The Scariest Players in the WCC


Happy Halloween! With the spookiest day of the year upon us, we thought it would be a good time look at some WCC players who strike fear in the hearts of their opponents. Here are our picks for the scariest players in the West Coast Conference, one from each team. You don’t want these guys to have the ball in the final seconds of a close game, nor do you want to see them in a dark alley at night.

Some might not be the best or most well known player on their team, but they’re frightening to opponents just the same. Like Chuckie the crazy kids doll or a slow moving zombie, sometimes it’s not the most obvious terror that strikes the most fear in your heart. So turn off all the lights, put on that classic theme from Halloween that reminds you of Michael Myers lumbering down a dark hallway, and let’s get scared WCC basketball style!


Wallace is one of the best young players on the Tigers, and he represents a key piece of their future. Pacific lost their top five scorers to graduation, leaving Wallace as their top returning player. As a result he only put up 7 points per game as a freshman, but he showed a dangerous stroke and a lot of potential. He could step up and be one of the best players on the Tigers as just a sophomore, and he will be one of the first players opponents plan for before heading into Stockton.


The Lions and new coach Mike Dunlap spent the offseason figuring out how to replace one of the scariest players in WCC history after Anthony Ireland graduated. Fortunately they have a ready-made replacement in Evan Payne. An All-Freshman Team selection last year, Payne was an immediate impact player for LMU finishing second on the Lions behind Ireland with 15.5 points per game.

As their only returning player who averaged double digit points for the Lions last year, Payne will be the centerpiece of the team as they try to rebuild and challenge the big dogs of the WCC. With Payne having the potential to be one of the best scorers in the WCC as a sophomore, he is the guy opposing coaches will have to focus on stopping.

March 8, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Santa Clara Broncos guard Jared Brownridge (23) dribbles against Gonzaga Bulldogs guard David Stockton (11) during the second half in the quarterfinals of the West Coast Conference tournament at Orleans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports


Brownridge is just a sophomore, but he might already be one of the scariest players in the conference. Just uttering his name strikes fear into the hearts of opposing teams after his breakout debut last season. While most freshman take some time to adjust to the college game, Brownridge decided to skip that and rolled to WCC Newcomer of the Year honors finishing third in the WCC with 17.2 points per game.

At that pace he could end up putting up historically good career numbers over his career, and he can beat teams by himself with the kinds of point totals he puts up. When one guy alone can beat you because he’s so good, that’s the definition of a scary player. Opponents should be terrified of what he will be able to do now that he has college experience heading into the season.


Dee for Three! It’s a regular exclamation in the Jenny Craig Pavilion. Dee is not only one of the most accurate shooters in the conference, he is among the best in the nation. Last year he led the nation in free throw percentage as well as finishing among the top players in three pointers made. It helped him finish 5th in the WCC at 16.6 points per game as he garnered All-WCC honors.

There are some players where opposing teams and their fans panic the second the ball leaves a guy’s hands, and Dee is one of those guys. If he’s open, the shot is probably going in. He is as reliable as they come, and that’s not something you like to hear as an opponent if the ball is in a guy’s hands late in a game.


There are players that make shots, and then there are players that specialize in making big shots. Both are scary, but the ones who make big shots are downright terrifying. Bobby Sharp might be one of the best clutch shooters in the WCC after what he did last year. Sharp reigned down three pointer after three pointer as he was unstoppable in the Pilots triple overtime thriller against BYU.

That was just two weeks after he went 4 for 8 from behind the arc and chipped in 12 points to help the Pilots upset Gonzaga. With Portland having such a talented team, there is a lot to account for outside of Sharp. So odds are he’s going to get lots of open looks from long range this year too. And with his proven big shot ability, that is something opponents do not want to see.


Jan 11, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; Pepperdine Waves forward Stacy Davis (5) makes a shot over San Diego Toreros forward Jito Kok (33)during the second half at Jenny Craig Pavillion. Pepperdine won 69-65. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

A great forward is not easy to find in college basketball. Many players who slide into forward positions are often just taller guards or smaller centers who haven’t quite grown into those roles yet. So they become “tweeners” who do a bit of both and end up as forwards. Then there are the true forwards, the guys who can bang inside and shoot the jumper making them the best of both worlds and nearly impossible to stop.

