Torero basketball sees varying levels of success


Torero basketball has been in full swing for nearly two months and there has been a lot to celebrate thus far.

The men’s team defeated their cross-town rival San Diego State Aztecs in a unique atmosphere at Petco Park on Dec. 6, which seemed to be the spark that would ignite the team’s play.

However, a very young roster with little experience has plagued the team down the stretch of many close games.

The West Coast Conference (WCC) is very talented this year and our Toreros have struggled to find a groove against the stiff competition they have played.

They are currently 7-14 and 2-8 in WCC play, but there is still time for them to turn the season around.

Every minute on the court is valuable and will pay dividends down the road for these young Torero ballers.

Seniors, center Jito Kok and guard Duda Sanadze, have led the Toreros in scoring with 8.5 and 12.1 points per game, respectively.

Senior center Jito Kok is averaging a career high 2.6 blocks per game. Photo courtesy of USD Athletics

Senior center Jito Kok is averaging a career high 2.6 blocks per game. Photo courtesy of USD Athletics

Two future stars in the men’s program are freshman point guard Olin Carter III, who has started 18 games this season, and sophomore guard Marcus Harris.

These two could be the future of the backcourt, following the departure of two of the best players in Torero history, Johnny Dee and Chris Anderson.

They have plenty of time to develop as players and leaders, and have taken strides in the right direction this season.

The Lady Toreros are having a much different season, as they are currently 20-2 overall and 10-1 in WCC play, making them one of the most successful teams in the nation. They have recorded impressive wins against non-conference opponents like the Fresno State Bulldogs, University of Arizona Wildcats, and Cal State Fullerton Titans.

They have taken care of business in conference play as well, with their only loss coming to the St. Mary’s College Gaels on Jan. 2 by a score of 73-68.

Twins, senior guard Malina Hood and redshirt junior forward Maya Hood, lead the team in scoring and have spurts of twin telepathy on the court that drives competitors crazy.

Malina is averaging 19.5 points per game, which puts her at No. 31 in the country for points per game. Maya controls the boards for the Lady Toreros by grabbing an average of 8.9 rebounds per game, while also contributing 15.3 points per game.

They are a dynamic duo that have carried the Lady Toreros, both this season and throughout their decorated careers.

The Lady Toreros have one of the best overall records in the nation, and have received Top 25 votes over the last few weeks but have not been able to break into that ranking.

With so much competition coming from teams in the power conferences of the Pac 12, Southeastern Conference, Big East, Atlantic Coast Conference, and Big Ten, the Toreros have been overlooked by the voters.

They are definitely representing the WCC well and putting USD women’s basketball on the map, which is an excellent sign for the future.

They have tremendous potential this season and have hopes of a WCC Tournament Championship and NCAA Title run.

The Lady Toreros look to avenge their earlier loss to the Gaels with a road victory in Moraga on Feb. 4. Tip off will be at 6:30 p.m.

The men have a few very important games coming up, with the first being against the University of the Pacific Tigers at the Jenny Craig Pavilion on Feb. 4.

The game tips off at 7 p.m. They have another home game on Feb. 6 against the Gaels, which tips off at 6 p.m. Having a strong home crowd supporting them could be just what the team needs to boost their confidence, and could propel the women to an NCAA Tournament berth.