Now that the preseason is over and done, it's time to see where the West Coast Conference teams rank against each other.
Saint Mary's ended last season on top of the WCC Power Rankings but that is clearly going to change. How high does Santa Clara go? Does LMU and/or San Diego fall into the bottom three?
Here is Week 1 on the WCC Power Rankings:
1. Gonzaga (13-1), RPI: 7, SOS: 12
Was there any doubt here? Gonzaga is not only by far the best team in the WCC but also one of the best teams in the country. They are deep, talented, big, strong, and can shoot the lights out. What makes them so difficult from a matchup standpoint is the foursome of Elias Harris, Kelly Olynyk, Sam Dower, and Przemek Karnowski.
2. BYU (10-4), RPI: 33, SOS: 27
BYU played a difficult schedule but was unable to get over the hump. Loss to Baylor. Loss to Notre Dame. Then they finally broke through with a win over Virginia Tech. It showed growth for the Cougars and continued to show how much they rely on Tyler Haws and Brandon Davies, both of whom average better than 20 per game.
3. Santa Clara (11-3), RPI: 75, SOS: 138
Santa Clara is the only team in the country with three players who have scored 1,000 or more points in their careers (Kevin Foster, Marc Trasolini, Evan Roquemore). They are playing well heading into conference play but remember, they were playing well last year at this time and did not win a single conference game. That likely won't happen this time around.
4. Saint Mary's (11-3), RPI: 100, SOS: 239
The Gaels do not look like the defending champion of the WCC. They have gone through some rough patches and are still trying to find a consistency on both the offensive and defensive end. Stephen Holt has played three games since returning from a burised bone in his left knee and is likely to be reinserted into the starting lineup on Saturday.
5. San Francisco (7-6), RPI: 171, SOS: 110
San Francisco has had a bit of a roller coaster month of December. They came in strong and were sitting at 5-1 before dropping five straight. The Dons are young but have a ton of talent. They need their role players, Tao Xu and Tim Derksen among others, to step up. The Diamond Head Classic might have been that wake-up call.
6. Pepperdine (8-5), RPI: 188, SOS: 302
Stacy Davis and Moriba DeFreitas have helped transform the frontcourt for Pepperdine into a solid and dependable one. While there is still much to improve, their competitiveness is noticeable. Pairing this with the leadership of Lorne Jackson, Pepperdine has been an early surprise. If they could get more offense, this team could be set.
7. Loyola Marymount (7-6), RPI: 221, SOS: 295
The Lions have become extremely reliant on two players: Anthony Ireland and Ashley Hamilton. Depth has been a glaring concern for LMU. They have four players averaging 31 or more minutes per game, are still waiting for CJ Blackwell to round into form, and were missing Godwin Okonji for their losses to Saint Louis and Ole Miss.
8. San Diego (7-8), RPI: 255, SOS: 226
The Toreros have been about as inconsistent as any team in the league and muhc of that has had to do with the frontcourt. Chris Manresa was out for seven games, a stretch where San Diego went 2-5. If the frontcourt plays well, it frees up the perimeter for Johnny Dee and Chris Anderson to do whet they do.
9. Portland (7-8), RPI: 241, SOS: 187
Portland has improved its shooting from a year ago but that doesn't mean it is "good" yet. They have only three players shooting better than 45 percent and they average a combined 16.7 points. Ryan Nicholas has simply not gotten muhc help and his shooting percentage shows it (41.9 percent).
Follow Zack Farmer on Twitter: @Zack_Farmer