San Diego Toreros vs. San Francisco Dons Preview and Pick

San Diego Toreros -1.5 (8-7) 6-6 ATS at San Francisco Dons +1.5 (8-7) 7-4 ATS Friday, January 09, 2009 War Memorial Gymnasium 10:00 p.m. EST San Francisco, California TV- local Comcast cable
By Wilson of

The West Coast Conference gets under way Friday night with the Toreros traveling north to the bay area for a matchup of two improving programs. The Dons are enjoying their first winning non-conference record since the 2004-05 season as they just doubled-up Cal State E. Bay 80-40 in their last non-conference test. San Diego recently beat Mississippi State 64-61 and Marshall 80-70 to finish out their non-conference run. The Toreros also have an impressive win over the University of Oregon 64-57 at the Rose Garden in Portland.

In his second year as head coach of the Toreros, Billy Grier, formerly Gonzaga assistant has boasted some substantial victories with the win over Oregon of the Pac-10 and he also took a win away from his former beloved Zags last season. Grier now has a 30-21 record in his second season, and he would love nothing more than to take his team back to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen where they made a name for themselves in last year’s tournament.

San Diego averages 64 points per game and they are led by sophomore guard Trumaine Johnson, who is pouring in 15 a game to go along with four other players in double digits. Gyno Pomare is the other big scorer for the Toreros as he puts up 14.6 per effort. San Diego won both regular season contests versus the Dons last season (46-41 and 73-62).

The Dons are looking forward to defending their current 7-0 mark at home. San Francisco senior guard Manny Quezada is a three-point specialist who currently ranks third all-time at USF. The Dons are 2-9 ATS in their last 9 games at home versus San Diego. The total has gone over 5 of the last 6 games for the Dons when playing the Toreros at home. This game should be WCC barn-burner as both teams like to get up and down the floor.

San Francisco averages about ten points more at home and their home scoring versus San Diego’s road defense is 74 to 64.

Billy Grier will have his guys fired up. But the Don’s head coach, Rex Walters is no stranger to a big game. Walters will be looking to open the conference play with a win at home and get the season started with an upset win over a Sweet Sixteen team. It’s awesome just know that the WCC had another team besides the traditional Gonzaga that made deep into the tournament!

The books are favoring the Toreros albeit by a point or two, but this game has all the build up of a great Friday night battle in the Bay! The Dons are coming off of a huge win but Cal State E. Bay is no San Diego. On the other hand, San Diego has the swagger, the experience, and most importantly, the confidence left over from their big run in the NCAA’s.

The Toreros will need to put a hand in the faces of the Don’s shooters as San Francisco has the advantage over the three point shot 7.3 to 4.2. It could come down to defensive steals for San Diego as they tend to be sneaky and swipe a lot of lazy passes.

Wilson’s Pick: I like San Francisco to defend the home court and pull off the upset. Luck to ya.