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Zags picked to win WCC; Timme, Nembhard voted preseason All-WCC

| October 15, 2021 1:10 AM

From news services

SAN MATEO, Calif. — For the 20th time in the last 21 seasons, the Gonzaga men's basketball team was selected as favorites in the West Coast Conference preseason coaches' poll.

The annual poll, along with the WCC Preseason Team, was released Thursday.

Andrew Nembhard and Drew Timme were named to the conference's preseason team. Preseason All-WCC voting is restricted to returning student-athletes. Incoming freshmen and transfers are not eligible for consideration.

Nembhard was named the WCC Sixth Man of the Year in 2021. He topped the league, and was sixth in the nation, with a 3.59 assist-to-turnover ratio. The senior averaged 9.2 points per game and was fourth in the conference averaging 4.4 assists.

Timme, who was named to the league’s preseason team for the second straight season, won the Karl Malone Award last season, which is presented to the nation's top power forward. He was named Second Team All-American by the Associated Press, NABC and USBWA. The Dallas, Texas, native, was also a first team All-West Coast Conference selection, and the NCAA Tournament West Regional Most Outstanding Player. Timme was first in the conference in scoring at 19 points per game, at a league-leading 65.5 percent from the field, which was third in the country. His seven rebounds per game were also fourth in the conference.

The Zags won the WCC regular season title for the ninth straight time last year, and 24th overall. The Bulldogs have won 22 of the last 24 WCC regular season championships, 19 of which have been won outright. Gonzaga has appeared in 24 straight WCC Tournament Championship games, which is the longest streak of its kind in the nation. The Zags have won the conference tournament title eight times in the last 10 years. GU has won or shared 20 of the last 21 conference regular season titles.

Except for 2017-18, the Zags have been voted to finish first in every West Coast Conference preseason poll since 2001. GU received nine of the league's 10 first place votes in this year's poll. As has been the protocol for years, coaches are not allowed to vote for their own program. BYU collected the other first-place vote in this year's poll.

BYU was picked to finish second, followed by Saint Mary's, Loyola Marymount, San Francisco, Santa Clara, Pepperdine, Pacific, San Diego and Portland.

PRESEASON ALL-WCC TEAM

Alex Barcello, sr., G, BYU; Jamaree Bouyea, sr., G, San Francisco; Logan Johnson, sr., G, Saint Mary's; Caleb Lohner, so., F, BYU; Andrew Nembhard, sr., G, Gonzaga; Eli Scott, sr., G/F, LMU; Khalil Shabazz, sr., G, San Francisco; Drew Timme, jr., F, Gonzaga; Josip Vrankic, sr., F, Santa Clara; Jalen Williams, jr., G, Santa Clara.

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