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Thread: Lady Zags Selected as WCC Favorites for Eighth-Straight Season

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    Default Lady Zags Selected as WCC Favorites for Eighth-Straight Season

    From GoZags:

    WBB Selected as WCC Favorites for Eighth-Straight Season
    Townsend, Jenn Wirth named to Preseasons All-WCC Team

    SAN BRUNO, Calif. – For the eighth-straight season, the Gonzaga women's basketball team was voted to win the West Coast Conference. For the second-straight season, seniors Jill Townsend and Jenn Wirth were both named to the Preseason All-WCC Team. The poll and preseason all-conference team were announced Tuesday morning by the West Coast Conference.

    The Zags, which have won 15 of the last 16 regular-season WCC titles, received seven of 10 first-place votes for 79 points. The poll is voted on by the league's 10 head coaches, and coaches are not allowed to vote for their own team. BYU received two first-place votes and was selected to finish second with 73 points, while Portland earned one first-place vote for 64 points was selected to finish third.

    Gonzaga has now been selected to win the conference 13 of the last 17 seasons. San Diego was selected to finish fourth, finishing with 53 points in the poll, and Saint Mary's was selected fifth with 44 points to round out the top half of the poll.

    This is the second-straight preseason nod for both Townsend and Wirth. Townsend, who is the reigning WCC Player of the Year, started all 31 games for the Zags and led the Bulldogs in scoring at 12.2 points per game. Last season she ranked second on the squad and fifth in the WCC in field goal percentage, hitting 49.1 percent of her shots. Townsend ranked second in rebounding for the Zags, grabbing 5.6 per game, and the senior recorded seven games with at least eight rebounds last season. She added 19 double-figure scoring outings, and finished the year with three double-doubles (points, rebounds). Townsend was selected WCC Player of the Week twice in 2019-20, and she was also selected All-WCC All-Academic Honorable Mention.

    Wirth also started all 31 games for the Zags and led the squad in rebounding at 6.9 per game while ranking third in scoring at 10.8 points per contest. The Mesa, Ariz., native scored in double-figures 18 times on the year while recording a team-leading six double-doubles last season (points, rebounds). Last season, Wirth set new career highs in points (24) and rebounds (15). She was twice selected WCC Player of the Week and took home Most Valuable Player honors at the Gulf Coast Showcase in November. Following a superb junior campaign, Wirth earned First Team All-WCC honors and was selected All-WCC All-Academic Honorable Mention in addition to being named a Division I-AAA ADA Scholar Athlete.

    Head Coach Lisa Fortier continues to lead the Zags to new heights as Gonzaga secured its highest regular-season ranking during 2019-20, earning a No. 10 USA Today/WBCA Coaches Poll ranking and No. 11 Associated Press ranking. Last season, the Bulldogs recorded their best season win percentage (90.3) and regular-season record (28-2), marking their fourth-straight 25-win season and 12th in the last 13 seasons. Before the cancellation of the NCAA Tournament due to COVID-19, GU was projected as high as a No. 3 seed—their highest seed ever—and they were poised to host the First and Second Rounds for the first time since the NCAA announced in 2014-15 that only the top 16 seeds are eligible to host.

    Gonzaga has amassed a conference record of 226-30 (.883) during the last 16 seasons, which includes 15 West Coast Conference regular-season titles and seven WCC Tournament championships.

    Fans will have an opportunity to catch a glimpse of the 2020-21 squad on Tuesday, Nov. 10 with the virtual Numerica Fan Fest at 6 p.m. on SWX.

    2020-21 WCC Preseason Women's Basketball Coaches Poll
    Team (First Place Vote) Pts.
    1. Gonzaga (7) 79
    2. BYU (2) 73
    3. Portland (1) 64
    4. San Diego 53
    5. Saint Mary's 44
    6. Pacific 42
    7. Pepperdine 28
    8. LMU 25
    9. Santa Clara 22
    10. San Francisco 20
    Article Link: https://gozags.com/news/2020/10/27/w...ht-season.aspx

    What do you think Lady Zag Fans, did the WCC coaches get it right?

