WCC Releases Men's And Women's Basketball Preseason Coaches Polls

Oct. 17, 2006

Santa Clara, Calif. - The West Coast Conference recently released their preseason coaches polls for the 2006-07 men's and women's basketball seasons. The Santa Clara University men's team received 27 votes and was picked to finish sixth in the conference, while the women's team picked up 33 votes and was selected fourth. Head coaches from every conference school voted in the poll. Gonzaga, which went unbeaten in conference play last year, earned the top spot for the men, while Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount tied for first in the women's poll.

Despite finishing 5-9 in the conference and in sixth place, Dick Davey's squad is aiming to move up the standings with nine letterwinners and four starters back for the 2006-07 season. Junior point guard Brody Angley, who shared team MVP honors last year, leads the way for the Broncos. He averaged 10.1 points per game last year and led the team in assists and steals. Junior forward Mitch Henke, senior forward Sean Denison and sophomore center John Bryant make up a formidable frontline, along with Tristan Parham, who is returning from a knee injury that kept him out of all but two games a year ago. Sophomore sharpshooter Calvin Johnson is also back after starting 18 games as a freshman.

WCC Coach of the Year Michelle Bento-Jackson returns for her fifth season after leading the Broncos to the WCC regular season championship with an 11-3 conference record in 2005-06. Chandice Cronk, who led the WCC in 3-point field goal percentage a year ago, is back as the leading returning scorer from last year. She will be joined in the backcourt by Tracey Walker, last year's team Most Outstanding Defensive Player and senior Ashley Graham. Graham is expected to run the offense from the point guard spot, while seniors Ashley Gonnerman and Kasey Monteith will provide leadership in the frontcourt.

The men open their season on Nov. 14 against Holy Names University at 7:00 p.m. PT at the Leavey Center, while the women start their season on the road at Long Beach State on Nov. 12 at 2:00 p.m. PT. Bento-Jackson's team then opens up their home slate on Nov. 15 at 7:00 p.m. PT against Miami (FL) at the Leavey Center.

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2006-07 WCC Men's Basketball Preseason Coaches Poll
1. Gonzaga - 62 (6)
2. Loyola Marymount - 51 (1)
3. San Francisco - 50
4. Saint Mary's 40 (1)
5. San Diego - 33
6. Santa Clara - 27
7. Pepperdine - 16
8. Portland - 9
(First place votes)

2006-07 WCC Women's Basketball Preseason Coaches Poll
1. Pepperdine - 57 (4)
Loyola Marymount - 57 (2)
3. Gonzaga - 53 (2)
4. Santa Clara - 33
5. Saint Mary's - 28
6. San Diego - 24
7. San Francisco - 23
8. Portland - 13
(First place votes)