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West Coast Conference 2019-20 College Basketball Predictions


(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Nothing much changes in the West coast. Gonzaga is still the dominant team in this Conference. Next is St. Mary’s, and BYU and then there is everyone else. But there could be a few surprises to come out of the West Coast Conference this season. I think that Lorenzo Romar is going to have his Pepperdine team playing at a very high level this season. Pepperdine has also improved on their roster since last season. This is a team that finished in the semi-finals of the West Coast Conference, losing to only Gonzaga.
Santa Clara is another team that could sneakily push their way up into the 2nd tier of the West Coast Conference.
With that said here is how we rank the West Coast Conference for the 2019-20 season:

1. Gonzaga Bulldogs

Gonzaga lost a lot of players from the 2018-19 season. Let’s just hope that Killian Tillie is healthy this season. Rui Hachimura, Zach Norvell Jr., and Brandon Clarke have all turned pro. That 2018-19 was one heck of team. Gonzaga was one of the only teams in College basketball to be very good on both the offensive and defensive side of the court. Gonzaga had the #1 offense in the country, putting up on average 87.6 points per game. That's a lot of scoring. They also held their opponents to an average of 64.9 points per game, the 32th best in the nation and the best in the West Coast Conference. But I got news for you, this 2019-20 Gonzaga team is just as dangerous as the 2018-19 team. Coach Mark Few brings in two very good graduate transfers in Ryan Woolridge of North Texas and Admon Gilder of Texas A&M. Both players can put-up double-digit numbers night after night. Gonzaga will also get back Killian Tillie who only played in 15 games last season due to injury. Tillie is looking to increase his pro value so expect him to put big numbers if he could remain healthy. But the player that makes this team even more dangerous is five (5) star Oumar Ballo, a five-star center from Koulikoro, Mali. He attended high school at the Canterbury International Basketball Academy (CIBA), a British private school in Las Palmas, Spain. He is a beast in the center, and he can shoot. In 2018, he averaged 15.1 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks per game at the Spanish Junior Championship, earning MVP honors. This Gonzaga team is just as capable of winning a national championship than the last year's team.

Projected Starting 5:


Ryan Woolridge PG (North Texas)

Admon Gilder SG (Texas A&M)

Corey Kispert SF

Killian Tillie PF

Oumar Ballo C

2. Saint Mary's Gaels

Saint Mary's has several players returning from a team that earned a trip to the 2019 NCAA Tournament. Saint Mary's will get much needed help in the rebounding category with the addition of Aaron Menzies, who averaged 11.3 points and  8.9 rebounds. However, one problem remains for this team and that's depth at the point guard position. Saint Mary's was one of the worst ball moving in the nation last season. This team ranked dead last and in the West Coast Conference and only 346th in the nation in assists per game last season. Expect St. Mary's to get back to the NCAA tournament but don't expect them to get past the 2nd round.

Projected Starting 5:


Jordan Ford PG

Tommy Kuhse PG

Tanner Krebs SG

Malik Fitts SF

Aaron Menzies C (Seattle)

3. BYU Cougars

 

BYU has several frequent starters returning from the 2018-19 season, which includes two (2) of their top three (3) scorers TJ Haws and Yoeli Childs.  With graduate transfer Jake Toolson on board, this team should remain a high scoring team. Toolson was the top scoring player on his Utah Valley team prior to graduating. Hopefully, this team gets better defensively. BYU was ranked dead last in the WCC in points allowed by the opponent last season.

Projected Starting 5:


TJ Haws SG

Jake Toolson SG (Utah Valley)

Zac Seljaas SG

Connor Harding SF

Yoeli Childs PF

4. Pepperdine Waves

This will be a very sneaky Pepperdine team this coming season. This is the same Pepperdine team that finished in the semifinals of the WCC tournament. If Kameron Edwards stays healthy this team could do a lot of damage next season. The only problem with this team however is that they are very small. Because of the lack of size, expect this team to continue to have problems rebounding and defending the rim. But with the additions of Oregon's transfer Keith Smith  and JUCO transfer Skylar Chavez expect scoring to remain very high with this team.

Projected Starting 5:


Colbey Ross PG

Jade' Smith PG

Kessler Edwards SF

Kameron Edwards SF

Victor Ohia Obioha C

5. Santa Clara Broncos

Santa Clara finished the 2018-2019 season tied for 5th place with Loyola Marymount. Both teams finished 8-8 in the WCC last season. However, Santa Clara will be returning most of its players from the 2018-19 season, which includes their top three scorers Tahj Eaddy, Trey Wertz, and Josip Vrankic . Santa Clara adds more depth with the additions of Wake  Forest transfer DJ Mitchell and JUCO transfer David Thompson. Hopefully, Santa Clara finds a way to improve defensively. Santa Clara allowed their opponents to put up, on average, 70.1 points to do better than that if they want to move up in the conference standings this coming season.

