Editor’s Preseason Predictions: All-WCC Team


On Monday, the West Coast Conference will hold its annual Basketball Tip-Off event with player and coach interviews and analysis to preview the upcoming season. It will also mark the release of the preseason rankings and All-WCC teams. With that in mind, I’m going to make a few predictions of my own for the upcoming season.

Let’s see where we match with the WCC, and maybe at the end of the season we will end up more accurate than they are. We will be using the same format as the conference including the major individual awards and the structuring of the All-WCC Team. Note that the WCC essentially picks ten players from a variety of positions for their All-WCC Team. They were pretty heavy on guards in their postseason selection last year, and this year could be similar.

We will also have a vote among West Coast Convo writers and bring you a full slate of preseason predictions before the start of the season, so stay tuned!


BRAD WALDOW – C – SAINT MARY’S: The Gaels had a down year by their standards in 2013-14, but Waldow had his best season averaging a spectacular 15.1 points and 7.5 rebounds per game en route to All-WCC honors. He finished among the top performers in the WCC in those categories as well as blocked shots. He is the complete package as a physical and intimidating center, and he’s one of the best in the conference. With a good supporting cast behind him, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t carry the Gaels this year and cruise to another All-WCC selection.

PRZEMEK KARNOWSKI – C – GONZAGA: Karnowski is built like the best center in the WCC, and he shows it with his expert rebounding and defense. But he hasn’t quite put it all together yet. Last year he finished third in the WCC in blocked shots per game, but finished outside the top ten in rebounds per game. He also needs to work on his offense. For a big man who can dominate most smaller WCC opponents, averaging just over 10 points per game isn’t good enough. But he is full of potential, and I think he takes a big step forward and starts putting up numbers comparable to Waldow. And that should be enough to keep the Bulldogs in elite company and get Karnowski All-WCC honors.

STACY DAVIS – F – PEPPERDINE: Staff writer Josh Horton said it best; Stacy Davis is a beast. Last year he put up 15.1 points and 7.6 rebounds per game, near identical numbers to Waldow. And like Waldow, Davis received All-WCC honors for his efforts. Davis is a terror for opponents thanks to his physicality, and he is one of the more dominant big men in the conference. He is certainly among the best forwards, and that’s why we named him the best power forward in the WCC last week. It’s scary to think he will only be a junior, and he should cruise to another All-WCC selection with numbers equal to or even better than last year. We could be talking about him for WCC Player of the Year next season when he’s a senior.

KRUIZE PINKINS – F SAN FRANCISCO: Big things are expected of the Dons this year, and they have a very strong core group to rely on including Pinkins. Last year he put up a very solid 12.2 points and 6.5 rebounds per game, and those numbers could go up this year. I have slight concerns that the Dons depth in the frontcourt could hurt his numbers, but that would be the only thing keeping him from All-WCC honors. If he takes a lead role, his numbers should grow to a level worthy of the honor. He’s not that far off from numbers like Waldow and Davis, and because the Dons should do big things there’s a lot of reason to believe Pinkins will take the next step.

KYLE WILTJER – F – GONZAGA: This is the last spot I filled in on the team, and it was a touch pick. There are some really good players we will talk about later today who just missed the cut. I think Wiltjer will put up a lot of points down low and have very good rebound numbers, both of which will be helped by playing alongside the big center Karnowski. I think he will have some of the best totals in those categories among the PF/C group in the WCC and deserves a spot on this list. He is oozing with potential from his time at Kentucky, and it could be time to break out with such a talented group around him helping him out. Remember he’s never had a full season under his belt as a starter, so between being seasoned by SEC and more minutes per game to get into a groove, he could blow up this year.

JEREMY MAJOR – G – PEPPERDINE: I love Pepperdine this year. They are young and VERY dangerous, but it’s not just because of Stacy Davis. Jeremy Major had a spectacular year and was named to the WCC All-Freshman Team. His 9.1 points per game were very solid as a freshman, and he finished top five in the WCC in assists per game and top ten in steals per game. For an upperclassman starter those numbers are good, for a freshman on a mid-tier team they’re spectacular. I think he takes a big leap forward and continues his rapid growth. If he pushes his scoring average well into the double digits and matches his assist and steal numbers from a year ago, he can’t be ignored even in a conference stacked with quality guards.

JARED BROWNRIDGE – G – SANTA CLARA: If we’re talking about young guys taking a step forward, we have to talk about Brownridge. The reigning WCC Newcomer of the Year, he opened eyes around the league with scoring ability that made him look more like a senior than a freshman. His 17.2 points per game was third best in the WCC last year and first among freshmen. He also led the WCC in three pointers made per game. He didn’t do much else statistically, but when you’re putting up points like that it doesn’t matter. Brownridge could go down as one of the best scoring guards in WCC history if he keeps this up, and I expect he will be among the top scorers in the conference once again.

JOHNNY DEE – G – SAN DIEGO: Dee is another high scoring guard that should ride his high points total to All-WCC honors. Last year he was All-WCC after finishing fifth in the conference averaging 16.6 points per game. While those numbers alone might not be enough to be worthy of that honor, what really put him over the top was his shooting prowess. Dee finished second in three pointers made per game, and he led the nation in free throw percentage. Dee is so respected because of his accuracy and reliability as a scorer, and he will again be leaned on heavily by the Toreros. You can expect similar numbers from him this year as well as the same respect to be shown by the WCC when picking their All-WCC recipients.

TYLER HAWS – G – BYU: All this talk of young and upcoming guards with scoring ability, but Tyler Haws is still the class of the conference in that category. Last year he owned the WCC leading it in scoring at 23.2 points per game. That whopping total was almost five points higher than second place Anthony Ireland, and it was good enough to finish fifth in the nation in total points and sixth in points per game. When you’re darn near the best scorer in the country, you clean up with the conference awards. Haws should lead another strong BYU team and easily earn another All-WCC nod. He will be right there in the race to make it back-to-back WCC Player of the Year honors as well.

KEVIN PANGOS – G – GONZAGA: The Bulldogs are absolutely stacked this year, and Pangos is the little guy who will tie it all together. He and Haws are the only two players on our list who have been All-WCC honorees each of the past two seasons, and there’s good reason why. Pangos isn’t quite as dynamic of a scorer as Haws, but he also doesn’t have to be with so much talent around him. But that’s not to say he can’t score, and that’s really what makes him so dangerous is how he does everything well. He can move the ball around and set up his teammates, but he also has deadly shooting accuracy if you leave him open. It makes him very hard to stop, and he could push Haws for POTY honors.

It’s a deep conference this year, and many talented players worthy of All-WCC consideration couldn’t make the list. Stay tuned later today as we will bring you some of the top candidates for the All-WCC Team that just missed the cut.