Nov. 9, 2006
GONZAGA CLAIMS TOP SPOT IN 2006-07 WCC MEN'S BASKETBALL PRESEASON POLL
Gonzaga was picked as the favorite to capture its seventh consecutive regular season WCC crown in the 2006-07 men's basketball preseason poll, as selected by the league coaches. The Zags tallied 62 points and received six first place votes. Gonzaga is followed in the poll by 2006 WCC Tournament runner-up Loyola Marymount (51), which received one first place vote, San Francisco (50), and Saint Mary's (40), which also received a first place nod. Rounding out this year's poll is San Diego (33), picked fifth, followed by Santa Clara (27) in sixth, Pepperdine (16) in seventh and Portland (9) in eighth.
Men's Basketball 2006-07 Preseason Poll
1. Gonzaga - 62 (6)
2. Loyola Marymount - 51 (1)
3. San Francisco - 50
4. Saint Mary's - 40 (1)
5. San Diego - 33
6. Santa Clara - 27
7. Pepperdine - 16
8. Portland - 9
(First place votes)
Friday, November 10
Eastern Washington at Gonzaga - 5:00 PM
1Portland at Oregon State - 7:00 PM
Oral Roberts at Loyola Marymount - 7:30 PM
2Seattle Pacific at Saint Mary's - 7:30 PM
Saturday, November 11
San Diego at Stephen F. Austin - 1:00 PM
1Portland vs. Cal Poly - 4:30 PM
Sonoma State at San Francisco - 7:00 PM
2San Diego State at Saint Mary's - 7:30 PM
Sunday, November 12
1Portland vs. Southeast Louisiana - 11:30 AM
3Pepperdine at Washington - 7:30 PM
2Murray State at Saint Mary's - 7:30 PM
Monday, November 13
3Pepperdine vs. Northern Iowa - 4:30 PM
Loyola Marymount at Mississippi State - 5:00 PM
UC San Diego at San Diego - 7:00 PM
1 Shamrock Invitational; 2 Oregon Rain Invitational; 3 Basketball Travelers Classic
WCC TEAM NOTES
Gonzaga Bulldogs (0-0 / 0-0 WCC)
- The Zags return three starters and seven letterwinners from last season's 29-4 squad. Gonzaga returns starters Derek Raivio, Sean Mallon, and Pierre Marie Altidor-Cespedes.
- The Bulldogs are the top team receiving votes in the USA Today/ESPN preseason poll with 88 points and is the third team listed in the receiving votes section of the AP poll with 129 points.
- The Bulldogs have won 24 or more games in a season for nine consecutive seasons. Only Duke (11) has a longer streak.
- Sophomore forward Josh Heytvelt has been outstanding in the Zags' two preseason games, averaging 21.5 ppg to go along with 9.0 rpg on 61.5 percent shooting from the field.
- The Zags open the season by hosting Eastern Washington (11/10) this Friday.
Loyola Marymount Lions (0-0 / 0-0 WCC)
- The Lions were picked second in the 2006-07 WCC preseason coaches poll.
- Loyola Marymount returns three starters, including All-WCC first team seniors Matthew Knight and Brandon Worthy. The Lions are the only team in the league to return multiple first team all-conference selections.
- Knight (1,005) and Worthy (1,015) both topped the 1,000-point plateau during last season's WCC Tournament, making the duo the only teammates in the conference to have reached the scoring milestone
- LMU defeated Cal Poly Pomona, 61-57, in its lone exhibition game.
- The Lions host Oral Roberts (11/10) in their season-opener.
Pepperdine Waves (0-0 / 0-0 WCC)
- Vance Walberg took over the reins of the Pepperdine program on April 20, 2006. Walberg is the 12th head coach in program history.
- Walberg comes to Pepperdine after a four-year stint at Fresno City College where he compiled a 133-11 (.924) record, including a perfect 34-0 mark and a California State Championship in 2005.
- Pepperdine welcomes back nine letterwinners from last season. Seven of those nine started at least one game last season for the Waves. Sophomore guard Michael Gerrity headlines the group of returners. Gerrity, who was named to the All-WCC freshman team, led all WCC freshmen in scoring last season with 14.1 ppg.
