West Coast Tournament Review
The Waves couldn’t manage to put out Dan Dickau’s second half fire, as the Zags took their fourth straight WCC tournament title. After a very sluggish first half and start of the second, Dickau and backcourt mate Blake Stepp finally got loose and closed things out with a stellar run. The combo rained threes from all distances, as Dickau dropped 29 points, matching the number of school-record Gonzaga wins this season, and Stepp weighed in with 24 points. Cory Violette played well inside, tallying 16 points and 12 rebounds.
NCAA Tournament Bids
With the Zags catching the automatic bid and Pepperdine having season-long success, it looks like the WCC will have two representatives in the NCAA tournament. The Waves are a virtual at-large lock, barring an absurd amount of conference tournament upset champions. The reasons: Quality wins over UCLA, USC, and Gonzaga, a respectable RPI ranking of 46, and a conference championship split with Gonzaga.
Assuming that Pepperdine joins Gonzaga in the NCAA tournament, there is only one WCC team left that is even eligible for the National Invitational. San Diego (16-13 overall, 7-7 in WCC), who gave Gonzaga a run for their money in the WCC semifinals, is the only team in the conference with a record of .500 or better. Coach Brad Holland’s Toreros also beat postseason-bound UC Irvine and lost a tight game to USC.
Gonzaga and Pepperdine rightfully split this season’s major awards. Gonzaga’s Dan Dickau won WCC Player of the Year and Mark Few was named Coach of the Year. The Waves’ Cedric Suitt won Defensive Player of the Year and Terrance Johsnson is Freshman of the Year.