The West Coast Conference had a historically excellent season in college hoops last year, securing three (and nearly) four bids into the NCAA Tournament.
Better teams comes with better players, and the results during the NBA draft and into the NBA Summer League speak for themselves.
The NBA draft saw Santa Clara’s Jalen Williams go 12th overall to the Oklahoma City Thunder, becoming the first non-Zag WCC player to go in the lottery in over 20 years.
The WCC also got a win with Jamaree Bouyea out of San Francisco inking a deal with the Miami Heat. If he does get NBA action this season he’ll be the first Don in the league since Ime Udoka.
As if that wasn’t enough, there are a handful of other WCC stars performing well in the NBA summer league, including another point guard from USF – Frankie Ferrari – as well as former Saint Mary’s point guard Tommy Kuhse.
Kuhse exploded for 25 points on 11-15 shooting for the Orlando Magic on Thursday, going 3-5 from deep while nabbing five deals and dishing out four assists.
He is an older NBA prospect without a lot of size or overwhelming athleticism, which will make his path toward an NBA roster spot a tough one, but he’s exceptional coming out of the pick and roll and has worked very hard to improve his outside shooting, which should at least give teams a lot to think about when evaluating him for a roster spot.
Ferrari has played three games for Sacramento this summer league, and he’s averaging 6.7 points, 4.7 assists, four rebounds and 1.3 steals per game. He’s shooting just 33.3% from the field and 30.8% from deep, however, and while his creative passing and shifty ball-handling allows him to have some success he’ll need to be more consistent as an outside shooter if he wants to land an NBA contract or a call up from the G-League.
The path to NBA playing time is going to be an uphill one for both Ferrari and Kuhse, but the WCC is starting to prove they can churn out NBA caliber talent from programs that aren’t located in Spokane.
Andy hosts the Locked on Zags and Locked on College Basketball podcasts, and serves Locked On in a marketing/digital content creator role as well. He lives just outside Portland with his wife Jenna and dog, Tillie.