Coaches Tab Gonzaga to Capture WCC Men's Basketball Title
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 eight first place votes and 80 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 Men's Basketball Tip-Off event, streamed live on TheW.tv.
Gonzaga, ranked 14th in the USA Today/ESPN Top 25 coaches poll, received eight of 10 possible first place votes from the WCC coaches, after becoming the first league school to achieve a No. 1 national ranking since the 1970s, posting a 32-3 record last season en route to their 15th straight NCAA appearance. Junior guards Kevin Pangos (11.9 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 3.31 apg) and Gary Bell, Jr. (9.0 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 2.2 apg) lead this year's Bulldogs - and the backcourt tandem was selected to the Preseason All-WCC Team for the second consecutive year.
Brigham Young University received one first place vote and was picked to finish second in the WCC preseason poll with 72 points after advancing to the 2013 NIT Semifinals at Madison Square Garden. The Cougars led the conference in scoring for the second straight season, averaging 77.1 points per game in their second season as a WCC member. Junior guard Tyler Haws, a 2013 All-WCC First Team selection, was named to this year's Preseason Team after leading the league in overall (21.7) and WCC (20.6) scoring in 2012-13.
Saint Mary's College captured one first place vote and was selected third in the preseason poll with 66 points. The Gaels posted a 24-12 overall record and advanced to the second round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament. Junior guard Stephen Holt (11.6 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 1.5 apg) makes his second consecutive appearance on the Preseason All-WCC Team.
Just seven points separate the fourth through sixth spots in the WCC preseason coaches poll. San Francisco was picked to finish fourth with 51 points, led by senior forward Cole Dickerson (15.2 ppg, 9.8 rpg) and senior guard Cody Doolin (12.2 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 5.6 apg), who both were named to the Preseason All-WCC Team. Dickerson led the WCC in rebounding last season and Doolin has started every game of his collegiate career at USF. The University of San Diego was selected fifth (50 points). Junior guard Johnny Dee - a Preseason All-WCC pick for the second straight year - led the conference in free throw percentage at 89 percent. Loyola Marymount University (44 points) was picked to finish sixth this season. The Lions are led by two-time Preseason All-WCC selection Anthony Ireland (20.2 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 3.6 apg), who led the conference in minutes played last season (37.5).
A charter member of the WCC, Pacific returns to the fold after advancing to the 2013 NCAA Tournament after winning the Big West Championship in its final season. The Tigers were picked seventh in the preseason prognostications in their first WCC campaign since 1970-71. Santa Clara University (25 points) is eighth in this year's preseason survey, while the University of Portland (24), and Pepperdine University (10) round out the preseason poll. The Waves will look to 2013 WCC Newcomer of the Year Stacy Davis (11.2 ppg, 7.3 rpg) to have a big sophomore campaign as a member of the Preseason All-League Team.
The 2013-14 season tips off on Friday, November 11, for eight of the 10 WCC teams. Conference play gets underway on Saturday, December 28, and the 2013 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
2013-14 PRESEASON ALL-WEST COAST CONFERENCE TEAM