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2015-16 WCC Men’s Basketball Preseason Poll, All-WCC Team

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EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – With the 2015-16 basketball campaign just over two weeks away, Gonzaga University is once again the preseason favorite to win the West Coast Conference regular season title in the annual poll of the WCC’s 10 head coaches. The Bulldogs received all nine possible first place votes and a unanimous 81 points. The poll and the all-conference team were announced Monday at Time Warner Cable Sports studios as part of the Fifth Annual West Coast Conference Basketball Tip-Off event streamed live on TheW.tv. 

No. 11 Gonzaga enters the season with its highest USA Today Coaches Poll preseason ranking since 2011-12 (12) and received nine first place votes. The Bulldogs won their 14th regular season title in the last 15 years and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the 17th straight year, marching to the second Elite Eight appearance in program history (1999). Along the way the Bulldogs established a program and WCC record with 35 victories. Preseason National Player of the Year and 2014-15 All-American forward Kyle Wiltjer (16.8 ppg, 54.0 FG%, 6.2 rpg), senior center Przemek Karnowski (10.9 ppg, 62.6 FG%, 5.9 rpg) and sophomore forward Domantas Sabonis (9.7 ppg, 66.8 FG%, 7.1 rpg) earned preseason All-WCC honors for Gonzaga. 

Gonzaga was one of just five programs nationally (Duke, Louisville, Notre Dame and North Carolina) to advance both its men’s and women’s programs to the NCAA Sweet-16 in 2015. 

Brigham Young University received one first place vote and was picked second in the WCC preseason poll with 73 points. The Cougars earned an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament in 2014-15 for the second straight year after turning in a 25-10 record, 13-5 during conference play. BYU led the WCC in scoring for the fourth straight season (83.7 ppg), good for second place among NCAA Division I leaders. Two Cougar senior guards made the preseason squad: All-American Kyle Collinsworth (13.8 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 6.0 apg) set the NCAA Division I single-season and career records for most triple-doubles (6), while fellow senior Chase Fischer (13.2 ppg, 41.5 3PFG%) knocked down a WCC-best 103 3-pointers as a junior. 

Pepperdine University was picked third in the survey with 62 points after an 18-14, 10-8 WCC campaign en route to its first postseason since 2001-02 (CBI). The Waves are the only team in the WCC to return all five starters, headlined by preseason All-WCC selection senior forward Stacy Davis (15.7 ppg, 7.8 rpg). Saint Mary’s College was picked fourth with 58 points after going 21-10, 13-5 in the WCC last year. The Gaels qualified for their eighth straight postseason berth and qualified for the 2015 NIT Tournament. 

The University of Portland rounded out the top-five with 43 points, six points in front of Santa Clara University’s 37 points. The Pilots advanced to the 2015 CIT Tournament, finishing the year at 17-16. Portland welcomes back All-WCC senior guard Alec Wintering (12.3 ppg, 5.7 assists). The Broncos return preseason All-WCC junior guard Jared Brownridge (15.9 ppg, 43.3 3FG%), who connected on 93 3-pointers last season. 

The University of San Francisco and University of the Pacific tied for seventh place with 32 points apiece in the coaches poll. The Dons will rely on preseason All-WCC selection senior guard Tim Derksen (12.6 ppg, 47.3 FG%). Junior guard T.J. Wallace (13.0 ppg, 2.6 assists) earned preseason honors for the Tigers. The University of San Diego (17 points) and Loyola Marymount University (15 points) round out the preseason poll. 

West Coast Conference play begins on Monday, December 21. For the most up-to-date schedule with game times and TV listings, visit WCCsports.com and follow @WCChoops and @TheWtv on Twitter. 

The complete preseason poll and all-conference team follows. 

2015-16 WCC Preseason Men’s Basketball Coaches Poll

Team (First Place Vote)

 

Pts.

1. Gonzaga

(9)

81

2. BYU

(1)

73

3. Pepperdine

 

62

4. Saint Mary’s

 

58

5. Portland

 

43

6. Santa Clara

 

37

7. Pacific

 

32

7. San Francisco

 

32

9. San Diego

 

17

10. Loyola Marymount

 

15

 

2015-16 All-WCC Preseason Men’s Basketball Team

Name

Institution

Yr.

Pos.

Jared Brownridge

Santa Clara

Jr.

G

Kyle Collinsworth

BYU

Sr.

G

Stacy Davis

Pepperdine

Sr.

F

Tim Derksen

San Francisco

Sr.

G

Chase Fischer

BYU

Sr.

G

Przemek Karnowski

Gonzaga

Sr.

C

Domantas Sabonis

Gonzaga

So.

F

T.J. Wallace

Pacific

Jr.

G

Kyle Wiltjer

Gonzaga

Sr.

F

Alec Wintering

Portland

Sr.

G

 

About the West Coast Conference
The West Coast Conference was formed in 1952 and has evolved and grown to become a nationally recognized and competitive force in Division I intercollegiate athletics, with 15 conference-sponsored sports: baseball, men's and women's basketball, women’s beach volleyball, men's and women's cross country, men's and women's golf, women's rowing, men's and women's soccer, softball, men's and women's tennis and women's volleyball. The WCC is characterized by the stability of its membership and its unique emphasis on combining excellence in athletics with excellence in academics. For more information, visit WCCsports.com or follow the West Coast Conference on Twitter @WCCsports.