Your WCC Men’s Tournament cheat sheet
Seed # 1. Saint Mary’s
Record: 25-5 (overall), 14-2 (conference)
Best-known for: Australians. Well, that and becoming the new “it” team of the West Coast over the past few years. Watch out for: Matthew Dellavedova. He’s a bit banged up, but he still dropped nine assists on Portland last week.
What they say about Gonzaga: “They were just more aggressive there. Eventually that paid off big dividends for them.” — Coach Randy Bennett after his team’s loss in Spokane last month.
Record: 23-5, 13-3
Best-known for: playing on your TV set twice a week, being “America’s team” for the past dozen years and winning basketball games
What they need to do: Play consistent defense. When the Zags have buckled down on the defensive end, they’ve been wildly effective, as seen in Thursday’s win over BYU. Robert Sacre and Elias Harris need to play like the upperclassmen they are.
Record: 24-7, 12-4
Best-known for: Inventing the white short-sleeve-shirt and tie combo. That, and making their first appearance in the WCC tournament, of course.
Watch out for: The Hartsock factor. Sidelined with a knee injury last week, forward Noah Hartsock looks like he’ll be back in action for the tournament.
What they say about Gonzaga: “Gonzaga has a tendency to hurry you up, because they are long, athletic and physical, which sometimes causes you to take quicker shots.” — Coach Dave Rose.
4. Loyola Marymount
Record: 19-11, 11-5
Best-known for: Scoring a million points back in the late ’80s before becoming a door mat in the conference. Now, though, they’re one of the grittier teams in the league, racking up wins at Saint Mary’s and at BYU.
Watch out for: Drew Viney and Anthony Ireland. In their loss to Gonzaga, they scored 24 and 23 points, respectively.
What they say about Gonzaga: “We got down by 10 early, and against a team as good as Gonzaga on their home floor, you put yourself in pretty much a no-win situation.” — Coach Max Good after a Feb. 11 loss in Spokane.
5. San Francisco
Record: 18-12, 8-8
Best-known for: beating Gonzaga for the past three consecutive seasons
Watch out for: Rashad Green. The senior guard hit a game winner against GU last week.
What they say about Gonzaga: “You need to understand what Gonzaga is: They are a machine. They are a basketball machine.” — Coach Rex Walters, San Francisco Chronicle.
6. San Diego
Record: 12-17, 7-9
Best-known for: their head coach, Bill Grier, a longtime Gonzaga assistant who defected south a few years ago
Watch out for: Johnny Dee. The freshman guard will shoot from anywhere. When he’s accurate, he’s a game changer.
Gonzaga says about them: “They could beat anybody out there. We’re playing as well as anybody, and they played us tough.” — Coach Mark Few, San Diego Union Tribune.
Record: 10-18, 4-12
Best-known for: palm trees on campus
Watch out for: A tournament run. After a less-than-excellent conference season, Pepperdine is playing solid as of late and comes into the tourney with two straight wins.
What they say about Gonzaga: “I know how good they are. Mark’s done a good job of implementing them, especially being young guys new to the system.” — Coach Marty Wilson on GU guards Gary Bell Jr. and Kevin Pangos.
Record: 6-23, 3-13
Best-known for: being from the city where Portlandia is filmed
Watch out for: Spokane native Ryan Nicholas. The sophomore forward is coming on strong, raking down 14 rebounds in a spirited loss to BYU on Saturday.
What they say about Gonzaga: “They had us frustrated and just not doing the things that we’ve done all year to be successful.” — Coach Eric Reveno, after losing to GU on Jan. 26.
9. Santa Clara
Record: 8-21, 0-16
Best known for: Steve Nash. Oh, and losing all their WCC games this year.
Watch out for: Well, we would say Kevin Foster, the guard who was leading the WCC in scoring until he was arrested on suspicion of DUI back in late January. He hasn’t played since. But the team hasn’t given up.
What Gonzaga says about them: “Without Kevin
Foster, they’re much more unpredictable.” — Coach Mark Few, after the
Zags’ 73-62 win on Feb 16.
The WCC Tournament runs Feb. 29- March 5 in Las Vegas. The Lady Zags play Saturday, March 3 at noon. The men play Saturday, March 3 at 8 pm on ESPN2. The championship games are Monday, March 5.