WCC event spurred in part by BYU's arrival

2011-10-28T10:00:00Z 2013-11-06T21:45:10Z WCC event spurred in part by BYU's arrivalJason Franchuk - Daily Herald Daily Herald
October 28, 2011 10:00 am  • 

SAN BRUNO, Calif. — The West Coast Conference hasn't done one of these get-togethers every year.

The thought was hatched about two months ago to go viral. That meant Thursday going to the virtual home of the term: YouTube headquarters. You can imagine there were a lot of people shooting video, the league even flying out a BYU-employed guru to participate.

Just outside San Francisco, BYU coach Dave Rose was part of a "tipoff to the men's basketball season" event over three hours that was far different than what he had participated in with the Mountain West Conference over the past seven years.

Those MWC days included more traditional media, but also more promotional work as far as completing a variety of advertisements for use in the league arenas and also the conference television network.

Rose really didn't have to pander to any such requests. He spent much of a three-hour segment doing live chats, answering fans' questions that were asked through various social mediums. A large chunk of the obligations were done in a cozy auditorium that seated about 60.

"Look where we are," said one WCC official of the fiberoptic-fueled area that sat a short walk from the league offices. "You can't help but want to be tech-savvy here."

The WCC, led by commissioner Jamie Zaninovich, decided to do more than a coach's gathering a little while ago. Through a few summer lunches at YouTube headquarters, there was the quickly struck thought from those staffers to bring the WCC over, and out to the world — well beyond its region of sophisticated cities (that many not always be thinking WCC hoops, honestly).

A temporary banner was placed outside YouTube.

In a football-dominated world, in a smaller conference, the WCC was looking for relevance through untapped forms.

In opening noon-time remarks Zaninovich thanked his colleagues for putting it together, saying he liked the YouTube-hosted idea then just "let my staff run with it."

BYU's inclusion seemed to play a valuable role in the boosted efforts to have such an event. Just like it did in bolstering the league's new television contract value with ESPN.

 Of course, the Cougars are coming off their best season in 30 years. Perhaps the most valuable parts to the WCC, which swooped up the Cougars amid the school's search for football independence, was that two of the most famous story lines for the sport last winter were based in Provo.

Jimmer-mania and the Brandon Davies saga.

Some questions were asked to Rose about that.

But mostly he was asked what WCC fans can expect of Provo, the Marriott Center and his team.

He talked often about the size of the arena -- a stark contrast to the "gyms" most WCC teams play in —- but more about the strong student-body fan base and a group of players he feels are "excited" to move on from the Fredette era and build upon it.

"I think we could be even faster this year," Rose said to one question, asked through Facebook if he thought the Cougars would "slow down" on offense because they lost such a scorer in Fredette.

Media mostly was local Bay Area writers, along with a handful of college students covering their respective schools.

A few national media members were on hand in what was an event mostly covered by the WCC affiliates.

The one constant, in the MWC or WCC, or elsewhere, was the traditional prediction of rankings and the preseason all-conference team.

BYU was picked to finish third behind long-running champion Gonzaga, which secured seven of the nine first-place votes from coaches.

Saint Mary's was in the middle. BYU defeated both of those teams last season — the Gaels in Texas over Thanksgiving and Gonzaga in the second game of the NCAA Tournament.

Davies was the lone Cougar to make the 10-player all-WCC preseason team. 


Jason Franchuk can be reached at jfranchuk@heraldextra.com

Be sure to follow him at his new Twitter account, @harkthefranchuk


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