    ZagDad
    Last edited by ZagDad84; 10-27-2020 at 11:40 AM. Reason: Add the Predicted Order of Finish

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    Gonzaga Picked to Win 17th WCC Championship

    Bulldogs and BYU projected as NCAA Tournament Teams in preseason Bracketology

    #WCCHOOPS SCHEDULE RELEASE

    SAN BRUNO, Calif.With the 2020-21 basketball campaign a month away, Gonzaga University is once again the preseason favorite to win its 17th West Coast Conference regular season title in the annual poll of the WCC’s 10 head coaches. The Bulldogs received seven first place votes and 79 points.

    Gonzaga is once again generating national buzz and will likely enter the 2020-21 campaign ranked in the top-25. Last season the Zags projected as a No. 6 NCAA Tournament seed after rising to as high as No. 11 – a program and WCC-best –in the national polls. Gonzaga posted its best start in program history last season at 28-2.

    Gonzaga (28-3, 17-1 WCC) has advanced to three straight NCAA Tournaments. A pair of seniors – Jill Townsend, the 2020 WCC Player of the Year and Jenn Wirth – headline the Zags on the preseason All-WCC team. Head coach Lisa Fortier was a semifinalist for the 2020 Werner Ladder Naismith Coach of the Year award.

    Preseason All-WCC voting is restricted to returning student-athletes. Incoming freshmen and transfers are not eligible for consideration.

    BYU (18-11, 13-5) was picked second in the preseason survey with 73 points and collected two first-place votes. The Cougars boasted one of the nation’s most elite defensive units last season allowing opponents to convert at a 32.2 percent from the field. Three Cougars cracked the preseason All-WCC list and two have earned major individual conference honors: sophomore guard Shaylee Gonzales returns from an injury after being named 2018 WCC Newcomer of the Year, senior center Sara Hamson, the 2020 WCC Defensive Player of the Year and Paisley Johnson Harding.

    In the preseason edition of Charlie Crème’s Bracketology, Gonzaga is a No. 6 seed in the Albany bracket, while BYU is tabbed as a No. 10 seed in the Austin bracket.

    Portland (21-11, 11-7) was tabbed third in the preseason poll with 64 points and picked up the remaining first-place vote. The 2020 WCC Tournament Champions under first-year coach Michael Meek were set to make the program’s first NCAA Tournament since 1997 despite being picked last in the preseason survey. Tournament Most Outstanding Player Alex Fowler averaged 18 points and 8 rebounds per game last season and joins teammate Haylee Andrews on the preseason squad.

    San Diego (20-11, 13-5) was slotted fourth in the poll with 53 points. The Toreros marched to the title game of the 2020 WCC Tournament after being picked to finish eighth in the preseason. Under the direction of WCC Coach of the Year Cindy Fisher, San Diego finished second in the league standings. The Toreros will rely heavily on senior All-WCC guard Myah Pace, who averaged a team-high 11.9 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.8 assists to land on the preseason team.

    Saint Mary’s (12-19, 6-12) was fifth in the preseason poll with 44 points. Junior guard Sam Simons earned a spot on the preseason All-WCC team after averaging 16.3 points, while converting on 63 3-pointers to go along with 5.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists. Simons may sit out the 2020-21 season due to COVID concerns.

    Pacific (17-14, 7-7) was selected sixth in the poll with 42 points. Two Tigers were tabbed preseason All-WCC picks and both were All-WCC First Team selections last season. Senior forwards Valerie Higgins, the 2019 WCC Defensive Player of the Year, and Brooklyn McDavid will lead the way in Stockton.

    Pepperdine University (16-15, 8-10 WCC) was picked seventh in the survey with 28 points, three points in front of PCH Cup rival LMU in eighth place with 25 points. Santa Clara (22 points) and San Francisco (20 points) round out the preseason survey.

    The complete preseason poll and all-conference team follows.

