The West Coast Conference got off to a bang, highlighted by BYU’s West Coast Conference debut which ended with Saint Mary’s showing the Cougars their new home comes full of surprises.
BYU, Saint Mary’s and Gonzaga have been getting votes in the coaches poll but not many. Fact is the top three do not have very many wins against marquee teams.
Even Gonzaga’s schedule looked more vaunted than it ended up being.
Butler is not the same team. Notre Dame is without their best player. They will also catch a suspension-hampered Xavier team on Saturday.
That said the top three are the same just in a different order. LMU and Pepperdine moved up but San Francisco tumbled two spots.
Six teams began their conference slate and two more will do so Saturday.
Only Santa Clara has the week free of WCC action.
Without further ado, here are this week’s rankings:
1. Gonzaga (10-2, 1-0)
With BYU falling to Saint Mary’s, Gonzaga retakes the top spot in this week’s rankings. The Bulldogs opened up conference play by pummeling Portland 90-51. Robert Sacre is back to full strength after recovering from a minor shoulder injury. This can only mean good things in Spokane.
2. Saint Mary’s (12-2, 1-0)
I’ll admit I didn’t see that one coming. The Gaels convincingly beat BYU 98-82 to welcome the Cougars to the WCC. Saint Mary’s was without starting forward Clint Steindl and still managed to hit 12 three-pointers in its league opener.
3. BYU (11-4, 0-1)
Not exactly the start BYU expected in conference play. Carlino was held to 13 points on 5-for-15 shooting against Saint Mary’s after averaging 17 per game in his first four. BYU was outrebounded 38-31.
4. Santa Clara (8-4, 0-0)
They have yet to play a conference game and they have not stumbled nearly as bad as the teams below them. Niyi Harrison has provided some of the needed production under the basket, averaging 6.7 rebounds and has recorded two double-doubles including one against Eastern Michigan Thursday.
5. Loyola Marymount (7-6, 0-0)
Inconsistent but still have some impressive wins which leads me to believe the Lions could still do some damage if they could ever play a complete game. They meet San Francisco in their league opener on Saturday.
6. Pepperdine (7-5, 1-0)
You beat somebody above you, the logical option is to move them up. Well, Pepperdine beat San Francisco and they move past the Dons. Simple as that.
7. San Francisco (9-5, 0-1)
USF has been incredibly disappointing on the offensive end. The Dons don’t have a guy who can light up a scoreboard on a consistent basis. Mikey Williams was supposed to be that but it hasn’t come to fruition this season.
8. San Diego (5-7, 0-0)
San Diego will probably be in for a rude awakening when it gets to Provo for Saturday’s game against BYU. The Cougars lost and are probably looking to take their anger out on somebody.
9. Portland (3-11, 0-1)
Losing by 40 regardless of the team is never good. Portland’s young and inexperience has been its undoing and won’t play again until they host Santa Clara, the Broncos’ first conference game.
Follow Zack Farmer on Twitter: @ZFarmerExaminer