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Early Signing Period Review: West Coast Conference

17, Nov 2021

Early Signing Period Review: West Coast Conference

The West Coast Conference has been the league the East Coast wanted to stay up and watch late during the weeknights. The league has fun players and even more exciting teams. This year’s incoming recruiting class continues the night owl traditions. Let’s dive into the WCC’s classes from the early signing period.


St. Mary’s has done it - the Gaels have landed the top class for the West Coast Conference during the early signing period. With a three-man class on board, St. Mary’s has a trio of players who should have a productive four years ahead. All three players have multi-year starter’s potential. 

Local guard Aidan Mahaney is one of the top 100 players in the country and one of the most competitive players in the West. He’s geared to win and heac coach Randy Bennett knows Maheney’s game well. His son plays on the same team as his future point guard and watched him plenty during these prep years. A trust relationship is already established prior to ever playing a collegiate game. 

Las Vegas native Josh Jefferson was a major recruiting win for St. Mary’s, beating out Utah State for his signature. The big 6-foot-7 forward is one of the West’s very best post players. He’s tough around the cup, powering his way through defenders for buckets and boards. His game also extends out to the three-point line. 

St. Mary’s has a great Australian connection and have another prospect from the country who could develop into a major player for the Gaels. Harry Wessels, a 7-foot-1 center from Boddington is the latest Aussie prospect to join the club. He comes to college with experience with the national team. 



Colin Chandler. BYU landed one of the biggest wins during the early signing period. He turned down Pac-12 offers for the home state Cougars and the draw of playing in the Big 12 - BYU’s soon to be conference - was too hard to turn down. Chandler, technically speaking, won’t even be a part of the West Coast Conference. He’ll serve a two-year church mission before joining BYU’s team. Chandler is a McDonald’s All-American level player and the best prospect that Mark Pope has signed since he took over the program in Provo. He’s a dynamic athlete and one of the premier combo guards in the country.


One of the best traits of Gonzaga basketball is self awareness and expert evaluation. The Zags know what kind of player shines in their system and they know how to cultivate and develop big men. So when Illinois big man Braden Huff became a target, you have to think Gonzaga had something in mind for him in their style of play. We saw Huff in April at the loaded Grassroots Showcase in Louisville with the ultra-talented Illinois Wolves. Huff is a skilled paint player who can block shots, score over either shoulder and thrives with his fundamental base. I’ve lived by this rule of evaluating thumb - if Gonzaga likes a big man, I probably like the big man. As Gonzaga continues to roll forward at the top of the college basketball food chain, landing players like Huff and developing his game are key to their success. 


We hosted both Josh Jefferson (St. Mary’s) and Colin Chandler (BYU) at our HoopSeen West Preview camp in Utah last fall. Both guys were noted as top overall performers from the event. Chandler started his quest to be an All-American here and Jefferson established himself as one of the premier post prospects in the West on this stage. Both were absolutely stellar in Utah. 

On Chandler

If you ask any of the coaches on our staff at the Preview camp, they’d all agree that Chandler was one of the best overall players on the stage. The Utah guard was relentless in his pursuit to the iron and constantly attacked the rim with a fervor. His athleticism is what catches your eye at first but it is his overall skill that balances out his rim attacking and craftiness to the paint. Chandler is a great passer and a shooter that can burn you when you leave him space. The part of his game that jumped out was his offensive rebounding. There were several moments where his second chance opportunities resulted in positive plays for his team and his teammates. Every part of his game translates to the next level. 

On Jefferson

There were a lot of traits that Jefferson brought to the table that you just have to like. For starters, he muscles himself well down low to get close to the basket and scores in the paint. He’s also a good ball-handler to put the rock on the hardwood with the goal of getting right to the rim. Jefferson then converted nearly everything when he got within point-blank range. He’s a good passer and a reliable shooter from three. Everything about his game says he should be an actively recruited big man from the West Coast in the class of 2022.

THE THREE THINGS I LIKE THE MOST: Use this as a catch-all for your conference notebook. Is there anything that you can include here that you couldn’t fit into the content fillers above? 

1. If you have followed Lorenzo Romar’s career, you know that he can find and cultivate a pro player with the best of them. His latest Pepperdine signee Malik Moore could be a guy to watch closely in the West Coast Conference. He’s a sleeper nationally and he has the skill set to develop into a major player in the league. Moore has great wing size, great bounce and a considerable amount of upside to think his best days are still very much ahead of him. 

2. Santa Clara has an interesting player coming to town in 6-foot-8 Jake Ensminger. A native of the United States, Ensminger will come to the West Coast Conference from Germany. He has lived there for a while and has played for Ratiopharm Ulm. A son of a coach, Ensminger has a versatile skillset that can be spread out several positions. He picked Santa Clara over the likes of Davidson, Colorado and UC Santa Barbara. 

3. Broyce Batchen, Jr. gives San Francisco a major athlete in the backcourt. The bouncy guard from NorCal may just be the most athletic player in his incoming high school class. He’s a high-flying and aggressive rim attacker now at Southern California Academy and getting battle-tested before joining the college ranks. 


TOP PG: Aidan Mahaney, St. Mary’s
TOP SG: Colin Chandler, BYU
TOP SF: Malik Moore, Pepperdine
TOP PF: Josh Jefferson, St. Mary’s
TOP C: Brendan Huff, Gonzaga

Justin Young

Justin Young has been the editor-in-chief of since 2013. He manages the day-to-day operations on the site and in conjunction with our national and regional events. He was the national basketball editor for and a contributing editor at Yahoo! Sports. Young has been earned numerous awards for his work in sports journalism, including the Georgia Press Association Columnist of the Year. His Justin Young Basketball recruiting service has been in existence since 2002 and worked with over 300 schools from all levels. He is the director of HoopSeen Elite Preview camps and our national Preview camp series.