This article is part of our Conference Preview series.
The West Coast Conference is once again expected to be led by the same top-two teams as last year: the Saint Mary's Gaels and Gonzaga Bulldogs. Saint Mary's returns its top five scorers from last year's 29-win squad, but the story is a little different for Gonzaga. Mark Few's team lost standout forwards Kyle Wiltjer and Domantas Sabonis, but the return of Przemek Karnowski, who sat out much of last season with a back injury, will help the Zags fill up the frontcourt. They'll also need to find suitable replacements for guards Eric McClellan and Kyle Dranginis in order to continue their perennial mid-major dominance. BYU again could emerge as a sleeper threat to the two power teams. Pepperdine was supposed to make big strides last year, but fell short and lost many players to transferring, and thus are unlikely to make waves (pun unintended) this season. A team for some consideration this year is Santa Clara, which returns elite scorer Jared Brownridge and an experienced roster, but the Broncos are largely unproven. Below these teams is a huge split in level of competition, and no other teams currently show much of the capabilities needed to usurp the triad of Gonzaga, Saint Mary's, and BYU.
Emmett Naar (G)
Naar is the latest example of the Australian pipeline Gaels' head coach Randy Bennett has created within the program. He upped his production quite a bit last year, and posted averages of 14.0 points, 6.4 assists, 3.7 rebounds, and 1.3