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WCC basketball preseason poll: Loyola Marymount picked 4th by conference head coaches

Loyola Marymount junior guard Anthony Ireland was named as a preseason All WCC selection.

Kelley L Cox-US PRESSWIRE

The Loyola Marymount Lions were picked on Monday in a vote of West Coast Conference head coaches to finish fourth in the conference. The Pepperdine Waves were picked to finish in last place in the nine-team conference.

Loyola Marymount finished in fourth place in the conference in 2011-2012, and return three starters from last season's 21-13 squad. Junior guard Anthony Ireland is the leading returning scorer in the conference, as he averaged 16.1 points per game last season, and on Monday was named to the preseason All WCC team.

The Gonzaga Bulldogs, who had their 11-year streak of regular season WCC titles snapped last year by the Saint Mary's Gaels, was overwhelmingly tabbed by conference coaches as the top team in the league. The Bulldogs captured seven of nine first place votes, and 63 points in all in the preseason poll.

The BYU Cougars, in their second year in the WCC, received 55 points and one first place vote, good for second place. The Gaels were close behind in third place with 55 points, including one first place vote. LMU received 37 points, narrowly outpacing the San Diego Toreros (36 points) and Santa Clara Broncos (35 points).

The Lions host an exhibition game on Tuesday night at Gersten Pavilion against Point Loma University. The regular season beings for Loyola Marymount on Friday, Nov. 9 with a home game against Pacifica University.

Pepperdine, coming off a 10-19 season including a 4-12 record in conference play, received just 12 points, good for ninth place in the nine-team conference. The Waves host an exhibition game on Saturday against Cal Lutheran, and open their regular season on Nov. 9 with a road game against the Cal State Northridge Matadors.