The West Coast Conference coaches have voted for all-conference honors, and their choices will be released on Tuesday. Unlike in the Mountain West Conference, media members do not get a vote in the all-league selections, but here's how I would have voted (note: all stats considered/referenced are for conference games only; only those stats are considered in the balloting)--
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Matthew Dellavedova, St. Mary's: I tend to lean toward the best player on the best team, and the Aussie point guard was the engine that drove the Gaels to the school's first outright conference championship in 23 years. Dellavedova was third in WCC scoring (16.4 ppg), led the league in assists (6.6 apg), finished second in assist-to-turnover ratio, 5th in 3PFGM/gm and 7th in FT%, while leading the conference in minutes played. Not the flashiest player with with the best across-the-board numbers, but St. Mary's could not have ended Gonzaga's run atop the WCC without him.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Brandon Davies, BYU: Shared with Robert Sacre the league lead in blocked shots (1.6 blocks.gm), while finishing 4th in steals (1.8/gm; great stat for a big man), 4th in overall rebounds, 5th in defensive rebounds, and is an expert at drawing possession-ending charges. Known for his offensive prowess, Davies was a difference-maker in the defensive paint.
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR
Kevin Pangos, Gonzaga: A true freshman, Pangos finished 11th in scoring at 12.8 ppg, 8th in assists, 2nd in FT%, 6th in 3PFG%, 1st in 3PFGM, 8th in assist-to-turnover ratio, while leading Gonzaga in minutes played. Matt Carlino's numbers were very comparable; in fact Carlino scored only nine fewer points in 16 games, with 23 more assists, a better assist-to-turnover ratio, and a few more steals. In the end, Pangos' more consistent shooting (44% FG, 42% 3PFG, 87% FT to Carlino's 41%, 30% and 71%) and Gonzaga's second-place finish ended up serving as my tie-breaker.
COACH OF THE YEAR
Randy Bennett, St. Mary's: Any coach who breaks Gonzaga's 11-year strangelhold on the WCC regular season title wins this award. A year after sharing the regular season crown with the Zags, Bennett's Gaels won the school's first outright conference championship since 1989. Bennett has now coached St. Mary's to five consecutive 25-win seasons, and this season was not without adversity; losing Stephen Holt for the final two conference games forced the Gaels to pick up a pair of short-handed road wins to secure the title, and that they did.
Noah Hartsock, BYU: 4th in scoring, 8th in FG%, 5th in FT%, 6th in blocked shots, proved to be BYU's most consistent and arguably indispensable player; his late-season injuries represent a major concern for the Cougars.
Brandon Davies, BYU: lead the league in scoring and blocked shots, top five in rebounds, 9th in FG%; scored in double-figures in 15 of 16 conference games (6 pts at USF), and topped 20 pts in seven league contests.
Elias Harris, Gonzaga: almost averaged a double-double (12.8 ppg, 9.1 rpg) in league play; shot just under 50% from the field, blocked a shot a game.
Kevin Pangos, Gonzaga: see above.
Anthony Ireland, Loyola Marymount: 2nd in scoring, 5th in assists, shot 40% from three and 78% from the stripe; got a little loose with the ball at times, but he's the guy you want with the ball in his hands, especially in late-clock, late-game situations. Played 38 minutes per game, and LMU needed every one of them.
Drew Viney, Loyola Marymount: The second half of LMU's dynamic duo, Viney finished 6th in scoring, top ten in FT%, 4th in 3PFG%, top ten in steals per game, blocked about a shot per game, 11th in rebounds (5.6 rpg). Helped LMU (10-4 WCC) win ten conference games for the first time in 22 years.
Matthew Dellavedova, St. Mary's: see above.
Stephen Holt, St. Mary's: missed the last two conference games with a knee injury, but was an all-around impact player, averaged 12.3 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 3.1 apg and 1.6 spg (ranking in the top ten in the latter two categories). He led the league in 3PFG% (52.3), finished 4th in FG%, and was 5th in assist-to-turnover ratio.
Rob Jones, St. Mary's: Double-double machine, averaged 16.1 points (4th) and 11.3 rebounds per game (1st) in league play, while sneaking into the top ten in steals per game (6th at 1.6 spg). Undersized for his position, Jones played 35 minutes per game at a physically demanding spot.
Perris Blackwell, San Francisco: A beast down low, Blackwell finished 8th in scoring (13.6 ppg), 6th in rebounding (6.9 rpg), 2nd in offensive rebounds and 3rd in FG% (56.8)--ahead of Gonzaga's Robert Sacre in all four categories. Free throw shooting (58% in league) was a weakness, but Blackwell was otherwise a force, recording double-doubles in three of his final four conference games.
