Game 14: Montana

Tip-off: SUNDAY, 2PM ** *** EARLY START ALERT *** **

TV: WCCNetwork

Line: Torvik- Broncos -12, 87% win probability; ESPN- 84% win probability, no line yet.

8-4 on the season but a fairly weak schedule, 3 of the wins are vs. non-D1 teams. As a result they’re ranked #208 on Torvik. Coming off two wins over Yellowstone Christian College and SAGU American Indian College…speaks for itself as I’m betting no one here has heard of either school. There’s not much Montana does particularly well, middle of the pack to below average in most metrics. Top players are 6-9 forward Josh Bannon (12pts, 7.5 rebounds /game), 6-3 guard Robby Beasley (10pts, most 3ptrs made on team), and 6-2 point guard Cameron Parker (8pts, 6.5 assists; rarely shoots a 3).

For the Broncos, pretty simple…need to see more of the team we saw in the 2nd half vs. Florida A&M and less (or none) of the team we saw in the 1st. Montana isn’t a particularly great rebounding team but it’s been our Kryptonite all season so we need to continue to work and focus on it. Hoping that Pipes starts to get untracked and some of his shots start to fall…if his shooting struggles continue, it’s going to start to get in his head, maybe it already has. Vrankic is clearly not all the way back, was pretty sluggish Thursday which is understandable. Tongue turned the ball over early in the 1st half and Sendek more or less benched him the rest of the game, moved Justice to the 4 when Vrankic needed breaks. Hopefully, Sendek gives Tongue another chance, he played well vs. Cal and Boise St. and we could benefit from what he provides, good energy and athleticism for a frontcourt player.

Prediction: Broncos take it 78-67

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I think the game is Sunday, not Saturday

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My bad, I knew it was Sun. not sure why I wrote Sat…can I blame it on my COVID booster???

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Yes, that is an acceptable excuse. I got my booster, and it was 72 hours of hell. Far worse than jabs #1 and #2 combined.

92bronc…I always appreciate your game previews. I agree with you as it relates to PJ Pipes. His play of late has been lackluster, and we need him to turn it around and become a reliable scoring option. Carlos Stewart’s play has been really encouraging and hopefully we will be able to hold on to him. Winning both the turnover and rebounding battles will be this team’s primary challenges going forward IMO. Is Bediako close to 100%?

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Bediako is out another 3 weeks or so….Holt will have to step up and play some minutes to rest Josip and Braun…

Turnovers and Offensive Rebounds are always something I watch. The combined net of those two results in extra possessions for one team of the other. I think the national average is a little over 1 pt per possession. Vs. Boise we were -11 in offensive rebounding (16 to 5) and -6 in TO’s (19 to 13)…combined total of -17. Extremely difficult to beat anyone giving them 17 extra possessions. We outshot Boise by a hair, made 4 more threes and still lost by 12.

Good news is TO’s have not been an issue for most of the season, top 70 in Torvik in turnover rate, Boise St. game was an outlier. Rebounding on the other hand has been a consistent weakness for us, our bigs get bullied in the key far too often. We just aren’t very strong in the interior, Braun weighs only 215 pounds, he’s a more natural 4/pf but mostly playing the 5 so he’s stuck trying to block out and battle for rebounds with guys like Boise St.'s Armus, Cal’s Kelly, LA Tech’s Lofton, etc…an uphill battle for him. It’s going to have to be a collective team effort including from the guards to improve our defensive rebounding.

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Current line on ESPN is Broncos -8, was -10.5 yesterday evening.
Weird for the line to move so much in a day…a ton of money on Montana???..seems unlikely. Or maybe Vegas has some inside info…

Regardless…sticking w/ my prediction on this one. I’m a big believer in matchups…defending big/strong/capable post players (both scoring and offensive rebounding) has been our biggest failure this season but Montana doesn’t appear to have much of an interior presence or get much scoring from post play. So it’s a matter of our skill guys vs. theirs and I think we have a notable leg up there.

Looks like Carlos Stewart is getting the starting nod over Pipes.

I’m at the game and don’t see Pipes and Miguel on the bench. Does anyone know what happened with them?

Hope it’s not a COVID issue.


And the WCC Network stream is not working…sigh…we just accept mediocrity and it is very annoying.

This sounds like a good game - its on KDOW 1220 at least…a solid video feed is table stakes for a D1 program.

Do we even test the stream 20 minutes before the game? Is there any sort of pre-flight checklist? Do they just flip the switch to “on” when the tip happens? I have so many questions.


Pipes and Tomley both “under the weather.”

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Stream is working now…

You can see why I’ve been pushing for more PT from Tongue…nice post move and scoop shot around the defender then big block from the helpside. He’s not perfect and is going to make some mistakes but the kid has great potential IMO.


Agreed on Tongue. Plays very hard and is not shy about being physical . Will be a beast with another year or two in the weight room. Loved that drive by Carlos Stewart to end the half.

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Justice with the TRIPLE DOUBLE!

Edit: I clearly misread the columns on ESPN. My bad.

Ha…Justice was awesome tonight but I think you read the box score wrong.

ESPN breaks out the Defensive Rebounds so at first glance might have looked like a triple double.