View Full Version : St. Mary's Loses . . .

01-29-2008, 08:56 AM
. . . but with any luck, no one in the Bay Area will notice. This morning's San Jose Mercury News has a small, two-line item on the SD-SMC game buried on page three of the sports section, directly below the two-line item about the GU game. The San Francisco Chronicle: An Associated Press wire story -- same blurb. And this is the problem in a nutshell for the WCC: A local team ranked in the top 25 plays on the road and loses to an unranked opponent. Big news on an otherwise slow Monday you'd think. But since no major local print media was covering the game, it's just an afterthought -- kind of like WCC in general here in the Bay Area. Suppose St. Mary's were to have run the table in the WCC this year, finished in the top 10, and made nice run in the Tournament. What would that mean for next year? Could the Gaels expect a nice contract with FSN maybe? Absolutely not. Who would they preempt here in a crowded Bay Area market: Cal? Stanford? The Warriors? The Sharks? I admire the effort the other WCC schools are putting into improving their basketball programs, but I'm afraid it's completely futile. No other school in the WCC, not one, will replicate (or even begin to approximate) what GU has done. There will be times when other schools put together a nice season, getting alumni and students excited (See St. Mary's this year), but that kind of success never seems to be sustained. And even in times of success, no one else seems to notice. (Again see St. Mary's.) It's kind of like the tree falling in the forest, and there's no one there. Does it make a noise? St. Mary's fell last night, but who would know? No one was there . . .

01-29-2008, 09:51 AM
STORY LINK (http://ww.uniontrib.com/sports/usd/20080129-9999-1s29usdmen.html)

In a scene seldom seen from typically reserved USD supporters, the student section emptied from the end zone at the end of the game, stormed the floor and lifted Johnson on its collective shoulders.

“That was my first time in history, ever, to get thrown over the top (of a crowd) like that,” Johnson said. “I was kind of nervous I was going to fall, but they held me up.”

Making Saint Mary's (17-3, 4-1 WCC) take the fall on the day the Gaels had assumed occupancy of the No. 21 spot in The Associated Press rankings and advanced from No. 24 to No. 20 in the USA Today/ESPN coaches poll was sweet for USD.

01-29-2008, 09:54 AM
Congrats to Coach Grier - he's showing 'em all that GU basketball does win games (even when its not GU playin' :) )

01-29-2008, 10:01 AM
It is really sad that page three of the sports section is all that St. Mary's can get. I suppose their PR department could have done a bit more, but I agree, it is a totally uphill fight to get recognition in a big busy city like SF.

01-29-2008, 10:07 AM
Grier certainly is bringing a new level of play to SDU. But let's be totally real about the Gails. They have very distinctive advantage at home. The gym is smaller than most high school facilities, the temperature is at Sahara Desert setting and you get dizzy just driving out to the campus.
With that said, take away the home games for Gayles and they have lost much of their swagger. I could see them dropping a few more as the season progresses. They have more road games toward the end of the WCC slate. Unless they don't pull off a major upset by taking the WCC tournament, they may be spelling NIT and playing for 66th place.


01-29-2008, 10:12 AM
Yes, I grew up in the Bay Area (till 19 yrs old) and it is hard for small schools to take part of the limelight with all the pro teams and big schools like Stanford and University of California. If it became a tradition, like Gonzaga, a small following would develop I am sure, but it would take years.

We are lucky there are no major league pro teams in Spokane in basketball, baseball or football. Our community of half million gets to lavish attention on those rascally bulldogs.

01-29-2008, 11:36 AM
They've talked about the game on the radio quite a bit today (on the main San Diego sports station- Mighty XX) and they were pumping up the game a ton yesterday. It's the flagship station of USD basketball as well. Could you ever imagine KNBR (for those of you familiar with the Bay Area, I lived there a few years a while back) broadcasting all of the USF, St. Mary's, or Santa Clara OR at least giving them decent pub on a day to day basis? I couldn't even imagine. Union Tribune writes a decent number of articles on USD athletics as well...probably even on par with SDSU.

