Top 5 Point Guards in the WCC

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March 02, 2012; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Loyola Marymount Lions guard Anthony Ireland (3) drives to the basket against the San Francisco Dons during the second half of the quarterfinals of the 2012 West Coast Conference Tournament at Orleans Arena. The San Francisco Dons defeated the Loyola Marymount Lions 67-60. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

No. 1- Anthony Ireland (LMU)

By Kevin Cacabelos

Anthony Ireland is the best point guard in the conference, but also may be the best player in the conference period. The 5-foot-10 guard is a scoring machine and continued to produce despite teams’ increasing defensive pressure and attention on him. He returns as the sixth best scorer in the nation according to points per game – he averaged 20.2 last season. Despite his height, he uses great ball-handling combined with an array of spins, pivots and shot-fakes to consistently finish in the paint. He’s also kept defenses honest by improving his perimeter shooting. He shot a career-high 37.6 percent from beyond the arc last season. This season, the rising senior will not only be tasked with leading the Lions on and off the court but also have to prove to NBA scouts he can play the game at the next level. This means Ireland will have to cut down on his turnovers and involve his teammates more; his assist/turnover ratio last season was a weak mark of 1.1 for a point guard. This coming season you can expect to see a continued effortt from the LMU offense to use pick-and-roll sets involving Ireland. However, Ireland will have to cut down on his turnovers and instead trust and find his teammates in the halfcourt.