Not sure what to read into this. Could be just a convenient cost-saving tool for both conferences. Could be the initial toe-in-the-water for expansion/merger/partnership talks at least with regard to basketball. Could be a “keep your enemies closer” move as the MWC tries to navigate its place in the sights of the Pac-2’s long-term plans and a possible desire to explore adding basketball programs.
Put on whatever hat you wish.
I am really curious how this will all play out after Gonzaga struggles in its own conference this season.
What’s your defintion of “struggle”? 12-4? 13-3?
Five losses with a ton of nail biters. Their days of dominating the WCC are ending. This conf has matured.
Femme, you may be right and hope the Broncos have a hand in at least one of those losses. Barring injury, I don’t see the Zags being an 11-5 team in conference.
Hypothetically, if Vegas had an over- under of 11.5 conference wins for Gonzaga, I would venture to say that over 90% of those on this board would bet the OVER.
I will happily eat my words and tip my hat to you if right, as I will be ecstatic to beat them just ONCE this year.
'99- agree. But on your betting scenario…of those who have been around here for 15-20+ years, 99% would bet the OVER.
Especially w/ BYU gone, the only way GU loses 5 games in league play is if they suffer significant injuries to two or more key players (ie- Nembhard, Watson or Ike Graham). Someone like SMC may challenge them and maybe even beat them out for 1st place and it’s unlikely they’ll go undefeated but 5 losses (or more) is not going to happen.
'femme- I will cut you some slack as you have only witnessed the WCC for a couple of years…but there have been questions about GU rebuilding after losing key players over and over again and yet they still finish at the top of the conference. They have had far less talented rosters in the past and yet still finish at or near the top of the league, make the NCAA’s, etc. The first 10-12 years of their 25 year run were built on almost entirely 3star or lower players.
And re: the overall conference improving…I think it is somewhat overstated or exaggerated. BYU is gone. SMC has been good and competitive for ~15-20years…there’s nothing new or ‘rising’ there; in fact I’d argue that the current SMC team is less talented than some of the Patty Mills, Dellavadova, Samhan, etc. led teams but Bennett is the best coach in the league and does more with less than maybe any team/program in the country. Re: the rest of the league…what exactly have the 7 dwarfs accomplished recently that indicates they are about to overtake GU??? A couple of NIT births, and NCAA birth by USF and that’s about it.
And it’s not like there were no other good teams in the WCC from 1999 to 2020 to challenge GU. Pepperdine was very talented and pushed GU in the early 2000’s, SMC rose up ~15-20years. USD had some good teams under Holland and made the NCAA’s under Grier. USF has been competitive for the last 10years and has at been GU’s nemesis in the past. We could have and should won the league in 2007 under Davey. And on and on… None of the above has knocked GU from their perch.
Put more simply, the worst GU team I remember was 2010-11, and they lost three WCC games.
Few has never lost more than 3 WCC games. The last time GU lost more than 5 WCC was under Fitzgerald in 1994-95 (and they still the WCC’s NCAA bid that year).
I doubt this is the year.
I am curious why the loss of BYU seems so important when they finished 5th in 2021 with a 9-6 record and 5th in 2022 with a 7-9 record. I am assuming this must be a monetary hit of sorts? Or was there some “validity” to having BYU in the WCC?
I meant 4 losses for Gonzaga this year. (St Marys, LMU, Santa Clara, and a major upset with Pacific or USF). The big for Gonzaga is going to be either spectacular or a dud - depending on whether or not his previous injury holds out.
Santa Clara, USF, and LMU are going to be some tough contenders to deal with this year. I am more concerned with LMU than USF to be honest.
If I stayed with history, the Patriots would still be dominating after their 20-year reign. But we are not. Thats how this typically works and I think everyone is so hyped for Gonzaga all the time, they tend to put on blinders. I get it, historically they have been able to rebuild, but we do have a new Commissioner and I hope that mixes things up a little with ref assignments, etc.
St Mary’s is baffling. This is an Australian Rugby team that plays basketball. I STILL cannot get over the stuff the WCC refs allow St Mary’s to get away with - but nobody else. This is also why they never do well in the NCAA playoffs - they are really not the contender folks make them out to be. They get the favoritism in our conference and then when on the big stage and no help - they fold.
But THIS YEAR we have more talent than we are getting credit and I think talent will outplay the whistles anyway. I will take Tongue and Tilly as bigs over Bediako and Braun today - as both continued to develop as players whereas the later stayed stagnant.
I have taken out a reverse mortgage and am prepared to wager everything on Gonzaga O11.5 wins in the WCC this year!! Happy to take 12.5 too.
With that said, BBallFemme, nothing would make me happier than you being right.
I think we all want GU’s reign to end, and that dynasties of course do end.
I just don’t think this it. But I agree it can happen abruptly and when folks least expect it.
I’m nit picking but they HAVE made 2 NCAA finals in the last 6 years. Only UNC can also say that.
At the end of the day it doesn’t matter how it may or may not be ingrained into the fans’ heads that Gonzaga has been dominant. It’s up to the players to cast aside any doubt, and we got damn close last year at home to beating them for the first time since 2011.
My sentiments exactly. The players show up and do what they can do - it’ anybody’s game.
I think the Broncos are going to be the thunderbolt Herb talked about in the past. I have seen these guys play and they are at a level not seen here before.
I saw they had an open practice for Season Ticket holders this weekend. Was anyone here able to attend?
Femme, sorry to hear about Cam and hope he bounces back quickly.
Thank you. He practiced today. Said it was a slow start but a strong finish when he got the webs out of his head. lol
Great to hear! Glad Cam is back getting reps with the team.