This article is part of our Conference Preview series.
Gonzaga has long been at the head of the class when it comes to the WCC, but the Bulldogs lost a great deal of talent following their Elite Eight run last season. Conference Player of the Year Rui Hachimura and star big man Brandon Clarke were each selected in the first round of the 2019 NBA Draft, though Killian Tillie's decision to remain in school provided a boost to the team's status heading into this year – even though he underwent an offseason knee procedure that's worth keeping an eye on. The Zags' main challenger comes in the form of an experienced St. Mary's squad that is returning four starters, including All-Conference performers in Jordan Ford and Malik Fitts.
Outside of these two NCAA Tournament teams from a year ago, BYU should enter the season as a top-three outfit in the conference with the return of star big man Yoeli Childs. Paired with senior guard TJ Haws and graduate transfer Jake Toolson (who initially started his career at BYU), the Cougars are hoping they have enough firepower to challenge for an appearance in The Big Dance. Although there's a couple of freshman to keep an eye on, expect to see most of the top-tier production around the league to come from familiar faces.
Center: Mattias Markusson, C, Loyola Marymount
Markusson has been a significant contributor for the Lions in each of the past two seasons and is expected to receive a larger role following