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Gonzaga, WCC cranking up offense

By Greg Peterson  (Point Spread Weekly) 

December 25, 2019 10:07 AM
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Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Filip Petrusev (3) throws up a shot against Eastern Washington Eagles forward Mason Peatling.
© Imagn

Gonzaga has dominated the West Coast Conference this millennium. The rest of the league is beginning to push the pace to compete with a team that is seemingly always one of the nation’s best on offense.

Gonzaga is leading the country in points per game for the second straight year and has been in the top 15 for four straight seasons. As a result, the Bulldogs have played 11 of their first 14 games Over the total.

It’s not only the Bulldogs cranking things up, as just two WCC teams have played fewer than 50% of their games Over the total. Three of the top eight teams in offensive efficiency and five of the top 50 belong to the WCC, as the league entered Monday 72-51-1 to the Over.

Besides Gonzaga, BYU and Saint Mary’s are teams that also stand out in the WCC. But among other teams that have stepped up is San Francisco, which entered the week in the top 10 in the country in points per possession. And Loyola Marymount is shooting about 50% from the floor.

Pepperdine has former Washington coach Lorenzo Romar at the helm, former Portland Trail Blazers Terry Porter and Damon Stoudamire coach Portland and Pacific, respectively, and former NC State and Arizona State coach Herb Sendek has Santa Clara off to a 12-2 straight-up start.

The teams have used a variety of styles to get points on the board, but the theme for many is good 3-point shooting. Five of the top 29 teams in 3-point shooting play in the WCC.

To tie it all together, the league has five of the top 38 teams in the country in defensive rebounding percentage, which leads to clean, orderly possessions.

The WCC has been Gonzaga’s for over 20 years, and everyone else is trying to emulate the Bulldogs. The beneficiaries are bettors taking advantage of these teams trying to pump up their offense to try to keep pace.

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