Team of the Week
|Guard: Alec Wintering||Junior, Portland Pilots|
|Guard: Tim Derksen||Senior, San Francisco Dons|
|Forward: Adom Jacko||Junior, LMU Lions|
|Forward: Stacy Davis||Senior, Pepperdine Waves|
|Center: Emmanuel Ndumanya||Sophomore, Santa Clara Broncos|
Alec Wintering: Led the Pilots to a road sweep in Los Angeles by putting up 48 points, 14 rebounds and 13 assists over two games last week. That's 24 points, 7 rebounds and 6.5 assists per game. Can a 5-foot-11 point guard get a triple double?
Tim Derksen: Granted, the first game was against non-D1 competition, but let your eyes pop at Derksen's offensive ratings from last week: 173 vs. Menlo and 146 vs. Santa Clara. Over two games he scored 47 points with 23 rebounds.
Adom Jacko: The junior forward is about all LMU has going for it right now. He scored 23 points against Gonzaga then put up 35 (44.9% of the Lions' total) against Portland. A lethal scorer inside the arc.
Stacy Davis: His senior season is winding down and the man on pace to be Pepperdine's all-time leading scorer isn't letting up, even as his team starts to stumble. 27 and 13 against Portland, then 26 points and five made threes (on six attempts) against Gonzaga.
Emmanuel Ndumanya: Santa Clara's sophomore center played just one game last week and scored only nine points in the loss. But, he makes the team of the week because he crashed the offense glass like a madman where he pulled down eight of his career high 12 rebounds.
1. Gonzaga Bulldogs (19-5, 11-2)
Last week: W 92-63 at Loyola Marymount, W 69-66 at Pepperdine
This week: 2/11 at Pepperdine, 2/13 at SMU
Gonzaga is back on top after a few weeks looking up at the Gaels. The Zags routed Loyola Marymount on Thursday then went up the Pacific Coast Highway to Malibu where they became just the second team this season to win at Firestone Fieldhouse. An improving backcourt, though Josh Perkins is still making freshman mistakes, has this team looking like the one they were expected to be at the start of the season. An absolutely suffocating defense gives the 2016 Zags a look we aren't used to from a Mark Few coached team. Per KenPom the Zags rank fourth nationally (28.6%) in three point percentage defense.
They hadn't left the state of California for a regular season game in nearly a year — February 12, 2015 at BYU was the Gaels' last game outside of California before last week. And when they made their first venture out of the Golden State this season, that travel rust was obvious. In front of the largest crowd they've seen all season, 18,987, the Gaels' elite offense sputtered. An offensive efficiency rating of 90.0 against BYU is Saint Mary's worst of the season, and just third below 100.0.
3. BYU Cougars (17-8, 8-4)
Last week: W 70-59 vs. Saint Mary's, L 77-72 vs. Pacific
This week: 2/11 at San Francisco, 2/13 at Santa Clara
Less than 48 hours after resurrecting their at-large hopes with a win over then no. 25 ranked Saint Mary's the Cougars popped their bubble. For the second time this season BYU defeated a team ranked no. 25 on Thursday (Gonzaga, Saint Mary's) and then went on to inexplicably lose to a sub-.500 team (Portland, Pacific) on Saturday. It's auto-bid or bust for the Cougars, the most inconsistent team in the West Coast Conference.
4. Pepperdine Waves (14-10, 7-6)
Last week: L 73-70 vs. Portland, L 69-66 vs. Gonzaga
This week: 2/11 at Saint Mary's, 2/13 at Pacific
Three straight losses (at BYU, Portland, Gonzaga) for the Waves, and a trip to Moraga on tap. This is a rough spell at a bad time. The Waves entered last week undefeated at home. A 17 of 37 night from the free throw stripe cost them against Portland. Then they fell to Gonzaga, the one WCC team the Waves have yet to figure out (they've lost 31 straight to the Zags). Still, this team has defeated both BYU and Saint Mary's this year, and no other team has shown the ability to hang near the top quite like them. So, for now, they remain fourth.
What a difference a week makes. After falling all the way to the bottom of the rankings the Pilots went to L.A. and handed Pepperdine its first home loss of the season than ran the Lions out of their gym. Alec Wintering is getting tantalizingly close to picking up a triple-double. The 5-foot-11 junior point guard scored 19 points on Thursday to go along with seven rebounds and six assists. On Saturday he went for 29, seven and seven. Portland has shown this year and in the recent past the ability to beat top teams at the Chiles Center. If Gonzaga is looking ahead to its critical non-conference clash with SMU, Portland might just pull another upset this Thursday.
6. San Francisco Dons (13-10, 6-6)
Last week: W 100-68 vs. Menlo, W 89-86 OT vs. Santa Clara
This week: 2/11 vs. BYU, 2/13 vs. San Diego
The Dons beat a non-Division I team but gave up 68 points, then barely avoided a home loss to Santa Clara despite an off night from Broncos' star Jared Brownridge (18 points, 0-6 from three). San Francisco's core of Devin Watson (24 points), Ronnie Boyce (22 points) and Tim Derksen (21 points) had another great game against Santa Clara. But other than Uche Ofoegbu (12 points) the Dons got almost nothing from the supporting cast.
7. Santa Clara Broncos (8-16, 4-8)
Last week: L 89-86 OT at San Francisco
This week: 2/11 vs. San Diego, 2/13 vs. BYU
Pardon me for a moment while I use one of those stupid "if you had told me" expressions. If you had told me Jared Brownridge would score less than 20 points, or that he wouldn't hit a single three, and the Broncos would take the Dons to overtime in San Francisco I would've said you're crazy. It was a loss for Kerry Keating's team, but it was a great team performance for Kerry Keating's team, nonetheless.
8. Pacific Tigers (7-15, 5-7)
Last week: L 54-43 at San Diego, W 77-72 at BYU
This week: 2/11 vs. Loyola Marymount, 2/13 vs. Pepperdine
Two weeks after nearly taking down Gonzaga in Stockton and a week after nearly taking down Saint Mary's in Stockton the Tigers finally got it done. They went into Provo and gave BYU its worst loss of the season. But, a 43 point performance at an awful San Diego team (which only managed 54 points) means the Tigers fall in the rankings despite that win at BYU. If Mike Burns can get his guys as pumped to play the league's cellar dwellers as he does when they play the big boys he will have a legit case to lose that pesky "interim" title.
9. San Diego Toreros (8-15, 3-9)
Last week: W 54-43 vs. Pacific, L 60-43 vs. Saint Mary's
This week: 2/11 at Santa Clara, 2/13 at San Francisco
The Toreros played two games last week and failed to total 100 points.
10. Loyola Marymount Lions (10-14, 3-10)
Last week: L 92-63 vs. Gonzaga, L 29-78 vs. Portland
This week: 2/11 at Pacific, 2/13 at Saint Mary's
Four straight L's for the Lions. They have the worst defense in the conference, giving up over 115 points per 100 possessions. See that one line I wrote about ninth ranked San Diego? Two weeks ago they gave up 77 points to the Toreros. Too bad Adom Jacko can't dunk on defense.