Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Greg Crawford On Basketball, For January 21st, 2015

By Gregory Crawford--- TV, Print and Radio Basketball Analyst---- on twitter @wchoops @crawssportsbiz @kcsportsmgmt

St. Mary's/Gonzaga---- St. Mary's and Gonzaga will meet again tomorrow night in Spokane and everyone on the west coast at least is talking about the game as they should. First place is on the line in the West Coast Conference, as both teams are 7-0 and both are playing great basketball at present.

The one problem here, is the people that refer to this as a rivalry. It is two top teams, but a rivalry it is not. As I often say, Gonzaga has been the best regular season team in sports of any kind in the last 25 years. They have dominated the West Coast Conference, winning 12 of the last 13 regular season championships and every year since 2000, have been in the NCAA tournament.

A rivalry in most sports is when there is somewhat equal winning and even better somewhat equal championships. St. Mary's has been very good in the last 15 years, but not good enough to be considered a rival of the Zags.

LaMarcus Aldridge---- The Portland Trail Blazers are really hoping, as they should to get their star power forward back in the line-up soon from his hand injury, as tonight he will miss his second game in a row.

The Blazers need him and they always  need him. It does bring up the question, who is more important to the Blazers, Aldridge or their other big time star Damian Lillard. It is often said, Aldridge is their best player. I have to disagree, I think the best player on the team is Damian Lillard. There is one big reason----I want Lillard taking that game winning or tying shot every time on this team, more than any other player including Aldridge.

Naturally if the Blazers are too go far in the playoffs, they need both of these great players and much more, but when people talk about Aldridge and Lillard, it is hard to go against Lillard as the Blazer MVP.

NWAC Sports Men's Power Rankings-----It is Wednesday, so that means another edition of Crawford's NWAC Sports Men's power rankings, done always Wednesday afternoon, before a full slate of NWAC games on Wednesday night. So here we go and always remember, we do things in 9s, out of respect for the great game of golf.

9. Clackamas 11-7, 3-0-----Cougars are off to a fast start in league play, 3-0, first place on the line tonight at Chemeketa.

8. Highline 12-5, 4-1----Travel to South Puget Sound and Green River this week.

7. Columbia Basin 9-8, 2-1----Big road trip to Big Bend and Spokane in hopes of staying near the top of the East region.

6. Chemeketa 12-6, 3-0----Make it 6 wins in a row, after road wins at Umpqua and in OT at Mt. Hood.

5. Skagit Valley 10-5, 2-1----Tough loss at home to Bellevue 85-79. Looking to bounce back this week against Everett and Whatcom.

4. Wenatchee Valley 14-4, 3-0----Convincing win at Columbia Basin, 86-69.

3. Big Bend 15-4, 3-0----Host Columbia Basin and Walla Walla this week as they try to stay perfect in league play.

2. Edmonds 15-3, 3-0----Last 2 games, scored 181 points and gave up only 117.

1. Bellevue 16-2, 3-0----Host Edmonds tonight, with first place on the line in North region and Crawford's power rankings implications.

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