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WCC Men's Basketball Weekly Notes

Nov. 14, 2008

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Gonzaga Edges Saint Mary's And San Diego For Top Spot In WCC Preseason Coaches Poll
Gonzaga edged Saint Mary's and San Diego in the 2008-09 WCC men's basketball preseason poll, as selected by the league coaches. The Zags tallied 46 points and received five first place votes to earn the top spot. Just two points behind Gonzaga is Saint Mary's, which earned an at-large bid to the 2008 NCAA Tournament, with 44 overall points and two first place votes. The Gaels are followed in the poll by 2008 WCC Tournament champion, San Diego, which collected 39 overall points and received the final first place vote. Rounding out this year's poll is Santa Clara (30) in fourth, San Francisco (23) picked fifth, followed by Portland (22) in sixth, Loyola Marymount (12) in seventh, and Pepperdine (11) in eighth.

2008-09 WCC Men's Basketball Preseason Coaches Poll
1. Gonzaga - 46 (5)
2. Saint Mary's - 44 (2)
3. San Diego - 39 (1)
4. Santa Clara - 30
5. San Francisco - 23
6. Portland - 19
7. Loyola Marymount - 12
8. Pepperdine - 11

(First place votes)

2008-09 WCC Preseason All-Conference Team
The WCC Preseason All-Conference team is highlighted by eight returning 2008 All-WCC first team members, the most returning all league players in conference history. Headlining the preseason all-conference list was Gonzaga's Jeremy Pargo, the reigning WCC Player of the Year, as well as Saint Mary's Patrick Mills and Diamon Simpson, last season's WCC Newcomer of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year.

2008-09 WCC Men's Preseason All-Conference Team

NAME              SCHOOL           POS        YRMatt Bouldin      Gonzaga          Guard      JRJohn Bryant       Santa Clara      Center     SRAustin Daye       Gonzaga          Forward    SOBrandon Johnson   San Diego        Guard      SRDior Lowhorn      San Francisco    Forward    JRPatrick Mills     Saint Mary's     Guard      SOJeremy Pargo      Gonzaga          Guard      SRGyno Pomare       San Diego        Forward    SROmar Samhan       Saint Mary's     Center     JRDiamon Simpson    Saint Mary's     Forward    SR

Gonzaga, Saint Mary's, And San Diego Earn Preseason Honors

Gonzaga, Saint Mary's, and San Diego have all been mentioned among the nation's elite by the preseason prognosticators. Below are some of the preseason accolades that the Zags, Gaels, and Toreros have received

- All three were listed in Dick Vitale's Preseason Top 40 (No. 8 GON, No. 33 SMC, No. 39 USD), giving the WCC the most teams of any non-BCS conference.

- Gonzaga selected preseason No. 4 by The Sporting News.

- Gonzaga selected as an "Elite to Beat" team by the USA Today.

- All three teams in Rivals.com preseason top 35 (No. 13 GON, No. 26 USD, No. 33 SMC).

- Gonzaga and Saint Mary's ranked in Blue Ribbon preseason top 25 (No. 19 SMC, No. 21 GON).


Overall Record: 0-0
WCC Record: 0-0
  • The Bulldogs are projected to capture their ninth consecutive WCC regular season titles in the 2008-09 WCC Preseason Coaches poll.

  • Gonzaga is ranked 10th in the Associated Press' preseason top 25 and No. 11 in the ESPN/USA Today preseason rankings.

  • The Zags return two All-WCC first team members in 2008 WCC Player of the Year Jeremy Pargo and junior guard Matt Bouldin. Sophomore guard Steven Gray and sophomore forward Austin Daye were named to the All-WCC freshman team.

  • Pargo was included in the 2009 John R. Wooden Award Pre-Season Top 50 list for the second season in a row and is eligible for the Player of the Year Trophy.

  • The Zags opens the regular season at home against Montana State Billings (11/15).
  • Overall Record: 0-0
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • First-year Head Coach Bill Bayno takes over the reins of the Lions program.

  • LMU welcomes in eight newcomers, including five freshmen.

  • The Lions welcome back sophomore forward Tim Diederichs, who was the first freshman in Loyola Marymount history to start every game in his first season. Other returning players include sophomore forward Brad Sweezy, senior forward Marko Deric, and senior guards Corey Counts and Chris Kanne.

  • Red-shirt sophomore center Terron Sutton suffered a torn ACL in his left knee and will be sitting out the entire season.

  • The Lions will begin their regular season at the World Vision Classic in Iowa this weekend.
  • Overall Record: 0-0
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Tom Asbury rejoins the Waves this year as the team's new head coach, along with three former Pepperdine alums on his coaching staff.