Oh, and 77Gael...you said "SDU, Gails, and Gayles" in your post....check the spelling man.

01-29-2008, 11:40 AM
I can imagine USF alum (and KNBR mainstay) Ralph Barbieri whining and moaning endlessly about the dysfunctional athletic programs at USF. . .

Oh, wait. I don't have to imagine it. Ralph does it all the time. Nothing like a 50,000 watt "flamethrower" as a bully pulpit.

01-29-2008, 11:45 AM
CoCo Times Article (http://www.contracostatimes.com/sports/ci_8104773?nclick_check=1)

SAN DIEGO -- The St. Mary's College men's basketball team knew that to have any success against San Diego on Monday night, it would have to limit the damage done by guard Brandon Johnson and center Gyno Pomare.
And the Gaels did -- for roughly the first 17 minutes. After that, they simply didn't have an answer.

With San Diego trailing by 10 points late in the first half, the Toreros' two top scorers combined for 36 points in the final 23 minutes to lead their team to a 63-55 West Coast Conference victory over nationally ranked St. Mary's before 2,787 at the Jenny Craig Pavilion

Johnson finished with 25 points and Pomare hit 9 of 10 shots from the floor to end up with 20 as San Diego (11-11, 4-1 WCC) ended the Gaels' five-game winning streak and dropped St. Mary's record to 0-2 this season when ranked by the Associated Press. On Monday, St. Mary's (17-3, 4-1) was No. 21 in the media poll and 20th in the USA Today-ESPN coaches' poll.

01-29-2008, 12:09 PM
Oh, and 77Gael...you said "SDU, Gails, and Gayles" in your post....check the spelling man.

101 Dude...it's 77Zag, may want to check your reading and it was all a bit tongue in cheek about the spelling of the mighty Gaels.
Sorry if you were not tracking.

01-29-2008, 12:53 PM
for our own future (coaching) bench strength . . .

01-29-2008, 01:57 PM
Coach Grier has proven that the WCC this year is a three team race, not a two team race like most have thought.

Beware of San Diego!!!

01-29-2008, 02:13 PM
Uh, dude, USD gym, Slim Gym, is amongst the finest in the WCC.

They don't heat the building up, it is San Diego for crying out loud.

Home court advantage can only be because the have managed to put some folks in the seats and they are liking what they are seeing.

Congratulations to Grier and his team.

01-29-2008, 03:18 PM
While I am thrilled about the SD win over Saint Mary's (for Grier of course), it really makes the upcoming game at Moraga even more important to us. While I think SD is an excellent team, I do not think they will be able to overtake the Gaels in the standings at the end of the year. All things considered, I would imagine SD will be the three seed at the WCC tourney.

I cannot think of a game I would hate anymore than finishing 2nd in the WCC and having to play SD at home in the SLIM GYM in the semi-finals. I would prefer to avoid them altogether at the tourney, but seeing the home team in the semis would be an extremely tough draw. I know it's only one game, but it shows how tough they will be at home!

We need to win the conference and get that #1 seed in the tourney!!!!

01-29-2008, 04:53 PM
I agree...#1 seed would be huge. Let's not assume we're going to keep the top spot with St. Maries not far behind, but it's not unreasonable to think we could do it.

If we can win the WCC, and win the tournament and hit the NCAAs coming in hot, I like our chances to surprise a few teams

01-29-2008, 05:37 PM
The lack of attention St. Mary's gets makes me wonder how long Randy Bennett will stay playing third fiddle to Ben Braun and Trent Johnson. The only way St. Mary's becomes relevant on the national scene would be to build a new arena and get on national television on a regular basis.

01-29-2008, 05:41 PM
Maybe Coach Bennett loves SMC, the Bay Area, etc. . .could happen.