Jon Teitel: In 1974 you won a state title at Benson under legendary coach Dick Gray. What made Gray such a great coach and what did it mean to you to win the title?
Sunday signals the end of the Thanksgiving tournament schedule with title games in both Orlando and Anaheim. West Virginia, who welcomed back Devin Ebanks in their win over Texas A&M, will take on a Portland team that's looked every bit the challenger to Gonzaga in the West Coast Conference in wins over UCLA and Minnesota. But they're going to have their hands full with the Mountaineers, who are more versatile offensively than either of the two teams the Pilots have beaten in Anaheim.
Gonzaga lacks the star power of recent seasons, so perhaps this is the year they get knocked out of 1st place. Portland looks to have the best chance, but Santa Clara, San Diego, and Saint Mary's are no slouches either.
SAN BRUNO, Calif. -- Santa Clara senior center John Bryant turned in one of the most dominating seasons in the last 30 years in WCC history and was rewarded on Monday by being named the Conference Player of the Year in a vote by the league's head coaches. Saint Mary's senior forward Diamon Simpson joined Bryant among the yearly conference award recipients, taking home his second consecutive Defensive Player of the Year honor.
Gonzaga secured the top seed, posting a perfect 14-0 record in conference play to win its ninth consecutive WCC regular season title and the Bulldogs' 11th in the last 12 seasons. It marks an unprecedented third undefeated conference season for the Zags. Saint Mary's owns the No.