We continue our conference preview with the WCC. We have hosted a preview Twitter Space twice a week streaming live from the Mid-Major Madness account (@mid_madness), speaking with media members and coaches throughout the selected league.
For the full WCC Twitter Space, hit the link below:
To open the conversation, Mid-Major Madness writer Nick Lorensen and Bracketeer’s Rocco Miller recapped what happened in the WCC last season and so far this offseason.
Last season was a success for the league as three teams made the NCAA Tournament, Gonzaga, San Francisco and St.Mary’s. The Bulldogs were the only team to make the second weekend while the Dons made their first March Madness appearance since 1998.
This season, the WCC is expected to be the deepest it has been in a long time. Gonzaga and St.Mary’s will be back at the top, San Francisco returns a good core, BYU is always competitive, Portland was one of the hottest teams in the country last February, San Diego killed the transfer portal, Santa Clara is coming off of an NIT appearance and Pepperdine returns a young core.
To open the conversations with coaches, new San Francisco head coach Chris Gerlufsen (4:10) joined the program to speak about his first Division-I head coaching job. Gerlufsen’s father, Ron, was the head coach at UMass from 1983-1988.
“From a young age, I was in diapers and in the gym. So, I got to see what it meant to forge and build relationships with players,” Gerlufsen said.
Gerlufsen made stops at schools like The Citadel, Hartford and Hawai’i before taking an assistant job at San Francisco in the offseason of 2021. He will look to build off of a 24-10 record under Todd Golden, who left for Florida.
Following him, Portland head coach Shantay Legans (30:50) joined to speak about the program he has quickly rebuilt in Rip City. The Pilots were picked last in the 2021-22 preseason poll but won six of their last seven and finished sixth.
“We got in a good rhythm towards the end of last year. Guys started to understand the role that we wanted them to be in,” Legans said. “Those six guys that really played got comfortable with each other. Getting them to get like that towards the end of the year gives me a lot of hope for this year, especially with the guys we brought in.”
Portland returns pretty much everyone from that team and seems to be a program on the rise in the WCC (I warned you all last off-season).
Nick and Rocco then continued the conversation by previewing every team in the league. To hear about your team, advance the recording to each time stamp.
1:11:40 — BYU
1:16:25 — Gonzaga
1:26:40 — Loyola Marymount
1:30:40 — Pacific
1:33:00 — Pepperdine
1:45:35 — San Diego
1:50:00 — Santa Clara
1:39:25 — St.Mary’s
1:54:50 — POTY & Tournament Predictions