    2020-21 WCC Preseason Women’s Basketball Coaches Poll

    Team (First Place Vote) Pts.
    1. Gonzaga (7) 79
    2. BYU (2) 73
    3. Portland (1) 64
    4. San Diego 53
    5. Saint Mary’s 44
    6. Pacific 42
    7. Pepperdine 28
    8. LMU 25
    9. Santa Clara 22
    10. San Francisco 20


    2020-21 All-WCC Preseason Women’s Basketball Team

    Name Year Pos. Institution
    Haylee Andrews Jr. G Portland
    Alex Fowler So. F Portland
    Shaylee Gonzales So. G BYU
    Sara Hamson Sr. C BYU
    Valerie Higgins Sr. G Pacific
    Paisley Johnson Harding Sr. G BYU
    Brooklyn McDavid Sr. F Pacific
    Myah Pace Sr. G San Diego
    Sam Simons Jr. G Saint Mary’s
    Jill Townsend Sr. G Gonzaga
    Jenn Wirth Sr. F Gonzaga

    WCC Article Link
    Last edited by TerpZag; 10-27-2020 at 02:22 PM. Reason: Added WCC Schedule Release Link

  3. #3
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    Does it get boring being picked the favorite every year?

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    Somehow I thought for sure at least one of McDavid and Higgins was a Sr. last year. That's a formidable duo, but UoP should've been much, much better last season with them.

    Will be interesting to see just how good Fowler from Portland ends up being. Great Fr. season.

    Paisley from BYU must've gotten married, she used to be Johnson.

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    BYU has 3 on the all conference team? Hmm. GU, Portland and Pacific both have 2.

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    Quote Originally Posted by seacatfan View Post
    BYU has 3 on the all conference team? Hmm. GU, Portland and Pacific both have 2.
    Yeah, I notice that as well. It is a little unusual because there are 11 all-WCC pre-season selections because there was a tie for 10th.

    Gonzaga lost their two senior guards, so they are not eligible and JW and JT were selected so really the only other person from the Lady Zags who could have selected was LW. If you wanted to select LW which of the 11 young women selected, who do you take out to replace with LW?

    I think the coaches, for the most part, got both the the pre-season, WCC Coach's Poll and the pre-season all-WCC selections just about correct. I think that Portland is going to give everybody (including the Lady Zags and BYU) lots of trouble this year and I would not be surprised to see them finish 2nd ahead of BYU.

    While it is common knowledge that coach's can not vote for their own team in the Coach's Poll, I did not realize that the coach's also cannot vote for their own players for the pre-season, all-WCC team. So, while BYU has 3 young women on the pre-season, all-WCC team, they were not voted in by BYU head coach, Jeff Judkins.

    Nope, never get tired of being selected #1. CLF has won the WCC conference championship 5 out of her 6 years as a head coach with the outlier being the year the Zags had all of the injuries with a really short bench. As a result of that 2015-2016 campaign, I don't think you will see CLF with a small team with lots of inexperienced players. She has been running a 9-10 person line-up for most games to prepare for any injuries that may come up.

    ZagDad

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    I really think that a three year starter like LW on the conference’s top team... well I hope LW has a MVP year. Last time I checked, there are two ends of the court and LW can play both... I’m not sure Hamson can.

    For LW... I hope it’s a motivator. She’s a much better player than she gets credit for... She deserves first team.

    For GU WBB... realize what they have coming back this year. With a strong starting 5 plus quality players coming off the bench... should be a fun year.

    I get the Vegas thing ... but understand that college is college. Maybe during the winter break but bring them back home for the start of school. Can’t hide in the bubble forever.

    Two weeks to Fanfest!!

    Go Zags!!

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    Skip,

    LW is certainly be qualified to be on the all-WCC, pre-season team, but I don't think she would replace Sara Hamson.

    Sara is currently in the Top-5 in average blocks per game, all-time in NCAA D-1. That is Brittney Griner territory. If Ms. Hamson has even an average year this year, she will be in the Top-5 in career blocks in the NCAA. When you are in at that level, you are going to be on the all-pre-season team and deservedly so. However, you mentioned both ends of the court so let's look at both players in total for last year 2019-2020.

    Category - Hamson - Wirth
    MPG - 25.8 - 25.0
    PPG - 7.0 - 8.7
    Shooting % - 0.56 - 0.472
    RPG - 7.9 - 4.7
    APG - 0.5 - 0.6
    BPG - 4.7 - 0.8
    SPG - 0.6 - 1.4
    T/O - 43 - 40

    Both players are on the court almost exactly the same amount of time. Hamson gives up 1.7 ppg to LW but shoots a better percentage. Hamson dominates LW on the boards and in blocks. The final nail is that you can't teach 6'7".

