Game 13: vs. LMU

Tip-off: Thursday, 8pm @ Leavey
TV: CBS SportsNet
Line: ESPN: SCU -9.5; Torvik: -8.2
Rankings: SCU - ( 107 NET / 122 Torvik) ; LMU (206 / 183)

Lions are 10-16 overall, 3-9 in the WCC and are on a 6 game losing streak and have been missing 3 starters the past few games, namely Leaupepe and Dom Harris. Checked their message board and no mention if Leaupepe or Harris are expected to play.
Top Players and Starters of late (minus Leaupepe and Harris):
6-8 forward Alex Merkviladze (11.5 pts, 6.6 rebs, 35% from 3)
6-3 guard Will Johnston (11 pts, 2.6assists, 38% from 3)
6-2 guard Justin Wright ( 10.8 pts, 3.5 rebs, 28% from 3)
6-0 guard Justice Hill (10.3 pts, 33% from 3)
7-1 center Lars Thiemann (6.6pts, 4.3 rebs)

The Lions shoot a fairly high # of 3’s. The risk against them is guys like Johnston or Merkviladze get hot from 3. And guards Wright and Hill are fairly athletic and aggressive in attacking the basket while our guards don’t defend dribble penetration particularly well.

With all the injuries, LMU is very thin and only played 6 guys last Saturday vs. USF. The Broncos need to use their depth to their advantage, push the pace and wear down the Lions. We also have a size advantage against their small, 3 guard linuep. Our bigger perimeter players such as Ensminger, Marshall need to take advantage on the offensive glass, back downs for interior buckets, etc.

This could also be a trap game, Broncos need to focus and avoid looking ahead to Gonzaga on Saturday.

Prediction: Broncos cruise to a comfortable win, 81-65.


What is the status of both Bal and Knapper?

I may have missed this in a previous post but I was very surprised, pleasantly, that BK is “week to week”. I was under the impression that he had torn either his ACL or patella and is out for the year.

Benjamin’s recent game, as many noted, was his finest of the season and if he can continue that along with BK’s return, all of a sudden this Broncos team can become a serious threat in the WCC tournament.


Knapper: initial fears were ACL, but reports several days later was that it was only a meniscus tear and that he may return before the end of the season.
I have no idea if BK had to have a minor arthroscopic surgery to clean up the tear or if he’s just resting/rehabbing. Some of the students on this board or 'femme may know…

While it would be nice to have BK back, I’m not going to count on or hang our success or failure on that. If Benjamin can give us ~25 quality mins with limited turnovers and make a bucket or two then we’re fine. Hammond, Ensminger and Bal (when he returns) can handle the rest of the minutes…they are each fine in small doses as long as you aren’t asking them to guide the ship for 40mins.

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I agree with 92 Bronc that this could be a trap game. All year I never know which team is going to show up (SJS/Cal or Gonzaga/Stanford, WSU/Oregon) and if we are looking past LMU to Gonzaga, then we would be in for a surprise. Hope they are focused tonight and get off to a good start and strong finish. Hope 92’s prediction comes true.

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Both BK and Bal are back. Sorry - been bit swamped with work or I would have checked in sooner.


Just want to see some good team play tonight… ball movement on O and aggressive (fouling but not getting called) D.
I’ll settle for good ball movement, knowing how averse Sendek is to his players having physical contact on the floor.


I agree with Betts again. Let’s see some crisp passes and cuts along with dribbling to either shorten a pass or make a straight line drive to the hoop. No dancing. Everyone looks to score.


Friend in the know at LMU says grades, not injuries

BK and Bal starting

we will be live soon for KSCU: kscusports | Santa Clara vs LMU

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Glad to have them back. The last three games were some of SCU’s better showings, so I hope that Bal can mesh his considerable talent with the better ball movement and flow.

EDIT: Ensminger starting. I like it.


Pretty solid crowd for a late start, on a school night for kids. I’m sure the #24 jersey giveaway helped.


LMU is shooting well. I’d be pressing them, they don’t have a deep bench and they seem to be turnover-prone.

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Where’s Chef? I don’t see him on the bench.

I see we are in standard Sendek mode. Zero adjustments.

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Herbs style of man D, ugh. Lots of dribble create 1 on 1 offense, double ugh.

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We better step it up in the second half if we want to win. The defense is poor. This team is to Jekyll and Hyde for me. Where is Tilley or did I miss something. Our rebounding needs help.

Tilly got two quick fouls

Lets not forget this is a garbage LMU team

Absolutely pathetic end to the 1st half. Mishandling of the ball by Benjamin leads to giving up possession arrow. Then Herb calls a TO with 5 seconds left and we get a horrible look. Frustrating.

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Not a great half. Bad shooting among other issues. BK, Tongue, and O’Neil are carrying the team.

That said, Johnston and Wright are a combined 9-11 inside the arc, basically all on midrange jumpers. That will cool off.