The West Coast Conference isn't exactly the most dynamic of conferences. The Gonzaga Bulldogs are the team to beat. The BYU Cougars are the middle child who is overlooked by the parents and the Saint Mary's Gaels are the annoying younger sibling that still feels like he is one of the guys despite being seven years younger.
The major players in the WCC at the beginning of the season are still the major players in the WCC midway through the season. They will probably still be the major players at the end of the season. So with that in mind, let's hand out some awards, shall we?
Player of the Year: Tyler Haws
Once again, this is Haws award to lose this year. Assuming he doesn't fall victim to a season-ending injury, Haws will win the WCC Player of the Year for the second-straight year. It will be the first time this has happened since Blake Stepp in 2003 and in 2004. Haws is doing everything he did last year to win the award, only he is doing it better this time around. His 23.8 points per game don't only lead the WCC, they lead the entire nation. He took a high offensive rating from last year and made it even higher. He is shooting better across the board and is once again the most important offensive player in the WCC.
If Haws falters at all this year, however, this award will go to Brad Waldow, who is also having a fine year.
Newcomer of the Year: Kyle Wiltjer
Once again, here is an award that is someone's to lose. There are some solid freshman coming into the WCC this year, but Wiltjer is the transfer that has made the biggest impact out of all players. His offensive rating of 136.2 is second in the conference. His 16.8 points per game are the tops on one of the best offenses in the country and he is doing this all while playing less minutes per game than most of his competition.
Defensive player of the Year: n/a
Honestly, no idea here, because it is a lot harder to gauge someone's contributions to defense by just looking at statistics alone. Once WCC play starts, we'll get a better idea of who has what it takes.
Coach of the Year: Mark Few
The WCC might get tired of handing this award to Mark Few, but if Gonzaga either runs the table or finishes with one loss in the conference, there isn't a more deserving coach. Few took what everyone knew was a good squad and proved that it was an even better squad. Now, people are talking about one of the most talented squads in team history and a potential spot in the Final Four. That is all conjecture, but there isn't much a of a doubt that Few has done a great job with this year's squad. Gonzaga has finally figured it out on defense, and when that is combined with a relentless offense, there isn't much that can stop them.
|Johnny Dee||San Diego|
|Kruize Pinkins||San Francisco|
|Brad Waldow||Saint Mary's|
|Thomas van der Mas||Portland|
|Mark Tollefsen||San Francisco|
|Jared Brownridge||Santa Clara|
|Jito Kok||San Diego|
|Christopher Anderson||San Diego|
|Emmett Naar||Saint Mary's|
I feel bad leaving Gary Bell Jr. off this list, because he is having his standard GBJ year. That year is never statistically impressive, but it is important to the success of the team. That said, there are a lot of solid players in the WCC which help push Bell off the list.
Agree with me? Disagree with me? Feel I left anybody off the list?
Happy holidays everyone and go Zags.