- The Waves open the season versus No. 16 Washington (11/10) at the Basketball Travelers Classic.
Portland Pilots (0-0 / 0-0 WCC)
- Eric Reveno was named the 20th head coach in University of Portland men's basketball history on April 10, 2006.
- Senior guard Darren Cooper was granted a sixth season of eligibility by the NCAA. Cooper, who was named one of the top returning players by the league coaches, averaged 14.9 ppg last season en route to All-WCC honorable mention accolades.
- Portland returns 10 letterwinners from last season, six of which earned at least one start.
- The Pilots defeated Concordia, 86-63, in their lone exhibition game. Sophomore Walter Thompson connected on 8-of-12 shots from the field to lead the way for UP.
- Portland opens the season at Oregon State for the Oregon Rain Invitational where the Pilots will face the host Beavers (11/10), Cal Poly (11/11), and Southeastern Louisiana (11/12).
Saint Mary's Gaels (0-0 / 0-0 WCC)
- The Gaels were picked fourth in the 2006-07 WCC preseason coaches poll.
- The Gaels have established themselves as a top team in the WCC, finishing in second place the past three seasons.
- The Gaels return four starters from last year's squad in senior guard John Winston, junior guard Todd Golden, senior wing Brett Collins, and senior center Blake Sholberg.
- In addition to the returning upper classmen, the Gaels return sophomore standouts Diamon Simpson, a 2006 All-WCC freshman team selection, Ian O'Leary, and Wayne Hunter.
- The Gaels host Seattle Pacific (11/10), San Diego State (11/11), and Murray State (11/12) in the Shamrock Invitational to open the season.
San Diego Toreros (0-0 / 0-0 WCC)
- San Diego was picked fifth in this year's WCC preseason coaches poll.
- USD returns three starters for the 2006-07 season in senior point guard Ross DeRogatis, sophomore center Gyno Pomare, and sophomore guard Ray Murdock.
- DeRogatis was arguably the top three-point shooter in the WCC last season, knocking down a league-high 82 treys on a 41.6 percent clip.
- The Toreros landed two players on the 2006 All-WCC freshman team in Pomare and guard Brandon Johnson. Pomare led the WCC in field goal percentage, shooting an efficient 63.3 percent from the floor, while Johnson was one of the top playmakers in the WCC, ranking fourth in assists (4.1 apg).
- San Diego opens the season at Stephen F. Austin (11/11) this weekend.
San Francisco Dons (0-0 / 0-0 WCC)
- USF was selected third in the 2006-07 WCC preseason coaches poll.
- The Dons will showcase three former Big East Conference guards this season in Armondo Surratt (Miami), Antonio Kellogg (Connecticut) and Manny Quezada (Rutgers).
- Surratt enjoyed a standout first season on The Hilltop, averaging a team-best 14.2 ppg to go along with a WCC-high 5.1 apg en route to WCC Newcomer of the Year honors.
- Alan Wiggins, Jr. enjoyed a breakout season in 2005-06, leading the Dons and ranking third in the WCC with seven double-doubles. Wiggins, Jr. averaged 14.1 ppg to go along with 8.3 rpg and a league-best 2.1 bpg.
- San Francisco opens the season versus Sonoma State (11/11) this weekend.
Santa Clara Broncos (0-0 / 0-0 WCC)
- SCU was picked sixth in this year's WCC preseason coaches poll.
- SCU returns four starters from last season's squad in junior point guard Brody Angley, sophomore guard Calvin Johnson, junior forward Mitch Henke, and senior center Sean Denison.
- Angley proved to be the most efficient ballhandler in the WCC, registering a conference-best 1.95 assist-to-turnover ratio. Angley also led the WCC in steals (1.90) and ranked second in assists (4.9 apg).
- Sophomore center John Bryant earned All-WCC freshman team honors last season, averaging 6.6 ppg, while ranking eighth in the league in rebounding (6.2 rpg) and fourth in blocks (1.3 bpg).
- SCU hosts Notre Dame De Namur (11/12) in an exhibition game this weekend.