Sunday, November 16, 2008
With the convincing 83-52 victory over Montana St. Billings, Gonzaga began what should be an incredible year for the Zags. However, GU was not the only WCC team to being their season this weekend. Here is a recap of the performance from the rest of the WCC.
- The best victory of the weekend easily belongs to the Portland Pilots. The Pilots kicked off their season with an impressive 80-74 win over the Washington Huskies. Portland was led by Robin Smeulders, who scored 20 points on the night. However, the most impressive aspect of the Portland win, was the balance and depth they displayed. I had thought that it would probably be another season before Eric Reveno was able to turn around the program, but it appears that Portland is certainly heading in the right direction.
- USF earned another impressive victory for the WCC, as they travelled to Hawaii and earned a 75-70 victory over the Rainbows. The Dons were led by Blake Wallace who scored 21 points and Dior Lowhorn who scored 16. USF is currently playing Texas St. in the finale of the Verizon Wireless Tip-off Classic, and hopefully the Dons can stay unbeaten.
- St. Mary's, Santa Clara, and Pepperdine all coasted to victories in their debuts. The Gaels dominated Seattle Pacific from start-to-finish in their 86-55 win. Patty Mills led the Gaels with 15 points and 8 assists. Santa Clara had little trouble in their 68-40 victory over CSU East Bay. John Bryant went for a double-double, as he scored 19 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Tom Asbury was able to secure a victory in his return to the Pepperdine bench. The Waves needed all 25 points from Mychel Thompson, as they struggled to a 91-82 victory over Cal State Monterey Bay (TKR Note: As I was writing this, Pepperdine lost 66-65 against Arkansas Little-Rock).
- One of the most impressive performances of the weekend came in defeat, as USD fell to UNLV 65-60. The Toreros traveled to Las Vegas without the services of Gyno Pomare, Clinton Houston, and Trumaine Johnson, as all three were suspended for a violation of team rules. However, USD was able to compete with a UNLV team that began the season just outside the top 25. USD got terrific performances from both Rob Jones and Brandon Johnson, as they scored 19 and 14 points respectively.
- Sadly, I must now recap the weekend for the LMU Lions. There is no question how bright the future is at LMU under Bill Bayno, but there is no denying that this season will be a struggle. The Lions have started the season with an 0-3 record, that includes losses to Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Iowa St., and UC Davis. Vernon Teel has been the top performer for the Lions, as he has scored in double-digits in all three games. It does not get any easier for LMU, as they host Notre Dame this Friday.