Projected Starting 5:


Tahj Eaddy PG

Trey Wertz SG

Keshawn Justice SF

Guglielmo Caruso PF

Josip Vrankic PF

6. Portland Pilots

This Portland team could be a very dangerous team to play this season. Coach Porter is going into his 4th season without a win season and is desperately looking to turn things around. So, expect this team to play with a since of desperation. With the addition of JUCO point guard Quincy Ferebee this team should improve greatly in the assist’s category. Ferebee averaged 7.6 assists per game in his final season at Southwest Community College. With more size added and an improved bench expect this team to improve in all categories.

Projected Starting 5:


JoJo Walker PG

Isaiah White PG (Maine)

Lavar Harewood SF (South Carolina State)

Tahirou Diabate PF

Theo Akwuba C

7. San Francisco Dons

 

The Dons will be starting the 2019-20 season off with a new head coach in Todd Golden. Their previous coach Kyle Smith left the team to take the head coaching job at Washington State. Coach Smith led San Francisco to 3 straight 4th place finished in the West Coast Conference. Several player will be returning from the 2018-19 team that finished in first place, which includes frequent starters Charles Minlend, Jordan Ratinho, and Jimbo Lull. With the addition of division II transfer Khalil Shabazz this team should remain a high scoring team in the WCC. Expect Jamaree Bouyea and Remu Raitanen to play bigger roles in the Don's starting lineup. The Don's should continue to remain competitive in the WCC.

Projected Starting 5:


Jordan Ratinho PG

Jamaree Bouyea PG

Charles Minlend SG

Remu Raitanen PF

Jimbo Lull C

8. Loyola Marymount Lions

Loyola Marymount ended the 2018-19 season tied for 5th place in the West Coast Conference. This team also finished in the Semi-Finals of the CBI. Not bad. Coach Mike  Dunleavy will have several players returning from the 2018-19 season. However, his top scorer James Batemon has graduated. Batemon was one of the only two (2) players on the team who could put-up double-digit numbers day after day. Coach Dunleavy will be banking on several foreign players to help the team improve in scoring. Can Seikou Sisoho Jawara lead the team at the point guard position? He is a foreign player from Spain who is a great shooter and has great court vision and  awareness. Also look for JUCO transfer Parker  Dortch to help in the scoring category. Dortch averaged 15.2 points per game in his final season at Kaskaskia community college.

Projected Starting 5:


Seikou Sisoho Jawara PG

Joe Quintana SG

Dameane Douglas SF

Eli Scott SF

Mattias Markusson C

9. San Diego Toreros

San Diego will be missing several players from the 2018-2019 season with only one (1) starter returning in Yauhen Massalski . This team will be made up of mostly transfers and freshmen. This team is perhaps the smallest team in the West Coast Conference, and It seems as if coach Scholl will have no choice but to start a freshman at the point guard position. There are also questions about depth in the front court. This season may be an uphill battle for coach Scholl and San Diego.

Projected Starting 5:

Marion Humphrey PG (RS)

Braun Hartfield SG (Youngstown State)

James Jean-Marie SF (Navarro)

Jared Rodriguez PF (Idaho)

Yauhen Massalski PF

10. Pacific Tigers

Fortunately, Pacific will be returning two (2) frequent starters from the 2018-19 season in Jahlil Tripp and Jeremiah Bailey. Trip was the third best point producer on the team in 2018-19. Expect this team to be defensively sound due to the fact this team has added some JUCO transfers who are very good defensively. JUCO transfers James Hampshire and Amari McCray are very good rim protectors and JUCO transfer Broc Finstuen has a knack for stealing the ball. Let's just hope that Pacific could put more points on the boards than they did the previous season.

Projected Starting 5:


Pierre Crockrell II PG

Austin Vereen SG (VMI)

Jahlil Tripp SF

Jeremiah Bailey PF

Amari McCray PF (Howard (TX)

College Basketball 2019-2020 Predictions

American Athletic Conference (AAC) | Athletic Coast Conference (ACC) | Big East Conference | Big Ten Conference

Big 12 Conference | Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) | Pac 12 | South Eastern Conference (SEC) | Sun Belt

Mountain West Conference (MWC) | West Coast Conference (WCC) | More...

West Coast Conference 2019-20 Predictions - Episode 36