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The BYU Cougars were picked to finish second to Gonzaga in West Conference preseason balloting released Monday morning at the league's Men's Basketball Tip-off event in Los Angeles.
Additionally, BYU center Brandon Davies was the lone Cougar named to the WCC's Preseason All-Conference team, which featured four Gonzaga players and two from the predicted third-place finisher and defending league champ Saint Mary's.
Voting was conducted by the conference's nine coaches.
Complete poll results were as follows:
2012-13 West Coast Conference Preseason Poll
2012-13 Preseason All-West Coast Conference Team
|Gary Bell, Jr.||Gonzaga||Soph||G|
|Johhny Dee||San Diego||Soph||G|
|Matthew Dellavedova||Saint Mary's||Sr||G|
|Kevin Foster||Santa Clara||Sr||G|
|Stephen Holt||Saint Mary's||Jr||G|
|Anthony Ireland||Loyola Marymount||Jr||G|
WCC Commissioner Jamie Zaninovich also announced a long-term partnership with Los Angeles-based Time Warner Cable Sports that will result in production and distribution of a Saturday afternoon "WCC Game of the Week" during conference play, to be preceded by a half-hour WCC show, to be seen across the league's television footprint. It is expected but not confirmed that the Utah audience would see games on regional Root Sports.
"The WCC Game of the Week and (30-minute) pregame show will help highlight our men's basketball programs and further strengthen our position as one of the best basketball conferences in the nation," said Zaninovich in a press conference as part of the media event held at the Time Warner Cable Sports production facility in El Segundo.
As part of the deal, Time Warner Cable Sports will produce a minimum of 15 WCC men's basketball games in 2013, with that number growing to 22 in coming years. In addition to broadcast coverage available to all viewers in the league footprint, game broadcasts will be seen on digital platforms.
The first WCC Game of the Week will be Loyola Marymount at Saint Mary's on January 5, 2013. Other WCC Games of the Week will include BYU at Santa Clara on January 12.
Zaninovich announced that when combining existing agreements with the ESPN Networks and BYUtv, "over 85%" of the WCC's 72 men's basketball conference games will be seen on regional or national television; "that's a record number for the conference," said Zaninovich. The commissioner said the remaining conference games "will also be produced at TV quality for a digital platform."
Zaninovich also noted that between ESPN networks and BYUtv, every men's and women's game at the 2013 WCC Basketball Championship tournament in Las Vegas would be broadcast on national television.
"We're going to get great exposure for all of you this year," said Zaninovich, "and we look forward to a great season."