Team of the Week
|Guard: Kyle Collinsworth||Senior, BYU Cougars|
|Guard: Tim Derksen||Senior, San Francisco Dons|
|Guard: Bryce Pressley||Senior, Portland Pilots|
|Guard: Duda Sanadze||Senior, San Diego Toreros|
|Forward: Domantas Sabonis||Sophomore, Gonzaga Bulldogs|
Kyle Collinsworth: Added to his NCAA record with his 12th career triple double on Thursday with 14 points, 10 rebounds and 16 assists. Honestly, he's on here simply for that assist total. He leads the WCC with 7.5 assists per game but outdid his average by over 100% on Thursday. Then, Saturday, fell two assists short of another triple double.
Tim Derksen: Senior night for the Dons ended with a loss but Tim Derksen's memory of the night can't be all bad. He tied his career high with 27 points to cap off the final regular season of a career that only got better as it went along.
Bryce Pressley: The senior guard put up a career high 37 points in his final regular season game as a Pilot. Amazingly, he was not the game's leading scorer.
Duda Sanadze: He's been the most utilized player in the conference in two of his three seasons in San Diego. His usage rate this year is 32.2 and his shot rate is 37.5. Those high numbers are because, in part, he's the only good player on the Toreros right now. On senior night the senior stepped up and played like he had come to terms with that sad reality. How? He set the program Division 1 record with 38 points (obviously, also a career high).
Domantas Sabonis: Two games last week, two more double doubles. If Collinsworth makes the list simply because of his ridiculous assist total then Sabonis makes it for an equally insane rebounding total. Except, he did it in both games. Thursday he pulled down 17 rebounds and Saturday he pulled down 14.
1. Saint Mary's Gaels (24-4, 15-3)
Last week: W 75-50 vs. Santa Clara, W 84-72 at San Francisco
This week: 3/1 vs. Grand Canyon, 3/5 vs. TBD (WCC Tournament)
Saint Mary's clinched a share of the WCC regular season title on Saturday. They also locked up the top seed in this week's WCC Tournament, which puts them on the other side of the bracket from Gonzaga and BYU. The Gaels have one final tune-up before Vegas when Grand Canyon visits Moraga on Tuesday.
Well, Gonzaga got it done so they're still on the NCAA Tournament bubble. The biggest takeaway for the Zags is that their young guards did not take a step backwards in an extremely hostile environment Saturday night at BYU. Their recent development, namely Silas Melson, was critical in avoiding what could have been a devastating loss. Zags will need more of that in Vegas if they want to assure a spot in the Big Dance.
3. BYU Cougars (22-9, 13-5)
Last week: W 99-81 vs. Portland, L 71-68 vs. Gonzaga
This week: 3/5 vs. Santa Clara (WCC Tournament)
The Cougars had a chance to force a three-way tie for the WCC regular season title and take the top seed in Vegas but fell three points short at home, against Gonzaga, on senior night. Now they're the three seed and find themselves on Gonzaga's side of the bracket. Kyle Collinsworth recorded his 12th career triple-double on Thursday, then went on to show just how valuable he is to the team on Saturday.
BYU went from up 6 when KC sat to down 5 when he came back in. As with Ole Miss last March, KC having to leave the game changed the game.— Greg Wrubell (@gregwrubell) February 28, 2016
Last week: L 90-83 (2OT) at Loyola Marymount
This week: 2/5 vs. San Francisco (WCC Tournament)
Pepperdine didn't have much to play for in their regular season finale at LMU on Saturday afternoon. They were assured of the four seed in Vegas and would be playing San Francisco in their first game of the tournament regardless of what happened. Still, this is a loss that should kill their faint NIT hopes and could knock them down a seed line should they steal the WCC's auto-bid to the NCAA Tournament. Jett Raines scored 21 points to move into the 1,000 point club.
5. Loyola Marymount Lions (13-16, 6-12)
Last week: W 90-83 (2OT) vs. Pepperdine
This week: 3/4 vs. San Diego (WCC Tournament)
What LMU is doing doesn't make sense. They've been without Adom Jacko (back injury), by far their best player, for four games now. They're 2-2 in that span and have won back to back overtime games against teams that really should not be losing to the Lions. Despite that, they're going to be in the play-in game in Vegas. Senior Marin Mornar (17 points) was clutch in the win and Shamar Johnson scored a career high 18 points. They're the hot team heading into Vegas.
6. Santa Clara Broncos (11-19, 7-11)
Last week: L 75-50 at Saint Mary's, W 69-65 vs. Pacific
This week: 3/5 vs. BYU (WCC Tournament)
The Broncos had the unenviable task of playing a tough Pacific squad in the regular season finale. It was unenviable not just because the Tigers muck the game up well enough to hang with anybody despite their dismal record, but because the Tigers knew it was their last game of the season. The Broncos took care of business on senior night and avoided falling into the play-in game.
7. San Francisco Dons (15-14, 8-10)
Last week: L 79-70 at Pacific, L 84-72 vs. Saint Mary's
This week: 3/5 vs. Pepperdine (WCC Tournament)
San Francisco, losers of three straight, enters the WCC Tournament in a tailspin for no good reason. Coming into last week the Dons knew they would be the five seed in Vegas and knew they would face Pepperdine in their first game, so their skid hasn't damaged them in that way.
8. San Diego Toreros (9-20, 4-14)
Last week: L 82-60 vs. Gonzaga, W 85-76 vs. Portland
This week: 3/4 vs. Loyola Marymount (WCC Tournament)
San Diego makes a jump because of Duda Sanadze's play. The senior is having a fantastic run to end his career and the team is benefiting.
9. Portland Pilots (12-19, 6-12)
Last week: L 99-81 at BYU, L 85-76 at San Diego
This week: 3/5 vs. Gonzaga (WCC Tournament)
This isn't a good place for the Pilots. Last week their defensive deficiencies (complete inability to defend) were on full display against BYU's high octane offense and then, embarrassingly, against San Diego's amazingly bad offense. For a team that can't defend and relies on the three pointer to stay in games they're between a rock and a hard place heading into Vegas because Gonzaga boasts the nation's best three point percentage defense.
10. Pacific Tigers
Last week: W 79-70 vs. San Francisco, L 69-65 at Santa Clara
This week: N/A
The Tigers' season is over thanks to a self-imposed postseason ban. These are power rankings and Pacific's absolutely powerless at this point. Are they the worst team in the WCC? No. Does that matter? No. Stay out of trouble and see you next year.