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WCC Men's Basketball: Monday Morning Storylines

Jan. 19, 2009


Two WCC Teams Ranked In The Top 25
For the second straight season, two WCC men's basketball teams are ranked in the top 25 at the same time. Saint Mary's moved up to No. 22 in the latest ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll, while Gonzaga jumped back into the rankings at No. 23 in the Associated Press poll. Before last season, the last time that the WCC had two teams ranked in the top 25 at the same time was during the 1973-74 season. San Francisco and UNLV, then a member of the WCC, formerly known as the West Coast Athletic Conference (WCAC), were ranked in the top-25 at the same time. Both San Francisco and UNLV earned preseason rankings and both were ranked in the AP's December 4, 1973 poll.

Saint Mary's Sets New School Record
The No. 22 ranked Saint Mary's Gaels extended their winning streak to 14 games with wins over Loyola Marymount and Pepperdine last week. The Gaels' 14-game winning streak sets a new school record, breaking the 50-year old mark of 13 straight games set during the 1958-59 season. At 17-1, Saint Mary's is off to the best start in school history.

WCC Preseason Favorites Remain Unbeaten In Conference Play
Gonzaga, Saint Mary's, and San Diego, the three teams favored by most preseason prognosticators to compete for the WCC regular season title, sit atop the WCC standings as the three lone unbeaten teams. Saint Mary's and San Diego are tied for first with 4-0 records, while Gonzaga is just a half game back at 3-0.

WCC STANDINGS (As of 1/19)
TEAM WCC RECCORD
PERCENTAGE
GAMES BACK
OVERALL RECORD
No. 22 Saint Mary's 4-0
1.000
-- 17-1
San Diego 4-0
1.000
-- 12-7
No. 23 Gonzaga 3-0
1.000
0.5 12-4
Portland 2-1
.667
1.5 11-7
Pepperdine 1-2
.333
2.5 4-15
Loyola Marymount 0-3
.000
3.5 1-18
San Francisco 0-4
.000
4.0 8-11
Santa Clara 0-4
.000
4.0 7-13

Saint Mary's and San Diego Put Winning Streaks On The Line
Saint Mary's and San Diego own two of the longest winning streaks in the nation. One of those streaks will come to an end this week as the two teams square off this Thursday (Jan. 22) at the Jenny Craig Pavilion in San Diego in a primetime showdown at 6:00 PM (PT) on ESPN2. The Gaels' 14-game run is the second longest active winning streak in the nation, trailing only Wake Forest's 16-game streak. The San Diego Toreros have built an impressive winning streak of their own, stringing together six straight victories. The Toreros' winning streak is tied for the 10th longest in the nation. The WCC and the ACC (Wake Forest & Duke) are the only conferences in the country with two teams on the top 10 winning streak list.

Santa Clara's John Bryant Leads Nation In Rebounds
Santa Clara senior John Bryant tied his career-high with 22 rebounds at Portland on Saturday. Bryant now leads the nation in overall rebounds with 251, 10 more than Oklahoma's Blake Griffin, who has 241 rebounds on the season. The 20-rebound performance is Bryant's third 20+ rebound game of the season, tying him with Griffin for the most 20+ rebound games in 2008-09. Bryant's 22 rebounds is tied for the third highest single-game total this season. The San Pablo, CA native hauled down 22 rebounds against Stanford earlier this season.