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WCC Men's Basketball: Five For Friday

Dec. 12, 2008

Gonzaga Owns Top RPI In The Country
Coming off of an impressive 22-point win (74-52) at Washington State, Gonzaga enters the weekend ranked No. 1 in the RPI, according to the latest CollegeRPI.com report. What makes the Zags No. 1 ranking even more impressive is the fact that they have earned it playing the toughest schedule in the nation as they are ranked No. 1 in CollegeRPI.com's strength of schedule rating.

Saint Mary's Faces San Diego State In Wooden Classic
The Gaels travel to Anaheim this weekend to take on San Diego State in the Wooden Classic. The Gaels are off to a 6-1 start and coming off of a big road win at Kent State, while the Aztecs are off to a 7-2 start and are coming off of a 69-56 setback at Arizona. The Gaels posted a 69-64 win over San Diego State in last season's Wooden Classic, and have won three of the last four meetings and lead the all-time series 4-3.

Five Down, One To Go
Despite being just four weeks into the season, Gonzaga has already accomplished a difficult feat. With its win over Washington State on Wednesday, Gonzaga has now notched at least one win against five of the six BCS conferences. The only BCS conference that the Zags have not faced this season is the Big East, but that will change on December 20th as they take on Connecticut in the Battle in Seattle at Key Arena. Gonzaga could become the only known non-BCS school to register at least one win against all six BCS conferences in the same season. Memphis defeated schools from five BCS conferences during its historic run to the National Championship game last season.

WCC Players Among Nation's Best
Santa Clara's John Bryant and Gonzaga's Jeremy Pargo are among the best in the nation in rebounding and assists entering the weekend. Bryant has been an absolute beast on the boards, leading the WCC and tying for third in the nation in rebounding with 12.9 rebounds per game. Bryant is tied with Tony Gaffney of Massachusetts and trails only DeJuan Blair of Pittsburgh (13.4 rpg) and Blake Griffin of Oklahoma (15.6 rpg). Pargo, who dished out 10 assists with only one turnover in the Zags' win at Washington State, ranks third in the country in assists with 7.6 assists per game. Pargo has an astounding 4.82-to-1 assist to turnover ratio, despite playing the toughest schedule in the nation.

WCC Ranked No. 4 In Strength Of Schedule
WCC teams have combined to play the fourth toughest non-conference schedule in the nation, according to the latest CollegeRPI.com strength of schedule rankings. Despite playing a demanding schedule, five WCC teams (GON, POR, SMC, USF, SCU) have better than .500 records and the conference has already notched impressive wins over Tennessee, Maryland, Oklahoma State, Providence, Kent State, Nevada, Washington, and Washington State.