By Gregory Crawford--- TV, Print and Radio Basketball Analyst--- on twitter @wchoops @crawssportsbiz @kcsportsmgmt
Crawford's Best Nine---- Each Sunday, we will bring you Crawford's Best Nine, which will consist of the best nine teams out West, from the six D-1 men's leagues that have teams playing out west. Those leagues are Big Sky, Big West, WAC, Mt. West, West Coast Conference and Pac-12. The list is fluid and obviously will change, sometimes dramatically each Sunday.
9. Oregon (12-4 2-1)--- There should be no disputing, Dana Altman is one of the best college basketball coaches in the country.
8. UC Davis (12-3 2-0)--- At present, easily the class of the Big West.
7. Pepperdine (11-5 4-1)----Marty Wilson has made Wave basketball relevant again.
6. Eastern Washington (12-4 3-0)----Jim Hayford Eagles' have sole possession of first place in the Big Sky Conference.
5. Wyoming (15-2 4-0)---- The Cowboys are easily one of the great stories this year in college basketball and leading the Mt. West at this point.
4. St. Mary's (13-3 5-0)--- What can you say, the Gaels will never be bad or even average under Randy Bennett.
3. Utah (13-2 3-0)---- It did not take Larry Krystkowiak very long to make the Utes a basketball power out west.
2. Arizona (14-1 2-0)----The Wildcats will probably never be out of the Crawford's Best Nine.
1. Gonzaga (16-1 5-0)--- I not only think the Zags will go undefeated in West Coast Conference play this year, I think they will be a Final Four team for the first time ever.
Montana Coaching Tree---- If you want to succeed in college basketball coaching, perhaps one of your stops should be in Missoula, coaching at Montana.
So many good coaches have been there, then had huge success after leaving. One of those is Stew Morrill, who this week announced his retirement at the end of the season from Utah State, where since 1998 he has compiled so far with the Aggies an incredible 393-149 record. Besides Morrill, other so talented coaches who have been the top guy at Montana have been Mike Montgomery, Blaine Taylor, Jud Heathcote, Wayne Tinkle and Larry Krystkowiak. What a group, that at one time have been the head coach of the Montana Grizzlies.
Crawford's NWAC Women's Power Rankings---- Every Sunday we bring you the NWAC Sports women's basketball power rankings and the men's on Wednesdays. Some big changes this week and of course I always do things in 9s, out of respect for the great game of golf.
3. Wenatchee Valley
5. Walla Walla
6. Skagit Valley
8. Columbia Basin
9. Lower Columbia
Congrats to the teams that made it, if your team is not there, get there please.
Props--- For sometime, way before other people I have been singing the praises of two coaches out west, I have been telling the world to watch these guys. Please take note that both Marty Wilson of Pepperdine and Jim Hayford of Eastern Washington are having great years so far. Both of these guys are quality people on and off the floor, so get to know them in college basketball.
more of Gregory's blogs--- http://crawfordsgolfdaily.blogspot.com (golf and sports biz, 365 days per year).