College Basketball in the West
Tribune Power Rankings
1. Arizona (16-1)
Pulled away in the second half to down fading Arizona State and regain some momentum for UCLA's visit on Thursday.
2. Gonzaga (17-2)
Having suffered heartbreaking loss at No. 9 Butler, Zags turn their attention to BYU, which also knows the feeling of seeing a big win slip away
3. New Mexico (16-2)
Overtime win at Boise State more impressive than most would believe, because Broncos are having a very good season as well
4. Oregon (16-2)
Ducks have won seven straight since that triple-overtime loss to UTEP, outclassed UCLA at Pauley on Saturday
5. Saint Mary's (15-4)
Gaels got a huge win in Provo despite being outplayed most of the game, should reel off a bunch of wins until Feb. 14 showdown with Gonzaga in Moraga
6. UCLA (15-4)
Disappointing Bruins overpowered by Oregon on their home floor, now must travel to Arizona for a game that has lost some of its luster
7. UNLV (15-4)
Rebels had impressive win at No. 15 San Diego State on Wednesday, only to lose to Colorado State at Moby on Saturday
8. Colorado State (15-3)
Rams have won nine of last 10, with only loss in that stretch an overtime setback at San Diego State; Huge game at New Mexico Wednesday
9. Wyoming (15-2)
Cowboys always give San Diego State fits in Laramie, and that happened again Saturday as they walloped Steve Fisher's team by 13
10. Arizona State (14-4)
Devils have lost two straight, but they still look like the Pac-12's fourth-best team after Washington was stunned at home by Utah
Olynyk, Haws emerge in WCC
No question about it, Gonzaga is the best basketball team in the West Coast Conference this year. The 17-2 Zags are No. 10 in both polls, despite Saturday's 64-63 loss at No. 9 Butler.
But who's the best player in the league?
Oddly, the WCC Player of the Year award might just go to a player who did not make the preseason all-WCC team either Gonzaga's Kelly Olynyk or BYU's Tyler Haws. Neither played last year (Olynyk redshirted, while Haws was on an LDS Church mission), so you can't blame coaches for leaving them off their preseason ballots. Haws leads the WCC in scoring at 21.6 points per game, while Olynyk is the leading scorer in conference play, averaging 25.3 ppg.
Santa Clara's Kevin Foster, Loyola Marymount's Anthony Ireland, Gonzaga's Kevin Pangos and Elias Harris and Matthew Dellavedova of Saint Mary's are also having MVP-type seasons.