West Coast Walkthrough: Feb 8

Our beloved Cougars took care of some difficult business by beating Gonzaga last week, keeping the intrigue and excitement alive in the West Coast Conference race. The week that was, the week to come, and as usual, stats and power rankings in this week's edition of the West Coast Walkthrough.

BYU LOCKS DOWN GONZAGA, COMES UP FOR AIR

Just when Cougar fans were signing off the season, BYU came up with a much-needed win over ranked Gonzaga in Provo. BYU's defense got after it in the first half and totaled 14 steals on the game. Keith recapped the big win last week as BYU seemed to be out of air in the conference race, but has come back up for a few more breaths.

In one way, the result solidifies the WCC tournament seeding, while it also keeps seeding open as well. What BYU's win nearly cements is Saint Mary's as the 1-seed. The win also keeps the race for the coveted 2-seed open between Gonzaga, BYU, and Loyola Marymount.

Remember, 1- and 2-seeds get a double bye and only have to win two games to win the conference tournament. (To win the conference tournament, seeds 1-2 need two wins, 3-4 need three wins, 5-7 need four wins, and 8-9 need five wins.)

LMU DRAWS CLEAR LINE IN WCC PECKING ORDER

Loyola Marymount took care of both Pepperdine (67-57) and San Francisco (90-88) at home last week, putting a full three games between 4th and 5th places in the conference. The Lions are still tied with BYU for 3rd place and visit Gonzaga this Saturday. It's a huge game for both teams, as Gonzaga will be coming off the game against Saint Mary's. If the Zags beat SMC, the game against LMU would help them start securing the 2-seed. If GU loses to SMC, LMU could be playing to knock the Zags all the way to 4th place.

NOW PLAYING

Gonzaga gets the big games this week, playing both of its games in the top-four of the standings. BYU plays only once, hosting Pepperdine on Saturday. The rest of the matchups shouldn't change the tournament seeding brackets (listed above), but there could be some movement within the 5-7 bracket.

GAME OF THE WEEK

#13 Saint Mary's @ Gonzaga - Thurs. Feb. 9, 9:00 pm MT on ESPN2 - The at-SMC and at-BYU portions of the three-way-round-robin we have discussed are done, now it's time to start the at-Gonzaga portion. Saint Mary's kicks it off in The Kennel this Thursday. Saint Mary's is in the driver's seat, and barring total disaster has first place locked up. A win could give the Gaels a nice seed-bump for the Big Dance. The game means much more for Gonzaga. A Zags win keeps needed breathing room in second place, while a loss magnifies their game with BYU all the more.

POWER RANKINGS

1. SAINT MARY'S -- About to the point where I can copy-paste this portion every week. Best guard, best rebounder, just sitting at the top of the hill.

2. GONZAGA -- Still no upsets against the Bulldogs, so while they lost to BYU on the road, a better conference record still holds GU at #2.

3. BYU -- After slipping them to #4 last week, the Cougars are back up to #3 with the big win against Gonzaga. After looking lost and at risk of a terrible slide, strong, aggressive defensive efforts led to wins against GU and Portland. Now its up to BYU to take care of business while waiting for the second shot at GU in Spokane.

4. LOYOLA MARYMOUNT -- Beating San Francisco means the Lions will likely stay in the top-4 for the rest of the season. Their own shot at Gonzaga this week could pull them to a tie (or a lead over?) with BYU.

5. SAN FRANCISCO -- Looks like the Dons will stagnate at #5. A date with San Diego this Saturday can define whether or not USF can be the "best of the rest."

6. SAN DIEGO -- The Toreros are still clear at #6, with one less loss than Portland and a dominating win in their only matchup. As mentioned above, a win over USF this week would move USD up.

7. PORTLAND -- Losing 7 of their last 8, the Pilots have only beaten lowly Santa Clara in a full month. Still have the nod over Pepperdine with a head-to-head win. Has battled well with Gonzaga and BYU, but Portland just isn't there yet.

8. PEPPERDINE -- *Checks schedule, sees Santa Clara at the end* Well guys, lets keep battling until we get to go to Santa Clara.

9. SANTA CLARA -- Still in search of their first conference win, the Broncos have six conference battles left and only one is against a team in the bottom-four. Yikes.

STANDINGS

School

Conf

Overall

RPI (+/-)

#13 Saint Mary’s

11-0

22-2

24 (-4)

Gonzaga

8-2

18-4

27 (-6)

BYU

8-3

20-6

43 (+5)

Loyola Marymount

8-3

15-9

111 (-3)

San Francisco

5-6

15-10

157 (-3)

San Diego

4-7

9-14

197 (+21)

Portland

3-8

6-18

208 (+16)

Pepperdine

2-10

8-15

241 (-7)

Santa Clara

0-10

8-15

285 (-23)

STAT LEADERS

PLAYER

SCHOOL

PTS

Kevin Foster

Santa Clara

17.8

Noah Hartsock

BYU

17.6

Matthew Dellavedova

St Mary’s

15.5

Anthony Ireland

LMU

15.1

Rob Jones

St Mary’s

14.8

PLAYER

SCHOOL

REB

Rob Jones

St Mary’s

10.7

Corbin Moore

Pepperdine

8.6

Brandon Davies

BYU

8.0

Elias Harris

Gonzaga

7.7

Ryan Nicholas

Portland

7.7

PLAYER

SCHOOL

ASTS

Matthew Dellavedova

St Mary’s

6.4

Evan Roquemore

Santa Clara

5.3

Anthony Ireland

LMU

4.9

Chris Anderson

San Diego

4.4

Caleb Willis

Pepperdine

3.6

PLAYER

SCHOOL

BLKS

Noah Hartsock

BYU

1.6

Robert Sacre

Gonzaga

1.5

Brandon Davies

BYU

1.3

Dennis Kramer

San Diego

1.3

Corbin Moore

Pepperdine

1.1

PLAYER

SCHOOL

STLS

Stephen Holt

St Mary’s

2.0

Angelo Caloiaro

San Fran

1.7

Rob Jones

St Mary’s

1.7

Chris Anderson

San Diego

1.6

Rashad Green

San Fran

1.6

PLAYER

SCHOOL

FG%

Brad Waldow

St Mary’s

65.5

Noah Hartsock

BYU

56.7

Thomas Van Der Mars

Portland

56.2

Perris Blackwell

San Fran

54.7

Niyi Harrison

Santa Clara

54.4

PLAYER

SCHOOL

FT%

Jorden Page

St Mary’s

87.5

LaRon Armstead

LMU

87.1

Noah Hartsock

BYU

85.0

Kevin Pangos

Gonzaga

84.1

Matthew Dellavedova

St Mary’s

82.9

PLAYER

SCHOOL

3PT%

Johnny Dee

San Diego

44.2

Clint Steindl

St Mary’s

43.8

Gary Bell

Gonzaga

41.4

Raymond Cowels

Santa Clara

40.6

Matthew Dellavedova

St Mary’s

40.2

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