Oct. 24, 2013
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- With the start of the highly-anticipated 2013-14 basketball season just over two weeks away, Gonzaga University has been selected as the favorite to win the West Coast Conference regular season title in a preseason poll of the WCC's 10 head coaches. The Bulldogs received nine first place votes and 81 of 90 possible points in the poll. The poll and all-conference team were announced Thursday at Time Warner Cable Sports studios as part of the Third Annual West Coast Conference Basketball Tip-Off event, streamed live on TheW.tv.
After marching to its fifth straight NCAA Tournament in 2013, Gonzaga, received nine of 10 possible first place votes from the WCC coaches, after posting a 27-6 record against a challenging schedule. The Bulldogs feature an experienced, talented group, headlined by senior guards Jazmine Redmon and Haiden Palmer and junior forward Sunny Greinacher. Redmon (6.1 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 3.2 apg) was named Tournament MVP of the 2013 WCC Championship and Palmer (12.5 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 3.2 spg) captured league Defensive Player of the Year honors. Both join Greinacher (9.2 ppg, 4.9 rpg) on the 2013-14 Preseason All-Conference Team.
The University of San Diego received one first place vote and was picked to finish second in the WCC preseason poll with 69 points. The Toreros advanced to the second round of the 2013 WNIT en route to the third 20-win season in program history one year removed from advancing to the 2012 WNIT semifinals. Senior guard Amy Kame (16.1 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 3.7 apg) and sophomore forward Maya Hood (103 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 1.5 apg) represent USD on the Preseason All-Conference Team. Kame earned All-WCC First Team honors last season and was the WCC Player of the Month for November, while Hood was selected as the WCC Newcomer of the Year.
Saint Mary's College checked in at third place in the preseason poll, receiving 63 points, just one point in front of Brigham Young University. The Gaels edged the Cougars 59-55 in the third round of the 2013 WNIT in Provo. It was the fourth straight postseason for Saint Mary's. Senior guard Jackie Nared (16.6 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 1.8 apg) and senior forward Danielle Mauldin (13.6 ppg, 10.8 rpg) captured All-WCC First Team honors last season and are Preseason All-Conference picks in advance of their final year in Moraga.
Senior two-sport star Jennifer Hamson (11.2 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 2.8 bpg) leads BYU into 2013-14 and makes the Preseason All-Conference list in her final collegiate basketball season. A First Team All-WCC selection as a junior in both volleyball and basketball, Hamson led the league and ranked 12th nationally in blocked shots per game (2.8) for the Cougars, who advanced to their ninth postseason in the last 12 years.
The University of the Pacific was picked to finish fifth in the preseason coaches poll in its first season of competition in the WCC. The Tigers collected 46 votes and posted a 27-8 record with a 14-4 slate in the Big West preceding a march to the third round of the 2013 WNIT. Loyola Marymount was picked sixth with 38 votes. The Lions will rely heavily on Preseason All-Conference selection senior guard Hazel Ramirez (12.7 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 4.7 apg).
The University of Portland, the University of San Francisco and Santa Clara University are in a three-way logjam in seventh place on the preseason prognostications with 27 points apiece. Preseason All-Conference pick sophomore guard Zhané Dikes (10.8 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 1.5 apg) will lead the Dons into battle in 2013-14. Pepperdine University rounds out the poll with 10 points.
The 2013-14 season tips off on Friday, November 8, for eight of the 10 WCC teams. Conference play gets underway on Saturday, December 28, and the 2014 West Coast Conference Basketball Championships will return to the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas from March 6-11.
The complete preseason poll and all-conference team follows.
|2013-14 WEST COAST CONFERENCE PRESEASON POLL|
|Team (First Place Votes)||Points|
|1. Gonzaga (9)||81|
|2. San Diego (1)||69|
|3. Saint Mary's||63|
|6. Loyola Marymount||38|
|7t. San Francisco||27|
|7t. Santa Clara||27|
|2013-14 PRESEASON ALL-WEST COAST CONFERENCE TEAM|
|Zhané Dikes||San Francisco||So.||G|
|Maya Hood||San Diego||So.||F|
|Amy Kame||San Diego||Sr.||G|
|Danielle Mauldin||Saint Mary's||Sr.||F|
|Jackie Nared||Saint Mary's||Sr.||G|
|Hazel Ramirez||Loyola Marymount||Sr.||G|