The West Coast Conference’s International Influence

Karnowski

Pzremek Karnowski is one of the many foreign players to play in the WCC.

Ever thought to yourself, “the WCC sure has a lot of foreign players?” Well there are a lot of them. In fact, last season the WCC had the highest proportion of international players among all of the conferences in division one college basketball. Here are how all of the conferences rank in proportion of international players.

1. WCC- .241 (30/124)

2. A-10- .133 (29/218)

3. Big East-.130 (29/223)

4. Am. East- .129 (16/124)

5. Big 12- .121 (17/141)

6. MWC- .120 (15/125)

7. WAC-.118 (17/144)

T-8. Ivy- .116 (14/121)

T-8. PAC-12- .116 (20/172)

10. Southland- .112 (16.143)

11. MAAC- .111 (16/136)

12. Sun Belt- .102 (15/147)

13. Big South-.098 (16/163)

14. NEC- .096 (16/166)

T-15. MVC-.094 (13/138)

T-15. Big West- .094 (14/149)

17. Southern- .089 (14/158)

18. Great West- .088 (6/68)

19. SEC- .086 (16/187)

T-20. Patriot- .083 (10/121)

T-20. Horizon- .083 (10/120)

22. Big Sky- .082 (12/146)

23. ACC- .079 (13/165)

24. Big 10- .075 (13/175)

25. C-USA- .065 (10/154)

T-26. MAC- .061 (10/163)

T-26. MEAC- .061 (11/181)

28. CAA- .060 (9/151)

29. Summit- .057 (7/122)

30. Atlantic Sun- .053 (7/132)

31. OVC- .043 (7/164)

32. Independents- .034 (1/29)

33. SWAC- .014 (2/144)

It is evident that the WCC has the largest proportion of international players in division one college basketball, and it’s not even close. Every team in the West Coast Conference has at least one player of foreign descent on their team. No other conference in the country can make that claim.

The conference as a whole isn’t just bringing these international players in, they are turning them into the stars of the conference. In recent years, Elias Harris, Kelly Olynyk, Matthew Dellavedova, Marc Trasolini, Kevin Pangos, and Robert Sacre were/are all high impact players from other countries other than the U.S.

Also, the two most successful teams in recent years, Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s, have the highest proportions of international players in the WCC, with .385 and .375 respectively. These programs ability to recruit overseas and turn those players into superstars is what sets these two programs apart from the others in the conference. This exploitation of international talent is what turned the Gaels and Bulldogs into elite teams on the West Coast. The other teams in the conference should follow suit. Teams in the WCC have historically struggled to compete against the UCLA’s and Arizona’s of the world, so those teams must go for the diamonds in the rough to compete. Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s went abroad to find those types of players. Although the other teams in the West Coast Conference don’t necessarily need to recruit internationally to do this, but they need to find those under the radar recruits to escalate their programs to great heights.

The WCC has done a fantastic job of plugging in foreign players and making them superstars. Saint Mary’s now has a recruiting pipeline to Australia, and the same for Gonzaga with Canada. With Andrew Wiggins, who is from Canada, coming to college basketball next season, the country should see an even greater influx of international players incoming in the next few years.

 

 

 

 

 

Topics: Basketball, Brigham Young Cougars, BYU Cougars, Gonzaga Bulldogs, LMU Lions, Loyola Marymount Lions, Pepperdine Waves, Portland Pilots, Saint Mary's Gaels, San Diego Toreros, San Francisco Dons, Santa Clara Broncos, St. Mary's Gaels, USF Dons

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