figures.
  • Saint Mary’s remained undefeated as they beat Big West favorite UC Irvine 70-60 in Moraga. Emmett Naar led five Gaels in double figures with 15 points while also dishing out five assists.
  • Bryce Alford scored 24 points and Isaac Hamilton 21 as UCLA beat Long Beach State 83-76. The visiting 49ers were playing their second game in as many days, as they beat New Mexico State Saturday.
  • Dejounte Murray scored 17 points, Matisse Thybulle 16 and Andrew Andrews 15 and ten rebounds as Washington took care of Cal-State Fullerton, 87-69.

San Diego, San Diego State to play December 5 at Petco Park

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Just over a month after it was reported that city foes San Diego and San Diego State were working towards an agreement that would result in a game to be played at Petco Park, the schools announced Friday that it is now official. The two teams will play December 5 at the home of the San Diego Padres, with tipoff scheduled for 2:00 p.m. local time.

“We are excited for the opportunity to bring a basketball game to Petco Park and can’t wait to see the configuration for the event,” San Diego State head coach Steve Fisher said in the release. “It should make for a great event in one of the most beautiful parks in the country. To have this event with USD is a natural. These two teams playing in this venue should be a great attraction in the city, county, state and around the country.”

“We are thrilled to be a part of this distinctive game,” new San Diego head coach Lamont Smith said. “To be able to play a successful program, like San Diego State, on a neutral floor is an opportunity to never pass up. Combine that with the continuation of the city series in Petco Park, and we’ve created a fantastic atmosphere for both teams and fan bases to experience in December. The San Diego Padres and Petco Park have been more than gracious to partner with us to use their tremendous venue for the San Diego Championship.”

This will be the first neutral site meeting between the two programs since 1992, and it also starts a new five-year deal in the series. The game will return to campus sites during the 2016-17 season, with San Diego State hosting that game at Viejas Arena.

San Diego State has prior experience playing a game outdoors, as they fell to Syracuse in November 2012 in a game played on the USS Midway at the Navy Pier in San Diego. Wind and Syracuse’s 2-3 zone had a major impact on the Aztecs offensively, as they shot 17-for-63 from the field, 1-for-18 from three and 14-for-33 from the foul line.

Son of NBA head coach becomes graduate transfer after leaving San Diego

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Nick Kerr, the son of Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, will graduate and transfer from San Diego, according to a report from Don Norcross of the San Diego Union-Tribune. The 6-foot-3 Kerr wasn’t much of a factor with the Toreros last season, playing in only six games and scoring nine total points.

Having one more season of college basketball eligibility means that the younger Kerr would like to be closer to his father, so that he can learn about potentially becoming a coach after his playing career is over.

“My dad’s coaching the Warriors and I’m trying to become a coach,” Nick Kerr said to Norcross. “I want to learn from him. I think being around (the Warriors’) practice would be the best thing for me to figure out what he’s doing.”

Norcross also reports that Kerr will look for a Division I landing spot for next season, but Kerr could also choose more playing time at a lower level if it were a better fit.

One interesting note about Kerr leaving San Diego is how much of an impact he had away from the floor. As the Norcross story mentions, Kerr was a big part of leading the Toreros in offseason workouts and was often a willing host for recruiting visits. Those little things help a program immensely when you have role players who try to make everyone else better and it’ll be interesting to see how Kerr’s potential future career as a coach pans out.

Kerr can certainly learn a lot being around his father and some of the best players in the world like Steph Curry and Klay Thompson next season.

Report: City foes San Diego, San Diego State to play game at Petco Park in December

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With wind and condensation proving to be major issues, that trend of playing early-season games on aircraft carriers fell by the wayside a couple years ago. However the idea of playing a game outdoors remains an option for some, especially schools located in areas where weather tends to not be a serious issue during the late fall/early winter.

San Diego is one such place. And according to a report from Mark Zeigler of the San Diego Union-Tribune, the city’s two Division I programs plan to play their annual game outdoors in early December this upcoming season. Per the report, San Diego and San Diego State have come to an agreement to play their game at Petco Park, which is called home by the San Diego Padres.

While San Diego State’s had no serious issues with home attendance thanks to the incredible rebuilding job done by Steve Fisher, that hasn’t been the case for USD and that includes games in which they host the Aztecs. Maybe a change in venue for a season can boost attendance for the game, with SDSU fans who may not be able to get into Viejas Arena having a better chance of seeing their team in person and that would be the case for others as well.

According to Zeigler’s report playing a game at Petco was the idea of SDSU athletic director Jim Sterk, with the Aztecs looking to reel in a high-profile opponent.

But Ron Fowler chairs the Padres’ ownership group and also is USD’s most prominent athletic booster, and apparently he agreed to let the Aztecs to play in his ballpark under one condition: that it’s against the Toreros.

The teams have played annually since 1998, but a four-year contract expired after this season and there were growing murmurs that it wouldn’t be renewed, particularly in alternating home arenas. The programs have gone in opposite directions – the Aztecs to the Top 25, the Toreros to seven straight losing seasons against Division I competition – and the yawning disparity in fortunes created a nothing-to-win prospect for the Aztecs, who have won nine straight in the series.

According to the story the court would be set up in a fashion similar to the configuration for Davis Cup tennis matches held at Petco last year, with the court being situated in the left field corner. While this change could give the series between SDSU and USD a boost, the bigger key moving forward is that the Toreros turn things around in the WCC.

San Diego introduced a new head coach earlier this month in former New Mexico assistant Lamont Smith, and the hope is that the USD alumnus can provide the program with a spark it really needs. While moving the game against SDSU outdoors for a season keeps it on the schedule, what Smith is able to do with the program will impact whether or not these two teams play beyond the 2015-16 season.

San Diego hires New Mexico assistant Lamont Smith as new head coach

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source: Getty Images
Lamont Smith, right, is San Diego’s new head coach (Getty Images)

San Diego turned to an alum as its new head basketball coach as the school announced the hiring of New Mexico assistant coach Lamont Smith.

Smith, a member of the Toreros from 1994 through 1999, was the team’s Defensive Player of the Year in 1997 and 1999 and was a team captain during that same span. He graduated from the school in 1998.

The past two seasons, Smith has been the associate head coach at New Mexico under head coach Craig Neal. Smith has also spent time as an assistant coach under Lorenzo Romar at Washington. An experienced west coast recruiter, Smith should have plenty of connections in trying to get some new talent in place at San Diego.

Smith will replace former head coach Bill Grier. San Diego finished 15-16 and 8-10 in the WCC this season.

San Diego parts ways with head coach Bill Grier

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San Diego announced a change at head coach on Monday as the team parted ways with eight-year head coach Bill Grier. The school had an official release to announced the decision.

The 51-year-old Grier is best known for taking the Toreros to the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 2008 after upsetting UConn in the opening game.

Since then, San Diego missed the postseason entirely until a postseason run to the CIT quarterfinals in 2013-14. The program finished 15-16 and 8-10 in the WCC this season.

A former 16-year assistant coach at Gonzaga, Grier finishes his career at San Diego with a 117-144 record.