Posted by Brian Goodman on October 22nd, 2010
Sam Wasson of bleedCrimson.net is the RTC correspondent for the WAC.
Predicted Order of Finish
- New Mexico State (13-3)
- Utah State (11-5)
- San Jose State (10-6)
- Nevada (9-7)
- Boise State (8-8)
- Fresno State (7-9)
- Idaho (6-10)
- Louisiana Tech (4-12)
- Hawai’i (4-12)
All-Conference Team (key stats from last season in parentheses)
- G: Adrian Oliver, San Jose State (22.5 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 2.9 APG)
- G: Hernst Laroche, New Mexico State (6.3 PPG, 3.7 APG, 1.4 SPG, 3.2 RPG, 2.1 A/TO)
- F: Troy Gillenwater, New Mexico State (14.6 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 1.3 BPG)
- F: Tai Wesley, Utah State (13.7 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 3.3 APG, 1.3 BPG)
- C: Greg Smith, Fresno State (11.5 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 1.2 BPG, 1.2 APG)
F: Wendell McKines, New Mexico State (10.7 PPG, 9.8 RPG, 3.1 APG in 2009-10): McKines played a pivotal role as a junior in the Aggies’ run to the Big Dance. However, he suffered a broken foot in practice on October 18 and may not be back until mid-to-late January. The Aggies will miss him in the early part of conference play, but if he comes back healthy, he’ll make a major splash.
Duke transfer Olek Czyz returns home to Reno, but won't be eligible for the Wolf Pack until the start of conference play.
Olek Czyz (F) - Nevada: Czyz, a native of Poland who graduated from high school in Reno, NV, is a 6’7 redshirt sophomore who left Duke to return to Reno, where he won two high school championships. Czyz will miss the first part of the semester fulfilling transfer requirements (he transferred from Duke midseason) but should have an immediate impact in conference play. Even though Czyz only played in six games for the Blue Devils in 2009-10, the WAC is not the ACC and Nevada is certainly not Duke in terms of history nor talent level. Czyz will likely work himself into a starting spot for the Wolf Pack this season.
What You Need to Know
- The 2009-10 season was in many ways a banner year for the league. Four teams saw postseason action, with two teams making the NCAA Tournament (New Mexico State and Utah State) while Louisiana Tech played in the CollegeInsider.com postseason tournament and Nevada played in the NIT postseason tournament. The 2010-11 season figures to be a much different year for the WAC. Four players were selected in the NBA Draft and only Utah State and New Mexico State return more than three starters.
- The league also welcomes two new head coaches, as Boise State hired Gonzaga top assistant Leon Rice and Hawai’i hired former USC assistant Gib Arnold.
- This season will also be the final season of the current WAC. The league lost three teams to conference expansion with Boise State, Fresno State and Nevada all headed to the Mountain West. Boise State will play their final season in the WAC while Fresno State and Nevada are working on an exit strategy that would also see this as their final season.
- Changes were not limited to coaching transitions and conference affiliations either. The WAC Tournament format will change along with its location this season from on-campus sites to neutral sites. The WAC followed the West Coast Conference’s lead and decided to take the tournament to The Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. They also adopted the WCC’s postseason format by giving the top two seeds double byes into the semifinal round. The first day will see the 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th place teams play in the first round, while day two will see the day one winners take on the 3rd and 4th place teams in the quarterfinal round.
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