Pacific will become the 10th member of the WCC in 2013, the conference announced this morning.
I checked in with league sources and Gonzaga's Mike Roth, who is pleased that the WCC will have an even-numbered membership, which alleviates some of scheduling issues that came into play with a nine-team conference. Much of the footwork on the expansion front was done over the past few years by the conference's expansion task force. The addition of Pacific may have snuck up on some folks, including Gonzaga, but mainly because the school's attention the last 3-4 weeks has been on conference and NCAA tournaments.
Pacific has similar enrollment to GU (roughly 7,000). The private school became financially independent from the Methodist Church in 1969. Roth told me the WCC expansion task force decided several years ago it was only interested in private institutions. In the west, that narrowed the WCC's options to BYU, Denver and Seattle (both WAC bound), Pacific, Stanford and USC. I'll go out on a limb and guess Stanford and USC weren't knocking on the WCC's door.
Here's my article on the WCC's latest expansion that will run in Thursday's S-R.
Also, it's been rumored for weeks/months that Gonzaga's Mathis Keita will transfer and I fully expect that will be the case. Keita appears on Cbssports.com's Jeff Goodman's list of D-I transfers. I checked with a Gonzaga source who said "it isn't completely done, (Keita) is looking at some options."
Gonzaga's Mathis Monninghoff, who, like Keita,saw his playing time dwindle at the '3' position, is said to be 50-50 on returning to the program.