All the chatter about a new-look WCC – the perennial powers aren’t as strong, the bottom half is gaining – is probably true. It’s also true the standings look a lot like they have in recent seasons.
It’s early but Gonzaga (15-3, 5-1) sits in first place, followed by BYU (12-7, 4-2) and Saint Mary’s (13-5, 3-2).
The Bulldogs turned back one challenger, Pepperdine, on Thursday, dropping the Waves from a tie for second place. GU goes for a road sweep Saturday at 1 against Loyola Marymount (10-9, 2-5), which opened with impressive wins over BYU and San Diego but has dropped five in a row, including a 71-57 loss to visiting Portland on Thursday.
Senior point guard Anthony Ireland continues to climb LMU’s career lists. He’s sixth in career points (1,932) and fourth in assists (486), but the Lions are in the midst of another injury plagued season. Chase Flint broke his elbow against Portland and is out for the rest of the season. He’s the third starter to suffer a season-ending injury.
Ireland “is a high-level player that’s really effective because he has so much freedom in their system,” Gonzaga coach Mark Few said.