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WCC Men's Basketball: Five For Friday

Dec. 19, 2008

1. Gonzaga Battles Connecticut In Seattle
No. 7 Gonzaga takes on No. 2 Connecticut in the Battle in Seattle on Saturday in the most highly anticipated matchup of the season. Game time is 1 p.m. (PT) on Saturday at Key Arena with approximately 47 percent of the country watching on CBS. The Zags enter the game with an 8-1 record, while Connecticut brings an unblemished 9-0 record into the contest.

Bulldogs vs. Huskies Quick Hits
Points Per Game:
GON: 78.0 ppg; UCONN: 83.0 ppg
Rebounds Per Game: GON: 39.7 rpg; UCONN: 41.0 rpg
FG Percentage: GON: 48.1%; UCONN: 51.1%
3-PT FG Percentage: GON: 37.0%; UCONN: 38.0%
*RPI Ranking: GON: 7; UCONN: 14
*Strength of Schedule: GON: 22; UCONN: 142
Marquee Wins: GON: 4 (Tennessee, Maryland, Oklahoma State, Washington State); UCONN: 2 (Miami, Wisconsin)

*RPI info courtesy of Collegiate Basketball News

2. WCC Announces Groundbreaking Television Deal
The WCC announced a monumental strategic television initiatives this week. With partner ESPN, the WCC spearheaded an international television package that would broadcast a total of 23 men's basketball games on ESPN Australia, ESPN HD Australia, ESPN Pacific Rim, and ESPN New Zealand. This is the first time that the WCC television schedule has ever extended beyond North America, and is believed to be the first-ever international collegiate television package.

3. Three WCC Players Named To Naismith Trophy Preseason Watch List
Three West Coast Conference players were named to the 2008-09 Naismith Trophy preseason watch list. Gonzaga's Jeremy Pargo and Josh Heytvelt, along with Saint Mary's Patrick Mills, were among a select group of 50 of the elite players in the nation named to the prestigious preseason watch list. The WCC was one of seven conferences with three or more players named to the preseason Naismith Trophy list. The WCC tied the Big Ten for the sixth most players named to the list, and had more players named to the list than any other non-BCS conference in the country. The Big East led the way with 11 players on the list, followed by the SEC with six, the Pac-10 and Big 12 with five each, and the WCC and the Big Ten with three apiece.

Breakdown Of Naismith Trophy Preseason Watch List Players By Conference
1. Big East - 11
T2. ACC - 6
T2. SEC - 6
T4. Pac-10 - 5
T4. Big 12 - 5
T6. WCC - 3
T6. Big Ten - 3

4. RPI Watch: WCC No. 10; 3 WCC Teams In RPI Top 65
The WCC maintains its top 10 conference RPI ranking heading into the weekend, according to the latest Collegiate Basketball News RPI report. In addition, three WCC teams are ranked in the RPI top 65 with Gonzaga at No. 7, Saint Mary's at No. 23, and San Francisco at No. 64.
5. Big Games Highlight Weekend Schedule
Several big games highlight the WCC schedule this weekend. In addition to Gonzaga's showdown with Connecticut, Saint Mary's travels to Indianapolis to take on Southern Illinois in the Wooden Tradition. Below is a look at this weekend's WCC schedule.

Gonzaga vs. Connecticut Seattle, WA (Battle in Seattle)
1:00 PM
Georgia Tech at Pepperdine Malibu, CA
2:00 PM
Saint Mary's vs. Southern Illinois Indianapolis, IN (Wooden Tradition)
3:00 PM
Portland at Oregon Eugene, OR
5:00 PM
Santa Clara at Pacific Stockton, CA
7:00 PM
Tulsa at Loyola Marymount Los Angeles, CA
7:05 PM