Four starting positions in college basketball are clearly defined: point guard, shooting guard, power forward, and center.
The last position, the “three,” doesn’t have that clear of a purpose.
Some teams use it to create a three-guard set to speed up the game. Some are a bit more traditional and go with a forward.
April 30: Top 5 Point Guards
May 7: Top 5 Shooting Guards
Today: Top 5 Guard/Forwards
May 21: Top 5 Power Forwards
May 28: Top 5 Centers
June 4: WCC’s Best – Nos. 21-25
June 11: WCC’s Best – Nos. 16-20
June 18: WCC’s Best – Nos. 11-15
June 25: WCC’s Best – Nos. 6-10
July 2: WCC’s Best – Nos. 1-5
In any case, the “three” in the WCC are some of the more versatile players in the conference and many are a change of pace sort of player.
Without further ado, here are the top five “threes:”
5. Brock Zylstra, Brigham Young
2011-12 stats: 8.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.9 apg, 1.2 spg, .455 FG, .376 3PT, .644 FT
Zylstra had a great summer heading into the 2011-2 season and some thought he could be that scorer to help fill the void left by Jimmer Fredette.
While Zylstra may not be there yet, he did show flashes of being an elite scorer.
Zylstra was a perfect 8-for-8 from the field against San Francisco to go with his six rebounds and three assists.
If he can develop some consistency, he could take a ton of pressure off Matt Carlino.
4. Ken Rancifer, San Diego
2011-12 stats: 7.5 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 1.1 apg, .437 FG, .300 3PT, .760 FT
Rancifer is a ninja.
When you are playing San Diego, the guys that grab your attention are Johnny Dee, Dennis Kramer, and Chris Anderson.
And when your attention goes their way, that’s when Rancifer strikes.
He scored in double figures eight times and grabbed four or more rebounds 10 times during conference play.
Rancifer is many times the X-factor for San Diego and goes about his business quietly and without notice.
3. Raymond Cowels III, Santa Clara
2011-12 stats: 10.1 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 1.0 apg, 0.8 spg, .424 FG, .431 3PT, .744 FT
Cowels took on a much larger role in 2011-12 and his numbers indicate he was up to the challenge.
The junior shot better from the field and from three point range.
In fact, his three point percentage was second best in the conference. That was better than Johnny Dee, Kevin Pangos, and Clint Steindl.
This is crucial with a team that relies so heavily on the three-point shot.
2. Guy Landry Edi, Gonzaga
2011-12 stats: 5.5 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 0.9 apg, 0.6 spg, .486 FG, .256 3PT, .520 FT
Ignore the stats.
When you watch Edi, you cannot tell me that he doesn’t change the game. The fact is he doesn’t need to have the ball to affect it.
He also started to become more confident as the season wore on.
In his last 12 games, he shot 53 percent from the field, which included a 6-for-10 game against Loyola Marymount.
And keep this in mind: he didn’t play a game for Gonzaga until mid-December.
1. Cole Dickerson, San Francisco
2011-12 stats: 7.1 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 0.6 apg, 0.8 bpg, .579 FG, .404 3PT, .455 FT
Dickerson looked to be one of the rising stars in the WCC before the mass exodus from the Hilltop.
With the exodus, it puts more pressure on Dickerson to live up to the higher expectations that will be placed on him.
If you needed an indication of what he could be, take a look at his line from his only start of the season against Washington State: 19 points, 11 rebounds, two steals.
Follow Zack Farmer on Twitter: @ZFarmerExaminer