Davis is one of those guys. His 15.1 points and 7.6 rebounds per game garnered him All-WCC honors last season, but he also quietly shot over 46% from three point range and was able to chip in the occasional block and steal. Oh and he was only a sophomore.

Opponents will be very scared of the new Davis who showed a trimmed down look at WCC Media Day he credits to picking up yoga. If he is even faster and more athletic now, he might not be stoppable no matter what opponents do? An opponent you can only hope to contain and can’t stop? Oh yeah, that’s scary.


Speaking of scary true forwards, the Dons might have too many to count. Most teams would be happy to just have one quality guy in their froncourt, it’s scary that San Francisco has more than they can fit into one starting lineup!

Pinkins is the leader, but he mostly bangs inside the paint. Tollefsen meanwhile is cut from the same mold as Stacy Davis. Both are guys who can do it all and do it very well. He could improve his rebounding a bit, but his numbers suggest that wouldn’t be hard to do. And if he doesn’t, he can still show off his talent in other areas. He’s a double-digit scorer, accurate from the free throw line and three point range, and in between all that he found the time to lead the Dons in blocked shots last season.

Plenty to be worried about when a guy can hurt you with a three on one end and then race down to the other end of the court and swat your shot out of bounds.


Points? Check. Assists? Check. Three pointers? Check. Steals? Check. Kevin Pangos checks off all the hallmarks of an elite guard. Not only is he a talented player, he is able to make everyone around him better. If you drop back to cover the other talented players on the Gonzaga roster, Pangos is going to drain an open shot. If you lock down on him, he’s able to get creative and find one of the other guys open. It’s a lose-lose situation for the opponent.

Because of his diminutive size, Pangos doesn’t get all of the glory. High-profile players like Byron Wesley, Kyle Wiltjer, and Przemek Karnowski are going to get a lot of attention.  But what makes Pangos so scary is how he ties everything together. Last year he averaged 14.5 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.29 three pointers, 3.66 assists, and 1.o6 steals per game.

He does literally everything, so Mark Few and his teammates can rely on him for whatever they need him to do on a given play. When you can’t stop everything a guy does, he’s nearly impossible shut down because he’s going to find a way to hurt you. Pangos is one of those guys.

March 10, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Brigham Young Cougars guard Tyler Haws (3) shoots against the San Francisco Dons during the second half in the semifinals of the West Coast Conference tournament at Orleans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports


There are lots of things opponents can be scared of on the court. A big center who can knock you down with a menacing block. A guard who can slice is way to the hoop and put up a basket no matter how well you guard him.

But at the end of the day, it’s about points. And nobody in the WCC does points better than the scoring machine that is Tyler Haws. The BYU star destroyed the competition on the way to WCC Player of the Year honors last season, and his 23.2 points per game was sixth best in the nation. To put that in perspective, the national leader was Doug McDermott of Creighton. But he only managed 26.7 points per game and he had two more games than Haws and more than double the three pointers.

So in reality, Haws was not far behind. This year he could be even better, and you better believe that’s scary! Haws will be in the running for the national scoring title and even more hardware. Having to plan for the best player in the WCC would be tough. Having to plan for one of the best players in the nation? That’s a horror movie come to life.


Yes, the vampire fang mouth guard that has become his hallmark adds to his scary reputation. But even without it, Brad Waldow might still be the most frightening player in the WCC. Last season on the way to All-WCC honors, Waldow finished among the top ten in the WCC in points, rebounds, and blocks per game. He is every bit the truly dominant center that teams dream about

He’s big and he’s dangerous. Having a presence like that inside makes any team instantly better. It’s even more true considering how tough it is to find a true center in college basketball. Most teams settle for putting a forward under the hoop. That can be okay, but it’s not ideal. And that’s why when you actually find a dominant true center, it’s a valuable weapon to have. Both because of their presence inside, but also because many teams won’t have a decent comparable guy to challenge him.

Some teams in the WCC have centers to put on Waldow, but he’s still the best of them all. He’s a guy you don’t gameplan to stop. He’s a guy you gameplan around. Let him have his points and rebounds  and hope your shooters are hot that night. Because if they aren’t, you’re going to have a tough time winning the battle inside against Waldow.

Hopefully the list didn’t send too many shivers down your spine! Keep one eye open while you try to sleep, these terrors and their teammates will be hitting the court very soon.