West Coast Conference men's basketball teleconference highlights
The West Coast Conference held a men's basketball teleconference Tuesday afternoon, with all eight coaches participating. Here are some of the highlights:
Gonzaga Coach Mark Few said he wasn't thrilled with the idea of playing No. 25 San Diego State on Tuesday in Spokane, Wash., in the second game of the O'Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic Regional because it represented an unusually tough early-season test for the 12th-ranked Bulldogs.
"When you sign up for one of those situations," Few said of the tournament, "you sign up for two guarantee games at home and you move on. You're not usually looking to get a top-20 team in here the first three or four days of the season."
The Gonzaga-San Diego State game, which will be broadcast by ESPN2, is one of several in which WCC teams will be showcased on national television early in the season. Pepperdine plays UCLA at 8 p.m. PST Monday on ESPNU, at the same time Saint Mary's will play St. John's on ESPN. Loyola Marymount also will play Florida State on Dec. 18 on ESPNU.
Loyola Marymount Coach Max Good said 6-foot-10 redshirt freshman Edgar Garibay could be a difference-maker because he would give the Lions a quality interior player who would allow them to "look most of the big men we're going to play in the eye." LMU spent last season with 6-7 forward Ashley Hamilton playing center against taller counterparts.
Garibay, returning from a torn ACL, has resumed practice and Good said he was hoping the former Compton High standout could make a significant contribution early in the season.
Pepperdine Coach Tom Asbury said he used junior Keion Bell at point guard during a summer tour of Italy but did not expect the former Pasadena High star to take over the position this season. As many as four players could play at the point for the Waves, hoping to rebound from a 7-24 season.
"He is so quick and strong that I like him at the point," Asbury said of Bell, who averaged 18.5 points per game last season, "but we have a couple of guys who are more true point guards."
WCC Commissioner Jamie Zaninovich said the conference had committed to playing its postseason tournament at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas for the next two seasons. Zaninovich also said the conference would continue to play a double round-robin format once Brigham Young joins the WCC next season, meaning each team would play 16 conference games. No conference games will be held on Sunday starting in the 2011-12 season since the Mormon-affiliated Cougars do not play on that day.