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Thread: Examining the Bottom Half of the WCC

  1. #1
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    Default Examining the Bottom Half of the WCC

    An examination of the bottom half of the WCC by The Slipper Still Fits:

    Examining the bottom half of the WCC
    It is a case of the haves and the have nots for the women.
    By Peter Woodburn@wernies Oct 19, 2019, 11:32am EDT

    If you want to see how large the talent gap is in the WCC in womenís basketball, you just have to look at the All WCC Preseason Team. Of the teams picked No. 1-5 by the coaches, they have nine out of the 10 All WCC Preseason picks. Only Chelsey Gispson, a junior guard out of Loyola Marymount, is the outsider.

    And Loyola Marymount is tied for No. 6. Much like their male counterparts, the bottom of the WCC has struggled to put together consistent teams. Letís take a look at the bottom half of the WCC in this 2019-20 preview.

    #10: Portland Pilots
    It is hard to be looking too far north considering the Pilots werenít very good last year, and lost their two top scorers in Julie Spencer and Darian Slaga. The Pilots finished in seventh place in conference play with a 5-13 record and are pretty firmly considered the worst team in the league by the coaches.

    It isnít all doom and gloom, however. Australian-born guard Haylee Andrews put together a nice freshman year campaign, averaging 11.8 points and 4.6 rebounds per game, solid enough stats to earn her All Freshman honors last season. The supporting cast is just not quite there yet to help push her over the hump. The Pilots only shot 41 percent as a team from the floor and donít have any consistent long range shooters to be a real threat if they fall behind.

    #9: San Francisco Dons
    San Francisco was rather terrible last season, finishing with just a 7-24 record overall and a 2-16 record in conference. Senior guard Shannon Powell was a nice spot, but a frighteningly youthful team was on display for much of last season. Now, those kids are a year older, but they still arenít going to be hitting the stride necessary to compete with the likes of Gonzaga, BYU, or Saint Maryís, yet.

    The Dons international flavor makes for an interesting squad, however. Sophomore Polish forward Julia Nielacana averaged 9.1 points per game last season. They also have a big addition in graduate transfer forward Mikayla Williams, who was an NCAA D-II All American last season.

    The building blocks are there for the Dons, but this year is not the year. They do have the talent to make some surprises and upsets, and very well could end the season higher in the WCC rankings.

    #8: San Diego Toreros
    Like their Northern California counterparts, San Diego also finished with a 2-16 conference record. The coaches have a much higher expectation, firmly planting San Diego in the No. 8 spot. The reason for slight optimism is that the Toreros are essentially returning their entire squad from last season.

    Now of course, that begs the question, if last seasonís squad wasnít that good, will it make much of a difference this year? San Diego only averaged 61 points per game last season and had the worst scoring margin in the conference, outscored by 9.9 points per game. Growth comes at incremental steps, however. After finishing near the bottom of the WCC last season, San Diego probably wonít be there this year, and that counts for something.

    #6: Pepperdine Waves
    The Waves tied with Loyola Marymount for No. 6 in the standings, or No. 7 if you view it as a glass half empty kind of way. Things are trending downwards this year after the most successful season in school history. Pepperdine finished third last season in the WCC and won the first postseason games in the modern era.

    However, in a surprise move, head coach DeLisha Milton-Jones stepped down and headed east to become an assistant coach at Syracuse University. New head coach Kristen Dowling will have her work cut out for her as she tries to replace the now graduated WCC Player of the Year Yasmine Robinson-Bacote.

    #6: Loyola Marymount Lions
    The Lions are always going to be a threat because of junior guard Chelsey Gipson. The 5í7 guard took over the squad last year as a sophomore, leading the Lions with 16.1 points per game, shooting a respectable 42 percent from the floor. Loyola lost second leading scorer Gabby Green to graduation, but forward Jasmine Jones remains to help out down low.

    The Lions finished middle of the pack last season, with a 10-8 record. LMU retained just enough pieces from last yearís squad that they arenít fully moving backwards, but it will be a question in how they replace the production of Green and senior rebounding machine Bree Alford.
    Article Link: https://www.slipperstillfits.com/201...erence-preview

    ZagDad

  2. #2
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    its funny but the way I remember playing against these bottom teams was that the games were very hard fought and we had to dig hard to win.....I just don't think we ever play to our strengths and we let other teams dictate the pace....I expect it will be the same this year.

    mostly, we have to stop believing the rankings, and the sports news and play 100% hard every single time whether its BYU or Portland...we have a nice looking and charming team, but you don't win games on your looks....

  3. #3
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    Keep in mind that the teams in the top half of the WCC fully believe that they have a shot to compete for a WCC title and WCC tournament wins. The teams in the bottom half of the league typically do not believe they have the capability to routinely compete with the top teams in the league.

    For the teams in the bottom half of the league, an opportunity to beat the pre-season favorite, last year's champion, etc. particularly on their home court can make a team's season. When you are at the top of the heap, you get every team's best shot.

    Gonzaga really has historically done a really good job at beating the teams they should beat, but sometimes their methods leave our fans with a few more grey hairs than they started with.

    ZagDad

  4. #4
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    Hello Zag fans! #CG3 Dad here. Welcome to another exciting, fun filled season of great WCC basketball.

    Saw the article on the "bottom half" of the WCC teams. Can't speak for the rest, but I definitely think LMU is going to compete this year...with anybody.

    Assuming we can overcome the dreaded injury Gremlin this year!!!!????? (knock on Wood/ my forehead!). It's been very challenging for us the last couple of years. First Chels misses the bulk of her freshman year due to a car accident we suffered over the summer. Then last year both her and Gabby (our top two scorers) were plagued by injuries.

    We've got preseason #10 UCLA Nov 9th. That's gonna be a battle for sure. But we weren't supposed to beat them last year either?

    https://watchstadium.com/videos/lmu-...-move-vs-ucla/

    #ourteamourtown

    Let's pray that the most important thing is that our young ladies stay healthy and safe this year!

    Let's go!

    Regards,

    #CG3Dad


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  5. #5
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    Welcome back CG3Dad.

    Good Luck to Chels and LMU for the upcoming season.

    ZagDad

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