Broncos Picked High In Preseason WCC Men's Hoops Poll

Oct. 2, 2001

San Bruno, Calif. - Despite losing two starters and 43 percent of its offensive output from a year ago, Santa Clara was picked to finish third in the race for the WCC menıs basketball title in the 2001-02 WCC preseason poll, as selected by the conference coaches.

Gonzaga was a unanimous pick for the number one slot receiving first place votes from each of the other seven head coaches. San Francisco finished second in the voting while Santa Clara edged Pepperdine for the third slot.

Gonzaga returns three starters from its NCAA third-round qualifying squad from a year ago, while USF is coming off a disappointing season plagued by injuries.

Santa Clara brings back one of the leagueıs top returning scorers in Steve Ross and one of the conferenceıs top freshman performers in sophomore Kyle Bailey. In addition, the Broncos return experienced seniors Brian Vaka, Justin Holbrook and Jason Westphal. Vaka has been one of the team's most aggressive defenders, while Holbrook is an accurate-shooting forward.

Coach Paul Westphal takes the reins at fourth-place Pepperdine this season, minus the leagueıs leading scorer Brandon Armstrong. San Diego was picked to finish fifth in the poll followed by Loyola Marymount, Portland and Saint Maryıs, respectively.

2001-02 WCC Menıs Basketball
Preseason Coaches Poll

1. Gonzaga (7) - 49
2. San Francisco (1) - 37
3. Santa Clara - 34
4. Pepperdine - 33
5. San Diego - 31
6. Loyola Marymount - 20
7. Portland - 15
8. Saint Maryıs - 9