Matt Carlino, BYU: 14th in scoring, 4th in assists, 3rd in assist-to-turnover ratio, 9th in steals, he was at times spectacular (career-high 30 pts at USF) but shooting numbers were mediocre enough to keep him off the team. Played through a knee injury in his his last three games.
Robert Sacre, Gonzaga: For a 7'0, 260 lb. specimen, Sacre underperformed a bit in my estimation, but still averaged 12 points and six rebounds per game, while tying Brandon Davies for the league lead in blocked shots; top ten in FG%, 11th in FT%. As an all-league pick last year playing on a very good team this year, Sacre may indeed make the all-league team; I pulled him late after considering him head-to-head-to-head with Blackwell and Viney.
Angelo Caloiaro, San Francisco: A tough match-up at the "4," Caloiaro was 7th in scoring, 11th in FG%, 13th in rebounding, 12th in assists, 10th in 3PFG%, 5th in steals, and 6th in minutes played. As you can see, he did a little bit of everything for a team that bounced back from an 0-4 league start to finish 8-8.
Matt Carlino, BYU: see above.
Gary Bell, Jr., Gonzaga: The only WCC guard to shoot better than 50% from the field (51.3), Bell averaged 10.9 ppg, and finished second to Stephen Holt in 3PFG%.
Kevin Pangos, Gonzaga: see above.
Brad Waldow, St. Mary's: Starting center for the league champs, Waldow tailed off a bit as the league season wore on, but averaged nine points and five boards in conference play; led the league in FG% (65.6), was 4th in blocked shots and 5th in offensive rebounds.
Christopher Anderson, San Diego: I had this spot reserved for teammate Johnny Dee, but I think Anderson ended up having the better season, and was the key player (12 pts, 7 reb, 5 ast) in USD's late-season upset win at LMU--a win that gave BYU the conference tourney 3 seed, as it turned out. Anderson averaged 10.8 ppg, 5.6 apg (2nd) and a league-leading 2.4 spg, while finishing 7th in assist-to-turnover ratio.
Jordan Baker, Pepperdine: Averaged 11.3 pts and 3.0 apg for a slow-down Waves' squad. Also 9th in steals/gm and 10th in assist-to-turnover ratio.
Johnny Dee, San Diego: The Toreros' leading scorer (13.3 ppg), Dee is a gunner and marksman, shooting 41% from the arc (9th) and 85% from the stripe (3rd). Tied Pangos for the lead in 3PFGM/gm.
In the new Top 25 polls, BYU remains without any votes in the Coaches' survey, while dropping from 28th to 34th in the AP tally.
Here's how BYU looks in this week's national rankings and ratings, grouped with the other top teams in the WCC:
Top Three Teams in the WCC (national college basketball ratings/rankings, 2/27/12)
|Team||AP Top 25||Coaches' Top 25||NCAA/Palm RPI||Sagarin||Pomeroy|
Here is how BYU ranks in the national statistical categories, where ranked in the top 50:
BYU's Ranking in National Statistical Categories, Top 50 (NCAA and Ken Pomeroy stats through 2/26/12; *indicates stats from kenpom.com)
|Scoring Offense||12th||79.0 ppg|
|Scoring Margin||13th||12.8 ppg|
|Rebound Margin||40th||+4.7 reb/gm|
|Steals Per Game||19th||8.5|
|Defensive Efficiency*||23rd||90.3 rtg|
|Offensive Rebound % (defense)*||18th||26.7%|
|3PFG % Defense*||47th||31.3%|
|Block % (offense)*||29th||6.9%|
|Steal % (defense)*||48th||11.6|
And here is BYU's updated PAP (Points Available Percentage) chart:
Points Available Percentages for BYU Players (as of 2/27/12)
|Rank||Player||Points||Points Available||PAP this week (%)||PAP last week (%)||PAP Up or Down from last week (%)||Rank last week||Rank Up or Down from last week|
Note: players must play at least 10 minutes per game to be ranked; not ranked are Josh Sharp (45.8), Nick Martineau (42.4), Damarcus Harrison (32.5) and Chris Collinsworth (0.0)
BYU's current team PAP is 48.6%; 2,450 of 5,038 possible points, down from 49.3% last week.
BYU head coach Dave Rose is in the Final Four of the Infiniti Coaches' Charity Challenge. You can vote daily through March 8th at the contest web site; ESPN.com account creation and/or login are required. The winning coach will receive $100,000.00 toward his charity; Coach Rose is representing the Children with Cancer Christmas Foundation.
BYU back-up point guard Craig Cusick was Monday named to the WCC All-Academic Team, having earned a 3.59 GPA while majoring in Accounting.