WCC Game Preview: Pacific vs. Saint Mary’s


Pacific Tigers (9-2) vs. Saint Mary’s Gaels (9-3)

Date: Monday, December 30, 2013

Location: Spanos Center, Stockton, CA

Time: 8:00 PM PST

TV: CSN California, ROOT Sports NW & RM

Video: TheW.tv

Last Season: In two non-conference games, Pacific defeated Saint Mary’s 76-66 in the DirectTV Classic in Anaheim, CA, but Saint Mary’s defeated Pacific 74-46 in Moraga, CA.

PROJECTED STARTERS

Pacific

Andrew Bock, 11.6 PPG, 2.8 APG

Sama Taku, 11.4 PPG, 5.o RPG

Trevin Harris, 5.o PPG

Khalil Kelley, 8.5 PPG, 5.5 RPG

Tony Gill, 11.5 PPG, 5.o RPG

Saint Mary’s

Stephen Holt, 13.1 PPG, 5.3 APG

Kerry Carter, 9.o PPG

James Walker III, 12.1 PPG

Beau Levesque, 11.3 PPG, 5.7 RPG

Brad Waldow, 17.1 PPG, 6.9 RPG

KEYS TO THE GAME

Pacific

Balanced scoring is key:  Pacific currently has six players averaging at least 8 points per game, with two of those players (Ross Rivera and T.J. Wallace) coming off the bench.  If Pacific can get at least three starters and one bench player to reach double figures in scoring, they will put constant pressure Saint Mary’s, which had trouble getting key stops during the Diamond Head Classic.

Saint Mary’s

Regroup without Coach Bennett: It will be difficult for Saint Mary’s to recover from an awful performance at the Diamond Head Classic, especially since Randy Bennett is serving a 5-game suspension while Saint Mary’s is on probation for “a failure to monitor its men’s basketball program.”  Stephen Holt needs to step up and be the leader we all know he can be.  He needs to be vocal and be the coach on the floor as Matthew Dellavedova was last season.

PREDICTION

This is Pacific’s first ever conference game as a member of the West Coast Conference.  Without their head coach, I expect the Gaels to struggle, and given their recent play, I see no reason to believe they have the grit to pull out a difficult road contest.  I predict a 74-70 victory for the Pacific Tigers.

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