Game 11: Utah St

Tip-off: Wednesday, 7pm, Leavey
Line: Torvik- Aggies -2, 59% win probability; ESPN- 56% win prob, no line yet.

Utah St.:
Aggies are 9-1 with a loss to Bradley in the 2nd game of the season; their best win is vs. UC Irvine.
A complete turnover in the program from last season…coach Ryan Odum left for VCU and was replaced by Danny Sprinkle from Montana St. And the Aggies ENTIRE playing rotation are either transfers or frosh.
Top players:

  • 6-8 junior forward Great Osobor (19.5pts, 9rebs, 2 blocks)
  • 6-3 frosh guard Mason Falslev (12.8pts, 3.4 assists)
  • 6-2 senior guard Darius Brown (9.4pts, 8 assists, 40% from 3)
  • 6-3 senior guard Ian Martinez (10.2 pts)
  • 6-5 junior guard Josh Uduje (9.6pts, 46% from 3).

Both Osobor and Brown followed Sprinkle to Utah St. from Montana St.
The Aggies don’t rely much on 3pointers but are highly effective at getting to the rim and finishing and scoring through the post and are ranked 4th in the country in 2pt shooting %. Osobor’s stats show that he is a force in the paint.

The Bronco posts will have their hands full with Osobor. Fortunately we’re deep in the post; hopefully we rotate guys to keep a fresh defender on Osobor. One weakness of Osobor is that he has been turnover prone. Given the Aggies modest shooting from 3’s, might be smart to double Osobor in the post and force him to be a distributor.

Given our struggles in the past 3 games vs. D1 opponents and after the last game I hope we see some changes to the rotation if not starters.
At this point I don’t know who this team is…we have no identity. We’ve touted our great size but so what…we haven’t used it to dominate the glass or in the post. Nor has the length aided our defense in terms of contesting shots and holding teams to a low shooting %. And we have been inconsistent in all facets on offense…hot and cold from 3; occasionally but not consistently scoring through the post. And we absolutely have to take better care of the basketball…we looked like a high school JV squad with the 26 turnovers vs. New Mexico.

More than anything, regardless of the outcome, I want to see this team play with better toughness and effort and be more aggressive in all aspects of the game.

Prediction: Broncos bounce back and eke out a win at home, 78-75.


I’m really hoping that they can get back to their winning ways. Utah State blitzed the Broncos last year in maybe SCU’s worst performance the whole season.

USU looks to be a pretty good team this year, so a win would be meaningful in restoring a little bit of confidence and optimism.


This is a solid team, well coached. Just by looking at the box scores of a few games, looks like coaching staff does a good job adjusting at halftime.

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I have a gut feeling this team as a whole will use their collective talents cohesively tonight for success. These guys could be real exciting to watch when all the parts come together - like cogs in a wheel.

This team is loaded with talent. I am hoping lessons were learned in last few outings and they will rise up. I’m going to guess a victory - by a tight margin.

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The parallels with the Warriors struggles and potential are really striking. Go Broncos!

I don’t think the team is much at fault here, and unfortunately Sendek seems allergic to innovation or change. It’s a talented team. I hope the best for them.


Current line on ESPN: Utah St. -1.5.

Knapper gets the start along w/ 4 other regulars: Bal, Marshall, O’Neil, Tilly.

Cam better get solid PT of the bench…

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Tilly needs to work on his strength this off season.

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He plays smaller than his height. I’ve seen him several times leave shots short when he’s deep in the paint, even when up against smaller players. It’s almost like he’s trying to avoid contact, even if it means he’s altering his own shot to do so.

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Sloppy with the turnovers. This is a game that SCU must have.

Cam and O’Neil…really solid 1st half!

Tilly and Knapper…need to give us a good 2nd half.


The turnover battle is being won by the Aggies. Broncos gave up 10 turnovers in the first half. Aggies only committed 3.

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The TO’s and poor rebounding continue to be a problem, 13TO’s and have given 12 off rebs.

Caffaro is doing a good job on Osobor, bottling him up.

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Sendek trying to send a message to Tilly? Caffaro started the 2nd half over Tilly and Tongue/Ensminger/Akametu subbed in before Tilly.

Who is the leader on this Broncos squad? I don’t really see a floor general.

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Between the turnovers, the missed goal tend call and Sendak’s subsequent technical, and the O’Neil’s missed dunk/layup, I fear that we might come up a bit short. I hope I am wrong.

Edited to add: the officiating has been ATROCIOUS.


Marshall is the natural answer, but I think Tongue and Bryan have it in them. Someone needs to step into the role clearly, though.


7:38 mark…still no Tilly.
Either in the doghouse or sick.

I was thinking the same thing – Tilly might be under the weather. He didn’t look good when he was on the court.

EIGHTEEN TURNOVERS!!! With 4:24 left in the game. I just absolutely cannot believe how poor some of these passing decisions are. Too risky.