With conference play set to begin, there are a lot of WCC previews making the rounds. Catch those and more in this week’s edition of the briefing (sorry for all the subscription required articles this week):
- Silas Melson sat down for a quick interview with Jim Meehan and revealed that Rui Hachimura is a big fan of the team buffet.
- Fox Sports is complimentary of Gonzaga’s balanced lineup, but wonders whether the team needs a closer to make a deep tournament run. They must be asleep on Nigel Williams-Goss.
- The San Diego Union previews the WCC, concluding that the conference will once again be ruled by the Big Three.
- A lot of analysts have mentioned that this could be Mark Few’s best team ever, but the same might be said about Randy Bennett’s crew. Coach Few paid the Moraga team a few compliments in Jim Meehan’s WCC preview for the Spokesman-Review.
- If you’re interested to hear some thoughts from BYU Coach Dave Rose on the upcoming WCC slate, head on over to Cougar Blue’s conference preview.
- The Lady Zags are kicking off their conference schedule against Pepperdine as well, though they will be enjoying the sunshine in Malibu. Here’s a preview of what to expect on the women’s side of the WCC.
- Our friends over at Arizona Desert Swarm posted a good article regarding Arizona coach Sean Miller’s philosophy to play the best teams in their region. I generally agree with Miller’s sentiment. For the most part, the Zags have followed suit considering they’ve scheduled series with Arizona and UCLA over the last few years, and tried to schedule a home-and-away with Cal which the Bears ended up cancelling. Here is Miller’s quote regarding the Zags:
First of all, you have to take care of your side of the United States,” Miller said. “Not playing Gonzaga doesn’t make a lot of sense to me because Gonzaga is one of the elite programs in the game. They’re located on this side of the country. It makes sense a lot of sense for our program to play them. You get better, it’s a tremendous game. If you ever win the game, it’s a tremendous win. If you lose it, it’s a great loss if there is such a thing. It prepares you for the rest of your schedule.
- Eamonn Brennan predicts how the standings in each conference in Division 1 will look at the end of the season (Insider required). He’s got the Zags finishing ahead of the Gaels.
- Interesting article (Insider Only) by Peter Keating of ESPN examining how equipped each of the Top 4 remaining undefeated teams are to defeating potential Giant Killers in the tournament. Gonzaga received the highest score, meaning it is the least likely to be upset in the tournament by a team seeded 5 or lower, which is encouraging, if you buy into the statistical model.
- Another ESPN Insider article attempts to predict when each of the remaining unbeatens will suffer their first loss. The predicted date for the Zags is February 2 at BYU. If all the predicted dates came true, the Zags would be the only undefeated team left in the country going into that game.
- Wondering which conference showdowns are the absolute must-watches of the season? Wonder no more, Jeff Goodman picked them all out for you (Insider Only). Preview: All 3 WCC games feature Gonzaga (shocker).
Next on the schedule:
Men’s Basketball: 12/29 v. Pepperdine at 6pm PT
Women’s Basketball: 12/29 @Pepperdine at 7pm PT