Oct. 29, 2012
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. - With the start of the 2012-13 basketball season less than two weeks away, the USD Toreros were picked to finish 5th in the nine team league by vote of the WCC head coaches. Gonzaga University, picked as the favorite to win the West Coast Conference regular season title, received seven first place votes and 63 of 64 possible points in the poll. The poll and all-conference team were announced Monday at Time Warner Cable Sports studios as part of the Second Annual West Coast Conference Men's Basketball Tip-Off event, streamed live on YouTube.
Gonzaga, ranked 22nd in the USA Today/ESPN Top 25 coaches poll, received seven of eight possible first place votes from the WCC coaches, after posting a 26-7 record last season against one of the nation's toughest schedules en route to their 14th straight NCAAappearance. Senior forward Elias Harris, redshirt-junior center Sam Dower, and sophomore guards Gary Bell, Jr. and Kevin Pangos lead this year's Bulldogs - and all four were selected to the 2012-13 Preseason All-WCC Team. Harris is the WCC's leading returning rebounder, averaging 8.5 boards per contest a season ago, while Dower shot 55% from the floor and 91% from the free throw line during conference play. Bell connected on better than 55% of his three-point attempts against WCC foes, and Pangosaveraged nearly 14 points and over three assists per game.
Brigham Young University received one first place vote and was picked to finish second in the WCC preseason poll with 55 points. The Cougars led the conference in scoring last year, averaging 77.9 points per game in their first season as a member of the WCC. Senior forward Brandon Davies, an All-WCC First Team selection last year, was named to this year's Preseason Team after averaging over 15 points per contest in 2011-12.
2012 regular season and tournament champion Saint Mary's College captured one first place vote and was selected to finish third in the preseason poll, collecting 52 points. With a 14-2 WCC record, the Gaels captured their first outright conference title since 1989. 2012 WCC Player of the Year and Olympian Matthew Dellavedova returns to the Preseason All-WCC Team, and is joined by junior guard Stephen Holt. Last year's WCC tournament MVP Dellavedova averaged 15.5 points and 6.4 assists per game. Holt added three assists per game as well, while shooting 50% from the floor.
Just two points separate the fourth through sixth spots in the WCC preseason coaches poll. Loyola Marymount University (37 points) was picked to finish fourth this season. The Lions are led by Preseason All-WCC selection Anthony Ireland, the conference's leading returning scorer (16.1 points per game). The University of San Diego was selected fifth (36 points). Sophomore guard Johnny Dee
- a Preseason All-WCC pick - led all conference freshmen in scoring (13.7 points) and three-pointers (79 made). Santa Clara University (35 points) is sixth in this year's preseason survey. The Broncos will count on preseason all-conference selection Kevin Foster to shoulder much of the offensive load. The senior guard averaged 17.8 points per game over 18 games played last season, after leading the nation in three-point field goals the year prior.
The University of San Francisco (19 points), the University of Portland (15), and Pepperdine University (12) round out the preseason poll. The 2012-13 season tips off on Friday, November 11, for six of the nine WCC teams. Conference play gets underway on January 2, and the 2013 West Coast Conference Basketball Championships willreturn to the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas from March 6-11.
The complete preseason poll and all-conference team follows.
2012-13 WCC PRESEASON POLL
Team (First Place Votes) - Points
1. Gonzaga (7) - 63
2. BYU (1) - 55
3. Saint Mary's (1) - 52
4. Loyola Marymount - 37
5. San Diego - 36
6. Santa Clara - 35
7. San Francisco - 19
8. Portland - 15
9. Pepperdine - 12
2012-13 PRESEASON ALL-WCC TEAM
Gary Bell, Jr., Gonzaga, So. G
Brandon Davies, BYU, Sr. F
Johnny Dee, San Diego, So. G
Matthew Dellavedova, Saint Mary's Sr. G
Sam Dower, Gonzaga, RS-Jr. C
Kevin Foster, Santa Clara, Sr. G
Elias Harris, Gonzaga, Sr. F
Stephen Holt, Saint Mary's, Jr. G
Anthony Ireland, Loyola Marymount, Jr. G
Kevin Pangos, Gonzaga, So. G
WCC, Time Warner Cable Sports Announce Long-Term Partnership
TWC SportsNet to produce men's basketball Game of the Week, weekly show across WCC footprint
The West Coast Conference and Time Warner Cable Sports have announced a long-term agreement to televise WCC men's basketball games and other sporting events throughout Southern California and the entire Time Warner Cable SportsNet footprint - stretching from Las Vegas to Hawaii. As part of the agreement - Time Warner Cable SportsNet, the television home of the Los Angeles Lakers, LA Galaxy, and Los Angeles Sparks - will produce a WCC Game of the Week each Saturday during conference play. The WCC Game of the Week will be preceded by a 30-minute WCC shown on all of the WCC's regional television partners.
"We are proud to partner with Time Warner Cable Sports to showcase West Coast Conference basketball to our Southern California fans in an unprecedented capacity," said WCC Commissioner Jamie Zaninovich. "In addition, the WCC Game of the Week and pre-game show will help highlight our men's basketball programs and further strengthen our position as one of the best basketball conferences in the nation."
As part of the West Coast Conference's new long-term deal with Time Warner Cable Sports, the new Southern California regional sports network Time Warner Cable SportsNet will produce a minimum of 15 WCC men's basketball games in 2013, with that number growing to 22 in the coming years. As part of the deal, Time Warner Cable SportsNet will produce and air a West Coast Conference Game of the Week each Saturday during WCC play. The Game of the Week will be distributed to television partners throughout the WCC footprint - up to 20 million homes in all. The games will also be available to WCC fans everywhere on a digital platform. Time Warner Cable Sports will also produce a weekly half-hour show dedicated to WCC sports during the men's basketball season, and will produce select other WCC events as well.
"West Coast Conference schools like Loyola Marymount, Pepperdine and the University of San Diego are an integral part of the Southern California sports landscape and we're happy to give them a local TV home in Time Warner Cable SportsNet," said Mark Shuken, Senior Vice President and General Manager, TWC Sports Regional Networks. "Our networks promise to give sports fans more access to their teams than they've had before, and our partnership with the WCC allows us to do that through more live games as well as more team programming."
The first WCC Game of the Week will air on January 5, 2013, when Loyola Marymount plays at Saint Mary's. Other WCC Games of the Week include: BYU at Santa Clara (Jan. 12); Loyola Marymount at San Francisco (Jan. 19); Santa Clara at San Diego (Jan. 26); San Francisco at Pepperdine (Feb. 2); Pepperdine at Portland (Feb. 9); Gonzaga at San Francisco (Feb. 16); Santa Clara at Portland (Feb. 23); Portland at Gonzaga (March 2).