Editor’s Preseason All-WCC Team: Just Missed the Cut


It’s a really good year for the WCC, and we have a lot of very talented players who deserve to be considered for All-WCC honors. The below guys missing out is really a testament to the young talent in the conference as a big reason why there is room for them on the list is because a lot of players from last year’s All-WCC Team are returning. But there is always room for change, and these guys should very much be in the mix.

THOMAS VAN DER MARS – C – PORTLAND: Because of the high scoring guards in the conference and talented forwards, it’s tough to make an impact as a center if you aren’t one of the top couple. Van der Mars is excellent, but with only a center or two making the All-WCC Team each year, he will have a hard time jumping Waldow and Karnowski. But he should be the best player on Portland’s roster, and he has the potential for a big year. Like Brownridge, if Van der Mars can lead his team to a lot of growth and put up good numbers, he could be in the conversation.

BRYON WESLEY – F – GONZAGA: I nearly put Wesley on the my team, but he just missed the cut to fellow teammate Kyle Wiltjer. Wesley had excellent numbers at USC last season, and he should do well again this year. If he does even better he could end up on the team at the end of the season, but right now he’s only on the outside because of the depth the conference has with so many good players. If the team was a little larger, he’s on my list.

MARK TOLLEFSEN – F – SAN FRANCISCO: Tollefsen had a great year last year, and he could be even better. He has one of the best frontcourts in the WCC around him, and the Dons lost some talent that will open up more opportunities for a guy like Tollefsen to be a feature piece. He should be one of the best forwards in the WCC this year, and only liking Pinkins slightly more has him off the list.

AARON BRIGHT – G – SAINT MARY’S: Everything is set up for Bright to have a big year. He’s going right into a key role after the departure of Stephen Holt. He has major weapons like Brad Waldow and Kerry Carter to utilize and rack up assists. He has double-digit scoring ability and will often be asked to put up points. Like Brownridge, the only reason he isn’t on the list right now is due to so many quality WCC guards being ahead of him.

KYLE COLLINSWORTH – G – BYU: Probably one of the most talented players that didn’t make the team. Lots of publications have him on it ahead of guys like Dee and Major. He probably gets overshadowed by Haws a bit, but he’s an excellent guard and will totally be in the conversation. I may regret speculating on guys like Major is Collinsworth has another big year and cruises to All-WCC honors. And he’s just another casualty of the depth of guards in the WCC.

KEVIN BAILEY – G – PORTLAND: Bailey had a great year in terms of points last year, and he should it again this year. If Portland can improve their record and he continues to score at a high rate, he has a chance for All-WCC honors. Can he jump all the talented guards ahead of him however? It just doesn’t seem likely. And that continues to be the issue on this list. With guys like Pangos and Haws being locks for All-WCC and so many other talented guards behind them, it’s really crowded at the position.

EVAN PAYNE – G – LOYOLA MARYMOUNT: Yes, yet another guard who is a casualty of the depth at the position. He was great as a freshman, and I hope to see the same growth from him as we hope to see from Brownridge and Major after their big first seasons. Unfortunately he is on a team in transition, and the Lions struggling could hurt both his numbers and his standing among the potentially elite guards in the WCC. But the future is very bright for him.

Join us tomorrow on West Coast Convo for our individual awards predictions, and join us Monday for our conference standings outlook.