West Coast Conference basketball continues to be wildly unpredictable this season. This past week brought another big upset in the WCC and few teams (Pacific and San Diego) projected to finish in the top half of the conference, earlier in the season, struggling to get to multiple wins in conference play.
Our unanimous number one, Gonzaga, showed its first sign of weakness in conference losing on the road to Portland this past Thursday, snapping a 20-game winning streak over the Pilots. The Zags are still without starting guard, Gary Bell Jr., who missed his fourth game since breaking his hand against Santa Clara on December 28th. Bell's initial timetable for return was 4-6 weeks, which would put him back on the floor for Gonzaga as early as January 25th for a matchup with BYU. Gonzaga will finish up its 3-game road swing this week in Southern California with games at Pepperdine and LMU.
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BYU used a much needed 3-game home stand to get back on track in the conference race. After a win over San Diego on January 4th, the Cougars knocked off Pepperdine last Thursday and LMU Saturday. WCC Player of the Week, Tyler Haws, was a big part of BYU's success last week scoring 35 points in the win over Pepperdine and 31 points in the win over LMU. The Cougars now head out on a 4-game road trip to face San Francisco, Santa Clara, Portland, and Gonzaga.
San Francisco and Pepperdine continue to be the two biggest surprises in the conference this year, both teams sitting just a half game back of Gonzaga in the conference standings. The Dons split two games on the road last week, picking up a victory at Pacific in overtime last Thursday before losing at Saint Mary's on Saturday. San Francisco faces a key match-up with BYU at home tomorrow night. A win over the Cougars would go a long way in keeping the Dons in the conference race.
The Waves face a similar test tomorrow as they face Gonzaga in Malibu. A Pepperdine victory would put the Waves on top of the conference standings, a half game ahead of the Zags. The Waves split two games on the road as well this past week, losing in Provo to BYU, with Brendan Lane and Malcolm Davis out due to injury, and then winning at San Diego.
For a full breakdown of all West Coast Conference teams check out Will Maupin's WCC Week in Review over at Mid-Major Madness.
WCC Hoops Power Rankings: Week 10
|1||Gonzaga||14-3 (4-1)||90 (9)||1|
|2||Saint Mary's||13-5 (3-2)||74||2|
|4||San Francisco||11-7 (4-2)||62||4|
|7||Santa Clara||10-9 (3-3)||31||7|
|10||San Diego||10-8 (1-4)||12||10|
Week 10 voters (9 total): Los Angeles Loyolan writer, Kevin Cacabelos, Mid-Major Madness writer, Will Maupin, Slipper Still Fits writer, Peter Woodburn, and Vanquish the Foe writers, Clark Gerber, Devin Castleton, Kevin Schaefer, Nate Kennedy, Nate Mathis, and Michael Murray.
What would your week 10 WCC Hoops Power Rankings ballot look like? Tell us what you think below.