Team of the Week
|Guard: Emmett Naar||Sophomore, Saint Mary's Gaels|
|Guard: Kyle Collinsworth||Senior, BYU Cougars|
|Guard: Jared Brownridge||Junior, Santa Clara Broncos|
|Forward: Domantas Sabonis||Sophomore, Gonzaga Bulldogs|
|Center: Jito Kok||Senior, San Diego Toreros|
Emmett Naar: 18 points and 11 assists in the Gaels' win over Cal Poly. 16 points and five assists in their blowout win over Southern Utah. Both games saw the sharp-shooting guard go four of five from long range. He's 25 of 36 from long range this season, which makes him the nation's best three point shooter.
Kyle Collinsworth: 12 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Another day at the office for the NCAA's all-time career triple doubles leader, who now has eight to his name.
Jared Brownridge: He's not being asked to carry the load for the Broncos anymore, but that doesn't mean his production is taking much of a hit. With support from his teammates Brownridge is seeing his offensive rating slowly rise back toward 100. Averaging a hair under 25 points per game last week certainly helps push the number higher.
Domantas Sabonis: Without Przemek Karnowski in the lineup Sabonis' minutes have jumped considerably but his efficiency hasn't taken a hit. In both games last week he posted an offensive rating of 158. On Saturday against Tennessee the sophomore posted career highs in points (36) and rebounds (16).
Jito Kok: When your team's offense is as abysmal as San Diego's it is nice to have some defensive help. Kok blocked a career high nine shots in the Toreros' lone game last week.
1. Saint Mary's Gaels (8-1)
Last week: W 93-63 vs. Cal Poly, W 92-36 vs. Southern Utah
This week: 12/21 vs. San Francisco, 12/23 at Santa Clara
The Gaels' offense is frighteningly good. The nation's leaders (as of press time) in assist to turnover ratio (2.11), field goal percentage (54.6%) and effective field goal percentage (65.9%). It's a balanced offensive approach that has the Gaels in the top five nationally in both two point and three point field goal percentage as well. This is a team that doesn't need to get to the line to score. Only 12.2% of the Gaels' points this season have come from the free throw line, the second lowest percentage in the nation.
2. Gonzaga Bulldogs (8-3)
Last week: W 86-50 vs. Saint Martin's, W 86-79 vs. Tennessee
This week: 12/21 vs. Pepperdine, 12/23 vs. Loyola Marymount
Another week, another backcourt adjustment. This time it was Bryan Alberts getting his first two career starts while Kyle Dranginis and Silas Melson came off the bench. It seems to be working, as the much maligned backcourt is no longer turning the ball over like they were in the first month of the season. Up front it's been the Domantas Sabonis show. With extended minutes since Przemek Karnowski went down with a back injury (which doesn't seem to be getting any better), Sabonis has stepped up. His 36 points against Tennessee were are a career high, and his 16 rebounds tied his career high.
3. Pepperdine Waves (7-4)
Last week: W 79-59 vs. Louisiana-Lafayette
This week: 12/21 at Gonzaga, 12/23 at Portland
Five straight wins for the Waves, four of which came against teams ranked in the top-half of KenPom, who are now rolling into conference play hot just in time for a trip to the Kennel. Marty Wilson's hallmark defense is as stout as ever. Pepperdine has held four of it's five opponents on this win streak below one point per possession.
4. BYU Cougars (7-3)
Last week: W 98-85 vs. Central Michigan
This week: 12/22 vs. Harvard, 12/23 vs. Auburn/New Mexico, 12/25 vs. TBD (Diamond Head Classic)
The Cougars inability to defend continues to haunt them, even when they win. It took a late eruption, and nearly 100 points, for the Cougars to escape from Central Michigan at home. Their offense was humming throughout the game, and after a string of mad comeback attempts following ugly starts, that's a big positive for Dave Rose.
5. Loyola Marymount Lions (7-4)
Last week: W 77-60 vs. Jacksonville State
This week: 12/21 at Portland, 12/23 at Gonzaga
A couple seasons back it was Anthony Ireland. Once he graduated it was Evan Payne. Now that Payne has left the program it's Adom Jacko who is the face of the Lions. On 8-14 shooting the junior transfer scored 21 points to go along with 11 rebounds. Didn't matter that the opponent was a lowly Jacksonville State squad, Jacko and the Lions came to play.
6. Santa Clara Broncos (4-8)
Last week: W 69-57 vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff, L 69-72 at Nevada
This week: 12/21 at Pacific, 12/23 vs. Saint Mary's
The Broncos came three points short of an impressive road win that would have vaulted them into the top half of the power rankings. That string of seven straight losses to start the season is now very much in the rear view mirror for the Broncos. No longer just Jared Brownridge, as it was early in the season, the Broncos are finding good production from two or more players alongside their high-scoring junior in every game they've played since that losing streak.
7. Portland Pilots (6-7)
Last week: L 82-92 vs. Weber State (OT), W 65-60 vs. Cal State Fullerton
This week: 12/21 vs. Loyola Marymount, 12/23 vs. Pepperdine
Damian Lillard's alma mater came to town and needed overtime to get past the hometown Pilots on Lillard's current home court at the NBA Trail Blazers' Moda Center. The hometown team fared better against a Cal State Fullerton squad playing its fifth game this season against WCC foes. A .500 week that looks much like the rest of the season kept the Pilots from moving much in either direction this week. Alec Wintering needs more help if they want to keep climbing.
8. San Francisco Dons (6-4)
Last week: W 96-93 vs. Coppin State (OT)
This week: 12/21 at Saint Mary's, 12/23 vs. Pacific
I've mentioned Tim Derksen in every single WCC power rankings this year. Devin Watson's name has appeared in all but the first. Those two had been pretty much entirety of the Dons' attack this season. Last week against Coppin State Uche Ofoegbu got his first career start and took advantage by putting up a career high 17 points. Still, that win was by just three points, at home, in overtime, against a dreadful Coppin State. With a 2-9 record this year, and those two wins coming against Goldey Beacom and Chestnut Hill (yeah, those are clearly not Division I programs), a team like San Francisco needs to make more of a statement against Coppin State.
9. San Diego Toreros (4-6)
Last week: W 61-55 vs. UC Davis
This week: 12/23 vs. Cal State Northridge
The Toreros have only posted an offensive efficiency above 100 in one game this season (100.2 in a loss to San Jose State). They managed to beat UC Davis with a meager 0.92 points per possession. That is absolutely not going to get it done against any team above them in the power rankings.
10. Pacific Tigers (1-8)
Last week: L 88-93 at Green Bay
This week: 12/21 vs. Santa Clara, 12/23 at San Francisco
It happened. The Tigers made it through their non-conference slate and failed to beat a single Division I team. If you like fouls, watch Pacific play.