The middle of the West Coast Conference had some movement, some better than others.
Santa Clara’s loss to Loyola Marymount dropped them. San Diego has not lost in conference play and continues to rise. Can San Francisco, the only winless team in the conference, get a break?
Saint Mary’s has gotten everyone’s attention, again, after its game at Gonzaga.
Where has everyone fallen?
1. Gonzaga (16-1, 3-0 WCC). RPI: 6, SOS: 10
Last week: 1, Season high: 1, Season low: 1.
Gonzaga continues to roll and, no, that Butler game on Saturday won’t change anything by next week. They staved off the comeback from Saint Mary’s last Thursday and finally were able to get some rest. Kevin Pangos rose to the occasion against the Gaels with 22 points.
2. BYU (14-4, 4-0). RPI: 33, SOS: 56
Last week: 2, Season high: 2, Season low: 2.
Dave Rose said their game against Santa Clara on Saturday was the most complete 40 minutes his team has played and it showed. They held Santa Clara without a point for more than seven minutes in the second half and are starting to get additional contributions. BYU got another solid game from Matt Carlino. Anson Winder also played well off the bench and had 15 points.
3. Saint Mary’s (13-4, 2-1). RPI: 72, SOS: 173
Last week: 4, Season high: 3, Season low: 4.
The Gaels have not done it pretty but here they are on the rise. The rebounding is there. The defense has started to perform a bit better. They are also starting to get more consistent contributions from the bench. What really did it was their performance at Gonzaga. Despite the loss, they came back and were much closer than many expected they would be.
4. Santa Clara (12-6, 1-3). RPI: 86, SOS: 65
Last week: 3, Season high: 3, Season low: 4.
The Broncos have lost three straight games since winning their opener. Two of the losses are Gonzaga and BYU, so you can forgive those. But losing at LMU is not something this team could have afforded. This is a team that had an outside chance of getting into the NCAA Tournament and the loss dropped them almost 20 spots in RPI.
5. San Diego (10-8, 3-0). RPI: 188, SOS: 193
Last week: 7, Season high: 5, Season low: 8.
The switched has been flipped for San Diego. They have won four straight and have wins on the road at San Francisco and Pepperdine. Why do you think they went from 7 to 5 in the Power Rankings? Johnny Dee has played better as of late and is averaging 16.8 points over his last five games (15 points per game for the season).
6. San Francisco (7-10, 0-4). RPI: 186, SOS: 48
Last week: 5, Season high: 5, Season low: 6.
The Dons have come close in every game in conference play with no results. Their four conference losses are by a combined 19 points. Teams have made a point to slow down Cole Dickerson, who averaged 11 boards per game but has only 20 rebounds in his last three games. Cody Doolin has come alive since WCC play began, averaging 18.3 points per game.
7. Pepperdine (9-8, 1-3). RPI: 192, SOS: 222
Last week: 6, Season high: 6, Season low: 7.
Pepperdine’s game against BYU last week was very similar to that of their Gonzaga game. They played the Cougars tight and played a great half against BYU. Then it got away in the second half. Their struggles have been on offense. They have scored more than 60 points once in their first four WCC games and they didn’t even win that game.
8. Loyola Marymount (8-9, 1-3). RPI: 203, SOS: 181
Last week: 8, Season high: 7, Season low: 8.
How does the same team beat Santa Clara then cough up an 11-point lead to Portland? They were dominated on the boards against Portland and allowed the Pilots to shoot 54 percent from the field, their best against a D-I team this season.
9. Portland (8-10, 1-2). RPI: 221, SOS: 159
Last week: 9, Season high: 9, Season low: 9.
The Pilots got their first conference win and it was behind their hot shooting and rebounding. The rebounding is normal but that shooting is not. They shoot 41 percent from the field and lit up LMU for 54 percent. They are home for the next four with Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s this week.
Follow Zack Farmer on Twitter: @Zack_Farmer