Gonzaga MBB vs University of Portland Gonzaga MBB vs University of Portland

After three years at Gonzaga, sophomore guard Dominick Harris transferred to Loyola Marymount this offseason.

If you happened to tune in to the WCC Network or any other television outlet for a conference game this past year, you saw just how important the transfer portal is to the conference. From Cam Shelton of Loyola Marymount to Logan Johnson of Saint Mary’s to Malachi Smith of Gonzaga, transfers shaped the outcome of the conference slate—and the postseason that followed.

With the 60-day transfer portal entry window closed and the first nonconference matchups making their way to the public eye, the NCAA’s offseason is in full swing. Here is a look at how each WCC team has fared so far in the portal.


The Zags certainly had a tall task in rebuilding their roster this offseason. With Gonzaga legend Drew Timme and Rasir Bolton gone and pending NBA Draft announcements from three other players, as well as three outgoing transfers, the Zags might need to replace almost an entire team, including four starters.

The Zags already made huge waves in the portal, addressing three critical areas of concern. Creighton transfer Ryan Nembhard will presumably take over as the starting point guard for an offense that became stagnant at times last season. Former Eastern Washington wing Steele Venters adds good size and excellent shooting on the wing, and ex-Wyoming big man Graham Ike brings high-level production to the frontcourt.

With three impact players on board, the Zags are in prime position to vie for the WCC crown once again.


If there is one team that had a portal experience to rival the Zags, that team is LMU. Despite losing six players, including promising freshman sharpshooter Chance Stephens, the Lions reloaded in a major way.

First, they brought in a pair of quality shooters in North Carolina Central’s Justin Wright and Texas-Rio Grande Valley’s Will Johnston. Both were double-digit scorers who shot north of 40 percent from distance. The two should replace Stephens and the graduated Justin Ahrens.

Second, LMU signed LSU point guard Justice Hill, a savvy veteran who had a down year with the Tigers but was a phenomenal point guard for a Murray State team that made the NCAA Tournament in 2022.

Third, LMU upgraded the frontcourt with California big man Lars Thiemann. The German forward was a consistent starter for the Golden Bears last season and should provide reliability in the frontcourt alongside grad student Keli Leaupepe. Center Rick Issanza provides good rim protection but had issues with foul trouble and offensive consistency—he will likely move to a bench role in the coming season.

Finally, the Lions inked ex-Gonzaga guard Dominick Harris in a rare intra-conference transfer. Harris never had consistent playing time at Gonzaga, struggling with injuries and an already tight, loaded rotation. He did show flashes of his talent, however. If he reaches his ceiling, Harris has extremely high upside.


The Tigers, coming off of a seventh-place season in which they gained some badly-needed momentum, took a step back in the portal, losing four players. Particularly painful are the losses of Jordan Ivy-Curry (who returned to UT-San Antonio) and leading scorer and rebounder Keylan Boone (UNLV).

Reinforcements have not been forthcoming for the Tigers, who signed one player: Burke Smith, a 6-foot-11 forward from Boise State who appeared in fourteen games over two seasons.


The Waves’ struggles to win games with a talented roster has surely left their fans wondering about what might have been this past season. With Maxwell Lewis departing for the draft and a quartet of outgoing transfers, Pepperdine’s outlook is fairly bleak.

They did secure a commitment from former Wyoming and USC point guard Ethan Anderson, who had a career year as a Cowboy with 7.9 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game. He takes over for Mike Michell Jr., who transferred to Minnesota.

One area the Waves must look to address is the front court, where they lost promising center Carson Basham and program staple Jan Zidek.


Much like the Tigers and Waves, a disappointing season has not been helpful in helping the Pilots attract talent. Portland lost six players, including four who started games over the past two seasons. These include second-leading scorer Moses Wood (Washington) and point guard Mike Meadows (California).

They have landed Lamar center Yuto Yamanouchi-Williams, who averaged about seven points and seven rebounds last season. He figures to play a starting role in his first year with the Pilots.

Saint Mary’s

If LMU had the busiest offseason, St. Mary’s undoubtedly had the slowest. The Gaels have not landed any transfers and only lost center Matt van Komen, who did not play last year.

San Diego

In Steve Lavin’s second offseason, the Toreros have been much quieter in the portal. They managed to keep most of the roster intact, sans ex-Stanford forward Jaden Delaire and a trio of reserves, but have not secured any commitments to date.

San Francisco

Like Gonzaga, the Dons lost the heart and soul of their team in guard Khalil Shabazz, who exhausted his eligibility. To replace him, they brought in USC guard Malik Thomas, a former four-star recruit and California Gatorade Player of the Year who did not live up to his hype with the Trojans but still has untapped potential.

In the front court, the Dons lost forwards Zane Meeks and Jonas Visser, but brought in Missouri State forward Johnathan Mogbo. Mogbo had eight points and seven rebounds per game last year and is more of a traditional, back-to-the-basket big man.

Look for the Dons to continue making moves in the portal. A stretch-four to replace Meeks and a point guard to succeed Tyrell Roberts would be logical starting points. Another point guard would also ease Thomas’ transition to the team.

Santa Clara

The Broncos are a perfect example of what happens to a successful mid-major team with talented players: that talent usually does not stay too long.

WCC Co-Player of the Year Brandin Podziemski is a possible first-round pick and has departed from the team. The Broncos also lost significant talent to the transfer portal: forward Parker Braun (Kansas), point guard Carlos Stewart (LSU), center Jaden Bediako (Seton Hall) and two reserves all found new homes.

However, they brought in five players from the portal, all of which have pretty clear roles set out for them.

Former Virginia center Francisco Caffaro brings imposing size to the middle at 7-foot-1, while ex-American guard Johnny O’Neil will look to replace Parker Braun as a stretch-four.

Mt. Saint Mary’s point guard Jalen Benjamin will bring the savvy and scoring that the Broncos lost in Stewart, but has severe defensive limitations due to his 5-foot-10 frame. Charleston Southern guard Tyeree Bryan projects as a replacement on the wing for the graduated Keshawn Justice, having been a double-digit scorer and legitimate rebounder at his last stop.

Finally, the Broncos took a high-upside swing on Arizona guard Adama Bal, who played eight minutes per game last season but oozes potential at 6-foot-7 with true guard skills. Herb Sendek and company are surely hoping that they can unlock Bal’s potential like they did with Podziemski, who was a little-used reserve at Illinois before joining the Broncos.

Bradley Sauve is a staff writer.