This was quite the interesting week for the West Coast Conference and you can see that by the amount of change in EDZ's power rankings. The Gaels, Toreros, and Dons all had very difficult weeks, especially the Gaels who's cute 18-1 record was blown up by Gonzaga and Portland. To add some injury to that insult, St. Mary's Patrick Mills broke his hand. Meanwhile, Gonzaga and Portland continue to ease through West Coast Conference play. Many thought that the Pilots would fade once the conference schedule began but they have not wavered. Santa Clara has also been very good lately and John Bryant continues to impress. Pepperdine, USF, and LMU continue to show enthusiasm for next season...
|Rank||EDZ's Pick||Movement||BuffZag's Pick||Movement|
|1||Gonzaga Bulldogs (16-4)||+1
||Gonzaga Bulldogs (16-4)||-
|2||Portland Pilots (15-7)||+1
||Portland Pilots (15-7)||+1
|3||St. Mary's Gaels (18-3)||-2
||St. Mary's Gaels (18-3)||-1
|4||Santa Clara Broncos (11-13)||+1
||San Diego Toreros (12-10)||-
|5||San Diego Toreros (12-10)||-1
||Santa Clara Broncos (11-13)||-
|6||Pepperdine Waves (5-18)||+1
||Pepperdine Waves (5-18)||-
|7||San Francisco Dons (9-13)||-1
||San Francisco Dons (9-13)||-
|8||Loyola Marymount Lions (1-22)||-
||Loyola Marymount Lions (1-22)||-
continue reading after the jump for our rankings explained...
Everydayezag's Rankings Explained...
1) Gonzaga- It appears that the Zags are well on their way to another WCC championship. Credit must go to Micah Downs and Ira Brown, as both have provided terrific minutes off the bench. Also, it's pretty impressive to see how good Austin Daye can be when he is able to avoid foul trouble.
2) Portland- What a terrific performance by the Portland Pilots last week. This team defeated both St. Mary's and USD quite easily, and has now setup the biggest game in recent Pilots history. However, the most impressive things about this team is the fact that the whole team will return next season.
3) St. Mary's- It's remarkable to realize that the Gaels were 20 minutes away from potentially taking hold of the WCC. Instead, the Gaels lost Patty Mills for the next 4 weeks, and potentially a spot in the NCAA Tournament as well.
4) Santa Clara- I really like the way the Broncos have played the past two weeks. In James Rahon they have found a terrific scoring complement to John Bryant. This could be the team that causes an upset in Vegas, and suddenly finds itself playing for a spot in the NCAA Tournament.
5) San Diego- When I was watching this team play on Saturday, I couldn't believe how meager their offensive performance was. The Toreros have found no replacement for the scoring and leadership of Brandon Johnson, and I don't see anything that makes me think this team is about to regain its swagger.
6) Pepperdine- Behind the play of Keion Bell and Mychal Thompson, the Waves have started to show some life in conference play. It's terrific to see this team continue to play hard despite the obvious struggles, and it appears they are starting to gain some confidence in the process.
7) USF- This is easily the most disappointing team in the WCC. After a solid performance in the non-conference portion of the schedule, this team has completely imploded in conference play. It pains to me watch Dior Lowhorn play on this type of team, and makes me wish that he could somehow come play for the Zags for the next three months.
8) LMU- 1-22.....that's all that needs to be said.
BuffZag's rankings explained...
1) Gonzaga- The regular conference title is all but sewn up with Portland really being the only threat at this point. Gonzaga, while not looking amazing against SMC and USD, continues to beat the teams it should in conference.
2) Portland- It is a great time to be a basketball player in Oregon as long as you don't play in Eugene. The Pilots have been absolutely remarkable and Nik Raivio has really established himself as a top player in this conference.
3) St. Mary's- It was very evident on Saturday that this team is very mediocre without Patty Mills. Their back court is extremely weak without him. Hopefully they don't fall off too much before Mills gets back.
4) San Diego- I really struggled with the 4/5 spots this week. San Diego looked so bad offensively against Gonzaga. Especially guys like Gyno Pomare and Trumaine Johnson looked remarkably average. We'll find out how good this team is when Santa Clara visits this week.
5) Santa Clara- I'm still enormously confused about the performance that Santa Clara had against Gonzaga. I was disgusted with their entire team even John Bryant and Rahon. They seem to have found some sort of semblance that hopefully they can build on.
6) Pepperdine- The Waves have continued to play hard this year even though this season is definitely a major building block for them. Keion Bell will be in contention for WCC Player of the Year at some point in his career. It can't be hard to recruit to Malibu so hopefully Tom Asbury can find some help for him.
7) USF- I'm sorry Dior Lowhorn...I really am.
8) LMU- Times is hard. The Lions are basically down to one possible game to win and that is when they play USF at home at the end of the season. They showed so much damn promise over the summer too...