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WCC Announces Top Returning Men's Basketball Players

Oct. 17, 2007

SAN BRUNO, Calif. - In addition to predicting the 2007-08 West Coast Conference regular season, WCC head coaches were also asked to submit who they thought were the top six returning players from last season. Below are the six players selected as the top returning players by the league's coaches.

Josh Heytvelt, GON - JR - F
Forward Josh Heytvelt, who was suspended from the team last season, returns to Gonzaga for his junior season. Officially reinstated to the team on October 12, the Clarkston, WA native looks to build on his breakout sophomore campaign. Last season, Heytvelt ranked second on the team in scoring (15.5 ppg), while pacing the Zags in rebounding (7.7 rpg) and blocks (43). He was also one of the most accurate big men in the WCC, shooting 53.7 percent from the floor and 40.4 percent from beyond the arc.
Brandon Johnson, USD - JR - G
San Diego returns one of the quickest guards in the WCC in Brandon Johnson. The junior point guard is one of the top playmakers in the conference, leading the WCC in assists last season with 4.75 apg, while ranking 12th overall in scoring with 12.8 ppg. While he was making plays on the offensive end for USD, he tormented the Toreros' opponents on the defensive end, ranking fourth in the WCC in steals with 1.94 spg. Johnson needs just 33 more assists to crack into the Toreros' top five career assists chart.
Jeremy Pargo, GON - JR - G
Jeremy Pargo enjoyed a breakout sophomore season for the Zags, earning All-WCC first team honors. The Chicago, IL native came of age in the Zags' 90-88 double-overtime win at Stanford last season. Pargo scored 11 of his career-high 23 points in the second overtime period to go along with seven rebounds, three assists, and three steals to lift the Zags to the win. On the season, Pargo ranked third in the WCC in assists with 4.59 apg, while averaging 12.1 ppg on 48.6 percent shooting from the field.
Gyno Pomare, USD - JR - F
Last season, junior forward Gyno Pomare established himself as one of the top frontcourt players in the conference, earning All-WCC first team honors. Pomare teams up with point guard Brandon Johnson to give the Toreros one of the top inside-outside tandems in the league. Pomare was relentless on the boards, averaging a WCC-best 8.3 rpg. He finished the season ranked in the top ten in the WCC in scoring (14.9 ppg-6th), rebounding (1st), field goal percentage (.538-2nd), and blocks (1.31 bpg-6th).
Diamon Simpson, SMC - JR - F
Junior forward Diamon Simpson, an All-WCC first team member last season, has emerged as the Gaels on-court leader and one of the top players in the WCC. One of the most versatile players in the conference, Simpson was the only player in the WCC to rank in the top 10 in scoring (14.1 ppg-9th), rebounding (7.7 rpg-2nd), field goal percentage (.484-9th), steals (1.34 spg-9th), and blocked shots (2.47 bpg-1st). His 79 blocks were the sixth most in a single season in WCC history.
Manny Quezada, USF - JR - G
Junior guard Manny Quezada, a transfer from Rutgers, turned in a strong first season on the Hilltop. Playing mainly shooting guard last season, Quezada averaged 13.2 ppg, ranking 11th in the conference. In addition, he grabbed 3.5 rpg, distributed 3.0 apg, and swiped 1.2 spg. Quezada showed a glimpse of his offensive prowess last season when he tossed in 28 second half points en route to a career-high 35 points, on 11-of-19 shooting from the field, in the Dons' game at Saint Mary's.