San Diego in the LMU Classic Preview


The San Diego Toreros open their 2014-15 season by participating in the LMU Classic hosted by fellow West Coast Conference team Loyola Marymount. The Toreros will face Boise State tomorrow followed by Southeast Missouri State on Saturday. Let’s take a look at both matchups.


San Diego Toreros vs. Boise State Broncos

Date: Friday, November 14, 2014

Location: Gersten Pavilion (LMU), Los Angles, CA

Time: 3:30 pm Pacific

Radio: ESPN 1700 AM San Diego


Live Stats:

Series History: Boise State leads 6-4 and won the last meeting 65-60 in 2010 at the Jenny Craig Pavilion in San Diego.


San Diego Toreros vs. Southeast Missouri State Redhawks

Date: Saturday, November 15, 2014

Location: Gersten Pavilion (LMU), Los Angles, CA

Time: 2:30 pm Pacific

Radio: ESPN 1700 AM San Diego


Live Stats:

Series History: First meeting.


San Diego

Johnny Dee, 16.6 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 1.4 APG

Chris Anderson, 10.3 PPG, 6.2 APG, 1.8 SPG

Duda Sanadze, 12.9 PPG, 3.7 RPG

Jito Kok, 4.7 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 1.8 BPG

Brandon Perry, 6.3 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 0.6 BPG (2012-13 at Cal State Northridge)


San Diego

It’s do or die time for the Toreros who have been a favorite to be a breakout team for a number of years now. With all but one starter returning and stars Chris Anderson and Johnny Dee entering their final seasons, the Toreros are an experienced team that will hope to finally get over the hump. The goal will be to come away from this tournament with two wins and it’s very doable, but they would settle for a competitive loss to Boise State followed by a solid win over a weaker SE Missouri State Team.

Brandon Perry becomes eligible after sitting out a season after transferring from Cal State Northridge, and the big center will be key as he attempts to step into the one open starting position vacated by the graduated Dennis Kramer. He and Jito Kok will need to develop into legitimate big men to complement to strong guard play of Anderson, Dee, and wing player Duda Sanadze.

Also watch the early play of the young players who will provide key depth. Chris Sarbaugh and Thomas Jacobs are already established reserve players, but the Toreros will need more from sophomore Brett Bailey and their four freshmen to really have a deep and complete roster. Guard Marcus Harris has been applauded for his early flashes of scoring ability, and both Vasilije Pusica and Khalil Bedart-Ghani should see minutes.

Boise State

The Broncos were stellar against their top conference foes hanging tough with all the major teams. In addition to picking up upset wins over UNLV and New Mexico, the Broncos had two losses to San Diego State by just one basket. They also came three points from upsetting New Mexico again in the Mountain West Tournament semifinals. Clearly the Broncos have the talent to hang with high-level teams, and they will pose quite a challenge for the Toreros in their season opener.

The Broncos are losing three key players from their 2013-14 squad however, so there may be some adjustments being tried out and new players being given a look in this early game. If the Toreros can take advantage of the fact that they won’t be facing the same early season problem with almost their entire roster returning, this is a winnable game that could look very good down the road if the Broncos have another good season in the Mountain West.

SE Missouri State

The Redhawks had an up and down season finishing in the middle of a very average Ohio Valley Conference. Their highlights came in two competitive losses to Ohio Valley Champion and NCAA Tournament participant Eastern Kentucky including an impressive one point loss on the road.

The Redhawks lose two key players from last years squad including an All-OVC First Team performer in Tyler Stone. The team does boast a lot of height which could prove a challenge for the Toreros.



While the Toreros only lost Dennis Kramer from last year’s starting lineup, it’s a huge loss for a team that lacks a quality frontcourt. Jito Kok must improve his aggressiveness in rebounding and offensive game to be more than just an elite shot blocker. And Brandon Perry must show he’s not afraid of other bigs and use his large frame to reproduce some of the quality inside scoring and rebounding numbers lost with the graduation of Kramer.

With one of the best backcourts in the conference in place, the development of the frontcourt could make or break the season for San Diego. Kok, Perry, and reserves like Simi Fajemisin getting off to a strong start will be key for the season to go well.


The Toreros had some marquee wins and losses to high-profile opponents last year that proved they can with anyone. They beat Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s while going down to the wire with NCAA Tournament teams like San Diego State and New Mexico. But they were done in by poor play against weaker opponents that led to blown leads and bad losses.

To have a chance at making some noise, they need to allow those big game wins to count for something by winning the games they should win. And they have two to start the season. Boise State is a quality team, and the Toreros can take advantage of them needing to shake off the rust and adjust to a new lineup in their first game. As the Broncos get better and look to have a strong season, this could become a marquee win for the Toreros they will regret not getting if they drop a close one.

SE Missouri State meanwhile is a must-win. Dropping a game to an average opponent and possibly limping out of the LMU Classic at a quick 0-2 is not ideal. Regardless of the outcome of the Boise State game, the game against the Redhawks is not one they should lose. It will be their first test of seeing if this team can be better at closing out weaker opponents than the hot and cold 2013-14 squad.


Regardless of the frontcourt play, the Toreros will rely on their guard play as always to do well. Dee and Sanadze will get points, and Anderson will put up assists. But when Anderson is also scoring, it adds another dynamic to the game that teams often aren’t ready for. Last year when Anderson put the team on his back and starting scoring more, it changed the momentum of games. Him putting up more double-digit point totals could go a long way to helping the entire lineup out.


Boise State would be a great win for the Toreros, and they should be in this game all the way through to the end. What team shows up for the Toreros will be the key to whether they pull it out or fall late. I like the Toreros to take advantage of having almost their entire roster back allowing them to hit the ground running with more chemistry and efficiency than Boise State. Toreros get a marquee win to open the year on the right foot. Toreros 68, Boise State 62.

Riding high from a big opening win, the Toreros should hopefully keep momentum going against a weaker team. Hopefully they don’t underestimate a decent Redhawks squad, but again regardless of the outcome of their first game the Toreros need a win here and will realize it. It will either be to really jump-start their season with a 2-0 start or to avoid leaving Los Angeles without a win at 0-2. The Toreros realize the magnitude of the game and rise to the occasion after the Redhawks lead for portions of the game giving the Toreros a little wake-up call. Toreros 74, Southeast Missouri State 64.