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Around the WCC: 12/22-12/29 Edition

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LMU (0-14; 0-1): I don't know if it's possible to further embarrass yourself after and 0-13 start, but I think LMU might have this past week. In their one game this past week, LMU traveled to Las Cruces to play New Mexico St. There really was not point for LMU to make the trip, as they were destroyed by a score of 104-62. It's not like New Mexico St. is a powerhouse program, since they had a record of 5-6 entering the game. Should LMU lose to Seattle U on January 1st, I will be officially instituting the winless season watch.

Schedule this Week: 1/1 @ Seattle U; 1/4 vs. Cal State Bakersfield

Pepperdine (1-12; 0-1): Despite not having a win against a DI opponent this season, I will give Pepperdine credit for playing hard. In their lone game of this past week, the Waves traveled across the Pacific Ocean to take on a very solid Buffalo team in the Outrigger Hotels Rainbow Classic. Unlike LMU, the Waves didn't bend over backwards to their opponent, and lost a 72-71 heartbreaker in overtime. This thrilling game was not decided until the final shot, when with 0.3 seconds remaining, Andy Robinson hit a game winning jumper for the Bulls. It seems that Pepperdine is starting to play better basketball, and I look for them to secure their first victory against a DI opponent tonight.

Schedule this week: 12/29 vs. Coppin St.; 12/30 vs. TBA; 1/3 vs. Western Oregon

Portland (7-6; 1-1): I really like the job that Eric Reveno is doing at Portland, but this team is still a year away from competing with the upper-half of the WCC. This past week, Portland competed in the four-team Golden Bear Classic, and was matched up with Air Force in the 1st round. In a frightening display of offensive incompetence, Portland was able to sneak by Air Force with a 43-42 victory. Check out this recap from ESPN....this sounds like one of the worst offensive games of all time.

Both teams shot below 30 percent for the game and went a combined 24 of 85 from the floor, including 8 of 40 from 3-point range. Neither team had a fastbreak basket, either. Portland's 43 points matched the tournament's previous record for lowest points scored by a losing team, a mark now held by Air Force.

The offensive problems started early for both teams and continued throughout the game.Air Force missed 11 of its first 14 shots from the floor, went 0-for-12 over the final 13:08 and scored more points from the free throw line (10) than it did from the floor. Portland wasn't much better, going 6 of 25 with seven turnovers and only one basket in the final seven minutes.

After sneaking by Air Force, Portland had to face Cal. This was not a pretty performance for the Pilots, as they were outclassed from the beginning in the 81-61 defeat. Cal will be a high level Pac 10 program with Mike Montgomery in charge, but it would have been nice to see Portland give a better effort.

Schedule this week: 12/30 @ Cal State Bakersfield; 1/4 vs Seattle

St. Mary's (12-1; 3-0): Do Gonzaga fans realize just how good this St. Mary's team? Since the loss to UTEP in November, St. Mary's has won nine consecutive games. Last week saw St. Mary's win three games, with victories over Pacific (74-65), San Jose St. (87-78), and Morgan St. (76-60). The Gaels continue to get great play from the three-headed monster of Mills, Samhan, and Simpson. I am very impressed by the victory over San Jose St., because they are a team capable of creating lots of havoc in the WAC. Since I started this with a question, it would only be appropriate that I end it the same way....How is St. Mary's not ranked?

Schedule this week: 1/2 @ Cal State Bakersfield

San Diego (6-7; 0-0): USD didn't play this week.

Schedule this week: 12/30 @ Mississippi St.; 1/2 vs. Marshall

San Francisco (7-6; 0-1): This team will be haunted by their loss to Holy Cross last week. It seemed that USF would not be bothered by their trip across the country to take on the Holy Cross Crusaders, as they built a 13 point lead with nine minutes left in the game. However, Holy Cross dominated the remainder of the game and ran away with a 97-88 victory. The Dons were led by the fantastic Dior Lowhorn, who scored 27 points and grabbed six rebounds in the defeat. Manny Quezada added 26 points off the bench.

Schedule this week: 12/29 @ Boston College; 1/3 vs. Cal State East Bay

Santa Clara (5-7; 0-1): Unlike most of the WCC games I write about, I actually had the opportunity to watch Santa Clara take on Stanford last week. It's almost shameful to watch such a great performance by John Bryant go wasted by his incompetent teammates. I remember when John Bryant was a freshman and it was stunning to watch him struggle when he was running up and down the court. Those days are long gone, and I believe that Bryant will be a 1st round pick in the next NBA draft. In his teams 77-69 loss to Stanford, Bryant had his second 20-20 game of the season, as he scored 27 points and grabbed 22 rebounds. (Side note from the author: Stanford is a pleasure to watch. Coach Dawkins is doing a tremendous job, and last night they defeated Texas Tech 111-66)

Schedule this week: 12/29 vs. Belmont; 1/2 @ Hartford; 1/4 @ New Hampshire

West Coast Conference Standings

(updated 12.29.2008 at 3:42 AM PST)