Red Hot USD Hosts Struggling Saint Mary’s


November 28, 2014; Fullerton, CA, USA; San Diego Toreros guard Johnny Dee (1) moves the ball up court against Princeton Tigers during the first half at Titan Gym. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

After being wrecked by BYU in Provo, the Gaels will look to get on track Saturday against the Toreros, who are playing their best basketball of the season.

Saint Mary’s Gaels (18-5, 10-2) at San Diego Toreros (14-12, 7-7)

Date: Saturday, February 14th

Location: Jenny Craig Pavilion, San Diego, California.

Time: 1:00 p.m. PST

TV: TWC Sports Network, CSN, Root Sports



Saint Mary’s

Aaron Bright (10.4 PPG)

Kerry Carter (12.4 PPG)

Garrett Jackson (7.9 PPG)

Desmond Simmons (5.6 PPG)

Brad Waldow (19.9 PPG)

San Diego

Chris Anderson (8.2 PPG)

Johnny Dee (17.8 PPG)

Duda Sanadze (6.2 PPG)

Brandon Perry (6.1 PPG)

Jito Kok (5.6 PPG)


Last Matchup

The Gaels came out on top 70-58 the last time these teams met, with Brad Waldow dropping 25 points in the victory.

Kerry Carter was a leader on the glass with nine rebounds, while Aaron Bright recording a 11 assists to pace the Gaels, which was a career-high for the Stanford transfer.

San Diego’s Johnny Dee led the Toreros with 14 points and Christopher’s Anderson’s six assists were a team-high – nothing out of the ordinary there. Thomas Jacob’s six rebounds were a team best for the Torero’s on the glass.

What’s New with the Gaels? 

Saint Mary’s was absolutely obliterated on the opening game of their road trip at BYU, and are in dire need of a win in San Diego to regain momentum.

Waldow continues to be a force down low. The Gaels star is currently second in the WCC in Player Efficiency Rating, behind Gonzaga’s Kyle Wiltjer and first in field goal percentage with 57.5 percent. A matchup against the San Diego frontcourt, which does not have many slouches defensively, will be an interesting matchup for the senior center. Considering he dropped 25 the last time these two team’s met, who knows how hard it will be for Waldow to assert himself in this particular matchup.

On the other side, the Gaels will be hardpressed to find a legitimate option to shut down Torero’s guard Johnny Dee. The Gaels have some good on-ball defenders, particularly Kerry Carter and Aaron Bright, but going up against the multitude of off-ball screens the Torero’s implement to get there star open will not be easy.

What’s New with the Toreros? (By Mark Kramer)

San Diego cruised past Pacific on Thursday to get their 5th win in their last 6 games. They have climbed to 7-7 in WCC games, the first time all season they have been .500 or better in conference play. Duda Sanadze had a season-high 20 points in just 19 minutes, a refreshing performance as he has struggled with injuries in a lost season after his breakout debut for the Toreros last year.

The Toreros are built around stout defense and guard play. Chris Anderson is an elite playmaker who will direct an offense that flows through top scorer Johnny Dee. Sanadze and freshman Vasa Pusica will look to provide support on the outside. They have been prone to poor shooting performances, but they have had a stark turnaround during their recent success. The backcourt will be a handful for the Gaels to deal with.

On the inside, the Toreros will have a lot of trouble defending Brad Waldow. Jito Kok is a quality defender and the best shot blocker in the conference, but he lacks the strength to match up with a force like Waldow. Cal State Northridge transfer Brandon Perry has come on very strong as of late, and he is more likely to try and bang with Waldow inside.

The Toreros will look to continue their hot shooting and hope their stout defense limits the supporting cast around Waldow while letting him do damage inside. If they can get the Gaels into a low-scoring affair, the Toreros have shown the ability to hang around and get just enough shots to pull out a close win. If Saint Mary’s is still recovering from their shellacking at BYU on Thursday, the Toreros could stay hot and steal this one.

Matchup to Watch – Brandon Perry and Garrett Jackson

Strong games from these two players could put their teams over the top in tomorrows matchup. While Perry is undersized, he is a force inside and Garrett Jackson can shoot and rebound at a high level.

Prediction – Saint Mary’s 70, San Diego 64

The Toreros will keep it close and claim the lead several times throughout the contest, but in the end the Gaels superior all-around talent will prevail.