Now that conference play has begun, we thought it would be a good idea to handicap the WCC. Our original goal was to put out one, combined ranking that both myself and everydayezag could agree on. That did not happen, so we are going to have to do separate rankings to get our points across. These power rankings are not necessarily based on records or numbers, but based on how powerful we think certain teams are. For that reason, these rankings are a lot more subjective and thus more fun to toy with. As you will see, the two of us disagree quite a bit on the validity of some WCC teams. Only time will tell, but here is how we see things stacking up right now in the WCC.
Initial TSSF West Coast Conference Power Rankings
|Rank||EDZ's Pick||BuffZag's Pick|
|1||St. Mary's Gaels (15-1)||Gonzaga Bulldogs (10-4)|
|2||Gonzaga Bulldogs (10-4)||St. Mary's Gaels (15-1)|
|3||San Diego Toreros (10-7)||Santa Clara Broncos (7-11)|
|4||Portland Pilots (9-7)||San Diego Toreros (10-7)|
|5||Santa Clara Broncos (7-11)||Portland Pilots (9-7)|
|6||San Francisco Dons (8-9)||San Francisco Dons (8-9)|
|7||Pepperdine Waves (4-13)||Pepperdine Waves (4-13)|
|8||Loyola Marymount Lions (1-16)||Loyola Marymount Lions (1-16)|
Another major part of these power rankings is for the rest of you to jump in and tell us what you think. Whether you agree with us or think we are idiots, feel free to leave some comments and share your opinions.
continue reading after the jump to see our rationale for our selections...
Everydayezag's Rankings Explained...
1) St. Mary's (15-1; 2-0): The Gaels have been consistently strong throughout the season. They had one slip up against UTEP, but defeated quality opponents in San Diego St. and Kent St.
2) Gonzaga (10-4; 1-0): There is no doubt in mind that this is still the best team in the WCC. However, it took the team awhile to rebound from the Uconn loss. It seems that the Zags have regained some of their swagger, and I expect them to dominate this conference.
3) San Diego (10-7; 2-0): Despite losing Brandon Johnson early this season to an Achilles injury, the Toreros continue to play smart and hard for Billy Grier. USD had the most impressive opening weekend of any team in the WCC, and should compete at a high level all season.
4) Portland (9-7; 0-1): The Pilots played well in their loss to Gonzaga, and have competed well as a team all season. Portland has quality wins over Washington and Nevada, and is buying into everything the coaching staff is teaching.
5) Santa Clara (7-11; 0-2): It is nearly impossible to get a read on this Santa Clara team. They have been competitive against some of the top team on the west coast, but consistently come up short in the end. A perfect example of this would be their WCC opener against St. Mary's. The Broncos led the whole game, but lost on a buzzer-beater from Patty Mills.
6) San Francisco (8-9; 0-2): San Francisco has exceeded expectations under new coach Rex Walters, but are still a long way from being competitive in the WCC. In Dior Lowhorn, the Dons have arguably the best player in the conference, but his supporting cast consistently disappears on a game-by-game basis.
7) Pepperdine (4-13; 1-0): Don't read much into Pepperdine opening conference play with a victory. The Waves defeated the truly horrible LMU Lions, and I'd be surprised if they beat any of the other teams in this conference. Mychal Thompson continues to be an enigma, and there is no question this will be a long season in Malibu.
8) LMU (1-16; 0-1): There really is no positives to take from the LMU season so far. The recent announcement that Bill Bayno will not return for the Lions continues the streak of bad news for this team. They have been without top scorer Vernon Teal for most of the season, and it will be a struggle for this team to manage another victory this season.
BuffZag's Rankings Explained...
1) Gonzaga- This is the most powerful team in the conference bar-none. They may not be at the top of the conference in terms of their record but they are playing teams that make them better.
2) St. Mary's- This team has loads of talent and can beat anyone on any given night if their studs all play well. They skated through nonconference with a pretty mediocre schedule. The record is cute, but we'll see if it holds up.
3) Santa Clara- Santa Clara just lost to San Diego...how can I put them ahead of the Toreros? I don't know but I just feel it. John Bryant is one of the best in the nation and they have played a great schedule as well. Their record is pretty solid for the teams they play. They'll figure it out soon.
4) San Diego- I'm not sure how good this team can consistently be without Brandon Johnson. Pomare is good and Rob Jones is a nice player but I don't know if their back court can hold up.
5) Portland Pilots- Talk about some nice nonconference wins for a team that has never been .500 heading into to conference play under Coach Reveno before this season. Knocking off UW and Nevada will be a big boost for this team that is trying to make a statement in the WCC.
6) San Francisco Dons- Poor Dior Lowhorn. USF hasn't been awful this year but Lowhorn has got to look around and his team and really wonder about what his thought process was like heading to USF.
7) Pepperdine- Malibu is too nice to have a team this erratic. The youth is there as they have some players that could develop nicely under the right circumstances. I'm not sure Tom Asbury is the right guy for this team. I'd rather see them build with a young coach than someone who probably won't be on the sidelines long.
8) LMU- I was really excited about the future of this program. The Bill Bayno news is bad for the conference. He was a good coach and an even better recruiter. Such a shame. Hopefully the kids he recruited to LMU stay with the program or it will only get worse...if that is possible.