Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

WAC Tournament

The Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Basketball tournament tips off this week in Las Vegas. Seattle University finds itself as the No. 3 seed overall for the second year in a row, and is hoping to make another deep run. Last year, the Redhawks ended up losing to New Mexico State in the tournament’s championship game. We took a look at all seven teams as we head into championship week, where the winner will punch their ticket to the NCAA Tournament.


22-9, 13-1 WAC
New Mexico State enters the tournament as the No. 1 seed and defeding WAC champions. They lead the WAC in field goal percentage, shooting 46.9 percent from the floor and average 72.1 points per game. The Aggies also lead the conference in rebounds (41.5/g) and points allowed (63.4/g), and have out rebounded their opponents by an average of 10.1 per game.

Player to Watch
Pascal Siakam, Sophomore Forward
The 6’ 9” forward and WAC Player of the Year has been a monster all season, posting a double-double in points and rebounds 25 times this season. That leaves six games that Siakam has not posted double digit points and rebounds in a game. Siakam averaged 20.7 points per game and 11.7 rebounds per game, tops in the WAC in both categories. With Siakam on the floor, New Mexico State is the clear favorite.


22-9, 13-1 WAC
With Grand Canyon University being ineligible for postseason play, the CSU Bakersfield Road Runners find themselves as the No. 2 seed in this year’s tournament. A defensive juggernaut, CSU leads the WAC in steals (7.9/g) and blocked shots (5.2/g). In addition to that, they lead the league in assists, averaging 15.7 per game, and turnover margin, finishing the season with a +2.66. Couple that with 73.4 points per game while allowing only 64.3, and CSU will be a force to be reckoned with during this tournament.

Player to Watch
Kevin Mays, Senior Forward
Averaging 12.5 points per game and shooting 51.2 percent from the floor, Mays has been leading the team all season. On top of his scoring proficiency, Mays leads the team in rebounds, averaging 8.3 per game.


13-15, 7-7 WAC
For the second year in a row, Seattle U finds themselves as the No. 3 seed. In what was supposed to be a rebuilding year, the Redhawks were happy to find themselves where they were last year and look to make another run to the championship game. Seattle U averages 65.4 points per game, last in the WAC, but is third in the WAC in points
allowed at 67.4

Player to Watch
Brendan Westendorf, Junior Guard
The Auburn native has had two game winning shots so far this season and leads the team in scoring, averaging 12.2 points per game. Westendorf also leads the team in three point percentage (minimum 50 attempts), finishing the regular season shooting 40.2 percent, earning him Second Team All-WAC honors.


12-17, 6-8 WAC
Utah Valley heads into the WAC Tournament as the number four seed and losers of their last two games. The Wolverines finished the regular season as the conference’s number two ranked scoring team, thanks mostly to their penchant for shooting the three. The Wolverines led the WAC in three-point shots made and finished second in three-point shots attempted, ultimately becoming the driving force to their 75.9 points per game on offense. Their defense proved polarizing, though, as they finished at the bottom of the conference in scoring, allowing 78.6 points per game.

Player to Watch
Konner Frey, Junior Forward
Amidst their barrage of three pointers this year, Frey, a double-double threat, was able to bring balance on both offense and defense. His 14.1 points per game were ranked sixth in the WAC and his seven rebounds per game ranked him fifth.


11-18, 4-10 WAC
The fifth-seeded Kangaroos found themselves in the middle of the WAC for numerous statistical categories, leading them to a sixth-place finish in the WAC this year. They finished fifth in offensive scoring with 69.2 points per game and also fifth in defensive scoring with 71.9 points allowed per game. But in a conference where the three-point shot is a major factor for all teams, the Kangaroos were among the sharpshooters of the WAC, finishing second in the conference in three-point shooting percentage at 36 percent.

Player to Watch
Martez Harrison, Junior Guard
Harrison, a player of the year candidate for the WAC, ended the season as the conference’s third leading scorer at 15.1 points per game. He also finished second in assists and fifth in steals.


8-21, 4-10 WAC
The Vaqueros finished at or near the bottom of the league in a multitude of WAC statistical categories. They ranked seventh in offensive field goal percentage and ranked last in defensive field goal percentage allowed. They also ranked last in rebounds and last in rebounds allowed. The Vaqueros were, however, ranked third in the conference in three point shots made and attempted. A hot shooting night from the three-point line could be their only shot at an upset win in the tournament.

Player to Watch
Antonio Green, Freshman Guard
Green was the WAC’s second leading freshman scorer at 11.7 points per game, led all freshmen in assists and was fifth in the conference overall in three point shooting percentage.


4-27, 0-14 WAC
There weren’t a lot of highlights for the Antelopes this season as they went winless in the conference and won only four games overall. They were the worst shooting team in the conference and gave up more rebounds than any other team in the WAC. Their perimeter defense was their undoing this year though, as they allowed opponents to attempt and make more three pointers against them this year than any other team in the WAC. They also allowed a conference worst 38 percent shooting from the three-point line.

Player to Watch
Trayvon Palmer, Junior Guard/Forward
Palmer was a bright spot for the Antelopes this year and is a candidate for WAC defensive player of the year, ranking fourth in rebounds, third in steals and fifth in blocked shots. He also ended the regular season the Antelopes’ third leading scorer.

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