A ten member all-conference team doesn't make any sense in the sport of basketball. But, the West Coast Conference doesn't care and the all-West Coast Conference first team consists of ten members. So, so does the Mid-Major Madness preseason all-WCC team. And honestly it makes my job easier because ten members means fewer snubs. Anyways.
Behold, the Mid-Major Madness preseason all-West Coast Conference team!
Jared Brownridge, Jr., Guard, Santa Clara Broncos
Brownridge was named first team all-WCC last season and took home Newcomer of the Year honors as a freshman. The six-foot-three guard is a lethal shooter (43.4% from three for his career) and will be the go-to guy on offense for the Broncos.
Kyle Collinsworth, Sr., Guard, BYU Cougars
Collinsworth's is entering his third season in the WCC — BYU's transition from Mountain West to WCC took place while he was on his post-freshman year LDS mission — and is a virtual lock to make the all-WCC first team for a third straight year. As a junior set the NCAA single-season triple-doubles record with six, which puts him in a tie (alongside one Shaquille O'Neal) for the career record (also six).
Stacy Davis, Sr., Forward, Pepperdine Waves
WCC Newcomer of the Year as a freshman and first team all-WCC as a sophomore and junior. Davis, like Collinsworth, can't be left off this team. The 6-foot-6 match-up nightmare is among the conference leaders in shooting percentage and rebounding. Davis makes a living at the free throw line. Last season he shot 81% from the stripe while drawing an impressive 6.6 fouls per forty minutes in conference play, per KenPom.
Chase Fischer, Sr., Guard, BYU Cougars
With Tyler Haws out of the picture look for this former Wake Forest Demon Deacon to explode in his second and final season in Provo. His 103 three pointers last season are the second most ever by a Cougar in a single season (Jimmer Fredette is first with 124 as a senior). Perhaps more impressive, that single season mark of 103 ranks 19th on the career list at BYU.
Przemek Karnowski, Sr., Center, Gonzaga Bulldogs
Some may say Karnowski, at 7-foot-1, 288 pounds, is among the last true centers in the game. While it is true that Karnowski is as dominant of a back-to-the-basket center as there is in college basketball, it's hard to call him a "true center" considering he has the passing ability of a point guard to boot. Part one of three in the best frontcourt in the country series.
Emmett Naar, So., Guard, Saint Mary's Gaels
Patty Mills (Aussie), Matthew Dellavedova (Aussie), Emmett Naar (Aussie). Oi! Oi! Oi! What a surprise, Randy Bennett's got another Australian guard at his disposal. Naar posted the fifth best offensive ranking in WCC play last season and third best among returning players. With all three of Saint Mary's starting guards lost to graduation expect big things from Naar in his second year.
Domantas Sabonis, So., Forward, Gonzaga Bulldogs
Sabonis came off the bench for the Zags last season and still managed to net second team all-WCC honors. In WCC play no player shot better from two point range (64.4%) and no player pulled down a higher percentage of defensive rebounds (25.1%) than Sabonis, per KenPom. Part two of three in the best frontcourt in the country series.
Amadi Udenyi, Jr., Guard, Pepperdine Waves
Achilles and hamstring injuries derailed last season this talented guard and in turn the entire Waves team. When Udenyi is on the floor running the show the Waves can beat anyone in the conference. Last year Udenyi assisted on 34.7% of the Waves' baskets while on the floor (38th best in the nation). With the entire starting line up returning, and another year of experience under his belt, that number can only climb higher.
Kyle Wiltjer, Sr., Forward, Gonzaga Bulldogs
He's a preseason national player of the year candidate so it goes without saying Wiltjer is a member of the preseason all-WCC team. Wiltjer is the quintessential stretch-four. He takes and makes a lot of threes (a team high 46.5% last season). Inside the arc he has a mid-range jumper the length to get to the rim. If his defense can take even a microscopic step forward this season he'll be a shoo-in for first team all-America honors. Part three of three in the best frontcourt in the country series.
Alec Wintering, Jr., Guard, Portland Pilots
Wintering was named to the all-WCC second team last season thanks to his passing (third in the conference in assist rate), scoring ability (12.6 points per game) and clutch play. He buried two game winning, buzzer-beating three pointers last season against Pacific and San Diego. The Pilots won't be returning much talent around Wintering, so he has the chance to take a big step forward in terms of production volume.
So there you have it, the Mid-Major Madness preseason all-WCC team. Argue about who got snubbed in the comments, please. But first let me personally identify Duda Sanadze, Marin Mornar, Tim Derksen and Josh Perkins as honorable mentions who just missed the cut.
You may have noticed that none of the ten players who made the team happen to be freshmen. Since they have not yet played college basketball, and we are taking about college basketball here, freshmen were intentionally excluded from this list. If you've yet to play college basketball you shouldn't ranked among college basketball players. It's as simple as that. Nothing in this sport annoys me more than preseason freshman hype in the form of rankings and NBA Draft big boards. That said, no true freshmen even came close to making the cut so it doesn't really matter.
However, one redshirt freshman did come very close to making the cut. Here is the problem of Josh Perkins.
Likely this season's starter at the point guard position, Josh Perkins played in the Zags' first five games last year. He looked really good, too. Unfortunately, his promising season came to an end because of Kenny Gaines, who must have been under the impression the shape of a basketball court is an octagon when it is, in fact, a rectangle.
So, because of that, Perkins didn't meet my criteria for this preseason team. Will he make the end-of-season all-WCC team? Almost without a doubt. He not only has talent on his side but history as well. During Gonzaga's streak of 17 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances the Zags have had 22 guards recognized with all-WCC first team honors. Only one season, Adam Morrison's dominant 2005-2006 campaign, saw no Gonzaga guard named to the all-WCC first team. Just a little disclaimer.