Team of the Week
|Guard: Steven Haney||Junior, Loyola Marymount Lions|
|Forward: Stacy Davis||Senior, Pepperdine Waves|
|Forward: Nate Kratch||Junior, Santa Clara Broncos|
|Forward: Dane Pineau||Junior, Saint Mary's Gaels|
|Forward: Kyle Davis||Junior, BYU Cougars|
Steven Haney: Back in the starting line up for the Lions, the junior scored 16 points on 7-14 from the field against Boise State. Then he went off for 26 points against Cal State Fullerton, connecting on seven of 12 attempts from long range.
Stacy Davis: The Waves are rolling into form and Davis is back to showing off his all-around game. He averaged a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds per game last week. The forward was five of nine from three over two games and added a team-high five assists on the road against Ball State.
Nate Kratch: It wasn't against a Division I opponent but Kratch's run of dominant play continued against Pacific Union. He scored 24 points and pulled down 18 rebounds.
Dane Pineau: The nation's leader in offensive rebound percentage had a tough task against the athletic and long California front court, but still grabbed 15 boards to go along with 10 points in an all-around well played game.
Kyle Davis: A constant, steady presence in the frontcourt for the Cougars, Davis averaged 12 points and 12.5 rebounds over two games last week.
1. Saint Mary's Gaels (6-1)
Last week: L 63-59 at Cal
This week: 12/14 vs. Cal Poly, 12/16 vs. Southern Utah
One game last week, one loss last week yet one spot higher in the power rankings. The Gaels battled with a preseason top-15 Pac 12 squad in their first road game of the season. Saint Mary's showed their high-percentage shooting offense isn't just a product of playing at McKeon Pavilion.
2. Gonzaga Bulldogs (6-3)
Last week: W 61-58 vs. Montana, L 71-66 vs. UCLA
This week: 12/14 vs. St. Martin's
Four games now without starting senior center Przemek Karnowski (back injury). The Zags are 2-2 in that span with two home losses to UCLA and Arizona (and very nearly Montana, too). The Polish international is worth a lot more than his 8.8 points and 5.4 rebounds per game — and there's no timetable for his return. Whenever he comes back though, he won't be on the perimeter and that's where the real problems are for this team.
3. Pepperdine Waves (6-4)
Last week: W 77-75 vs. Long Beach State, W 72-63 vs. Ball State
This week: 12/18 vs. Louisiana Lafayette
Four straight Ws for Marty Wilson's Waves. Two at home, over a Montana squad that nearly knocked off Gonzaga in the Kennel and a Long Beach State bunch that beat BYU, and two on the road. There is now an entrenched four man, balanced front court rotation and it's paying big dividends.
4. BYU Cougars (6-3)
Last week: W 80-68 vs. Utah State, L 92-83 at Colorado
This week: 12/18 vs. Central Michigan
Two weeks ago the Cougars fell way behind against Utah and tried to rally back, furiously, in the second half. They came up short. On Saturday they did it again against Colorado and the result was the same. When the offense is humming they can play with anybody. Problem is, it's not consistent and when it isn't working it's really, really ugly.
5. Loyola Marymount Lions (6-4)
Last week: L 67-66 at Boise State, W 82-70 at Cal State Fullerton
This week: 12/18 vs. Jacksonville State
A one point loss against a good, albeit underachieving, Boise State squad on the road shows just how talented this team has become. Adom Jacko has developed into the constant go-to guy, game in and game out. It's been a different guy stepping up along side him just about every game. Mike Dunlap's team is deep. Which is nice when Jacko fouls out with six points because you can still coast to a win over Cal State Fullerton.
6. Santa Clara Broncos (3-7)
Last week: W 73-66 vs. Pacific Union
This week: 12/15 vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 12/18 at Nevada
We now know that Nate Kratch (11.7 ppg, 10 rpg) and Jared Brownridge (17.8 ppg) can both go off on the same night. Kratch's emergence is no longer just a flash in the pan. He averaged seven points per game over their first six contests compared with 18.8 over their past four. The Broncos are 3-1 in that span.
7. San Francisco Dons (5-4)
Last week: W 65-61 vs. Cal State Northridge
This week: 12/18 vs. Coppin State
Broken record alert: Tim Derksen and Devin Watson are a good duo. Haven't seen much else out of the Dons. That's going to be an issue if/when teams start connecting from the line. San Francisco has the eighth best FT% defense in the nation at 61.0%. Here's the thing though, that says absolutely nothing about the Dons' defense. All it says is teams have been really bad at the line against them. Three of their five wins this season have been by less than five points. Very close to being a completely different season on the Hilltop.
8. Portland Pilots (5-6)
Last week: L 66-65 vs. Idaho State, W 81-73 vs. Sacramento State
This week: 12/18 vs. Weber State, 12/19 vs. Cal State Fullerton
Well, you can't lose to Idaho State at home. Period. The Bengals have beaten on Division I team this year (it's Portland) and KenPom projects them to lose 16 straight in Big Sky play.
9. San Diego Toreros (3-6)
Last week: L 59-47 vs. Denver
This week: 12/15 vs. UC Davis
Only six teams in the nation have a worse field goal percentage than San Diego's 36.5%.
10. Pacific Tigers (1-7)
Last week: L 71-52 at Fresno State
This week: 12/15 at Green Bay
Broken record alert: one win and it wasn't against a Division I team. Fresno State is a good defense, but that doesn't excuse the Tigers' posting an offensive efficiency of 75.3 against the Bulldogs.