Posts tagged: WCC
In a couple of days, Gonzaga will open its WCC schedule against Santa Clara. It seems odd that GU will be playing two WCC games before New Year's Eve, but that's how the 18-game schedule shakes out with 10 members.
The WCC started off white-hot in the pre-conference but has slowly cooled off, including a rough stretch of late. Still, all 10 programs boast winning records. Gonzaga is 10-2 and ranked 24th, which is pretty much what I expected at this point of the season. Saint Mary's is 9-3 after dropping three in a row in Hawaii. BYU is 8-5 but has played one of the toughest schedules in the nation.
Programming note: Media day later this afternoon (GU returned to practice Wednesday evening).
S-R photojournalist Colin Mulvany covered the GU win over Saint Mary's. Check out a big picture gallery of his photos
S-R photojournalist Colin Mulvany covered the GU women's victory over San Diego. Check out a big picture gallery of his photos.
S-R photojournalist Colin Mulvany covered the GU victory over LMU to advance to the finals of the WCC. Check out a big picture gallery of his photos.
Gonzaga is taking everybody's best shot, sometimes literally, in the WCC.
Opponents have become increasingly physical trying to defend Gonzaga's main scoring options, particularly the inside tandem of Kelly Olynyk and Elias Harris, which is understandable because the Zags play a physical brand of basketball.
That's the focus of my article that will run with our College basketball/Four Corners page in Thursday's S-R.
For the umpteenth straight season, Gonzaga is the team to beat in the WCC. For the first time in a dozen seasons, the Bulldogs are not the defending champions.
Saint Mary's broke through last year and snapped Gonzaga's WCC title streak at 11. The Gaels almost did it the year before, but GU came back from a three-game losing streak to earn a share of the crown. The WCC begins tonight with San Francisco visiting Santa Clara.
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.
Numerous reports this morning that Pacific will leave the Big West Conference to become the 10th member of the WCC, effective in the 2013-14 season. The move could become official as early as this afternoon.
The WCC's membership was stable for three decades before BYU joined the conference last season. With BYU, the nine-team conference had unavoidable scheduling issues (split home-away weeks, Monday games, etc.). Conferences with even-numbered membership typically have smoother scheduling models.
Pacific was a member of the West Coast Athletic Conference (which changed its name to the WCC in 1989) from 1952-71.
Local NCAA Division I women's basketball teams had a successful Saturday - with the exception of Washington State, which lost at UCLA.
We were at Gonzaga today, where the Bulldogs turned up the heat in the second half and beat a defensive San Diego team. John Blanchette wrote this column on the Zag women in the post-Courtney Vandersloot era, Jesse Tinsley told the game story through his photo lens, and here's the link to my game story.
The Eastern Washington women continued their quest for a Big Sky Conference title with a win at Sacramento State and the Idaho women picked up their second Western Athletic Conference win in a late game at San Jose State.
It was a pretty fantastic day for area women’s basketball teams.
The No. 22 Gonzaga Bulldogs avenged a rare West Coast Conference loss with a win over Saint Mary’s, Washington State pulled together for a Pac-12 victory over Arizona and the Eastern Washington women defeated Montana State to complete their first sweep of the Montana schools on the road. The Idaho women didn’t fare as well, falling to Utah State.
Stephanie Golden had a career-high 15 points and the No. 22 Gonzaga women's basketball team earned a 79-61 win over Loyola Marymount at the McCarthey Athletic Center on Thursday night. As you'll see in my story, I overheard a fan throw out a horrendously obvious pun after the game. I'd like to thank that fan. After he said it, I couldn't get it out of my head. Hence, the first couple paragraphs.
Keep reading for more on area women's basketball teams.
A GRIP ON SPORTS
It was a perfect night for Inland Northwest men's college basketball teams, despite the weather. Gonzaga handled USF rather easily at home and Washington State rallied from 13 down in the second half to top Pac-12 front-runner Stanford. It wasn't as perfect for me as we spent the last part of both games away from the television set and computer snowblowing a two-block long path to allow my wife to make it home. Read on.
Three of the four area Division I women's basketball teams start conference play on Thursday. That is the topic for this week's notebook, leading off with Gonzaga's quest for an eighth-straight WCC title. I also realize I neglected to link to last week's story on Eastern Washington mighty mite Chene Cooper, who leads the Big Sky in assists and is about to set the Eagle record for steals.
An early post today because 16 hungry people are about to arrive and I've got an appointment with a deep fryer. Gonzaga isn't done with non-conference play (at Xavier on Dec. 31), but its next ball game will begin the WCC slate. Struggling Portland visits the MAC on Wednesday.
Below, you'll find my unedited WCC preview that will run on Christmas Day. Merry Christmas to all!
Idaho and San Jose State tip in about 15 minutes in the WCC men's tournament quarterfinals. In-game updates at Twitter.com/SRjimm. (Same goes for the Idaho women vs. Nevada tonight at 6).
I'll post a game story here about two hours after the final horn.
I figured those of you who read this women's basketball blog were up on the news of yesterday, Gonzaga's shocking upset to win the WCC Tournament and senior guard Courtney Vandersloot someone winning a national award … OK, maybe we weren't completely sure Vandersloot would win the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Awad but there was no way the Bulldogs weren't winning. Anyway, those stories were handled by the A team in Las Vegas, including Christopher Anderson's slide show, but I was waiting to give you my last women's basketball notebook, but alas it's not posted yet and I have somethings to take care of before a hockey game tonight. Check back tonight before 7 for the notebook, in the meantime there is some news for you, so read on.
LAS VEGAS – Courtney Vandersloot scored 18 points and handed out a WCC Tournament-record 16 assists, breaking the record of 14 she set 24 hours earlier, and Gonzaga overcame a sluggish first half to throttle Saint Mary’s 72-46 in the championship game Monday at the Orleans Arena. Read more.
OK, I'm running a little late, but you should see the progress made on the boss' remodel project … crown molding is up. (It pays to have talented friends.)
Anyway, as promised, here's a real story on Washington State's inability to Washington. The bracket for the WCC Tournament. Angie Bjorklund (U-Hi) had a big day for Tennessee on her Senior Day (I happened to see the start on ESPNU before the work started and saw the little ceremony, someone please tell Jim Bjorklund that was one ugly, not-even-Tennessee, orange sweater!)
This week's Top 25 is below..
A little later than usual (I drove home while waiting for the link to be posted), here's my game story and a nice photo by S-R's Jesse Tinsley of Steven Gray shooting a 3-pointer in Gonzaga's 74-61 win over Portland.
Check back tomorrow for a day-after post.
Gonzaga and Portland are about 10 minutes from tipping off at the Kennel.
Live updates at Twitter.com/SRjimm, check back here at the final buzzer for a quick recap and then about two hours later for my game story..
GU starters: Gray, Goodson, Sacre, Harris and Keita.