WCC - Week 1 Review, Week 2 Look Ahead

Week 1 Highlights:

  • BYU opened 2-0, serving notice that they will again be a contender for at least 3rd or 4th.
  • LMU opened with a good win over another mid-pack contender on Thurs. vs. Portland but then gave it back with the bad loss to Pacific.
  • Portland, a popular ‘on the rise’ pick that some media predicted could challenge for 3rd/4th, dug themselves a whole with an 0-2 start.
  • Likewise, USF dug themselves a huge whole, also with an 0-2 start, soon to be 0-3 with a game vs. GU Thursday.
  • USD, after being blown out by SMC Thursday, upset USF on Saturday. Even more impressive considering they were without their two Pac-12 transfers, Jaden Delaire (Stanford) and Eric Williams (Oregon); and Williams had been a key player for them at 15pts and 10.4 rebounds per game.

Week 2 Look Ahead:
Thurs. games: SCU @ Pepp, Pacific @ USD; Gonzaga @ USF; BYU @ LMU.
Sat. games: BYU @ USD; Portland @ SMC; Gonzaga and SCU; Pacific @ Pepp; USF @ LMU.

  • Broncos game at Pepp is critical; a loss would negate the positive of the USF win and put the Broncos at risk of dropping to 1-3 after Saturday’s GU game.
  • USF will likely be 0-3 when they face LMU Saturday. A loss to LMU and an 0-4 start would make a 3rd or 4th place finish nearly impossible.
  • Portland has a bye Thurs. and will likely fall to 0-3 after their Sat. game vs. SMC, then plays USF and GU in week 3…could be an 0-5 start for them.

Standings after Week 1:
SMC 2-0
BYU 2-0
GU 1-0
SCU 1-1
LMU 1-1
USD 1-1
Pacific 1-1
Pepperdine 0-1
USF 0-2
Portland 0-2

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The Pepperdine game will be informative. If Santa Clara can play strong and put the Waves away, then I think SCU is in the driver’s seat for 3rd and even has a prayer of nipping the Gaels’ heels a bit. But the difference between 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and all the way down to the 7-8 slots will be consistency against the mushy middle of the conference.

SCU will have to play BYU twice. But they will only play LMU and Portland once each. The win against USF and a single game against the pretty decent Lions help a lot to buoy Santa Clara in the standings…if they can take care of business against Pepperdine, Pacific, and USD. Get all six of those wins, and I think it will be hard not to finish 3rd or 4th. But go 4-2 against that group and things get very messy in a hurry.