San Diego Toreros
2012-2013 Overall Rank: #118
Conference Rank: #5 West Coast Conference
San Diego Team Page
Among game fixing allegations and the loss of most of their key players, San Diego was supposed to continue their downward spiral that has been going on since the Toreros trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2008. That was Bill Grier’s first year as a head coach. Since then he has had his fair share of difficulties. But the 2011-2012 season turned out to be a pleasant surprise as San Diego finished with a 7-9 mark in the increasingly tough West Coast Conference. And where they got that help was from some unexpected players and all of them are back. Most notable are backcourt sophomores Christopher Anderson and Johnny Dee. Anderson not only dished out 5.0 assists per game, but also scored 9.0 points per game and grabbed a couple steals. With a little more consistent shooting, Anderson will be a great point guard. In the meantime Dee can do enough shooting for everybody. He knocked down 2.5 three-pointers per game and connected on 42.2 percent of his attempts.
2011-12 Record: 13-18, 7-9
2011-12 Postseason: None
Coach: Bill Grier
Coach Record: 68-93 at San Diego, 68-93 overall
The one player who is not back is Darian Norris, who had an average senior season after carrying the team as a junior. Norris only started 15 contests and averaged just 8.3 points per game. Coach Grier found other players who could score too and that limited Norris’ production. It also led to him coming in off of the bench and this is a group that is prepared to move on without Norris.
On paper the only thing San Diego really needs is a replacement for Norris. And on paper that player is Texas Tech transfer Mike Davis. Davis never saw much action with the Red Raiders, but he is a capable shooter who can also use his strength to attack the basket. The addition of redshirt freshmen Keith Stackhouse and Therone Tillett will add even more depth to the perimeter. The frontcourt adds a transfer as well in Thomas Jacobs. He will be eligible after the fall semester after playing part of the 2011-2012 campaign with Cal State Northridge. Jacobs was a starter for the Matadors and should be a solid contributor off of the bench this year. Trey Guidry, Jito Kok and Blair Banker are all forwards who will be battling for playing time.
Who to Watch:
Finding playing time in the frontcourt will be tough for all of the newcomers. What was a very questionable frontcourt a year ago at this time is suddenly an experienced and talented group. Small forward Ken Rancifer may not put up huge numbers, but he can do a little bit of everything. His senior leadership will also be a nice asset. John Sinis is a big 6-9 wing who is full of potential. He did not really live up to it as a freshman, but he still has plenty of time. Dennis Kramer figures to start once again. The 6-11 junior is a dynamic player who can score inside and out. He did not take too many three-pointers last season, but he did knock down 40.0 percent of his attempts. His ability to stretch out the defense, or at least be a threat from long range, opens up lanes for the rest of scorers. Chris Manresa and Simi Fajemisin both started some games last season. Fajemisin, a 6-10, 265 pound sophomore got most of the starts. He is not a huge shot blocking threat or much of a scorer for that matter, but he is a big body who can clog the paint. Manresa will do a lot more scoring. He averaged 8.8 points as a junior and led the Toreros with 5.9 rebounds per contest. Manresa is the best interior scorer on the team so whether he starts or not, he will be counted on to be productive for about 25 minutes per game.
San Diego really has a lot going for them this year. Cameron Miles and the newcomers are more than capable of replacing any lost production from Norris. And really all that involves is a shooter off of the bench. Other than that this is the same team that finished 7-9 last year. With a season of experience for players like Anderson and Dee, the Toreros may be able to beat some of the top teams in the conference. On the year San Diego went 0-7 against Gonzaga, St. Mary’s and BYU. They did very well against everybody else, but now they have the experience to pull off an upset or two along the way.
Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT
Projected Starting Five:
Chris Anderson, Sophomore, Guard, 9.0 points per game
Johnny Dee, Sophomore, Guard, 13.7 points per game
Ken Rancifer, Senior, Forward, 7.5 points per game
Dennis Kramer, Junior, Forward, 8.5 points per game
Simi Fajemisin, Sophomore, Center, 3.6 points per game