Other WCC games

Just thought I would start a thread for some of the more interesting results around the conference.

Portland lost at home to Seattle, 80-68. Have to think Seattle gets the call if Gonzaga leaves. They were Top 150 last year and appear to be even better this season.

Pepperdine won at home against UC Irvine, and St. Mary’s destroyed Hofstra in Moraga.

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On this theme…

Friday, LMU beat Georgetown by 18. Georgetown has not been good the past year but still good to handily beat a Big East team.

On Thurs., USD pushed Utah St. to OT and lost by two. UofO transfer had 43pts and 13rebounds. Gives me pause after our blowout loss to Utah St.

Pepperdine is 4-1 and are being led by a starting lineup of 4 sophomores and a freshman (a younger Porter brother). A young but very talented squad. Romar is doing what he’s always done, recruit well; remains to be seen whether he can get the most out the talent he’s assembled.


Georgetown pulled a 2012 SCU last season - they lost every game in the Big East. Still, I’m sure on paper their players were much more touted than LMU and so on.

WCC looks pretty good.

WCC update from past few days:

SMC: Beat Vanderbilt on Wed., lost to UW in OT yesterday.
BYU: Losses to USC and Butler, play Dayton today, 3rd game in 3 days.
USF: Beat Wichita St., playing Davidson today as I type, up 40-36 at half, trying to stay undefeated and move to 7-0.
Portland: Was leading North Carolina off/on in 2nd half yesterday, ultimately lost 89-81, play Villanova today as part of one of the Phil Knight tourney brackets.
GU: A good win over Kentucky Sunday, blew out Port St. yesterday, play Purdue today, play winner/loser of Duke-Xavier on Sunday.

Records to through yesterday:

San Francisco 0-0 - 6-0
Saint Mary’s 0-0 - 6-1
Gonzaga 0-0 - 4-1
San Diego 0-0 - 4-1
Loyola Marymount 0-0 - 5-2
Pepperdine 0-0 - 4-2
Santa Clara 0-0 - 4-2
Portland 0-0 - 4-3
BYU 0-0 - 3-3
Pacific 0-0 - 2-3
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Gonna be a dogfight 3rd through 9th. Maybe even 10th since Pacific hasn’t looked like the disaster they were predicted to be.

I think the Zags and Gaels are pretty much a lock as tournament teams. USF the smart pick for third so far, but I don’t think the gap between them is as great as their record would suggest. Pretty much every other team could make a halfway credible argument for the 4th place spot right now.

Santa Clara is absolutely capable of being 3rd or 4th in the conference this year, but they’ll have to really figure out the sputtering offense, keep the defense at the level it was against DePaul and UCF, and stay consistent. Totally within reach but a tall order.


I agree. From my viewing of the other teams so far, it looks to be a 2 bid league with Gonzaga and St.Mary’s taking those slots. I don’t see anyone else having a non-conference body of work to get an at-large bid. I watched the USF game today and while they may finish 3rd, they aren’t as good as they were last year. Massalski’s rim protection will be greatly missed.

The Top 5 teams were better last year in the WCC …but with the improvement of the bottom half we won’t have the almost guaranteed wins that we had last year. Teams 3 through 9 in the conference standings will pretty much be home favorites and road underdogs when they play one another this season.


Mixed WCC results yesterday.

BYU came back from being down 23 to beat Dayton in OT. And did so while missing one of their top scorers and starter, Spencer Johnson.

Portland beat Villanova by 12; play Michigan St on Sunday. That’s turning out to be an impressive looking 3 game stretch on their schedule…3 recent National Champions, was beating #1 UNC in the 2nd half, beat 'Nova, we’ll see how the fare against MSU. Also worth noting they’ve been without one of their starting guards, Mike Meadows for the past several games.

LMU beat Bellarmine, USF fell to a solid Davidson team, USD lost to New Mexico State, Pacific lost to a bad Idaho team, and GU lost to Purdue.
GU has been Jeckyll & Hyde…good wins over Michigan State and Kentucky but got blown out by Texas and Purdue beat them going away. They play Xavier on Sunday.

Only other games this weekend not mentioned above: USD plays Nichols in their Vegas tourney this afternoon. Pepperdine’s game at GCU tonight was postponed, not sure why, maybe a COVID outbreak???.

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USD lost 72-70 to Nicholls State today.

