Red Hot San Diego Hosts Pacific


Pacific Tigers (10-14, 2-10) at San Diego Toreros (13-12, 6-7)

When: Thursday, February 12th at 7pm Pacific

Where: Jenny Craig Pavilion, University of San Diego (San Diego, Calif.)


Stats: Stat Broadcast

Meet the Teams

San Diego

The Toreros have been one of the hottest teams in the second half of conference play. Every issue that plagued them during a 2-6 start to the WCC schedule has been suddenly fixed as they have won four of their last five games including upsets of BYU and Pepperdine.

After spending most of the season suffering from a serious lack of depth behind Johnny Dee and Chris Anderson, player with high preseason expectations have started to come on strong. During the current 4-1 stretch, only Dee is averaging more points per game than Cal State Northrdige transfer Brandon Perry and Serbian freshman Vasa Pusica. Both were expected to contribute this season, but have only come on strong recently.

Perry adds another big presence inside for rebounding, but much more important has been his offense. With Jito Kok focused on defense with very little to contribute in terms of scoring, Perry was always projected to be the guy who would carry the offense in the paint after the graduation of Dennis Kramer. His added offense in recent games has been very noticeable.

Pusica has also been a revelation after coming in as the freshman with the most potential to make an immediate impact. Like Duda Sanadze before him, Pusica is a polished player thanks to international team experience, and the Toreros have desperately needed the backcourt depth he has been providing recently as Sanadze continues to struggle through an inconsistent season.

With Perry and Pusica supporting the scoring of Dee, the defense and playmaking ability of Anderson, and the interior defense of Kok, the Toreros are finally finding a consistent core that can carry them through games. If their shooting continues to improve to match their quality defense that can drag down good offenses into low-scoring games, the Toreros should continue to thrive.


The Tigers got to the Toreros winning an ugly, slow-moving affair 59-57 in Stockton just under a month ago. It’s one of just two WCC wins this season for the Tigers who have lost 5 in a row and come into this game in last place. But with their defensive ability that they flashed against the Toreros the last time out, anything could happen here.

Like the Toreros, the Tigers have developed more depth over the course of the season. Dulani Robinson has become a legitimate second option behind star T.J. Wallace, and the bigs of San Diego will be challenged by a good Pacific frontcourt led by David Taylor and Gabriel Aguirre.

Much of this game will come down to the defenses. Both of these teams can fall into awful shooting performances where they rely on too few players to carry them, leading to some embarrassing point totals. But their pace of play and stout defense tends to keep them in games. This was very evident in their last matchup where the Tigers won it essentially by shooting poorly, but shooting just slightly less poorly than the Toreros.

The Tigers are not a good three point shooting team, so the inside play will be key. If they can win the rebounding battle and limit Brandon Perry, they have a chance. Especially if both teams are mired in a poor shooting night, which would limit the ability of the Toreros to use guys like Dee and Pusica to shoot their way to a win.


This should be another low-scoring affair similar to the first meeting. But the Toreros are much improved since then, and their depth should match up well with the improved depth of the Tigers. Dee and Pusica should be shooting much better than the Toreros did in the last meeting, and they will carry the team to a solid win to continue their hot streak even if Perry is limited inside and plays to a stalemate with the Pacific big men.