    LW may certainly deserve to be on the pre-season all-WCC team, but IMO she would not replace Hamson for her spot.

    ZagDad

  9. #9

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    Were are very fortunate to have sports back in our lives, to get us back to some resemblance of normalcy during crazy times.
    Last edited by ZAGS ATTACK BASKET; 10-28-2020 at 03:23 AM.

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    ZD... not taking away anything from Hamson. At 6’7” she adds a lot of positive to her team. But I think LW has more to add to her team then what stats may show. And she was a big part of a 28-3 team that was ranked 13th in the nation.

    ZAB... covid protection is very important... but for the young, there are other things in the box to also be considered. And we need to consider ALL things that may affect them. Many things away from covid are being ignored....

    Go Zags!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkipZag View Post

    ZAB... covid protection is very important... but for the young, there are other things in the box to also be considered. And we need to consider ALL things that may affect them. Many things away from covid are being ignored....

    Go Zags!!!
    My oldest nephew is a soph in college this year. I feel really bad for him, his college experience is pretty much being stolen from him. He got in not quite 2 good quarters of actual college life before everything changed.

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    NOTICE!!!

    The moderators on the Men's side have banned all discussion on Covid and Politics and have gone as far as banning members for up to 2 weeks for violating the policy.

    The Wbb side of this board has been essentially unmoderated for the past several years. Let's keep the need for moderators on the Mbb side and eliminate the discussion of Covid and Politics on the Wbb side. What was needed to be discussed on these topics has been discussed ad nauseum over the summer. While we have had some good (sometimes really good) discussions on the Covid topic (sprinkled in with some politics) with relatively few posters resorting to name calling, IMO, further discussion is unneeded and is not beneficial to the board.

    I am not a moderator, and do not own the forum, so please feel free to post as you would like. However, if you are banned, keep in mind that you have been warned.

    Carry On,

    ZagDad

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    Thanks ZD... I’ll keep the name calling to initials

    Thinking out of the box...

    Forget about Vegas... why not have back to back games Fridays and Saturdays and use private carriers... one less night in a hotel to save some money and work it out logistically.

    Have home games where students are allowed but are spaced throughout the arenas (released from the game by section and required to wear masks). Also allow player families...
    I’m willing to sit at home and watch on TV if it means giving the students a chance to see their teams.
    It would be up to the band and cheerleaders to work out a safe plan.

    Give a little normalcy back to the kids.....

    Go Zags!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkipZag View Post
    Thinking out of the box...

    Forget about Vegas... why not have back to back games Fridays and Saturdays and use private carriers... one less night in a hotel to save some money and work it out logistically.

    Have home games where students are allowed but are spaced throughout the arenas (released from the game by section and required to wear masks). Also allow player families...
    I’m willing to sit at home and watch on TV if it means giving the students a chance to see their teams.

    It would be up to the band and cheerleaders to work out a safe plan.

    Give a little normalcy back to the kids.....

    Go Zags!!
    This is very good option and if social distancing and masking were enforced, would be a good alternative. I really like the idea of player's family being able to attend.

    Numerous large obstacles would need to be overcome with the largest being the State of Washington's current ban/limit on indoor entertainment.

    As many have noticed, when watching collegiate football games this year, it appears to be an almost impossible task to enforce the students to wear a mask not to mention having them maintain social distance guidelines.

    Cheerleaders can easily be accommodated in the stands. The band is more of a problem. You can't have the woodwinds and brass blowing on other band members. It can be done, but I have not yet see any effective solutions present at the college football games I have been watching.

    Perhaps another issue is would the WCC permit some teams to have fans, cheerleaders, band members, etc. present at their home games while other teams would be playing in empty arenas (wait, is that not what most other WCC Wbb teams are currently doing? - Oops, that was not very nice)?

    If Gonzaga could get approval (in concept) from the Governor's Office and the WCC, I certainly would proceed in implementing something similar to what Skip proposed.

    ZagDad

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