Current KenPom rankings for WCC

Gonzaga 7
St. Mary’s 24
BYU 69
USF 89
Santa Clara 94
Portland 107
LMU 126
Pepperdine 156
USD 164
Pacific 237


Torvik is less enamored with us, just behind Portland:

GU - 4
SMC - 12
USF- 87
BYU - 96
Portland - 105
SCU - 107
LMU - 134
Pepp - 152
USD - 161
Pacfic - 239

Portland does play Mich St. today, can only help them if they win, may not drop much if they lose.
That said, probably early to put much weight in these rankings. Will be more meaningful once all teams have played 10+ DI games.


I’ll resume my erstwhile Pollyanna role for a second for the rosy view of SCU so far. (bb, feel free to throw out the counter narrative if you’d like)

Santa Clara has played 4 top 100 Kenpom teams so far and gone 2-2. Both of the losses are to top-50ish teams. That’s not exactly a stellar result, but it’s probably in line with the reasonably optimistic preseason projection. Iona is a good team, and DePaul is at least okay. Both would be upper-middle WCC squads–the kind that SCU needs to keep down for a shot at 3rd.

The three glaring issues at the start of the season were defense, Justice’s shooting, and turnovers. The team has, in the past three games, shown that it’s capable of addressing at least 2 of those 3. Defense seemed maybe a bit shoddy against Iona based on the stats, but the D was there against DePaul and UCF. Justice has been on for three straight games and improving with each.

The major missing piece is ball control. Address that, and this team should be a tough competitor in almost every game.

Quick add: Portland is really trying to make me eat crow predicting that they would be overrated. It was a home game for them against MSU but to only lose by one…damn.


Yeah, I was skeptical of your Pilots call. They showed me last year that they are well-coached and the players are bought-in. I think that they’ll be a thorn in USF’s side, and will possibly take down the Gaels this year.

If Legans keeps this up, other programs will come calling soon, maybe after this season if they even flirt with an NIT bid. The bar is pretty low at Portland and is arguably the most challenging situation in the WCC to win (one of the smaller schools in the league, limited resources, very little history of success, smallish metro area and so on). So to even have modest success there is an accomplishment and to turn the program around in one season after years of being the league doormat is remarkable.
Smart AD’s (there are a few) will know this and come calling.


And just to add to how impressive Pilots have been…they have been playing without their starting pt guard, Mike Meadows, for the past 5 games and their starting shooting guard from last season, Chris Austin, is expected to be out all or most of this season from a serious leg injury suffered in their postseason game (CBI/CTI…whatever it was).
So they’re challenging the likes of UNC and Mich St and beat Villanova with a less than full complement of players and a thin backcourt.

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The Pilots looked really good against UNC, Nova, and Michigan State. They follow their coach’s lead by playing with passion and a chip on their shoulder. You can tell they are playing with something to prove. It makes them a scary out.

The one major issue for them, however, is they’re 5-4 with a bad home loss to an average Seattle U. At this point they’re riding on moral victories. I’m not saying he’s Keating, but it reminds me of the days when Gonzaga would come to the Leavey Center and escape with a 3 point win. Then two days later we’d host Portland and lose to a mediocre team by 16. Seattle is one game, so I’m not saying this is a prediction, but I am curious. I’m curious to see how Portland manages league play. It doesn’t do any good to lose to Gonzaga by 3 if you can’t handle LMU, Pepperdine, and Pacific. They play with a lot of emotion, but that can wane, especially when you’re not in the spotlight playing a P5 school.


Portland has a brutally tough schedule to open conference play (LMU @BYU @SMC USF @Gonzaga) so it won’t take long to figure out if they have taken a big step forward in conference.

Bart Torvik Projected Top Half of WCC Standings as of today…

  1. Gonzaga 14-2
  2. SMC 12-4
    T3. BYU 8-8
    T3. USF 8-8
    T3 Portland 8-8
    T3 Santa Clara 8-8

The Gaels have a tough stretch coming up, with matches against New Mexico, Houston, and SDSU. We’ll see how good they really are.

Didn’t realize Houston was #1… great chance for the Gaels.

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Not a great night for the WCC. SMC lost by 4 to New Mexico, LMU lost to Colo St., USF beat a poor Ark-Little Rock team.
Pepperdine’s game vs. Cal-Poly was postponed…appears to be due to COVID. I think this is their 2nd COVID cancellation.

GU lost by 1 to Baylor last night, 64-63. Low scoring game for GU; typical for Baylor, part MMA fight, part hoops.

Some other WCC games of interest this weekend:

  • SMC vs. #1 Houston, 6:30pm - ESPN2
  • 7-0 UNLV @ San Diego - 7pm - WCCNetwork
  • 7-1 Nevada @ LMU - 7pm - WCCNetwork


  • 6-0 Utah St. @ USF - 5:30 - WCCNetwork