  • Pepperdine will be returning six players, including sophomore forward Mychel Thompson, who tied for fifth in the WCC in three-pointers made per game.

  • Pepperdine hopes to see its team's leading scorer, senior guard Rico Tucker, back in action soon. He is still recovering from knee surgery and has yet to be cleared for play.

  • The Waves have added nine new players to the roster, one of which includes freshman point guard Lorne Jackson, an all-state second team selection and Ventura County Star's Player of the Year.

  • The Waves will begin their season by hosting Cal State Monterey Bay (11/14).
  • Overall Record: 0-0
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • The Pilots were selected to finish sixth in the WCC Preseason Coaches Poll.

  • Portland will be returning five players that started at least 13 games last season and nine letterwinners overall. Seven of the team's top eight scorers will be back in action. Despite the number of returning players, UP is the only team in the WCC without a senior on its roster.

  • Headlining the list of returners is junior guard Nik Raivio, the Pilots' leading scorer last season at 12.6 points per game, the ninth best clip in the conference.

  • Four new players join the Pilots, one of which is junior guard T.J. Campbell, a JC All-America selection last year.

  • The Pilots' season opens with a home game against the Washington Huskies (11/15).
  • Overall Record: 0-0
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Saint Mary's was picked to finish second in the WCC preseason poll. The Gaels also garnered three preseason all-conference selections.

  • Saint Mary's earned a preseason ranking of 19 in Blue Ribbon's Preseason Top 25.

  • The Gaels return four starters and eight letterwinners overall, including WCC Newcomer of the Year Patrick Mills and WCC Defensive Player of the Year Diamon Simpson, from last season's squad that posted a 25-7 overall mark and advanced to the NCAA tournament.

  • Sophomore point guard Mills was added to the list of 50 players named to the 2008-09 preseason candidates for the John R. Wooden Award All-American Team and Player of the Year Trophy. This is the first time a Saint Mary's player has been considered for this honor.

  • The Gaels jump start the regular season at home against Seattle Pacific (11/14).
  • Overall Record: 0-0
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • The Toreros, under Head Coach Bill Grier, enjoyed one of the best seasons in program history, posting a 22-14 overall record, winning the WCC Tournament and advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

  • The Toreros return all five starters and 10 letterwinners from last year's team, including the senior tandem of guard Brandon Johnson and forward Gyno Pomare, who were selected to the preseason all-conference team by the WCC coaches. Pomare and Johnson enter the season as the only 1,000-point teammates in the conference.

  • San Diego is listed among the nation's elite to start the season, coming in at No. 26 in Rival.com's preseason listing and No. 39 in the Sporting News preseason top 40.

  • The Toreros open the regular season by traveling to University of Nevada Las Vegas (11/15).
  • Overall Record: 0-0
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • San Francisco dropped a 3-0 decision to Pepperdine in its season finale.

  • San Francisco enters this season with a newly appointed head coach in Rex Walters.

  • San Francisco will be welcoming back a group of four letterwinners, headlined by All-WCC junior forward Dior Lowhorn, who led the conference in scoring with 20.5 ppg to go along with 7.4 rpg. Last season, Lowhorn teamed up with Manny Quezada (13.9 ppg) to give the Dons the highest scoring tandem in the league as the duo combined for a WCC-best 34.4 ppg.

  • A familiar face will be joining the Dons in junior forward Blake Wallace. Wallace, a transfer from Irvine Valley College, played his freshman season at Pepperdine, seeing action in all 31 games for the Waves in 2006-07. Wallace averaged 4.7 ppg to go along with 2.1 rpg as a freshman with the Waves.

  • San Francisco kicks off the regular season at Hawaii (11/14) this weekend.
  • Overall Record: 0-0
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Santa Clara was selected to finish fourth in the WCC Preseason Coaches poll.

  • Second-year Head Coach Kerry Keating welcomes back five letterwinners, including three starters in senior center John Bryant, sophomore forward Ben Dowdell, and senior guard Calvin Johnson.

  • The Broncos welcome seven newcomers to the roster, four of which are freshmen guards.

  • Bryant enjoyed a standout junior season, leading the WCC in rebounds (9.6 rpg) and blocks (2.45 bpg). Bryant, who finsihed second in the WCC in scoring last season (18.0 ppg), enters the season ranked 23rd on Santa Clara's all-time scoring list with 1,071 points.

  • Santa Clara begins the regular season at home against CSU East Bay (11/14).