San Diego Toreros (18-16, 7-11 WCC) @ Pacific Tigers (17-15, 6-12 WCC)
Date: Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Location: Spanos Center, Stockton, CA
Time: 7:00 PM PT
This season: Pacific won 84-67 at the Jenny Craig Pavilion, while San Diego won 70-55 at the Spanos Center.
Christopher Anderson, 10.3 PPG, 6.2 APG
Johnny Dee, 16.9 PPG
Brett Bailey, 3.1 PPG
Dennis Kramer, 11.6 PPG, 6.7 RPG
Jito Kok, 4.6 PPG, 1.8 BPG
Andrew Bock, 11.1 PPG, 2.9 APG
Sama Taku, 11.2 PPG
Ross Rivera 8.3 PPG
Khalil Kelley, 5.8 PPG, 4.7 RPG
Tony Gill, 11.4 PPG, 5.8 RPG
Meet the Teams
Thanks to the CollegeInsider.com Tournament’s emphasis on geographical proximity when scheduling games, two West Coast Conference teams will be playing each other in late March. Both teams have played one home game and one road game so far in the tournament, each winning easily at home and escaping narrowly on the road. Pacific, despite injuries to guards T.J. Wallace and Trevin Harris, has had no problem scoring with guards Sama Taku and Andrew Bock and forward Tony Gill. They still feature a ton of depth in a frontcourt that includes effective big men Ross Rivera and Khalil Kelley.
San Diego gets a majority of scoring from their backcourt, which includes point guard Christopher Anderson, shooting guard Johnny Dee, and 6th man Duda Sanadze, who came back with a nice game against Sam Houston State after missing the Portland State game with an injury. The Toreros will look to repeat their success from earlier this season at the Spanos Center to try to reach the semifinals of the CIT.
Keys to the Game
Utilize the big men on defense: Including the three aforementioned big men, Pacific also has Gabriel Aguirre and Tim Thomas coming off the bench at their disposal. With so many fresh bodies, they should be able to make things difficult for USD’s Dennis Kramer, who has been on an offensive roll lately. They also need to keep Jito Kok off the court if possible in foul trouble, as a shot-blocker like Kok could be prone to foul trouble.
Duda Sanadze: He has been a very up and down player last year. He’s had very good games like he did against Sam Houston State, but he’s also had some horrific shooting nights such as the game at BYU, where he went 2/12 from the floor and 0/6 on three pointers. The Toreros are just 1-3 when he scorers fewer than 7 points. Sanadze has the ability to be a big scorer off the bench, a weapon that the Tigers cannot match.
Jito Kok vs. Tony Gill: Gill has been an offensive juggernaut for the Tigers recently, while Kok is arguably the best shot-blocker in the WCC. Kok has the length and athleticism to bother Gill, though Gill is a very skilled post player who can also step out and shoot it, bringing Kok away from the basket. This is definitely an interesting matchup to look at.
This game is really a toss up for me. Both teams are playing well, both are getting scoring from a variety of options, and both teams seem very hungry to win in March. The advantage San Diego has in the backcourt is negated by Pacific’s big frontcourt which could definitely overwhelm the Toreros. Pacific 70, San Diego 67.